There’s no denying it any more – not only has blockchain technology completely changed our lives, but it’s very clearly here to stay forever. With it comes countless new ways for businesses and individuals to enjoy a whole new digital transformation – and one of the biggest revolutions yet is the rise of Web3.
Is Web3 all hyperbole and no substance? That’s a complicated question to answer. However, many experts have already seen echoes of how the original World Wide Web – the one you’re using to read this article today – was originally seen as just a fad that was going to die out.
Naturally, that soon got proven wrong by the way modern history played out. Can you imagine anything in the world functioning without the internet now?
But will the same vindication happen for Web3 and the blockchain in the coming years? To understand this broad-reaching digital transformation better, let’s explore the hype and potential for Web3 in more depth.
There are enough complexities to the blockchain, decentralisation and Web3 overall that specialist expertise is often the answer to getting the most out of this fast-moving technology.
Yet one of the pillars of Web3 is that it aims to revert control of the internet away from technology giants and Big Data. Instead, the people themselves will enjoy ownership and control over their privacy, their data and the way in which their time online is used.
We’ll explore these examples of Web3 use in more depth throughout this article. However, it’s important to remember that any confusion you feel about Web3 and its potential for digital transformation is completely natural. Yes, even if you’re a seasoned veteran of the tech industry!
That’s because even back in the mid-aughts, when Web 2.0 was first being discussed, people found it difficult to define in a way that’s similar to Web3 discussions today.
Yet the truth of the scope of Web 2.0’s digital transformation is now evident everywhere you look. Whether it’s the benefits of better connectivity and a proliferation of user generated content, or the more shady side of how many of these platforms ended up being used, the impact Web 2.0 had on global society is now almost impossible to measure.
Even those people who think Web3 is a load of hot air can’t change one thing – that Web3 is coming. There’s no way of ‘switching it off’, even for anyone who doesn’t believe in the concept. In fact, that’s why Web3 is so exciting!
This all means that knowing why Web3 is important, how it relates to the evolution of blockchain technology, and how it can benefit you both personally and professionally is going to be more and more important as time goes on.
This isn’t a revolution in digital transformation you can afford to sit on the sidelines for. Even if many of the ideas forming Web3 turn out to fall short of their aspirations, the technology itself is always going to evolve and move forward.
It’s time to understand exactly what kind of Web3 revolution you want to be a part of!
When the internet first entered our homes and businesses at the end of the last century, the excitement surrounding it was incredible. We could craft pages online to express ourselves, connect with others, send messages anywhere in the world almost instantly – and expand our businesses as never before.
Nowadays, the internet instead almost feels as though it’s been carved into the grand kingdoms of powerful corporations. People are waking up to their control over every element of our lives, and their unapologetic habit of reaching deep into our personal data to empower their business interests.
Yet with even the biggest fines never persuading Big Tech to change its ways – if anything, these companies just threaten to take their services away altogether rather than play by the rules – many people are keen to see an internet where personal privacy is king.
It’s here the blockchain has proven amazing in revolutionising anonymity online. But it turns out that this was just the start. In fact, as Web3 moves forward and evolves, privacy and the promise of anonymity – without creepy data sharing – is becoming one of its biggest features.
Advances into this way of thinking are emerging all the time. Metamask is one of the most well-known Web3 wallets, for example – essentially giving users a way of navigating this new internet and the blockchain with privacy and confidence.
Similarly, the Brave browser has made waves for providing users privacy and control over their online presence, up to and including control over how they’re advertised to online – if at all. Users can even earn cryptocurrency as they browse.
In the same way that people are becoming more and more sceptical about many of the Big Tech players running the internet today, so too is suspicion around banks and financing rising.
Anyone who’s even dabbled just a little in blockchain cryptocurrencies will have heard someone spreading bad rumours that crypto is used by criminals. And fair enough – sometimes it is. Same as physical cash, or anything else.
Besides, what about the rampant corruption in the existing financial frameworks of the world today? What about the fact that banks can simply decide to freeze someone’s legitimate assets – ironically, especially where crypto riches are involved?
People who have had enough of the untrustworthy ways of the financial world are enjoying the digital transformation brought on by DeFi – decentralised finance. Forget the expenses of converting fiat currencies when you’re sending money overseas, forget bank fees and having your transactions traced for marketing purposes.
DeFi uses the decentralisation of the blockchain to have peer to peer transactions in a trustless economy reign supreme. It doesn’t matter where in the world you are, to whom you’re sending money or why you want to send it – it’s your privacy and under your control.
Web3 is evolving with DeFi as its backbone. Not only does that mean buying and selling internationally using Web3 platforms is easy, backed by the security baked into blockchain technology.
It also means that, for the first time, loans and credit are open to everyone outside of the frameworks of the existing banking system – without outdated and judgemental rules like credit checks and overbearing personal questions to worry about.
The beauty of the blockchain is that it’s so incredibly secure, especially compared to the online platforms we’re so used to. Even after decades of evolving best practises, the frightening truth is that cybersecurity is always a perilous practice, and even the most vigilant online citizen can be targeted for hacking attempts out of nowhere.
Yet personal hacking attacks are nothing compared to what happens when big companies are hacked into by cunning cybercriminals. One company means one target for attack – in other words, what’s known as a single point of failure.
Your bank, your social media, even your supermarket – they’re all targets with a single point of failure, because they used a centralised structure. One company has one website and one IT team and server infrastructure.
With Web3, decentralisation and blockchain technology operates the internet. That means if someone tries to hack into any Web3 websites, they’ll be tackling just one of countless nodes keeping the platform running – causing far less disruption to Web3 sites overall.
One of the biggest problems facing the internet today is the segregation that happens between one territory and the next. While solutions like VPNs have been invented to try and let people overcome limitations to their internet access by pretending they’re logging on from another country, that’s more like sticking a plaster over a wound that actually needs serious surgery!
The internet was envisioned as a great equaliser to our global society, yet in modern times it’s not quite the case. It could be more innocent things, like being locked out of watching a show you want to stream because you live in the wrong country.
But it can also be a far more controlling and overpowering restriction, such as using the internet in a country where online use is monitored and tightly controlled. From such a position, someone who wanted to speak out against human rights abuses, crime or corruption would find their voice silenced before they could even speak.
Web3 promises a digital transformation in freedom of speech, because it has no central point of control. That means those whose voices need to be heard can use this blockchain internet solution to speak – and who knows what transformative and powerful revelations could come from that?
One of the most famous examples of Web3 blockchain technology at work is the explosion of popularity of NFTs. These non fungible tokens are unlike any other digital assets that have come before, as they’re capable of embedding proof of legitimacy and ownership directly onto the blockchain itself.
Naturally, this has caused a huge upswing of interest in entertainment media, especially the world of video games. Many people believe that, in the near future, a lot of downloadable content or distinctive items or characters in popular video games will be NFTs.
This uniqueness is often exciting, and has proven hugely popular for games such as Axie Infinity. On the other hand, some video game developers and entertainment companies have not graduated into this digital transformation as smoothly.
However, one keen area of interest for Web3 use is in social networking. With our existing social media giants today seemingly intent on always eroding users’ trust, countless companies are keen to build the Web3 social media platform of tomorrow.
There are always new ideas being bounced around here, but they always hone in on similar ideas – personal ownership and data privacy, alongside ways to monetise user content that don’t rely on intrusive advertising and horrible, addiction-causing algorithms.
It’s important to remember that Web3 is designed not to replace our current Web 2.0 internet, but to instead remedy many of the issues that have emerged because of it. As we have discussed, it’s about returning the authority of the individual and their privacy to the centre of every online interaction.
Similarly, it’s also about enhancing the resilience of online platforms to cyber attacks, as well as making money and financial transactions easier to send and receive all over the planet.
However, even with Web3 excitement at its peak, nothing about the digital transformation of Web3 has been designed to replace our existing internet we use today altogether.
For example, the current internet won’t simply stop working. Instead, many online businesses are instead exploring ways to introduce Web3 concepts like decentralisation and privacy into what they currently offer.
It’s why so many companies these days seem to be obsessed with the blockchain, and it’s also why a lot of people do seem to think Web3 is only hype. Yet the truth is, although people are only just starting to adopt Web3 use in their everyday lives, it’s designed to hopefully be a smooth journey forward.
That still means that understanding the advantages of Web3 is a good idea though!
From the way you spend your leisure time to the methods you use to send money, go shopping and do business, it’s clear that Web3 is a blockchain digital transformation in our existing online world that can’t be ignored.
While it’s true that a lot of the core definitions of Web3 get lost in huge headlines and hyperbole, the truth is that the Big Tech investors and their millions in investments don’t always see the true point of Web3. In fact, they’re unlikely to control it the way they control Web 2.0 today.
In fact, if the core philosophy behind decentralisation and personal sovereignty takes root in our collective thinking, Web3 will become the preferred way for people to browse, buy, game and connect. What an exciting time to get involved!
Still confused? No need to panic – we’re here to help!
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