It is difficult to predict the future in its exact sense. Likewise, we can spot directions.
Predictions are like roads. One evaluates the probability of certain events happening. We can’t predict exactly what happens on individual and enterprise levels. We can predict in broad terms how society will look like as it adopts new technologies. Societies go through a ‘getting used to’ phase. New methods and knowledge get created by an initial set of contributors. Likewise, more contributors scale the technology towards use cases no one thought. For example, in 1994, we did not predict who exactly would become the richest person in the world in 20 years. (Jeff Bezos, Amazon). But it was easy to say that e-commerce as a category would be big, worth billions. Likewise, it was easy to forecast that people would shoot videos and write on the internet.
Likewise, we can do the same for Web 3.0. We’ll learn its early contributors, current trends and set the tone for a possible future. As they say, a lot can happen over a week. But many times, nothing feels like happening over months. And then, out of nowhere, everyone is talking about something you do not know. The internet is like a hive mind. We are outsourcing our intelligence to it.
What is Web 3.0?
Web 3.0 is the journey of the current internet (Web 2.0) towards a decentralized future. It includes technologies like blockchain, artificial intelligence, cryptocurrencies, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs). The current iteration of the internet focuses on gleaning as much data as possible. Web 3.0 promises to let people own their data. People can interact with the communities and projects they believe in in a secure way.
This includes decentralized finance, tokenization on the blockchain and new digital market sectors. Hence, data and its value via tokens. Hence, decentralization, open access and great user experience with mixed and virtual reality. This forms the basis of Web 3.0.
Also See: The Role Of Blockchain In Web 3.0
Why is Web 3.0 the future?
As mentioned, it is difficult to predict the winners and losers of this new frontier. We’re so early in blockchain adoption. Hence, we will focus on the macro-issues that are making this movement towards Web 3.0 inevitable.
Web 3.0 Automates Trust, Currently Lacking in Finance.
People understand the existing financial system is not built for everyone. For instance, citizens in many nations face fiat currencies get devalued for no fault of them. This is because financial agreements happen an international scale. They have no meaning on the effects caused to common people and the unbanked.
When bitcoin came, it promised people that true peer to peer value exchange was possible. This did not need the presence of a bank or financial institution. This is a revolution. In fact, this is why the bitcoin network keeps beating predictions made about its doom. If a mass of people rely on it to store their wealth, knowing it’s not in control of any single nation and government, and lies completely in the hands of the people, the value of Bitcoin is only going to rise as time goes by.
Decentralized finance’s purpose of existence is to let people become banks. For example, many people come together to pool in funds. This is so that anyone who wants to trade or buy currencies, can use the pool to do so. That’s instead of relying on a bank to make it happen. Like how the internet makes data go round the world, blockchain has automated the need for banks.
Web 2.0 started with the media industry. Web 3.0 started with the financial industry. Every big financial institution is exploring Web 3.0 today. Once financial heavyweights are on Web 3.0, the rest will soon follow.
Also Read: Web 2 vs Web 3 According To Ethereum
With Web 3.0, We’re playing the ‘great online game’
At the most basic level, think about how we use the internet today.
We search content by buying subscriptions to media outlets or read free articles. Likewise, we watch videos and other forms of media. We use social media to communicate with each other based on our real connections. The theory is that since we spend so much time online, the internet can become an extension of ourselves. Our thoughts, ideas and connections exist as a stream of data on someone’s database. So do our likes, interests and interactions. There is a collective feeling that Web 3.0 will help us all turn work into play and earn at the same time.
Remember, Web 3.0 is about outsourcing everything to a community. For instance, imagine you’re a part of a community that reads books every weekend. Since the community shares the information, you deserve to get access to the tools that will help grow it. Likewise, a community-owned network where members teach people certain skills for certain jobs. All members of this community deserve to be part of the network. They also get rewarded for their contributions. The internet, more and more, feels like a game. We play, interact and learn together. Web 3.0 is about collaborative socio-economic networks.
Second, Web 3.0 has spawned a new genre: play to earn gaming. Imagine if every community in the world could monetize their talents to the right people. It would be capitalism at its finest.
Web 3.0 Enables a True Ownership Economy
All human civilization builds on value exchange and trade. For instance, think about your breakfast today. All the ingredients were grown in some part of the world, by people you do not know. Likewise, it was grown and transported by strangers to get processed into the foods that you make at home. You purchased it in front of your house because another set of strangers bought it there. Finance is the oil of the value exchange world.
Likewise, we focus on what we do and trust others to do what they have to. This is so that you can use money and buy what you need when you need it. It’s the same for everything else in our global economy. Private companies and government services have brokered transactions between creators and consumers. Web 3.0 will automate all intermediaries using blockchain and artificial intelligence. This is so that creators get the full reward of what they deserve, from their direct consumers.
A significant part of this vision is possible with non-fungible tokens or NFTs. Web 3.0 will build the infrastructure, where anyone can realize the true price of their work. This is since Web 3.0 is about global access. The NFT revolution has started with digital art. Likewise, it will spread to the rest of the economy with time.
We stand amidst an exciting time. It is a time where many technologies are being adopted at the same time. It feels as if we have gone back 100 years. This is when inventions like the automobile, electricity, medicinal drugs, assembly manufacturing and military weapons got invented from principles based on physics, chemistry and biology. The only difference is that today, we use digital technologies to simulate, compute, store and produce insights from information. Web 3.0 is being called the single greatest disruption in our economic life. For the first time in history, Web 3.0 will enable global, 24/7, open markets.
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