What is Web 3?
Google, Apple, Facebook … are just 3 of the top powerhouse tech brands of the 2010s. They work by asking you for your data in exchange for the benefits they provide, which in turn means they can track your online behaviour to sell on to others. This is the Web 2 world.
Over the last 14 years, the top internet brains have been working on new and innovative ways to tackle mounting privacy and security concerns – these new technologies are known as Web 3.
In Web 3, they are looking for :
- A way of publishing and consuming data peer to peer
- Sharable software, allowing people to evolve it for their own interfaces, tools and services
- A way for users to own and benefit from their own data
- A more secure way of storing and sharing information
- A radically simpler approach
Examples of Web 3 technology
The basis of Web 3 technology is that it is decentralised – this is “Blockchain” – there is no centralised database owned by a single entity. The early applications have been terms of finance, where the principle is no intermediaries holding your data (think Visa & Mastercard), no source of assets, like the gold standard, or even money. The nearest analogy we have come across is back in medieval times when, if you were a cattle farmer, you would trade milk, meat or leather for what you felt to be a fair exchange for vegetables, clothing, or for a carpentry service in your house. There was no central reference point for what a cow (or a part of a cow) was worth.
Early adopters of the Blockchain have been Cryptocurrencies, Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and Facebook’s Metaverse – a virtual world that crosses over into the real world.
Sounds complicated and confusing…?
That’s because it is – the concept is nowhere near it’s mature form – Gartner are forecasting that we are 10 years away from the virtual and real worlds interacting seamlessly. However, they are predicting that Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain Digital wallets will be pretty mainstream by 2025. The future of the Digital wallet (whilst currently only used for Cryptocurrency) is particularly interesting, as you are in control of how much of your data you reveal about yourself, and transactions are secure as they are cryptographically signed.
Do I need to worry about Web 3?
Many of the principles of Web 3 are great news to consumers. Web 3 gives the power over data tracking back to individuals, in a way which is much harder to cheat, break or steal. It is all about communities creating value for their people, rather than businesses extracting value from you. If you’ve recently used “split the bill” technology with a taxi or a restaurant, chances are that you’ve started to use Web 3 technology.
For most SME businesses, Web 3 is a “one to watch” for 2023. The principles have so many positives that the thought leaders in our industry are saying that it will take off quickly once people start to understand what it can do for them in terms of protecting privacy and security online. As with all new technology, the Web 3 structure will spark many new ideas as to how to make our day to day lives simpler, more engaging and within our own control.
They are predicting a paradigm shift, as we’ve experienced with the introduction of Social Media.
For our clients, we will include any significant shifts in Web 3 that might affect their thinking in our regular updates.
Watch this space!