What’s Web3? The truth is, no-one really knows.
While it’s touted as the latest evolution of the Internet, built around blockchain technology (the tech behind Bitcoin), an absolute definition is not yet clear.
The history of the Internet evolution is fascinating. Web 1.0 in the 90s allowed people to view on a screen, but not create content. Web 2.0 came along, the read/write version of the Internet, and users could open and edit files. Blogs like Tumblr, internet forums, and marketplaces flourished. Big Tech stepped in and data mining for commercial purposes took off.
For some, Web 3.0 is the equivalent of the read/write/own phase of the evolution, through the decentralised blockchain networks. If you hold enough tokens, you have a say over the network. According to Bitfury’s CEO, Brian Brooks, in his December 2021 speech to US Congress, “The real message here is that what happens on the decentralized internet is decided by the investors versus what happens on the main internet is decided by Twitter, Facebook, Google and a small number of other companies.”
The term Web3 was introduced in 2014 by Gavin Wood, a co-founder of the Ethereum blockchain, but the term gained mainstream attention last year, amid hype from blockchain enthusiasts and technology investors.
The technologies behind it could allow internet users to earn money, assets, or ownership for making content or otherwise contributing to the web, according to Kelsie Nabben, a researcher at RMIT University’s Blockchain Innovation Hub.
Not everyone thinks Web3 is a real thing.
Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk is known for his interest in cryptocurrencies, but in December he said he thought Web3 seemed to be “more marketing buzzword than reality”.
Jack Dorsey, former CEO of Twitter, also shares some scepticism, saying that Web3 was heavily controlled by venture capitalists and their partners and shareholders.
Artists and musicians have been selling work as NFTs on Web3 associated platforms. Cryptocurrency is a thing. Blockchain exists.
It’s too early to fully understand the implications of Web3 – what it is and where it’ll go, even what it really means. Our best advice is to watch this space. We know we will be.
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