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November 24, 2021

Web3 and why it matters

Web3 is all the buzz right now. If you're new to the phrase you'll learn a little more about it in this article. I think Web3 will be the dawn of peer-to-peer internet where there are less monopolies and more equal share and service.

There's a lot to unpack when tossing around the Web3 term but I hope to start expanding on it more. This article is more or less a summary of where were are at currently and where I think we are heading.

Web1

I've worked on and with the web since what many deem Web1. This era was a big bubble of information authoring which was majorly read-only content. Wikipedia, Yahoo, and more had what seemed like sophisticated websites at the time but if you think back they were more or less HTML pages with links to other pages. If you built worked on the web then your title might have been a website admin or something similar. This was before titles like "Web Designer" and "Web Developer" were main stream.

During this time I remember rocking a 56k Dial-up internet connection as well. It was exciting connecting to the web knowing others were doing the same and sharing information their own custom web pages.

The summarized version of this era is the read-only web.

Web2

Web2 is where we land currently. This is heavily dominated by social media and content authoring channels in the form of web apps and mobile apps. Collectively Web2 is made of some power house companies commonly referred to as FAANG companies. Those include Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Google, and Netflix. These companies are massive and depend heavily on a centralized platform that they maintain ownership of.

Ads, user data, e-commerce, and more are what drive FAANG company profits up and to the right each and every day. We are slaves to them to put it bluntly.

The problem with this era is the lack of user ownership. With such power amongst these centralized platforms they can make or break markets and competitors doing pretty much as they please. With such control means less freedom for the rest of us who don't own a piece of the pie.

The summarized version of this era is read and write web with centralized monopolies holding vast user data.

Web3

I believe Web3 will change the way people think about the internet. Backed by blockchains Web3 offers much more transparent and secure ways for transactions of multiple varieties to occur between people around the world.

The finance industry is already changing thanks to technology like Bitcoin and Ethereum where there are public ledgers and open source code in use. With everything public it ironically provides much more secure ways to buy and sell goods or services using the internet and blockchains.

Other industries like gaming, digital goods and services, social media, forums/networks, and more are ripe for disruption. I expect there to be much more ownership of the people than of any one centralized company.

While the big players from Web2 will still main relevant (at first) new decentralized platforms will start to cast mold and allow the people who use it to prosper more than ever before.

Ditching databases for blockchains

Databases are exposed risks. Removing them from the equation allows big monopolies looking to own your data left without a business model. If blockchains store similar data, it's already public and for the taking. Removing ownership of corporations and putting blockchains in the hands of the users who operate and use them gives everyone a piece of the pie and creates a stronger network of believers.

Companies like Facebook/Instagram know too much about you. Their business is your data. Many people use their platform (for free) in exchange for their data being sold. Shouldn't you at least get paid for such a thing? Web3 can make that the case.

The same goes for other social media platforms. We're merely renting our space on their platforms so they can earn money from our data (fake internet points – likes, retweets, posts, shares, etc...).

Lose crumby banking and loans

Probably my biggest grip with both the Web2 and Web1 eras are the banking systems in place during them. Banking is decades behind in terms of technology. Too many banks make customers jump through hoops to do simple things like deposit money.

Soon, I predict banks will be useless. With technology like Bitcoin you can be your own bank. Sending and receiving funds is possible via blockchain and peer-to-peer networking. Assuming the network stays up (which is almost 100% likely thanks to how peer-to-peer computers work) a person can send funds to another directly for a small transaction fee, thus avoiding the middle man (banks). That 3 business day wait time suddenly vanishes and we are all much happier. The day this is reality I will be grinning!

Tags: web3

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