What is Web3? Is it the future?

Web3 derives its name from Web3.js – a JavaScript library to interact with Ethereum blockchain. But of course, Web3 is not just about Web3.js or Ethereum. It’s a utopian idea about open and decentralised Internet, no intermediaries, and no central authorities. Users controlling their own data on a trustless networks.

Web 1.0 and 2.0 is all about giant companies controlling the internet and its various applications, collecting users’ data, and selling it to advertisers for profit. In web 2.0, a company can kick out the president of the United States from its platform for using the platform to spread misinformation. In the world of Web3, the companies don’t control the platforms. Platforms are decentralised. They are called dapps – Decentralised Apps.

In the world of Web3, applications are not hosted on a central server owned by a giant hosting company like Amazon, Microsoft, Google or Rackspace. The dapps are spread across several nodes (servers). You can also become a node simply by getting a virtual server on Amazon, Microsoft, Google or Rackspace.

The web 2.0 companies need to raise venture capital and have to give away a part of their company to investors. In the ideal world of Web3, creators don’t have to sell stake to VCs, they can instead sell tokens (DeFi – Decentralised Finance) to hundreds of backers who now vote on how the project proceeds, what features get built and how it is marketed. Democracy for the win! banks are dead, here comes DeFi.

One of the core principals of Web3 is trustless network. With the magic of permissionless public blockchain, anyone in the world can transfer value instantly to anyone else in the world with very low fees and in a fraction of a second, all without a middleman. All you need is altruistic miners who will contribute immense processing power and electricity to authenticate the transactions for the good of humanity.

Another important aspect is privacy. Today, when you do anything online you have to share your data with large organisations. You have to share your name, email and much more. You have no control over how that data is used by those companies. With Web3, you don’t have to share any data. Everyone is authenticated with secret keys. As long as the government agencies do not mind, you can do anything on the internet without revealing anything about yourself.

Imagine a Twitter like service built on Web3. It’s built on top of blockchain, so no central server. You don’t have to give your email to sign up. You sign up using your secret key. You can post anything, except each post costs hundreds of dollars equivalent of that network’s crypto. Why does it cost? Well, the node operators have to be incentivised to keep the node up and running. There are no VCs or ads to fund the show. But hey, no one can delete your account!

A shopping site on Web3. Down with Amazon. Since no personal data is shared, the shopping network has no clue what you like and what you might be interested in purchasing. So, it shows you everything that is there on the network. You like something, but you don’t know what other people think about it. There are no reviews because token holders voted against the idea of adding product reviews. This shopping network is also on a public blockchain for the sake of decentralisation. Each sale costs hundreds of dollars in commission to record the sale on the chain, no matter the price of the merchandise sold. Government agencies have no issues in network allowing anyone to sell anything and not collecting any data about who the buyers and sellers are. A true laissez-faire market.

Web3 is the answer to the evils of capitalism and profit seeking companies. Its goal is to dismantle the monopolies of large corporations and give the power back to end users. It’s about eliminating the rent seeking intermediaries and connect buyers and sellers of various services over internet directly. If it sounds too good to be true, you are a cynic who doesn’t understand the future of technology. 20 years ago, people couldn’t imagine we would be sharing photos of our lunch online, so how can we imagine the wonderful products of Web3? There is no way we will not have the decentralised utopia of Web3.

Down with centralisation. Here comes Web3!

Cover image credit: Joshua Sortino on Unsplash