Web3 or the illusion of the Internet of the future

Today, Web3 mainly attracts the interest of some investors and cryptocurrency enthusiasts. But this vision of the Internet of the future is not ready and Web3 may never see the light of day.

Web3 confuses tech visionaries. Last week, former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey chirp The idea of ​​Web3 will not help democratize the web, but rather serve as a tool for venture capitalists. As a result, venture capitalist Mark Andreessen banned him on Twitter. For his part, Elon Musk said that Web3 was just marketing hype and that he doesn’t understand why it’s getting so excited. Web3 is everywhere, but few people understand what it is. It makes sense: the concept is vague and confusing, and even proponents disagree about what Web3 is. Web1 (formerly known as Web 1.0) referred to the Internet from the beginning until about 2004, and Web2 (also known as Web 2.0) covered the period from about 2004 to the present. Web2 enabled massive interaction between individuals – social, business, and political – mediated mostly by large corporations with ultimate control over these interactions whose goal was to benefit users through surveillance capitalism, in other words, monetization of personal data.

To make matters worse for a catch on topic, Web3 (invented by Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood in 2014) is easily confused with Web 3.0, also called the “Semantic Web.” Others associate Web3 with the obscure idea of ​​a “metaverse”. Yes, this is confusing. But it is possible to give a clear definition of Web3: in general, Web3 is a potential future Internet where all data and all content on blockchains is recorded, tokenized, or managed and accessed on peer-to-peer distributed networks. Peer to democratize the internet, empower content creators and take control away from governments and corporations. This goal should sound familiar to you, as it was the idea that prevailed in the days of the original Internet, with the Internet Protocol and Domain Name System. The goal of the decentralized nature of the Internet has been to remove boundaries and empower users. Does this remind you of anything? Otherwise, see what John Perry Barlow wrote in 1996 about cyber independence. Web3 seems like a great idea, especially for crypto-lovers, tech-savvy people, and venture capitalists looking for their next big bet.

Why is Web3 irrelevant

Presumably this type of article would be read by a tech professional whose part of his job is to find out what’s going on in technology, today and tomorrow. But over time, the uproar over some of the initiatives has led to an increase in empty ideas. So the reader should beware. Currently, the two hottest buzzwords in technology are “metaverse” and “Web3”. But these terms describe platforms that don’t exist, that shouldn’t exist, even for their promoters, for at least a decade and that probably won’t exist at all. Among the top 100 concerns for tech professionals, Web3 is ranked 101. There is nothing wrong with it. Blockchains, NFTs, distributed networks, cryptocurrencies, and related concepts are important. But not Web3. People don’t talk about Web3 because it’s emerging or coming. They talk about it because they are part of this minority that is ideologically committed to the blockchain and who adheres to the ideals of Web3. Or, simply, because they hope to make a lot of money.

Because tech companies that place the right bets ahead of others can expect valuations of $1 trillion (Apple could be worth $3 trillion in weeks) and tech visionaries could be worth hundreds of billions. billion (Elon Musk net worth is estimated at $253.8 billion), intense competition rages to position themselves at the forefront of the next technology that will push the boundaries of gullibility. Web3 proponents will tell you that current digital assets based on the Ethereum blockchain are the beginnings of Web3, but in fact, it’s Silicon Valley’s marketing impulse that works: you always have to tie your small investment to an incredibly large project. (That’s why Elon Musk doesn’t just say he’ll send a rocket to Mars one day, he wants to send a million people to Mars within 28 years.) Silicon Valley investors can’t help it.

Optimistic advocates Web3

The truth is that it would be absolutely impossible to get global support from users, companies and others in favor of a blockchain-based internet. Let’s put these delusions aside and look at what web users really like. They already have access to decentralized social networks like Mastodon, which offers an alternative to social networks owned by large corporations. But the public largely ignores them and instead chooses to spend all their time on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and, in China, WeChat. Moreover, it is also unlikely that blockchain will attract the majority of users, or solve the woes of the Internet today. Originally, the blockchain was intended as a reliable technology to trace information back to the source, authenticate it and allow readers to avoid information from suspicious sources. Unfortunately, the problem with fake news is that many news consumers don’t care where the news comes from, or prefer news from what you and I might consider disreputable sources.

Many, for example, might use blockchain authentication technology to block news from The New York Times and The Atlantic, preferring to learn about 4chan. The problem with fake news, today and tomorrow, is that large segments of the population have been tricked into believing that real news is fake news and fake news is real news. Blockchain authentication can’t help it. Large monitoring companies such as Facebook, Google, Apple and others will not accept their replacement with Web3 apps and services. So it is an obstacle. Jack Dorsey, the former CEO of Twitter, isn’t wrong either. Venture capitalists investing in what they call Web3 startups want these small businesses to become big companies, with the idea that Web3 won’t be controlled by the big companies.

Web3 advocates have a lot of optimistic ideas about everyone’s participation. All Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) are created by users, each with a stake in the company. DAO followers claim to receive tons of investments. But investors want their share of the pie. They invest to earn as much money as possible. They will make a lot of money using leverage to drive these companies into profits, not by giving control to users. Web3 proponents want to design the entire web on the bitcoin world. But bitcoin itself is far from equal. A new study by Baystreet found that about 0.01% of bitcoin holders control 27% of all bitcoins in circulation. In other words, as Baystreet points out, the bitcoin economy is much less equal than the dollar economy.

Why is Web3 an illusion

Getting web services based on blockchain and token is one thing. It is quite another to replace the existing infrastructure. The first is inevitable. The second is unlikely. I do not attack or advocate the goals of Web3, nor the underlying technologies offered. I’m just saying that the goals are impossible to achieve, and that the underlying technologies would exist without the web evolving into Web3. I’m also saying that I haven’t learned anything about Web3 that makes it attractive remotely to regular users, who really want the internet to be controlled by gatekeepers and governments. For example, it is unclear how users on a decentralized 3 web will be protected from crime and harassment. As with all false predictions, this prediction ignores human nature. Turns out people don’t want to eat the pill. The bottom line is that despite all the noise and chatter, Web3 doesn’t exist. And you can safely ignore it.

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