The Internet remains man’s greatest achievement since sliced bread; if anything, humanity has adapted to the Internet better than to sliced bread. The world might run without gluten-induced bread but not the Internet. Owing to how ubiquitous and all-consuming it is, the Internet deserves updates every so often — from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 and now, Web3.
Web 1.0 hosted only a few content creators and a majority of consumers. During this era — from 1991 to 2004 — Personal static web pages abound. Internet advertisements were also banned. Web2 is the internet we today. On this internet, companies provide mostly free services in exchange for your data. We know this version as the ‘participative social web’. However, large technology companies have monopolized this web, therefore centralizing it. Web3 offers an alternative to this dilemma. It embraces decentralization and will be built, operated and owned by its users. Web3 empowers individuals rather than corporations.
Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood coined the term Web3 after the former’s launch in 2014. He addressed the problem early crypto adopters felt — the Web required too much trust. Today’s web requires trusting a handful of private companies to act in the public’s best interests. The introduction of decentralized apps that run on the blockchain allows participation without monetizing personal data. Web3 supposedly will create new economies, new classes of products, and new services online; it will also return democracy to the web.
Amidst the rising concerns and excitements, tech companies are already rushing to raise funds and launch their products on Web3. Japanese entertainment and gaming firm Akatsuki has raised a $20 million fund to invest in Web3 projects. The fund was raised to back startups working on projects in GameFi, NFTs, and the metaverse, Akatsuki said in a press release. Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, is also launching a venture capital fund and has raised $500 million to invest in companies building “Web3.” T
Cryptocurrency trading platform KuCoin has also launched a new decentralized wallet platform. The platform will allow users to buy, sell, trade, and send a variety of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ether, and Tether among other tokens. The self-custodial wallet gives its users full control and responsibility for their private keys.
Akin to all other rising industries, Web3 is likely to cause a boom in employment opportunities for software developers. However, sceptics argue that since Web3 is an extension of cryptocurrency, it is likely a giant speculative economy that might make the already-rich people even richer. Web3 might also be expensive and impractical; decentralization complicates technology, making it further out of reach for basic users, rather than simpler and more accessible as promised.