What is Web3? This is all you need to know for the moment
Staying relevant is key for your career, and to understand the world our children will grow up in
No matter what space you work in, you cannot avoid the word Web3 these days. It’s linked to other frequently used terms like cryptocurrency and blockchain, and acronyms like NFTs, DAOs, and DeFis.
Although I work in the digital space, I am a communications professional. By no means am I a techie. I don’t code, nor am I in the crypto space.
I am curious though. I am a working mum, interested in staying relevant professionally and understanding the world my kids will grow up in. And, I am all for leveraging the internet to make our life better.
If you are anything like me, and want to get your head around Web3, here are some basics, summarized by my own research, as I understand it:
Technically, in a nutshell*:
Web 1.0 (read): The beginning of the internet in 1980’s-2000. Internet services were built on ‘open’ protocols. The promise of the web was a level playing field for everyone as the ecosystem began to be built.
Web 2.0 (read, write): Mid-2000s till today, large businesses built a second layer on this open ecosystem that was ‘closed’, resulting in companies like Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon taking over this space and everything was channeled through them. This resulted in a for-profit centralization by these tech giants.
Web 3.0 or Web3 (read, write, own): It seems we are in early stages of Web 3.0 and a lot is yet to be determined. At its core is the idea of decentralization (enter blockchain, cryptocurrencies, etc) where rather than Google and Apple stockpiling everything, the internet will become more democratized.
(*Source: The Web Landscape, by a16z, a venture capital company that backs tech entrepreneurs.)
What it all means, in a nutshell:
Web3 is (in theory) about giving control back to us: Web3 is being considered the future of the internet because it will allow people to control / own their own data and digital assets. In theory, Web3 promises to shift the power dynamic from the tech giants, back to us (users) as we begin to use decentralized platforms.
Debate: The likes of Jack Dorsey and Elon Musk believe that Web3 is nothing but is a shift of power from large corporations to venture capital firms who have invested in Web3.
Web3 will improve our lives: There is a wonderful essay I read (easy 5 minute read) about how Web3 will make a 3% improvement in our lives. So, not a revolution, but a betterment.
Debate: There is a point of view where Web3 is just considered marketing buzz to lure in non-crypto people; and there is really nothing different about it from what we are living now.
Web3 will be a platform from which the creator economy will skyrocket: This is what I am most excited about. I am learning more about the creator economy; being a writer makes me relate to it and see its potential. It comes with the promise of being able to leverage the internet, make money as you want, and therefore live life on your terms.
The web today allows anyone to create anything, so technically everyone can be part of the creator economy — think no-code movement.
I think this is unquestionable.
Web3 is in nascent stages, so what you read is all speculation: Just like we are imagining how AI, AR, VR, Machine Learning, Blockchain, the Metaverse etc, will impact our lives, the same goes for Web3 as they all fall under the same umbrella as I understand it.
The overarching debate on Web3: For Web3 proponents, Web3 will be a revolution that will transform our lives; for skeptics, it’s an overhyped buzzword with no significant differences from what we are living today.
You don’t have to be in the game, but its important to know about it. For those of you who had a question mark next to Web3, I hope you found this helpful?
Resource for if you want to dig deeper:
If this article spiked your interest and you would like to read deeper, 21-year old Gaby Goldberg, one of the youngest investors in venture capital for Web3 released a pretty solid reading list for all things Web3 that I am working through.
If you like what you read, and are a mum, do check out my newsletter for Working Mums at Substack. It’s a resource for mums who want to build better careers and be better mums. Would love to see you there!