Even if you’re not interested in blockchain technologies such as Bitcoin or NFTs, you’ve undoubtedly heard about Web3 (or Web 3.0). Your tech-savvy pals may tell you it’s the future, but the premise is a little perplexing. Is it a cryptocurrency or a blockchain? Here’s what you should know.
What Is Web3?
Web3 supporters anticipate an internet in which we do not have to give personal information to firms like Facebook and Google in order to access their services. The web would be driven by blockchain technology and artificial intelligence, with all information being recorded on the blockchain’s public ledger.
Everything would have to be validated by the network before being approved, similar to how bitcoin works. In theory, online apps would allow users to trade information or cash without the need for an intermediary. A Web3 internet would also be permissionless, which means that anybody might use it without generating access credentials or obtaining permission from a provider.
Instead of being kept on servers, the data that makes up the internet would be stored on the network. Any modifications to or transfer of that data would be recorded on the blockchain, creating a record that could be validated by the whole network. In principle, this stops bad actors from exploiting data while still keeping a clear record of where it’s going.
Just as bitcoin blockchains are designed to prevent “double spending,” a blockchain-centric internet would, in theory, make it more difficult to alter and control data. Because data would be decentralized, no gatekeeper would have control over it, preventing anybody from accessing the internet.
On paper, this would provide many more individuals with access to the internet than previously, and AI would be used to combat bots and click-farm websites. A Web3 application may be a peer-to-peer payment software that operates on a blockchain. People might pay for an item or service using a decentralized app (Dapp) designed for payments rather than a bank.
Before a transaction can be finished, it must be validated by the network and then written into the blockchain’s digital ledger. A payment system like this might help persons who are unable to create bank accounts, do not have access to them, or are prohibited by big payment providers from delivering particular services.
Web3 Is Still A Theoretical Concept
Web3 is still primarily theoretical, with a somewhat high learning curve. Anyone interested in participating must first educate themselves on blockchain and cryptocurrency technology. That’s a step that not everyone wants to take merely to utilize a different version of what they already have, especially when apps like private browsers might help them avoid privacy worries.
There are also concerns about anonymity and censorship. Nothing would be anonymous if the whole internet operated on Web3 blockchain architecture and everything was irrevocably put into the blockchain. That’s OK for some people, but not for those who need to stay anonymous for their own protection.
In principle, no one could be stopped from using the internet, but the dissemination of damaging disinformation and hate speech would need to be managed in some way. Because the internet is currently so lousy at regulating these concerns, it’s difficult to determine whether Web3 would be better or worse.
The most important step, of course, is transferring power away from digital behemoths like Amazon and Google. Meta does not desire a decentralized internet, thus if the government does not rein in or dissolve these firms, the best of Web3 will never be realized. Before Web3 is taken seriously, it must first avoid the onslaught of crypto and NFT frauds.