The Introduction Of Web3.
“Have you ever asked yourself what is web3 or how the word web3 come to existence? If you have ever asked yourself these questions then, the answer you’re seeking for is here”.
This article is brought to you by NFT VENDOR.
The internet you see today is much more centralized now than it was 10 years and 20 years ago. Couple of monolithic corporations control large numbers of the activities online, which includes our security details and even personal data and activities. If it falls into the wrong hands it will cause disaster.
Social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and teach giant like Google, are regularly at the center of data privacy scandals and accusations of unethical behavior. But even if we overlook that, their entire model is still built on prioritizing their own profit margins over the user experience. They still control the activities of these platforms. They take down your posts, tweets and even your account without your notice and there’s nothing you can do about it. They own your posts, tweets and photos you upload on their platforms and give their users little credit which is not enough. Users don’t get the owners right but these platforms own all the right.
The Origin Of internet.
Before we dive into what web3 is all about, let’s go back in history how the internet was found. Let’s take a quick look at the history of the internet.
The origin of the Internet was traced back in the 1970s by the US government to protect it nuclear weapons from hacking. Us government figured out if a single computer controlled all the rockets in peak Cold War would cause a big disaster. So they built a decentralized network of multiple computers instead. Which mean the US could keep its part of the “mutually assured destruction” bargain even in case of a Soviet cyberattack.
Web1 was designed as a “hyperlinked information system.” A giant library of data sourced together on a screen from computers all across the network for users to browse by clicking around linked text and images. In 1990, the Internet was a bunch of connected computers, created by Tim Berners-Lee and the web was its first application. It’s a content delivery network that enables the showcase of the piece of information on the websites.
Mass adoption came five years later with the introduction of browsers like Mosaic and Microsoft Internet Explorer. In its early days, the web was a niche tool, used almost exclusively by academics. These were the good old surfing days. You’d dial in. Downloading a picture took years. Altavista was the default search engine. Nobody had thought of web design yet.
- Decentralized- Powered by regular computers from regular users.
- Open-source- Anyone could build on the web.
- Read-only- Publishing content required some technical skills, so most users were readers.
Web1’s decentralized infrastructure symbolized its original ethos. Anyone could publish information of any kind, to anyone in the world, without the permission of central gatekeepers.
Fast-forward 10 years, the Wild West had grouped around winners like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, pulling in huge numbers of users and talent black-hole style. For the first time, anyone could publish online. As barriers faded, users and usage surged. The Internet had something for everyone.
In the backend, three big shifts shaped web2 as we know it today:
Mobile: Smartphones move us from a few hours per day at our desktops to “always connected”. Apps and notifications rule our lives.
Social: Instagram, Twitter and Facebook get us to show our faces and emerge from anonymity. They make it easy to create, share, interact and recommend. We go from sharing photos with friends to getting into knowing strangers.
Cloud: Amazon, Google and Microsoft make it cheap to build on the web. Instead of having to buy and maintain expensive hardware infrastructure, you can now rent it low-cost from vast data centers around the world.
The Internet has become centralized. It’s essentially a bunch of closed systems interacting with each other.
Now you noticed the difference between web1 and web2. In web1 it’s a bunch of open systems interacting with each other while in web2 it’s a bunch of closed systems interacting with each other. As we suddenly gained access to more people, ideas and technologies than our brains knew what to do with, the central platforms blew up like mushroom clouds, consolidating network effects into monopoly power.
Networks become exponentially more valuable as they gain more users. You join WhatsApp to talk to your friends. Mom joins WhatsApp to talk to you. Dad joins WhatsApp to talk to mom. Before you know it, the whole world uses WhatsApp. You can’t leave.
In February 2021, WhatsApp changed its privacy rules in a take it or leave it announcement: It would harvest more user data for profit. Millions swore they would ditch the app for more private alternatives, including yours truly. Not enough to escape the network’s gravitational pull, it turns out. While many chat on Signal and Telegram these days, few managed to get off WhatsApp completely. You still want to talk to Mom and Mom still wants to talk to Dad.
In this digital era, customer value is a direct function of network size. Users can’t leave, Startups can’t compete, Media, developers and creators have no choice but to play along. The network pull is too strong so we become addicted to social media platforms. We pay the price not in dollars but in personal data and contents. To be mined, sold and fed back into secret algorithms that hijack our attention so we’d give more. All under the veil of “free” and “improving user experience.”
Yourself expression is their market cap.
Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon (GAFA) control our conversations, searches, contents, media and data. The open forum has become a walled garden. Today’s Internet is an oligarchy.
Reasons why web2 failed
- Attention in the economy: Attention became the Internet’s native currency. Sites compete for it with algorithmically generated content loops you can’t stop scrolling and headlines you can’t stop clicking. Starting out, the web didn’t have a way for exchanging value. People were not keen on pulling out credit cards online. So the default business model started to attract users with free stuff and sell access to their eyeballs e.g advertising.
- Seeking attention: The business of media has always been to keep you watching. To actually inform might get you to tune out and take action in the physical world. But watching TV we are at least synced within the same self-perpetuating loop of opinions.
- Personalized: In web2, we are each fed a personalized diet of whatever triggers us most. Different opinions have become different facts. And as your alternative reality clashes with mine, Facebook’s stock price goes up. The bigger the fire, the higher the profits. Social media brings the world together to tear it apart. Because it’s good for business. When clicks equal revenue, there is no incentive to tell the truth. The result is clickbait, misinformation, fake news, ad blockers, and ad blocker-blockers.
- Internet is owned: In web2 the platforms own everything you post online, that includes the profile data you fill out, the behavioral data you generate, and the images, videos, songs, status updates and comments you upload. Whatever you do on platform turf is platform property. Anything you upload online is owned by the platform, the file is copied onto it server and ownership is passed to the company. It becomes the raw material algorithms mine to generate the attention advertisers pull out their wallets for. You sow, the platform reaps. There are returns for you too, to be sure. We wouldn’t play ball if there weren’t. Sharing content online builds reputation, audiences and connections. The kind of social capital that can be monetized in its own right. Artists and creators never had such instant access to so many potential fans.
- Censorship & profile disabled: Social media platforms block profile of their users without issuing any kind of warning or proper investigations. When Twitter and Facebook banned Donald Trump, he told his supporters to follow him to Parler. Next thing Apple and Google removed Parler’s mobile app from their app stores, Where upon Amazon delivered the final blow by kicking Parler’s website from its hosting servers. Trump became digitally homeless. Close to 90% of the web is stored with four hosting providers, the biggest of which is Amazon Web Services (AWS). Their data center run the sites and apps we use everyday e.g Facebook, Twitter, Airbnb, Uber, Reddit, Netflix and so on. We access them through browsers (web) and download them from app stores (mobile).These companies control the gates to the global marketplace of ideas. You play by their rules or don’t play at all. They ban your accounts, your apps, your websites. Even when you did not break their rules, you can still be guilty of living in the wrong place. Censorship is easy when all it takes is blocking a handful central servers, as governments know all too well. Take China’s Great Firewall: as effective at keeping state secrets as at keeping Facebook, Twitter, Google and Wikipedia from its citizens, the Nigerian government banned Twitter in Nigeria because Jack banned the Twitter account of the Nigeria president (president Muhammadu Buhari) for breaking their rules.
- Hacker Kingdom: The internet became home for hackers to live in, feed on and do whatever they want to do. Billions of devices uploading their data to a handful of giant data centers is like a central bank with infinite doors to break in. It means I could steal your bank credentials by hacking my neighbour’s smart fridge. It means Russian cyber terrorists can freeze ATMs, shut down railroads and lock down hospitals in Ukraine by taking control of the server. Today’s web is a chilling case of the maxim that a system can only ever be as secure as its weakest link. The crucial flaw is that the weakest link can’t be fixed because new links are added every day. By design, the solution can never match the scale of the problem, and as commerce becomes ever more peer-to-peer and device-to-device, the problem is bound to snowball into systemic bankruptcy.
So how can we keep records that are objective and immune to human bias? The answer is the blockchain technology. Remove humans from the equation altogether.
Blockchain is a decentralized digital record of who holds what in a network. This can be money, property titles, medical records or anything someone would care to own. Decentralized means every users in the network has an up-to-date copy of the records, this makes the records unchangeable. If someone messes with the records, the rest of the network will reject it.
New records are made unhackable with cryptography. Cryptography is impossibly complicated math that takes a lot of computing power. Users providing that computing power are “miners”. They get paid in cryptocurrency like bitcoin, usdt and more, for securing the records. Mining makes the cryptocurrency scarce, giving it economic value. Trust is coded into the system itself, distributed to its participants. Because of the transparency of the blockchain technology, users don’t need to trust records because they are verified by the network. So therefore blockchains automate trust.
What is web3?
Web3 is the third generation of the evolution of web technologies. The web, also known as the world wide web, is the foundational layer for how the internet is used, providing website and application services. Though there is no universally accepted definition of web3 yet.
Ethereum is a spreadsheet with macros. Macros are mini-applications you can use to automate tasks in Microsoft Excel. In other words, Ethereum is a blockchain with its very own programming language. Developers can build decentralized applications known as “dapp” on top of it. Ethereum pays Ether (ETH) for executing and verifying the code of decentralized applications. It’s like a giant supercomputer made up of all the computers in the Ethereum network. Ethereum is a decentralized alternative for the centralized Internet. A new Internet that is owned by all of its users instead of a single corporate behemoth like Amazon.
Ethereum blockchain became unhackable, uncensorable, governed by its users and rewarding the work the network needs with a native currency. A trinity of Internet, free market and democracy. It’s the original vision for the web come true.
Blockchain technology unlocks a new kind of web, a human-to-human economic network in which strangers can trade currencies, assets and valuable data. No institutions charging stamp duty fee, setting terms or asking questions for making it happen. Value exchanges follow a prototypical contractual pattern, there’s a performance and a reward e.g If I do X, you give me Y. Bitcoin provides a simple example of how blockchains automatically verify both performance and reward, fulfilling the contract with 100% guarantee that no party gets duped. These “smart contracts” are like robot vending machines. Trades are automated according to a logic that can’t be breached. Even the creator can’t manipulate this smart contract, both parties are guided by this smart contract.
Art, insurance, real estate, intellectual property, credit cards, lawyers. You’ll be able to trade it all without middlemen, using dapps built on Ethereum or other smart contract blockchains like Solana instead. Blockchains allow everyone in the world with a phone and an internet connection to participate directly, immediately and without permission in the global economy. The superior economic efficiency will open up previously impossible business models and possibly reinvent companies altogether.
How web3 works
- Every user is a wallet.
- Every file is an asset owned by a wallet.
- Every exchange is a transaction from one wallet to another.
Web1- Involved just reading, only the owner could change the data.
web2- Involved reading and writing.
Web3- Involved reading, writing and owning.
in web2, Instagram the company owns all pictures and videos and they trade the generated value for money with advertisers. When you Post a viral video, Instagram’s stock price goes up.
In web3, the pictures and videos you post on Instagram are all yours. You’ll be able to directly trade the attention your pictures attract with advertisers via smart contracts, or sell your viral videos as NFTs.
How to use web3.
Connect wallet > Sign in with Facebook
To use a dapp, you connect your crypto-wallet, i.e. you signal the address of your blockchain account to the dapp.
What’s the difference between a wallet and an address?
An address is a series of numbers, e.g. 0x5bh657935ae1db71884969919de58cd776cc8221. Wallets allow you to do things with addresses. They come in different purposes:
- Cold wallets are hardware devices used to store assets offline. Example: Trezor.
- Soft wallets are software apps used to store assets on a phone and/or desktop. Less secure than cold wallets but easier to use. Example: Exodus.
- Hot wallets can interact with dapps as mobile apps and browser extensions. That connectivity makes them less secure for storage. Example: Metamask.
Clicking Connect Wallet feels as easy as Sign in with Facebook. Under the hood, there’s a big difference. Whereas signing in with Facebook effectively hands over your profile details until you revoke access, a dapp never gets actual access to your wallet, instead, you transact tokens-fungible and non-fungible in a cryptographically secure way. Each transaction is privately signed for by both parties and recorded on the blockchain for everyone to verify.
Now you have knowledge of what web3 is all about, if you have any question feel free to shoot me an email. If you want me to publish articles on your project or an particular topic
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