What should we really expect from DeFi, Web3, and the future of the internet?

Web3 – the gist is familiar with revolutionary statements throughout history. Take power from the establishment, return it to the people, make everyone happier and richer along the way.

Sounds appealing? Well, you’ve just heard the first line of a sales pitch-revolutionary manifesto that’s gaining traction in San Francisco and Washington DC. It goes by the name of Web3.

Take a moment and think of everything wrong with the online world, from data breaches to violations of privacy to the overweening power of big tech. Then imagine them disappearing.

Web 3.0 potential

The tools we’re told can achieve this is as modern as it gets. The heart of the plan is to rebuild the foundations of the web using the blockchain technology that underpins cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

According to Web3 ‘s backers, it is possible to take anything – or, indeed, everything – that is online and put it on the blockchain, the energy-intensive ledger which enables data to be stored collectively without the need for a central record-keeper.

Do this, the theory goes, and you wouldn’t just give everyone back their data, you would give them their freedom.

Instead of Facebook or Google owning all our photos, posts, and likes and deciding how we get to use or access them, we would own our own information and have a say in how it’s used.

That’s not just because we would be able to remove our data securely and easily in a digital wallet, but also because the mechanics of the blockchain enable new forms of coordination.

Who Controls the Service?

Anyone who uses an internet service can be given a token granting them rights to control how the service is used. Because the token is digital, its rules can be encoded into it – and because the blockchain can’t be altered by a central power, those rules are permanent until and unless every token holder agrees they should be changed.

Imagine a world in which WhatsApp and TikTok were more like John Lewis or the trade union, organizations in which the members have a say, potentially even to the point of sharing some of those vast profits.

If you’re a true believer in blockchain, that notion is only the start. The term Web3 refers to the third generation of the web, after the static “read-only” Web1 and the read-and-write Web2 exemplified by social media, but as so much of life is online now, it’s possible to imagine it revolutionizing nearly anything. Why shouldn’t local governments be democratized in the same way? What about art? Banking?

The Controversy

If you are starting to raise an eyebrow at this point, you are not the only one. Even if you suspend disbelief and accept that such a grand project can be built on the same rickety blockchain technology which couldn’t process a bitcoin transaction this time last year in less than seven hours, there are plenty of reasons to be suspicious.

Many observers have pointed out that this supposed revolution is being pushed by one of the biggest venture capital firms in Silicon Valley, with vocal support from executives at Meta.

That’s right: the bonfire of big tech is being hailed by the company formerly known as Facebook. Hardly a precursor of radical reform.

The updated version of the internet will make use of blockchain — the technology underlying bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies–and hence, allow the internet to be supported by decentralized networks. As a result, website owners will no longer need to depend on servers owned by big companies.

According to a report by New York Times, investors have already bet $27 billion on Web3 to be the “future of the internet”.  However, there are always two sides to a coin and as there will be benefits, there will also be drawbacks of Web3. 

Although Web3 is still work-in-progress, we have identified the list out some of the pros and cons of the next iteration of the internet:

Pros

Web3 is expected to be more reliable

Web3 will give more freedom to creators and users in general. With the help of decentralized networks, Web3 will ensure its users always remain in control of their online data. The next version of the internet is also expected to be more reliable as its decentralized nature removes the occurrence of a single-point failure.

It truly aims to be for any and everyone

Web3 does not require a single entity to control it. Bigger corporations may no longer control any aspect of the internet. As a result, decentralized apps or dApps cannot be censored, and neither can their access be restricted.

Increased personalization of the internet

Since Web3 will be able to understand your preferences, you will be able to extensively personalize your web browsing experience. This will also help you surf the web in a productive way.

Web3 will help sellers to market better

With the help of the artificial intelligence of Web3, sellers can understand your buying needs and show you products and services that you are keen on purchasing. This helps you see better and more relatable advertisements that have a higher chance of being beneficial for you.

Uninterrupted services

The decentralization will mean every data will be stored on distributed nodes and therefore, users need not worry about suspension of a particular account or service disruptions due to technical or other reasons.

Cons

Ownership concerns

Twitter’s former CEO Jack Dorsey believes that regular users will not be the owners of Web3 projects, as is expected. It will be owned by venture capitalists and investors. This will mean the control could still remain centralized.

Tough to regulate

Some experts also believe that decentralization could add to difficulties in monitoring and regulating Web 3.0. This could lead to a rise in cybercrimes, online abuse, etc.

Surfing Web 3.0 will require better processors

Old devices will not be able to handle Web3 Hence, you would require a device that has above-average specifications to be able to use the next version of the internet.

Existing website owners will be compelled to upgrade

Easier access to one’s personal and public data

Web3 is vast and interconnected. Though this is its strength, the semantic network also makes it easy for anybody to gain access to the public and private information that you share online.

However, all these advantages and disadvantages are based on information that is currently available. Web3 is still in the works and the actual version could be a lot different. It’s just wait-and-watch till then.

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