The idea is to build an internet that isn’t governed by massive corporations like Google and Facebook that currently establish the majority of the rules about what we can and can’t do online. The phrase “Web3” covers some developments that makeup what is sometimes dubbed the “decentralized internet.”
According to web3, we now have the means to build online spaces that are genuinely ours, as well as to implement digital democracies, thanks to technologies like blockchain, cryptocurrencies, non-fungible tokens, and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs).
Why Web 3? So, just a quick recap of the web’s history: web1 was the first version of the world wide web, which was primarily read-only and comprised of static websites. The user-generated web, also known as web 2 or web 2.0, was created with the introduction of social media platforms like MySpace and, eventually, Facebook.
This leads us to web 3, or the decentralized web! However, the proposal is not without its detractors, who worry that in practice it may just entail a shift of power from one set of technocrats to another. Others have drawn attention to the substantial electricity consumption required to run systems like blockchain that enable decentralization.
These are undoubtedly issues that need to be resolved before the idea receives the societal support it needs to realize its full potential. We might witness advancements in this direction in 2023 or a continued rejection of the idea as a whole. Here are some developments that will affect the development of web3 in 2023.
The “next level” of the internet is being discussed by everyone from Facebook to Microsoft, and the topic of the metaverse is currently popular almost everywhere. However, proponents of the web3 future have their own ideas, and they do not involve platforms that are under the giants of Silicon Valley’s authority.
The two most well-known decentralized metaverse platforms are likely Decentraland and The Sandbox. These virtual worlds’ data is kept on a blockchain, specifically the Ethereum blockchain. This implies that only those who are authorized can make adjustments or add and remove components.
The server that houses the world’s data does not have a single owner who can censor content that does not align with their political beliefs or shut it down completely if they so want. For websites like Facebook, where the company that controls the servers will always have the final word, this definitely isn’t the case!
We should anticipate the pioneers to continue laying the foundation that might one day make decentralised virtual environments a reality in 2023. Decentralized virtual environments are a key component of the vision for where web3 will lead us in the upcoming decade.
Unique tokens that exist on a blockchain are known as non-fungible tokens. An NFT can be used to represent anything unique, unlike, say, cryptocurrencies where there may be millions of similar tokens available on the chain.
NFTs are likely familiar to most people as works of computer art that routinely sell for hundreds or millions of dollars (or did, at least before the market for them partly collapsed this year)
Tokenizing goods, information, and even ideas in the digital and physical realms is where they will truly add value, according to those who believe in the future of a decentralized web3. Enabling sales of digital art is just one application for them, though.
The decentralised internet’s NFTs may provide us with the keys we need to interact with the digital goods and services we purchase. Smart contracts, or the keys to our virtual metaverse homes, might also be represented by them. Smart contracts are agreements we make with third parties to obtain products and services.
In 2023, the focus will be on NFTs that “do something” or “utility NFTs,” as opposed to NFTs that merely represent virtual artwork or other comparable objects. This should influence people’s perceptions of this potentially extremely transformational technology and help people see how they fit within the emerging web3 ecosystem.
Independent Social Networks
The development of a decentralised social network is one of the objectives of the web3 movement. It might even be thanks to none other than Elon Musk if this does come to pass in 2023.
To prevent spambots and trolling, the Tesla CEO has stated that he wants to build a social network where members would have to pay a small bit of cryptocurrency each time they submitted a remark. These concepts were made public as a result of the legal disputes surrounding Musk’s intermittent ambitions to acquire Twitter.
A key benefit of a decentralised social network, according to Web3 proponents, is that it would be immune to censorship. What may and cannot be spoken currently is decided by companies like Meta (owner of Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram) and Twitter.
The general public (including governments and lawmakers) will eventually have to respond to the question of whether or not this is a good thing if it means that web3 users will eventually be able to speak whatever they want, without censorship.
Even the most ardent supporters of web3 must admit that the technology has problems with its environmental impact. At its peak, the energy consumption of the Bitcoin blockchain network alone was projected to be 130 terawatts per hour, and each bitcoin transaction was producing 772 kilos of CO2 emissions.
This is obviously unsustainable, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk claimed the enormous energy consumption as the reason why his company was withdrawing from the field of technology. Since then, there have been focused efforts to lower energy consumption without compromising the use of blockchain and related web3 technologies.
Most significantly, the Ethereum network recently switched from a proof-of-work to a proof-of-stage mechanism, which is said to have resulted in a 98% decrease in the total amount of energy needed on the network. In addition to minimizing the energy that web3 initiatives directly consume, in 2023 we may anticipate further efforts to be made in utilizing the technology to achieve green goals.
The potential for organizations to coordinate and develop collaborative technologies aimed at accelerating climate change mitigation has been recognized by the World Economic Forum. Regenerative financing (ReFi), a strategy that is currently being investigated, aims to encourage financial incentives for initiatives that restore or protect “resources vital for planetary welfare.”
Government Regulation And Interference In Web3 Are Increasing
The potential (and some would argue necessity) of governments interfering to oversee and control the impact on economies, society, and the environment rises as the transformative influence of this technology becomes more obvious. States in the US, including Wyoming, have positioned themselves as “web3-friendly” areas by creating and passing their own legislation.
The concept is that companies engaged in web3 activity will benefit from preferential treatment and unique tax considerations in exchange for accepting regulation and oversight. Colorado became the first state to formally accept cryptocurrencies as payment for taxes and other state-mandated expenses this year as well. Dubai has demonstrated that it is eager to become a web3 and cryptocurrency-friendly society outside of the US.
The emirate is promoting itself as a natural home for innovation in the fields of artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and metaverse – all technologies which are closely related to new developments in web3 – and has developed economic programmes to entice companies involved in web3 work to establish operations in its territory.
In 2023, it’s expected that other nations will take steps to present themselves as web3-friendly, frequently by utilizing central bank digital currencies like China’s Digital Yuan and India’s upcoming e-rupee.
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