The blockchain-powered Web3 emerges. How will it be?

The blockchain-powered Web3 emerges.  How will it be?
The blockchain-powered Web3 emerges.  How will it be?

According to web innovators worldwide, successful blockchain technology may be a key factor driving the Web into its next phase—one based on greater control over content, data, revenue, and services by Internet users, developers, and content creators, not the dominance of today’s tech giants.

It is entirely possible that within 5-10 years a blockchain-powered internet can and will support new ways of living, working, shopping, selling, computing, playing, sharing, learning and doing business in a virtual world.

During its 33-year lifespan, the web has grown out of its static create-and-host-a-website Web 1.0 infancy and transformed into Web 2.0’s socially interactive, mobile, gig-economy internet. Most of today’s web-supported business, leisure and social web services are predominantly centralized, controlled systems that make money by rewarding business owners and investors, with little economic benefit to users.

At the heart of Web3’s tectonic shift potential is blockchain technology, best known for its role in creating and supporting the peer-to-peer cryptocurrency network (eg Bitcoin, Ethereum).

What is blockchain technology?

A blockchain is a digital ledger or database where encrypted blocks of digital asset data are stored and linked together, forming a chronological, single source of truth for the data. Digital assets are decentralized, allowing for real-time availability, transparency and governance among more than one party.

What can the blockchain do? And for whom?

Predictions about Web3’s evolution focus on harnessing blockchain’s capabilities to dramatically change how the World Wide Web works—and who runs it. What might a blockchain-powered Web 3.0 look like? Imagine a global Internet where any user who installs blockchain software can be a participant, creator and potential benefactor of ongoing transactions and services. For example:

  • The computing power to support a corporate video conference call or data-heavy crowdsourced project is provided by other users’ dormant computers or unused hard drive space—access for which they would be compensated in cryptocurrencies—rather than servers owned by tech megacorporations.
  • Sending $200 to a relative in a faraway country doesn’t require a central bank or multiple transaction/exchange fees. Instead, it accepts, logs, verifies, approves, “locks” and completes a blockchain-powered money transfer without third-party involvement.
  • Online players can earn non-fungible tokens which they use to transact outside the gaming environment.
  • Real estate transactions can be completed without an agent’s hefty fees; legal transactions can be confirmed without a lawyer’s involvement or their hourly rate.
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Just as Bitcoin relies on digital, distributed ledgers to carry out financial transactions without the involvement of central banks, the blockchain concept has the potential to replace other “central” providers – be they tech giants, law firms, domain name services, travel providers, compliance specialists, registries, games , cloud computing and more.

Instead of giant corporations owning data and taking huge profits from their vast platforms, technologies and services, individual blockchain participants will instead create, contribute and manage the underlying technologies and support systems in a digital environment – ​​and will expect to be compensated in return.

Meanwhile, blockchain’s promoters remain focused on ensuring that Web 3.0 can develop into a revenue stream for the content creators and technologists who will contribute to, verify, protect and maintain it. A major challenge is to ensure that blockchain transactions do not get caught up in the same levels of disinformation, hate speech, fraud and other nefarious activities that are now tarnishing the reputation of today’s internet.

My goal as founder of the Atlanta Blockchain Center is twofold:

  1. Remind the technology industry that the beauty of blockchain technology is the software base, which in theory provides far less potential for error than current systems. Blockchain users don’t have to trust, essentially, every human they encounter on the internet; they simply have to trust the people who created the underlying code that accepts, verifies, audits and “locks” transactions and interactions.
  2. Ensure that today’s businesses, services and entrepreneurs understand how to make the transition from today’s operating models to blockchain-based businesses and services. How can they brainstorm blockchain opportunities early in development so that they are well positioned when today’s experimentation becomes a reality?
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Through experimentation and rigorous user testing, some blockchain-backed initiatives will eventually prove their effectiveness, security and value. Their utility will gradually shift the power and potential of the Internet back to its users, returning assets such as privacy and personal data to individual owners, and unleashing the enormous power of corporate entities that dominate Web 2.0.

Even Timothy Berners-Leethe creator of the World Wide Web in 1989, now promotes user-centric technology which allows individuals to store their personal data and online activities in “pods” that can only be accessed by companies with secure, online permission.

Mass adoption of these new types of secure, user-centric online services will take time. But initial blockchain successes—regardless of the origin of the service or the sector—will lead to further experimentation and successes elsewhere on the World Wide Web.

Indeed, where can blockchain’s potential take you and your business?

Read more about Blockchain and Web3’s future on Built In’s Expert Contributors NetworkI left my management job at AWS to build a just Web3 future

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