Why Everyone Has an Opinion on Web3 and What We Think
The minute you decide to look into Web3, you will be overcome by a huge range of different opinions, each of which seems more set in their ways than the last. Just look it up, and you’re going to see:
“Web3 is nothing but a scam.”
“Web3 is a world-changing piece of technology and a massive opportunity that will make a better internet, wrestling its control away from those who see over it today.”
“Web3 is going to make some people lots of money, but a lot of people will lose everything over it.”
Confusing, right? Well, let’s look into Web3 a little bit more in order to understand to a fuller extent what it is, why everyone seems to have an opinion on it and what we think.
What Actually is Web3?
Web3 is essentially a bug that promises to build a completely decentralised internet that is built on blockchain technology. It is being built due to the fact a lot of people think that the modern internet (otherwise known as the internet 2.0) is problematic due to the fact that if people want to use it, in order to do so, they need to surrender their personal information in order to use the free services that are usually offered by the tech giants such as Google, Amazon and Microsoft.
Whenever you use the internet for the likes of research, shopping or browsing, your personal information is collected. Once it has been collected and stored, this data is usually sold to third parties and used as a means to create targeted ads.
The term Web3 was initially thought of by Gavin Wood who is one of the co-founders of the cryptocurrency Ethereum. This was all the way back in 2014, and since then, the term has become a catch-all for anything that pertains to the next generation of the internet and the potential for new decentralised infrastructure.
The point of having a decentralised digital infrastructure is that nowadays, as we use the internet as it currently stands, doing so requires us to put our trust in large organisations and tech giants. While they might be telling the truth with a lot of what they say they do with said information, this trust also comes with issues. Wood commented in an interview with Wired that the trust we place in such tech giants is unable to be held accountable.
Web3 will rectify that issue, given it would be an internet that does not require its users to hand over any form of personal information. Instead, all information would be secured given the fact the web service will be built upon blockchain technology. It would be made up of a worldwide network of computers that would talk to each other in order to validate and record transactions, but doing so would not require any kind of human intervention or centralised oversight.
Why Does Everyone Have an Opinion on Web3?
So, why is it that Web3 has sparked such a heated discussion amongst the tech community? Well, this is due to the fact that it is viewed by many as a controversial step. A lot of people have turned to criticise the concept. It should be noted amongst these concerns, though, that Web3 is precisely that, still just a concept. The term is very much open to interpretation and is constantly changing, like a lot of the other decentralised forms of technology that continue to power it.
Due to the rapidly changing nature of the technology that surrounds Web3, it means that there isn’t an awful lot about the technology that is set in stone, meaning people’s experience with it could vary depending on the platform they use. There is one application that might be able to truly stay within the spirit of Web3 and offer true decentralisation, whereas another could be labelled as Web3 but still be heavily centralised. Without any kind of specification or universal standard, the quality of the apps that use it will vary wildly.
What We Think
The theory of Web3 is generally a good one, but at the moment, it is hard to get too excited about it as it remains just that, a theory. Whilst not having to surrender personal information every time you intend on making a purchase or clicking a website sounds good, so far, the form that that could take is up in the air. Until there is some kind of universal standard with regard to Web3, it is hard to honestly state what such an advanced form of the internet could look like.
A lot of advocates concede to this speculation, but they also ask web users to broaden their minds, and in doing this, the possibilities that come with Web3 are clear. The most visible example of it being used in the modern-day is with “Non-fungible tokens” (otherwise known as NFTs). These are a form of Blockchain technology and are essentially the digital version of owning the deed to a house or the title for a car. Essentially, they prove that you own a part of a digital item. Given this has been proven to be possible, it is not impossible that a decentralised internet could work one day.
What Can We Expect from Web3?
With the constant development of technology, we are constantly exposed to new potential and new controversies. The most recent of which in the last couple of decades has been the introduction of Blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. As this takes off, the potential of Blockchain has truly been realised as it is now setting the foundation for a decentralised internet (Web3) where our personal data will not be stored by companies.
This sounds good in theory but also comes with a few issues. The main point is that so far the concept remains just that, a concept. This means there is no universal understanding as to what a decentralised internet would be. It makes it hard to imagine a world using Web3 when what that looks like is blurred.
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