We are in an age of constant change. While the internet is still relatively new, it has already undergone a major transformation. In the web’s first iteration, interacting with the web was fairly passive, with the vast majority of users acting as consumers of content.
Web 2.0, the current era of the internet, encourages all users to participate in active content creation through the use of self-publishing tools, social media sites, and interactive apps. Now, it seems we may be headed to massive seachange once again.
Currently, the structure of the web is fairly centralized, with users interacting with siloed platforms. Web3 is built upon blockchain technology, essentially making it the “decentralized” internet.
While Web3 is still relatively controversial as an idea, the web today is irrefutably one-sided. The current standards today flow through just a handful of entities that run roughshod over almost all other technologies.
Data monopolization, search modification, and competition acquisition have made the current web a monolithic creature that is predicated upon intense valuations and consumer addiction cycles. Instead, Web3 purports to be a legitimate alternative to the current web by giving power to consumers through peer-to-peer exchanges of information that are more private and more secure.
Of course, Web3 relies on blockchain technology to see its vision through. Blockchain itself is peer-to-peer and secure by nature. It is also the foundation of cryptocurrency and has drawn criticism over the years from skeptics who believe it to be part of a larger scheme.
Regardless, the technology itself is very real and gives us some understanding of what a decentralized internet would truly look like. Many proponents see this technology as the guiding light that has finally given us the opportunity to separate from the current behemoths. Either way, it is an incredible technology that is undoubtedly changing our lives.
The main appeal of Web3 is its inherent security through peer-to-peer information exchange that eliminates many of the intermediaries that exist to collect and collate user data. This private and secure internet would allow users to interact and exchange data outside of the watchful eye of the FAANG corporations.
The stance is that these companies overly censor content and only push stories that elicit emotions linked to addiction.
The hope that proponents of Web3 have is that without the scrutiny of these larger companies, people will be happier, more productive and essentially free online. Indeed, the goal itself is a sort of liberation from the current architecture of the internet and a propulsion into a new era of connectivity that truly unites people without fear of oppression or coercion.
However, much skepticism still remains about Web3 and any technology that purports freedom over profit. Some believe the messaging to be a distraction from its true purpose of even greater centralization by drawing users to singular platforms that act as hubs to blockchain technologies.
Additionally, there are concerns that it is a way for crypto companies to “gold rush” blockchain technologies so that users will flood their platforms, which will increase the price of their crypto holdings.
Furthermore, some believe that it will be inherently fraudulent as they don’t believe the technology truly exists to create such an environment. Either way, Web3 is definitely a conversation starter and could potentially be a life-changing technology or another product for the ‘oops’ bin. We will just have to see what happens when tech meets privacy.
Proponents of Web 3.0, many of whom are web3 developers themselves, argue that a less centralized internet would create a more equitable exchange of data, content, and capital. They argue that the current version of the web is overly centralized, leading to less innovation, creating an environment detrimental to the open sharing of ideas and technology.
Opponents of Web 3.0 believe that building a new architecture for the internet is far too complex to achieve, especially when considering economic and political challenges, and is, therefore, simply a part of a cryptocurrency bubble.