What is Web3 and How will it affect me?
If you were born before the web was fully realized, you might remember a time when there were few standard practices. Browser developers waged virtual “wars” to capture the most usage from netizens, both new and old. Back then, we were awe-inspired just by the idea of “information superhighway”. There was just the web. Now we’re talking about web3. How did we get here and what does web3 mean for us users of the internet?
Digg changed things. Unlike traditional news sites like Slashdot, which required the whole webpage to be reloaded to fetch information, new web technologies allowed for in-place information updates. This style of update is a boon to devices with limited bandwidth since one a few bytes would need to be transmitted instead of a reloading the entire page. This became known as Web 2.0, and is more or less where things currently stand. But now that we have blockchains, what does the internet of value and decentralized storage mean for our beloved world wide web?
The first piece of the new web puzzle is comes from Bitcoin. As the first blockchain cryptocurrency token with a tradable value, Bitcoin blesses the internet with a native payment method. No longer being tied to traditional payment networks like credit cards frees technologists to finally innovate in the payments and payments and finance industries. Once value transfer is as fast as the internet, new possibilities such as micro-transactions enable all sorts of new revenue models. Keep an eye on our dedicated section to Internet of Value for the latest blockchain news.
Given the recent revelations about how much data is being tracked and watched by large corporations and governments, people have become increasingly cautious about what information they share. One obvious example of this is sharing credit card details over the internet to buy something. Although we have technology like SSL to secure our browser connections, the data is often retained by the seller and can end up in the hands of hackers who steal it from unsecured databases. The solution to this is to reveal less information and ensure that it is encrypted when you do. Building an improved web atop the latest cryptographic technologies will help ensure us users of the internet are able to keep personal details personal. Our Security & Privacy section contains the latest news & information about this hot topic that is sure to be part of the web3 experience.
Blockchain is a great innovation, but this new technology has a direct cost that isn’t conducive to storing large things like pictures & videos. So what’s the solution to inherit all the unique properties of blockchains without storing data there directly? Using special cryptographic properties, it’s possible to split up large files into smaller chunks which can be individually encrypted and stored in other locations. The final piece is to store a unique identifier of the file structure in the blockchain for safekeeping. By using this linking technique, we get the anti-fragile properties of web3 without bloating the blockchain with unnecessary data. For more information on decentralized storage projects, check out our dedicated section.
If all this anonymity makes you wonder about how we’ll deal with trust and reputation online, then you’re not alone. In fact, we already have digital identities online that is made up of all our data uploaded to social media and other websites. The major problem is that we don’t own or control that data! By applying blockchain to this area, we enable digital uniqueness that will help us humans deal with an increasingly digital world. If identity & reputation is an area that’s of interest to you, we’ll have more stories just for you!
One of the longer-term goals of blockchain and web3 is improved governance, both online and in the real world. For this to happen, we need to solve a lot of problems, especially how to scale up for global adoption. If everything goes right, we could start conducting more transparent elections on blockchain and enable a better way for distributed personas and organizations to organized. For more information on digital governance, keep checking for project updates.