What is Web3? Diving into the New Era of the Internet
Since its inception, the internet has undergone radical transformations that have completely changed the way users interact worldwide. Potentially the most significant change has been the upgrade of Web2 to Web3, marking the next era of the internet and online societies as we’ve known them.
The current Web2 world is centralized to the point where large social media companies and corporations have far too much power and control of our data and information. Everywhere people spend their time on the web is usually controlled by these major corporations, where we need to follow their terms and conditions, giving us less choice and making everyone more subject to restrictions and regulations. This has become a huge problem, leaving users with very few alternative avenues to pursue.
Web3 sets to put an end to this by flipping the online web on its head, bringing decentralization and privacy to the forefront. Let’s dive deeper into what Web3 is, aims to achieve, and the future that lies ahead.
Web3 can broadly be defined as a decentralized ecosystem running on the blockchain. The permissionless and decentralized nature of blockchain technology allows for different platforms and dApps (decentralized applications) to operate without centralized third parties or middlemen. Simply put, it’s a more private and secure way to browse the internet and its many realms.
In fact, they’re entirely run by users in a P2P (peer-to-peer) manner, who are incentivized to maintain and evolve them through various rewards-based mechanisms, mainly in the form of tokens. These participants can also engage in protocol governance and help manage it on their own as collective communities, meaning they’re more involved and driving decisions and opposed to being on the opposite end of the stick with Web2.
The Web3 movement is slowly gradually transitioning users away from the previously centralized model where big corporations, such as Facebook, Google, and Amazon, own, control, and use your data often for malicious purposes, such as selling it to other entities for a handsome profit and creating personalized advertising and marketing campaigns. With this new internet revolution,
Advantages of Web3
The Web3 space predominantly runs on Ethereum, although other popular and notable blockchains are beginning to build platforms and dApps to gain market share and traction, offering highly scalable and peer-to-peer, open-source networks and a variety of decentralized services such as DIDs (Decentralized Identities), storage, and more.
Many of these blockchains offer developers the ability to seamlessly build and deploy dApps that can be utilized in a variety of different purposes. Developers are now able to promote the P2P model, therefore allowing for free-flowing information to disperse across online environments.
Below is a list of some of the other key advantages for using and building on Web3:
- Data Ownership: Take control of your personal information
- Increased Reliability: Fewer interruptions and more uptime
- Permissionless: No need for a middleman
- Inclusivity: Anyone can participate
- Uncensorable: Decentralization allows you to speak your mind
To sum it up, Web3 is truly built and designed to empower people and communities. The balance of power is set to be restored through these different mechanisms that give everyone control of how they can peruse and interact on the internet for the very first time in history.
What’s in Store for the Future
The Web3 space is quickly evolving to a place where many activities can take place. Current examples of use cases and applications are DEXs (decentralized exchanges), decentralized social networks, blogging platforms, NFT marketplaces — the list goes on. But what’s especially buzzing these days is the gaming and metaverse realms. They’re exploding in popularity, where adding NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) into the mix as in-game assets and financial vehicles is taking them to a whole new level.
For instance, gamers now have the ability to invest in their own Web3 blockchain-based games and actually vote and control project proposals — they’re able to be a part of an integral, like-minded community where their opinions matter. With NFTs, users can also actually own their in-game assets and benefit from their immutable and scarce characteristics. Many of these Web3 games fit into the new concept of the “metaverse,” or the interface where players interact with the online blockchain realm through engaging with others and navigating virtual ecosystems.
Another future application of Web3 is DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations). These can exist in virtually any blockchain protocol, game, or environment — they’re collective groups that follow specific rules based on smart contract code. Those who own a certain amount of native tokens relative to the specific project have control over its future direction, giving them an incentive to participate in order to gain such influence.
With Web3, there’s so much to be excited about as the space continues to expand. Things are just getting started, and there’s plenty of time left to ride the wave and allow the different elements of the new internet to manifest themselves into different advanced, decentralized ecosystems and economies.