Initially, we had the good old Internet 1.0, which mainly consisted of viewing static HTML websites in a passive mode. Over the years 2000 has landed Web 2.0 and its social networks, in a participatory mode where each Internet user himself becomes a content producer
Unfortunately, this Web 2.0 has come at the cost of centralizing data on major platforms (Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc.). So, for purists, there is an urgent need to reinvent a “Web3” (where the 0 has curiously disappeared), a decentralized internet based on the blockchain.
The applications built on Web3 will not be owned by a central actor, but will belong to the users themselves, who will be rewarded for their participation by helping to develop and maintain these services.
As summarized the founder of Ethereum , Gavin Wood, who coined the term in 2000, the Web3 is “less trust and more truth” . A slogan which, it must be admitted, sounds a little hollow – even Jack Dorsey, ex-boss of Twitter and great apostle of cryptos, recently expressed his doubts .
In Web3, we can find a whole bunch of new buzzwords such as cryptocurrencies, NFT, the OAC (decentralized autonomous organization) or the metaverse, this happy universe where everyone lives, plays and works together.
Yet many people already use this Web3 without knowing it, argues Olga Mack , entrepreneur and blockchain lecturer at the University of California at Berkeley. “You don’t have to know how electricity works to understand its benefits. The same goes for the blockchain ”, she assures the site NPR .
Behind the Web3, above all, libertarian ideology emerges, which advocates a total liberation of States, companies and institutions. Initially, Bitcoin was thus intended to bypass central banks, accused of devaluing the currency through a massive issuance of securities. Along the same lines, Martin Scorsese’s next film will not be funded by a production company but via NFTs by its thousands of fans.
For its detractors, Web3 is however only powder in the eyes. “Instead of having a lot of different applications and sites, we’re going to put everything on blockchains, which puts everything in one place” , emphasizes James Grimmelmann, professor of law and technology at Cornell University in the United States.
In addition, the so-called decentralized Web3 services are at great risk of being taken over by the major platforms themselves. same. Rather than having a cryptographic and independent version of Twitter, Twitter will itself add cryptographic features to its service and thus retrieve the data for its benefit.
“The Web3 claims to be decentralized, but its communities are in fact managed by insiders and hosted on Amazon Cloud Service” , laughs the Yesterweb collective which advocates a more creative and social web.
“A lot of people have money to invest on the internet . They just need a vision and an ideal to justify their spending ”, sums up James Grimmelmann.