WTF is Web3?

January 18, 2022

By Kayleigh Barber

A slew of new buzzwords were inducted into the media industry dictionary last year, including “the blockchain”, “NFTs”, and “metaverse.” All of which made room for another term: the all-encompassing “Web3,” which is the latest label to describe this next era of the internet.

It’s unclear whether publishing execs are aware of just how much these concepts will impact their businesses.

Significant experimentation occurred in this space in 2021, however, these new technologies and use cases are still in the early stages of development, so it is unclear how intensely the transition to the Web3 era might disrupt the way business is done. After all, when Web 1.0 became Web 2.0, it seemed to do so without announcing itself.

In all likelihood, the transition to Web3 will happen gradually and in stages. More users will begin investing in crypto, virtual wallets will be built and and businesses will enter the metaverse and adapt to follow their consumers’ lead.

What is Web3?

Web 3.0, or stylized as Web3, is the label being applied to a decentralized version of the internet that would be jointly owned by the users and the builders. Essentially, this is the antithesis to what centralized platforms like Apple, Google and Facebook operate by monetizing data extracted from users do on a daily basis.

The term “Web3” was first coined in 2014 by Gavin Wood, a co-founder of the Ethereum blockchain, when referring to the concept of a decentralized, blockchain-based internet, according to a Wired interview with Wood.

In Web3, users own their data and online presences, and that information is shared with different websites and platforms that they access, thanks to interoperability. What’s more, users can monetize their data how they see fit.

For example, someone navigating to a publisher’s site could log in automatically with their crypto wallet that’s linked to their browser and offer up a predetermined set of information about themselves in exchange for a micropayment of cryptocurrency from the advertiser looking to obtain that information. In this case, users have a more proactive role in knowing — and agreeing to — what data is shared.

On Web3, “your access credentials are not based on a username or password, but is based on cryptographic proof of you are who you are,” and that proof is the same for any and all websites or platforms users access, according to Erick Calderon, founder and CEO of art-based NFT marketplace Art Blocks, who spoke in a panel about NFTs at CES earlier this month.

How do I access Web3?

Web3 itself doesn’t necessarily exist as a new browser. People can access Web3-based websites using the same browsers they use today. So while Web3 sites are being created using blockchain software, they are accessible just like Web2 websites, generally speaking. And crypto enthusiasts are already accessing aspects of Web3 when transacting via cryptocurrency and purchasing NFTs.

Web3 will also be accessed through metaverse …read more

Source:: Digiday