Why Web3 Is Gaining Momentum
By Deepti Dutt
Web3 & The Hype
There is a buzz that tech, crypto, and VC’s have become infatuated with lately. Conversations are now peppered with it, and you're not considered serious about the future until you bring in Web3 to the Twitter bio or LinkedIn. Web3 is a new kind of internet, that is built on the decentralized blockchain platforms, built on shared ledger systems currently used by various cryptocurrencies.
According to influencers and investors who helped popularize web3, It is “the internet owned by the builders and users, orchestrated with tokens. “It is an umbrella term for multiple definitions, all pointing in the direction of eliminating the big middlemen on the internet.
Need for Web3
Many are puzzled by all the buzz around Web3, and that a lot of companies, technologies, and investors and moving towards it.
In the nascent days of the Internet in the 1990s Web 1.0 was seen as a way to democratize access to information, but there weren't great ways of navigating it beyond going to a friend's GeoCities page. Looking back, those sites were pretty static, disorganized, and overwhelming. Though at that point having a simple non-transactional website was considered a big thing.
Then came the new wave of Web 2.0 which was started around the mid-2000s. Platforms like Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Twitter emerged to bring order to the Internet by making it easier to connect and transact online. But over time these companies garnered a lot of power.’
In today’s platform economy "There are these small groups of companies and organizations that own all the stuff like the data, content, contacts, etc of the users, and then there are users like us, even though we contribute to the success of these platforms, we don't have anything to show for it neither are users like us rewarded for the contribution.
And so, the answer, according to Web3 enthusiasts is an iteration of the internet where new social networks, search engines and marketplaces crop up that have no company or central authority overlords.
I still haven’t been able to define Web3 using a standard definition. I always explain web3 by explaining some of my favorite features.
Decentralization is the core tenant of Web 3.0. In Web 2.0 world information is stored at a central location managed by a central organization, and computers use HTTP in the form of unique web addresses to find information.
With Web 3.0, the information would be stored in multiple locations simultaneously and hence will be decentralized. This would break down the need for the massive databases currently held by internet giants and enable shifting the control into the hands of the users.
In a Web3 world, people would be able to own, control and monetize their own data and content, they would be able to bounce around from social media to email to shopping using a single personalized account, creating a public record on the blockchain of all of the activity
The Concept of DAO
The Decentralised Autonomous Organisation (DAO) is a web3 concept describing a group, organization, or collective that is bound by rules and regulations coded into a blockchain. An individual will not be able to change the rules without having permission to do so from other members of the network. And there is no concept of a central authority that can dictate or change the rules of a DAO.
In a DAO, governance systems are decided by the members, and there are no external shareholders pressuring for profit extraction. Instead, in a DAO, the owners are the participants they are the ones who make the content, distribute it, and consume and value it.
DAOs - in theory - eliminate the need for “middlemen”, such as bankers, lawyers, accountants, and landlords.
Power and ownership shifts
For the past decade, we lived in a period in which ownership has been concentrated among a few centralized technology platforms, that owned the data, end-user relationships, and the means of distributing and monetizing content. While we have seen an explosion in user-generated content during this period, it has caused a dependency on a handful of new gatekeepers.
In Web 3 Users and builders can own pieces of the platform by owning what they call tokens, both non-fungible (NFTs) and fungible. The ownership is represented by digital tokens or cryptocurrencies, through decentralized networks known as blockchains.
For example, if you hold enough digital tokens for a particular network or platform, you could have a say over the operation or governance of the platform. In today's world, this is similar to the stockholder voting rights allow shareholders of record in a company to vote on certain corporate actions.
Will Web3 take over
Web3 applications are already here, the question is how quickly the concept will become mainstream in its current form remains a matter of slight speculation. Autonomy and decentralization form the core of the vision, but we have to wait and see how the governments and regulatory bodies will enable Web3 for mass adoption.
Lack of oversight and control would always entail safety, security, and legal issues which is already a major concern that requires immediate attention
In the end, every paradigm shift has its inherent challenges that are tackled as it evolves. Several businesses have started adopting Web3 technologies to remain ahead of the curve while many are still exploring the opportunities. Forward-looking business leaders are recommended to prepare themselves and their organizations to embrace Web3 when it arrives.