So you’ve heard of Web3, right? Perhaps in a passing conversation, or in an investment chat with a tech-savvy colleague.
Web 3 is said to be the next generation of the internet which will assist in ushering in a decentralised infrastructure that allows individuals to create and exchange value directly, in a peer-to-peer manner.
Web 3 – also referred to as Web3 or Web 3.0 – has rapidly gained traction in recent years. The next evolution of the internet strives to adopt the values of the crypto community by using blockchain technology and tools of decentralisation to diversify crypto trading strategies and reduce dependence on tech giants like Facebook or Twitter.
But what exactly is Web 3? How do we define it? And can it actually deliver on all its idealistic revolutionary promises? To understand such a complex idea, it’s important to understand its roots.
Web 1, the first version of the internet, dominated screens between 1991 to 2004 and worked as a large collection of static read-only pages that linked to one another – basically one large wikipedia page. There was little to interact with on these websites as users could only read or publish basic content for others to read.
Web 2 then emerged in 2004 and has since been monumental in bringing an exponential array of free services. It allowed users to not only consume content, but create their own to publish across a wide range of interactive websites.
Eventually, the public became cognisant that the technology that allowed them to share and receive online content was also allowing tech giants to harvest information to create targeted marketing campaigns and turn an enormous profit. Unbeknown to users, who realised there were limitations to their creative freedom and ownership as the conglomerate companies were the true owners of the infrastructure, communities, and content.
With centralised entities having such far-reaching control over the way we interact in online spaces and how our data is handled, widespread frustration, visible limitations, and general distrust within Web2 infrastructure started to emerge.
That’s why Web 3 has since evolved, and gathered serious momentum.
What can be described as the third iteration of the internet, Web 3 can be defined as the read, write and own phase for users. Rather than being mere customers or products, Web 3 is said to allow users to become active participants and shareholders across online platforms that operate in the governance of decentralised protocols.
Many Web 3 backers say that a blockchain-based internet will drastically improve the way we interact online and create a more level playing field for users to monetise and profit on their online activity.
Envision a Web 3 Spotify, which could allow users to buy stakes in an emerging artist and effectively become a paying customer in exchange for a percentage of their streaming royalties. Or even as an alternative to Facebook, a Web 3 social network would grant users full ownership of content and communities.
Ultimately, Web 3 seeks to eliminate the intermediary platforms, and create more democratically governed platforms that offer greater privacy and autonomy for its users. Of course, this is a hyper idealistic vision for Web 3, painted by those heavily invested in making it a reality.
Criticisms of Web 3
2022 has signaled a significant shift in sentiment towards the steamrolling enthusiasm that is synonymous with Web 3 hype. Some critics state that it is aiming to fix a system that is not broken, and is inherently centralised – despite its entire ethos being founded upon decentralised protocols.
A key factor driving this space is the promise of true ownership and the network effect that comes with the increased adoption from creators, artists, musicians, athletes, fans, investors, and everyday people.
It still begs the question: can Web 3 deliver on all it promises?
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At Think10, we’re committed to providing forward-thinking entrepreneurs with the support that you need for long-term success. We take an informed and reasonable approach to investment, supporting all stages of start-up growth and always thinking ten steps ahead. If you want to learn more about the world of Web 3, contact us today.