If you haven’t heard of Web3 then you are not alone as it is a rather new phenomenon but you might hear of it a bit more in the next couple of years. Web3 is the ‘next-gen’ internet which has got many — including Elon Musk and former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey — skeptical about the idea of the new internet. So what is Web3 and why has got it the likes of Dorsey and Musk speaking against it. Read on:
What is Web3
It was in 1989, the World Wide Web was launched by Tim Berners-Lee. Thought it wasn’t called Web 1 but it allowed people to go online. Web 2 was the next generation — never officially called Web 2 — and it was in 1999 that changed the internet in many ways. In 2014, Gavin Wood, the man behind Ethereum, is credited with coining Web3. Simply put, Web3 takes the internet in its current form and adds blockchains to almost everything in it. The idea is to decentralise the internet and not have the bigwigs like Google
, Facebook has all the ‘power’, so to speak. A decentralised internet based on blockchain will mean users get to be ‘owners’ as well.
How will it actually work?
Ethereum, a decentralised, open-source blockchain, described Web3 as decentralised apps that run on the blockchain. Web3, as per Ehtereum, will be a network where no permissions will be required to use any service. No one will block you or deny access to any service. You can do payments through native tokens or cryptocurrencies using blockchain. It sounds like a rather utopian and radical idea but then who would have thought of cryptocurrencies or NFTs getting so mainstream a few years ago.
Will it change the way you use the internet?
For starters, it’s still a long way off and sounds very utopian. The idea seems to not have control in the hands of big tech firms and give it to the people — make it decentralised. Blockchain has been making inroads but there’s still a long way to go. Web3 will take a lot more to dislodge Web 2.0 and become the internet that most people use.
Why are the likes of Musk and Dorsey skeptical?
Musk tweeted recently, “Has anyone seen web3? I can’t find it.” In a previous tweet, Musk said that it’s more marketing than reality. “I’m not suggesting web3 is real — seems more like a marketing buzzword than reality right now…”
Dorsey feels that people will not own the internet but the venture capitalists will. “You don’t own “web3,” Dorsey tweeted on Monday night. “The VCs and their LPs do. It will never escape their incentives. It’s ultimately a centralised entity with a different label. Know what you’re getting into…”
It is, as we said, a rather utopian idea and skepticism could be well-founded. But it’s still early days as after all if someone in the 90s would have told you that a phone will become the almost be-all and end-all device for literally everything you do, you might have just laughed it off. To use the tired cliche, let’s wait and watch.