A tale as old as time… you bought crypto & NFTs and started hearing the buzzwords: Web3, decentralization, and the metaverse. Yet you still don’t feel as though you have a firm grasp on what these words mean and why it's such a big deal. Let’s break it all down, from the start.
From 1990–2005 we witnessed the Web 1 era, an era where the internet was catered to corporations. It was read-only, designed to distribute information, and users were charged based on the number of websites they visited. Some examples of Web1 include Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc…
The dot-com bubble occurred from 1995–2001, essentially there was an explosion in internet and tech-related companies causing valuations to rise although there were no clear paths to profitability. So of course the bubble eventually popped and was followed by a two-year recession.
Like a phoenix rising out of the ashes, Web2 ushered in a defining technological era from 2006 to the present. A huge feat for humans, Web2 allows for more user-generated content, content sharing, and ease of use. Social media and participatory culture are commonly used to describe Web2. Participatory culture is a culture in which private individuals do not act as consumers only, but also as contributors. Etheruem.org defines Web2 as “an internet dominated by companies that provide services in exchange for your personal data.” Some examples of Web2 companies include Youtube, Snapchat, Facebook, Uber, etc…
Web1 vs Web2 vs Web3
The buzzword of the century. The home of Transient Labs, where innovation is fostered, and your imagination is your ceiling. Etheruem.org definition: “Web3, in the context of Ethereum, refers to decentralized apps that run on the blockchain.”
Decentralization is the transfer of control and decision-making from a centralized entity (individual, organization, or group thereof) to a distributed network using blockchain technology. What are the benefits of Web3? What are the limitations?
Remember the dot-com bubble? History tends to repeat itself. Will there be a Web3 bubble?
Benefits of Web3 (ETHEREUM.ORG)
Anyone who is on the network has permission to use the service — or in other words, permission isn’t required.
No one can block you or deny you access to the service.
Payments are built in via the native token, ether (ETH).
Ethereum is turing-complete, meaning you can pretty much program anything.
Limitations of Web3
Scalability — transactions are slower on Web3 because they’re decentralized. Changes to state, like a payment, need to be processed by a miner and propagated throughout the network.
UX — interacting with Web3 applications can require extra steps, software, and education. This can be a hurdle to adoption.
Accessibility — the lack of integration in modern web browsers makes web3 less accessible to most users.
Cost — most successful dapps put very small portions of their code on the blockchain as it’s expensive.
Transient’s Mission— Web3
Ownership is broken. We rely on centralized, fallible entities to say we own something (car, house, identity). NFTs and decentralized ledger technology have introduced a paradigm shift that can fix ownership and change the world for the better. Our mission is to unlock the potential of blockchain and smart contract technology, and redefine what ownership means now and in the future.
Food for thought…
We recently ran into a great thread that really helped visualize the potential disruption caused by Web3: https://twitter.com/TaschaLabs/status/1551281069202083840?s=20&t=Ee11GvKqEIcxEzMcMP3eYw
A hypothetical iteration of the internet, a virtual reality-based parallel internet world where users can interact with each other and digital objects in a 3D space. In 2021, Facebook rebranded to Meta, focusing on bringing the metaverse to life and helping people connect, find communities, and grow businesses. It’s pretty fascinating, imagine working from home but in the metaverse, in a virtual working space operating your unique avatar in this VR-based world. From Web 1.0 launching in 1990 to the Metaverse 40 years later. Humans have increasingly moved to live digitally; we post our family pictures, and meals and we even work “digitally” now due to the shift to remote working. Will the metaverse era be Web 4.0?
The “web” will continue to evolve as our technological capabilities advance and we will have to continue to evolve with it. There are significant differences between Web2 and Web3, with pros and cons to each. The question is what side of history do you want to be on? The side of innovation, immutable ownership, and decentralization or the side of centralization and corporate greed? The choice is yours.