The web is moving into a new paradigm, and this is good news for its users

Web3 Entrepreneur, Investor, CBDC Inventor and Founder of panther, Bitt, BaseTwo, Fluent and Elemental. Worked with UN, MIT and IMF.

No one needs to stress the importance of changing from an industrial to an information model in our society. We spend on average more than half of our waking hours using digital media and apps. We do business via email and Slack, Discord, Telegram and WhatsApp. We choose our officers (arguably) on Facebook and Twitter. We text more than we talk, touch less physical money than ever and sometimes even play sports along with screens. The information superhighway is ubiquitous in all areas of life, to the point that some young adults today can’t even remember what life was like without it.

The social and technological revolution that allowed us to project our identities onto the Internet is now commonly known as Web 2.0. But from the second half of the past decade, a new paradigm began to emerge on the World Wide Web. Decentralized alternatives to Web 2.0 systems are being built to replace most, if not all, of the material available on the Internet.

What’s Wrong With Web 2.0?

It is known that there are only a handful of people in charge of the platforms we spend the most time on. Even websites like Wikipedia or the Internet Archive, although they are non-profit organizations, are ultimately run by a few board members, who could potentially abuse their power for personal gain or censorship. In addition, the vast majority of websites rely on web infrastructure provided and managed by the so-called Trinity: Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud together represent 61% of the web infrastructure market. That is about 61% of all human data.

Why Web3 is the solution

Web3 wants to do away with centralization altogether by being trustless, unauthorized, and distributed. Solutions range from infrastructure to services and platforms as ways to completely eliminate centralized alternatives. In other words, it turns web services into public goods, just like roads and sewers.

In the Web3 paradigm, user data is held and managed only by users, ensuring their independence and allowing them to make their own decisions about it at all times. The platforms are also community owned and operated, using mostly open source code to ensure transparency and fairness.

Web3 is interoperable and configurable from the start. Each protocol can freely use the other as part. No patents, no lawsuits. Unlike Web 2.0, Web3 is censorship-resistant: no actor can decide to cut a person or group of people from a platform or erase their speech from the record.

It would take a lot of time and space to show exactly how this all works, and it’s still at a super early stage. But it’s definitely going to happen, and it’s the next logical step in our digital evolution.

Privacy is the most important thing, so we might as well acknowledge it.

It’s challenging to paint a picture of why we need Web3 without delving fully into Web 2.0’s worst-case scenarios. But with that in mind, and with an understanding of the importance of self-ownership and control of data (what we might call “privacy”), we can explore more of Web3’s innovations.

It all started with Bitcoin. Bitcoin, one of the most powerful social experiments ever, was born to enable fully decentralized peer-to-peer interactions. For the first time, a shared ledger could be nearly 100% secure and tamper-proof, while being usable by anyone, without any requirements. After this, the blockchain world created almost infinitely flexible and extensible virtual supercomputers, such as Ethereum, to completely reinvent the web.

The Web3 stack, which is composable and therefore increasingly powerful, is about to reinvent the Internet as we know it. And we’re just getting started: Web3 is in the same stage of development as Web 2.0 in the late 1990s. Some of the innovations that you are likely to see happening in Web3 in the coming years are.

• Fully decentralized personal digital identities (which I will cover in a dedicated article in the future).

• User-managed and curated social media platforms.

• Completely private transfers of virtual assets, made 100% compliant.

• Independent, immersive and interconnected virtual economies based on NFT, also known as metaverses.

Preparing for the shift to Web3

Web3 has the potential to unleash a completely unique and highly effective form of network effect. However, if you want to get started without full crypto/DeFi/metaverse/etc. There are several practices that can help you make the leap.

1. Integrate digital assets.

Whether they are fungible or ineffective, ownership of digital assets stimulates a psychological sense of ownership that creates an incredible attachment. In fact, minting and creating tokens or NFTs is not necessarily an expensive process. Since powerful communities tend to gather around these digital goods, they are a great gateway to Web3.

2. Use existing Web3 infrastructure.

Web3 has already and will continue to create new opportunities for operations, consumer relations and business models. Before you take the plunge, though, you can still take advantage of network effects by using platforms and services created by others for your own purposes. The choice is yours: Web3 offers decentralized domain names, arbitration systems, social media, job boards and much more.

3. Embrace decentralization and its practices.

One of the most critical actions you can take to prepare for a Web3 future is to present compelling arguments to your team as to why decentralization makes sense. In fact, this is the key for you to decentralize: your team will be better at identifying and more willing to develop repositories for personally identifiable data if they are familiar with these principles. You can do this by contributing to open source repositories, open source some of your processes, set up direct democracy processes, and more.


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