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Investors are betting $27 billion that Web3 is the future of the internet

  • 1 yr ago

There’s nothing that the techies and crypto kings of Silicon Valley love more than a good buzzword, and they’ve got a new one going around that’s picking up steam: Web3. 

So what exactly does it mean? Is it akin to the meaningless “synergies” and “learnings” that make up the lexicon of corporatese, or is there some actual heft to the concept? 

Web3, or Web 3.0, is shorthand for what some tech people believe the next iteration of the internet will look like. We’re currently living in a Web 2.0 world, which is app-based and easy to use. We can talk to our friends and coworkers, purchase our groceries and clothing, and get our news. But in Web 2.0, our online lives are currently ruled by trillion-dollar companies like AppleFacebookAmazon, and Google.

The promise of Web3 began as a way to decentralize how we function on the web and put some of that power back into the hands of users. The dream, according to people like Gavin Wood, the computer scientist who cofounded Ethereum, is that new social media platforms, search databases, and banking and e-commerce sites will replace the current major tech companies, becoming the new normal. Most important, instead of being powered by proprietary and secretive corporate algorithms, these new companies would run on blockchains, the systems upon which cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are built. 

The mechanics of blockchains prevent corporations from keeping proprietary data hidden, they are unable to block third-party sites, and the software is open source. 

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