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Web3

We’re in a new era of the internet. Put aside bitcoin and blockchain for a second, Web3 is here. An evolution of the internet we’ve grown up with, Web3 is decentralised, self-governing, verifiable. Looking behind the buzzwords, what does this mean for the future of the internet?

We’re in a new era of the internet. Put aside bitcoin and blockchain for a second, Web3 is here. An evolution of the internet we’ve grown up with, Web3 is decentralised, self-governing, verifiable. Looking behind the buzzwords, what does this mean for the future of the internet?

Let’s start at the beginning. The early internet of the 90s was essentially on “read-only” mode. Governments and institutions published content that could be read but offered little chance for interaction or collaboration…Web1. Web2 is the internet we grew up with and use today. Anyone can be a creator. From Youtube to blogs to Instagram, all internet users can contribute to the web. At the same time, big corporations have control of what is posted. That is usually a good thing but Web3 is about a more decentralised experience. 

So what’s the big deal? Web3 sees control and decision-making power taken away from a minority in this trustless, permissionless system. Much like a lot of blockchain/crypto projects, developers collaborate to create dapps (decentralized apps) that recreate the apps we used during Web2, usually without the middleman. Pay for your pizza without PayPal taking a cut, control all your data and know where it exists, have a right to proceeds from content you produce. Got a Tweet that goes viral? You can benefit monetarily from that. Everyday users will have better access to big data and AI. 

This is no complete endorsement of the shift. The development comes with limitations. Largely, centralisation does serve common interests. YouTube censoring certain videos benefits the majority even if edge cases deliver unfair results. On top of that, the internet loses a lot of anonymity. Transaction histories will be open and viewable for instance. It will take time for such technology to become user friendly. Only in the last decade has the internet become easy to use. The millions of worker-hours put into making an experience enjoyable 

What does this mean for markets? Is Web3 a threat to the big tech powerhouses like Google, Facebook and Twitter? Probably not soon. We’re still in the heart of the Web2 generation they created and mastered and will probably play some role in the eventual transition.


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