The new Silicon Valley boom is network 3 (or Network 3.0). The past year has been critical in turning an original idea into a multi-billion-dollar industry.
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Between January 2021 and November 2021, the industry attracted $30 billion in venture capital for 1,278 businesses in the region, according to research firm PitchBook.
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But what exactly is Web3? What is the concept behind this new obsession with the tech world? Learn more below.
Web 1.0 and Web 2.0
First, it is necessary to explain the historical background and previous two generations of the Internet. Web 1.0 was marked by the popularity of browsers in the 1990s. A decade later, with the exponential growth of companies like Google and Microsoft and the mass adoption of social networks like Facebook. and Twitter, Web 2.0 emerged.
In this case, the concentration of power, the control of information and the accumulation of data in the hands of a few companies are beginning to be questioned by industry entrepreneurs, the media and users themselves.
Software engineers have been working on alternatives to the centralized internet for years. But only now are they starting to take shape. This was only made possible by the advent of blockchain technology, a complex system of decentralized codes that ensures the security of digital transactions. Underpinning cryptocurrencies, decentralized finance, and Web 3.0 are blockchain smart contracts.
What is Web3?
Objectively, Web3 can be defined as a blockchain-based Internet generation whose communication network is decentralized and ownerless. The term is widely used by some researchers and entrepreneurs in the field to describe a vision of the future of the web, in which users regain control of their data and power is not concentrated in the hands of big tech companies.
A practical example of this decentralization is artists and musicians selling NFTs (non-fungible tokens) directly to their fans without the need for an intermediary platform. This type of operation can already be considered part of Web3 because they are based on blockchain technology – even cryptocurrency-based means of payment.
Another example is Decentraland, a virtual platform created by the DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization), which has its own virtual currency, MANA. All these operations are classified as Web3.
Web3: Who will be the owner?
Some critics see the move as a branding exercise designed by tech investors to further the NFT phenomenon. They also point out that many of the big proponents of Web3 are the same as those in favor of Web 2.0. Google itself is one of the biggest investors in the new generation of the internet and already has a team dedicated to the topic.
Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey wrote in December 2021 that Web3 is “a centralized entity, just under a different label.” For him, the investment class will own it as usual. His post angered some, like Marc Anderson of Andreessen Horowitz, a venture capital manager, who blocked him on social networks.
Controversy ensues: Will tech giants be owners of Web3 too?
It is too early to predict, but researchers believe that Web 4.0 will be the era of artificial intelligence, in which all operations of previous generations will be automated. Customer service chatbots will take over the market and virtual assistants will be integrated into blockchain platforms. It is also known as a “symbiotic network” given the almost borderless interaction between humans and machines.
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