A brief guide to Web3 and web reinvention

Why “Web 3”?

The term “Web 1.0” generally describes everything from the first interconnection between computer networks in the 1970s and 1980s to the first boom of browsers and websites in the 1990s. Then came Web 2.0, as companies built applications on it, from social media on wiki search engines, many of which rely on user-created content. Although this has made a large portion of the internet decentralized in some sense, most things still work through large companies. Web3’s idea is to create software and platforms that do not rely on traditional Web 2.0 companies and business models like advertising. For example, users can pay for services directly using tokens. In an ideal world, user communities would be able to operate, own and improve Web3 services. (As for naming “Web 3” instead of “Web 3.0”, this is often due to changes in the way developers talk to each other online.

What has this got to do with cryptocurrency?

Bitcoin, the original cryptocurrency, operates by owning a public database called a blockchain record for each transaction. It is a decentralized database, because this book is not in the hands of a single company, but rather goes through a vast network of computers all connected to the Internet and its operators are rewarded for their work with the opportunity to win. more bitcoin. But through the use of blockchain, more can be done than cryptocurrency transfer standards. Can be used to enter into contracts and control how programs and applications work.

Web3 applications often rely on a technology called Ethereum, which, like Bitcoin, rewards users who help maintain its network. Its cryptocurrency is called Ether and has a total market capitalization of $ 511 billion. The applications themselves may also have tied tokens, which not only pay for services, but act as voting shares that regulate application development and even the fee structure. At least in the early days, the numerous incentives for this type of activity often represented an opportunity to increase the price of the token. Its price may increase as more users join the community, but of course it can also be inflated by speculation. The cryptocurrency industry has many of these.

Why are we hearing more about it now?

The speculative boom was a big part of that, but people are also starting to see this technology in real life. With the recovery of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies earlier this year, venture capitalists poured billions of dollars into building and upgrading distributed applications, or dapps. Some dapp teams also received cryptocurrency distributions, which increased in value, arousing more interest in them. “We are now in a moment that will lead to a faster pace of innovation and growth in[Ueb]Says Ali Yahya, general cryptocurrency partner at venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. (Bloomberg, which owns Bloomberg Businessweek, has invested with Andreessen Horowitz.)

More than 8,700 active dapps are listed on DappRadar, including many games and cryptocurrency exchanges. Sometimes the line between these characters seems blurred: many games involve earning and trading immutable tokens (NFTs), which are virtual characters or collections that can take exorbitant prices.

Fast transformations

Operating through a distribution network can be challenging, but the user experience is improving. Jonathan Dotan, founder and director of Starling Lab, a nonprofit institute established by Stanford and the University of Southern California Shoah Foundation, uses decentralized cryptography and networks to help store and verify documents. Including sensitive historical data: “It’s still early, but there have been transformations in the last six months.” One of the group’s projects is to upload more than 55,000 video testimonies of genocide survivors to Filecoin, a distributed network where more than 3,500 providers worldwide store files on their computers in exchange for Filecoin arguments. ). Dotan says the Starling Lab is now able to pump three times more data per day into Filecoin than at the beginning of the year.

In October, Dish Network entered into a partnership with 5G Helium wireless startup. Hotspot providers charge HNT arguments for providing coverage. “People are starting to realize that this is a new opportunity that reminds us of Airbnb or Uber,” says Amir Halim, CEO of Helium. The city of San Jose, California, is creating 20 Helium hotspots to earn HTN tokens, to help cover internet access for some low-income residents.

Twitter engineers are working on Bluesky, a decentralized version of social media. Gaming company Ubisoft announced on December 7 that it will allow players in a single game to purchase Unchanged Tokens (NFT) such as vehicles for their characters. In other words, decentralized applications will face stiff competition from traditional internet operators. “The biggest battle here seems to be with the big tech companies,” says Aaron Brown, a crypto investor who writes in the Bloomberg Opinion. The financial incentive for these companies is to steal (Web3) with similar versions of their applications.

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