What is “Web3” and Why Should You Care?

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Image: Visual Generation (Shutterstock)

techno.rentetan.com – Everything you need to know about Web3 and how it will (or won’t) revolutionize the internet. If you’ve been paying attention to recent industry news, you’ve likely heard the term “Web3” tossed about. Since bitcoin, NFTs, and the “metaverse” are becoming more popular, Web3 is receiving a lot of attention. Although the proposed new online standard, Web3, is intimately linked to those current buzzwords, it might also make the internet open, more anonymous, or more dependable.

At least, that’s what we’re hoping for. A lot of attention has been paid to Web3 and the technologies that are supposed to make this improved version of the web possible. Some of the hype is based on fact. Some of it also falls under the “too good to be true” category.

In what ways and for what purposes do we need Web3?

Similarly to Web2.0, Web3 is a set of technical and legal shifts that aim to fundamentally alter the way we interact and communicate on the online.

The first version of the internet, known as “Web 1.0,” was rather straightforward. Nonexistent social media and search engines meant that no one could aspire to make money or gain celebrity by just publishing online. It was difficult enough to go online in the first place, much alone create, host, and maintain a website. Internet users used message boards and chat rooms to discuss certain topics, and the internet was a collection of small websites and blogs.

As a result of the advent of Web 2.0, it was now simpler than ever to go online, interact with others, and generate material that could be seen by a wide audience. Even as businesses like WordPress and GoDaddy made it easier and cheaper to run your own website, most of this material was consolidated on platforms like Facebook, YouTube, or Patreon. Openness has its downsides, including the fact that it relies on huge firms and their servers for content and connections. It also implies that these businesses may utilize user data to sell advertising and “manage” the content on their platforms. Meta (formerly Facebook) has come under fire from the US government for prioritizing ad revenue over safety and truth—even after the platform has been shown to be an excellent incubator for widespread election conspiracies and COVID-19 misinformation, as well as a host for human traffickers and domestic terrorists.

It is the goal of Web3 to create a decentralized internet that is available to everyone while preserving their privacy and anonymity. In general, decentralization and online anonymity are desirable features. It’s why some people are already looking for open source alternatives to Google, Facebook, and Apple’s products.

The question is, how will Web3 move us to a more open, egalitarian internet?

Describe the workings of Web3

Many aspects of the Web3 concept are built on blockchain technology, much as many current computer developments. To put it another way, the blockchain is a peer-to-peer network. To create a server-less online network, each device on the network does a little amount of processing and communication.

Using peer-to-peer networking, such as the blockchain, users may communicate without the need for a server. These so-called mesh applications for peer-to-peer communications, which were used to keep Hong Kong protesters linked throughout the rallies without sacrificing their anonymity, are a good example of this in action.

Peer-to-peer connections may also be used to distribute internet content. As opposed to going online, each user’s computer retains a little portion of the data on their own device instead of connecting to a server that houses websites. Some browsers are already experimenting with this technique, which is similar to how bittorrent downloads operate. It’s possible that if executed on a worldwide scale, you may remove the need for central servers.

It is fascinating to think about the potential of peer-to-peer communication, but so far the blockchain is best recognized for powering cryptocurrencies and NFTs, two essential Web3 technologies in their own right. A lot of people (rightly) perceive NFTs and crypto as short-term “tech bro” fads or full-blown frauds. The usage of NFTs and cryptocurrencies may be helpful to both artists and the general public, though.

When it comes to selling or exchanging digital products, NFTs might be used to verify that they were purchased authentically—for example, if you bought a digital copy of a PC game on Steam and want to give it to your buddy. Aside from removing the need for musicians to publish their music into Spotify, NFTs might allow artists to sell their work without the need for centralized platforms. NFTs might also be used to make the recruiting process very fast, as well as for more secure login authentication.

The “metaverse” idea is the most ambitious Web3 endeavor. As a virtual world, the metaverse is meant to allow people to engage in real-time interactions with online information and each other. In speculative sci-fi, the metaverse has been existing for decades, and Mark Zuckerberg’s corporate name change reflects that. However, there are other firms attempting to bring the metaverse to life.

Is there any truth to the rumors?

While Web3’s on-paper promise is exciting, it’s vital to keep in mind that these goals are just aspirational at this point. Many Web3 advocates are financially involved in its success, rather than disinterested onlookers who are observing a revolutionary new standard being established.

According to Web3, “what blockchain computing might allow, how NFTs may be employed.” This is an issue since the euphoria surrounding Web3 is based on promises, rather than facts. For the most part, the promised technology doesn’t exist yet or hasn’t been deployed correctly.

That doesn’t imply that Web3 is a scam, but the truth may be very different from how it’s now depicted in the minds of many people. When Web3 pledges fall short, we’ve already seen them shift to more achievable goals: There were initial plans to establish a decentralized “global computer” that would link everyone to a huge, server-less network using blockchain technology, but those plans have since shifted to primarily powering bitcoin and NFT transactions. In order to perform these transactions, which are very costly and demand a significant quantity of energy, they have a significant impact on the environment.

The present chip scarcity in the consumer hardware market may also be a direct result of the NFT/crypto rush. However, proponents argue that once the blockchain has been appropriately scaled, it will no longer use resources. This is just another promise to add to the list of “blue sky.”

For the time being, the general public views NFTs and cryptocurrencies with skepticism or ignorance. In the United States and throughout the globe, government authorities have become suspicious of the cryptomining business as a whole. As a result of the reaction, several firms have decided to stop employing NFTs and other similar technology.

Nevertheless, despite these hurdles, Web3 continues to gain traction..

Even if you don’t plan on using blockchain or NFTs in your browsers, applications, or gadgets anytime soon, it’s likely that they’ll eventually find their way into our daily routines. In the “Web3” era, we’ll be able to enjoy greater freedom, privacy, and control over our lives online—but how much more is still to be determined.