The Impacts of Web3 & How You Will Benefit
There’s a major problem with Web3: The majority of those at the helm are standing on the shoulders of giants and have stopped there.
Let’s dial in a working definition of Web3 first. Simply put, third-generation web is the decentralization of the internet. Data will not be stored in a single database file or be governed by a single board. The data and its oversite is distributed across many computers. Here’s an example. Everyone has at least heard of Bitcoin (BTC for short). BTC began as an effort to decentralize a currency. It pulled away from major banks. Banks are a single entity that can create terms, raise rates, or even be compromised. Bitcoin achieved its distributed status by using a technology called blockchain. Bitcoin’s blockchain is a database that is spread across a network of roughly 100,000 computers, called nodes. To make updates to the data a consensus must be reached among the nodes. Bitcoin doesn’t have a CEO or president or even an office. It is strictly the 100,000 nodes and each votes on any changes. No central power or core. A true democracy.
Benefits of Decentralization
Web3 sets the goal of creating an internet where data isn’t governed by a single entity. Centralized control can be corrupted at both the leadership and technical levels. A decentralized network is very secure. There is no single attack vector. This means a nefarious actor can’t hack their way into a victim’s computer because their password is “iloveturtles”. Ransomware and other typical security risks are not a concern when data that is distributed across so many computers.
The stability of a large network is greater than a single server with one or two redundancies, as is standard. The chance of data loss, compromise, or crash are greatly reduced. Even with cloud based data and applications, there are multiple points of access to a single file. Take for instance a Google Doc. Data is often lost as people accidentally overwrite work.
In most cases blockchain is a publicly viewable ledger. This means there is no corporation sitting on the data and selling to the highest bidder. By moving decision making to the network, blockchain removes the interests and control of the few (a board).
So where’s the problem?
Bitcoin is absolutely brilliant, and I’ll throw ETH in there too (despite the Merge’s lackluster freshman lap thus far). But we are talking about a database technology. Blockchain is still the most recent major break through in data storage. The biggest use cases of which are singularly cryptocurrencies. There are companies doing some very smart things with blockchain, but you have to be in the space to be aware of them. Imagine creating Google Sheets and the only thing people stored in there were Best Buy gift card balances. Just imagine if that was the only use of Google Sheets. In a world where data is king, the evolution of the database has been largely overlooked. I’ve seen several attempts to move medical records to the blockchain. Had they worked, they would be shining examples of blockchain tech. Alas, they’ve fizzled out. Not because of the tech, but because the people at the helm lack the deep understanding of the shoulders they are standing on.
“In a world where data is king, the evolution of the database has been largely overlooked.”
Another example of decentralized failures is the Metaverse. There is no metaverse. At present it is merely a universe of incongruent VR environments. Metagalaxies at best. You can’t bounce between them. You can buy a $10,000 NFT purse from a big fashion house. Your avatar can carry it around in DecentralVerse, and boy do you look great doing so! But that lovely purse doesn’t transfer to MetaWorld. It’s only usable in one or two platforms. Those are both made up metaverse platforms by the way. The point is that each of those places are centralized and not considering the nature of what they are building.
While Web3 is a grand and achievable vision, we are still in its infancy. The buzzy term decentralized is being applied to things that aren’t as they claim. Someday we will have the security of distributed network data as well as the ability to seamlessly bounce between spaces for entertainment and commerce. To get there we need to break our centralized thinking. Otherwise we will dwell in disparate interpretations of distributed freedoms. This is a task easier said than done, I realize. But I’ve heard something about the first step being acknowledgement.
Thanks for reading,
Please email me at OceanAndCakeCreative@gmail.com with any comments, questions, or criticisms.