Some call it the next phase of the Internet. Some say it’s a quick money scam that will fall apart. But what exactly is Web3?
The phrase “Web3” is widely used to refer to a new age internet which will run on the record-keeping technology blockchain, a decentralized public ledger system. The current iteration of the Internet, Web2, by comparison, runs on centralized company-owned servers.
WHAT IS IT?
Web3 “provides a read/write/own version of the web, in which users have a financial stake and greater control over the web communities they belong to” by allowing users to own their data, according to the Harvard Business Review.
Investors hope that this version of the Internet will lead to a democratization of data on the web, where all users can verify transactions and contracts. Nevertheless, consumers should be skepticalaccording to venture capitalist Joe Lonsdale, as core products have yet to materialize despite heavy cash investments.
WATCH PALANTIR CO-FOUNDER JOE LONSDALE EXPLAIN WHY HE FEELS WEB3 IS A ‘PONZI SCHEME’:
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“A lot of what people call Web3 was a Ponzi scheme and it didn’t make any sense,” the Palantir co-founder previously told Fox News. “That being said, the protocols for having decentralized ownership are very interesting.”
Decentralization, a key feature of blockchain, distributes responsibilities for key Internet functions, such as server control, transaction confirmation, and time stamping, to a network of users rather than traditional methods where all operations would be run by one company or organization. Where something like Amazon Web Services servers hosted almost 30% internet In 2020, Web3 promises to spread that responsibility among users, fundamentally changing online interactions.
Decentralized digital infrastructure, such as cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), are designed to be key components of Web3 and would be required for its function.
WHY DOES THAT MATTER?
“In the longer term, it makes sense to have more decentralized power and for something like Bitcoin to exist,” Lonsdale said in a previous interview. Bitcoin “allows more kind of freedom for the financial system from really bad acting governments.”
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Elon Musk, meanwhile, has expressed his skepticism of Web3.
“I’m not suggesting that web3 is real, it seems more of a marketing buzzword than reality at the moment,” the Tesla boss said. tweeted last year.
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Twitter founder Jack Dorsey has also questioned the new age of the Internet.
Users “do not own ‘web3’,” he said. tweeted last decemberthrowing cold water on the idea that users will be able to monetize their data online.
Dorsey has been working on a Web3 competitorwhich claims on its website to be “an extra decentralized web platform”.
To view the full interview with Lonsdale on Web3, click here.
Bradford Betz contributed to this report.
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