By Vikram R Singh
There is much talk about enterprises becoming future-ready. But when it comes to embracing a future-ready technology such as blockchain, most companies press the pause button.
However, without public blockchains, institutions and individuals cannot leverage the advantages of Web 3.0 – the internet’s potential future version.
Decentralizing and Democratizing
The significance of Web 3.0 is its decentralized nature. In essence, individuals and institutions can own and govern segments of the internet and undertake virtual transactions without intermediaries such as Google, Facebook, or Apple. As central authorities and intermediaries do most of the data collection, user privacy can be better protected via Web 3.0.
Consider decentralized finance (DeFi) – a Web 3.0 component gaining global traction. Through this, real-world financial transactions can be executed on the blockchain without intermediation from banks or governments. Security is safeguarded since Web 3.0 developers refrain from creating and deploying apps that operate on a single server or storing data in a solitary database.
Web 3.0 attracts frequent mentions of cryptocurrencies because many of its protocols depend heavily on cryptos. As an innovative database technology, blockchain constitutes the core of almost all cryptocurrencies. Since blockchain distributes carbon copies of databases across the entire network, it is extremely difficult to cheat or hack the system.
Interestingly, Web 3.0 offers tokens or monetary incentives to those who help in governing, creating, contributing to, or improving one of its projects. Tokens represent digital assets linked with the vision of building a decentralized internet. The protocols can offer varied services such as bandwidth, storage, computation, hosting, identification, and allied online services earlier extended by cloud entities. People can make a living by participating in the protocol in various ways, technical and non-technical.
Why Web 3.0 Trumps Web 2.0
Unlike Web 2.0, the internet will evolve into a more realistic 3D cyber world through Web 3.0. Popular use cases will include e-commerce, online gaming, and the realty segment, which utilize 3D graphics. One of the biggest advantages of Web 3.0 over its predecessor is that the possibility of corporate or government censorship will be minimized while also negating the impact of DoS (denial-of-service) attacks. Consequently, it promotes greater privacy, trust, transparency, and reliability.
Furthermore, Web 3.0 safeguards data by preventing access to others unless it is granted by users. Additionally, blockchain ensures direct verification of data and identities, making it more difficult to create fake accounts.
Transforming Gaming and Other Segments
Driven by its advantages, Web 3.0 has transformed numerous industries, including gaming. Present-day gaming relies on centralized servers to store all game-related data, which game administrators then control and operate. The lack of highly efficient centralized servers and conventional gaming foster opportunities for hackers that trigger cyberattacks/shutdowns, jeopardising digital assets.
But Web 3.0 offers innovative solutions such as DAOs (decentralized autonomous organizations) with decentralized gaming ecosystems, crypto-secured gaming wallets, play-to-earn, blockchain-linked game asset ownership and metaverse gaming.
As a value-exchange gaming model, web gaming allows people to own and trade in-game collectables and objects through unique NFTs (non-fungible tokens) using cryptocurrencies. An open source, web gaming ensures decentralization and self-sovereignty, democratizing the segment. For example, by making digital technology accessible, Web 3.0 provides equal opportunities and services for all. Consider Web 3.0 wallets that only need an internet connection. Thereby, millions of people without access to banking systems gain immediate access to global infrastructure.
Similarly, by integrating blockchain technology and metaverse into gaming, Web 3.0 has revolutionized the gaming universe. Along with DAO, such elements are powering the financial side of gaming. These aspects are assisting gamers to undertake remunerative activities that include play-to-earn via NFTs and in-game digital assets trading.
While Web 2.0 facilitated seamless connections with family, friends and peers, traditional social media network sites are all centralized. Due to this, users face numerous pain points such as censorship, data breaches, privacy violations, de-platforming, server outages and more. These drawbacks mean the disadvantages far outweigh the advantages. To avoid such issues, many enterprises and developers have been shifting to Web 3.0 social media networks, considering the comparative advantages.
Web 3.0 development is also leading to the emergence of a new technology era with DeFi components along with MetaFi (metadata finance), GameFi (video gaming finance) and SocialFi (social finance). Moreover, it is popularising decentralised digital assets such as NFTs and SBTs (soul-bound tokens).
Empowering e-Commerce and Content Creation
Besides individuals, blockchain is gaining growing prominence in the global economy, including the e-commerce segment. Worldwide, more than 30,000 venues currently permit consumers to pay with cryptocurrencies, including big brands such as Expedia, Microsoft and Overstock.
Blockchain has multiple applications and features in e-commerce. The principal ones include improving customer data security, reducing shipping costs, promoting transparency in supply chains, accelerating transactions and checkouts, eliminating the need for middlemen, ensuring direct product delivery and providing easy access to warranties and receipts. It also boosts business procedures and improves the overall consumer experience.
It may be noted that users spend considerable time watching videos, scrolling through their feeds and reading blogs. Yet, most people receive no monetary benefits from this, though the platforms rake in huge revenues from these users.
Conversely, Web 3.0 incentivizes users and benefits them in other ways too. Several blockchain-run Web 3.0 portals such as blogging, video-sharing and social networking platforms, web browsers and more reward consumers as well as creators with native tokens.
Thanks to such developments, content creation is slated to benefit from blockchain. Presently, social media content creators don’t make as much money sas the platforms themselves. All this will soon change as many companies are developing solutions with blockchain technology that allows users to pay content creators directly for their work. The disintermediation of social networks means they can no longer keep the lion’s share and only pass on meagre amounts to content creators.
In a nutshell, blockchain is being leveraged to ensure content creators have greater control over the sharing, distribution and consumption of their content by the target audiences. The same story is being played out in other domains as decentralized networks eliminate the intermediaries, passing the baton of power to consumers and developers. The future is already here in the form of Web3.0.
The author is founder and CEO, Antier