Connecting the Physical World to Web3 (Part1)
Dr. Satya Sharma
Not a day goes by that we don’t hear about the breach in individual data records, fake news, hacks, data and identity theft. While the Internet has brought great benefits to everyone all over the world and the economy, it is no secret that it also has some serious issues. Today’s internet is insecure, riddled with redundancy, and not well suited to protect individual privacy and data. Individuals have very little control over their data and the tremendous value inherent to the information they contribute is increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few companies that control the major platforms.
While the reasons behind these problems are complex, they generally boil down to two basic issues: one, the internet architecture has been built with no native tools to identify who the sender of information is; and two, there is no native way to ensure that data has not been altered, copied or otherwise manipulated during the transmission.
Web3 aims to address the issues of identification and transferability by embracing decentralization as a means of putting content creation and control in the hands of creators instead of platform owners. Presently, the FAANG companies (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google) with market capitalizations in Q1 2022 ranging from $166 billion to $2.7 trillion have an unmitigated influence on the internet. They own all user data on their platforms and use it indiscriminately. A Web3 social media platform would allow users to monetize their own data. Blockchain technology can eliminate the 3rd-party intermediary and enable direct transactions between parties. Web3 is expected to replace centralized, corporate platforms with open peer-to-peer protocols and decentralized community-run networks.
As human beings, we live and breathe in a physical world where real products and services are bought and sold. In the future, users may buy, sell, and invest in virtual assets and services, including virtual properties. The metaverse is the term being used these days to describe immersive digital worlds in which users socialize, play games, and attend meetings. Web3 will be an essential driver of the metaverse because it won’t be controlled by a single company or governed by a single set of rules. Physical and virtual enterprises will migrate wall garden stores in the physical world to the virtual world where users can place orders for products to be delivered in the real world. Brands, in particular, will need to connect to consumers through community-based platforms.
In these interacting worlds, it will be increasingly important for an individual’s identity and privacy to be protected from the outside world unless shared voluntarily. It is essential that the individual also has control and access to the information they can use in the metaverse and that products traded between producers and consumers are authentic and genuine when delivered in the real world.