The quest to decentralise the web and to uncover new possibilities with Web 3.0 is ever-expanding. Just recently, Coinbase, the famous cryptocurrency exchange has launched a new Web 3.0-focused payments services.
Even outside of the world of crypto, tech giants such as Youtube or Meta (Facebook) are also preparing for the internet to undergo a decentralisation revolution, so to speak. But what exactly is Web 3.0 and what are the benefits of decentralised exchanges? Vadim Mashurov, a tech entrepreneur and founder of Instime, a revolutionary social media marketing start-up, explains.
Web 3.0: The Basics
The term was first coined in 2014 by Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood. Web 3.0 is the new iiteration of the World Wide Web, based on the up- and coming technologies: blockchain, AI, VR, and AR. Web 3.0, as opposed to Web 2.0, will also be decentralised, in a stark contrast to the current centralisation of data within the hands of a small number of companies called “Big Tech”.
As it is not a textbook concept, its definition will differ. All definitions, however, seems to anchor around the idea of a decentralised web, as mentioned above. The Ethereum Foundation gives concrete examples of how the two World Wide Web iterations differ in practice. Web 3.0 is simply the more democratic, decentralised, and some could say, the better version of Web 2.0. For instance:
“Web 3.0: No single point of failure: network can still function even if a large proportion of participants are attacked/taken out. Censorship is much harder, as information has many ways to propagate across the network.
Web 2.0: Single point of failure: malicious actors may be able to take down the network by targeting the central authority. Central authority can censor data, potentially cutting off parts of the network from interacting with the rest of the network”.
Both crypto and NFTs are the drivers of Web 3.0 adoption. It seems like Web 3.0 is now what Web 2.0 was in early 2000s, before Google, Amazon, and other Big Tech companies truly became prominent. It it thus a time full of possibilities and the new few years will likely be an exciting time for this idea.
“NFTs saw a major boost in 2021, opening up further use cases in Web 3.0,” said Harish Daiya, the CEO of Lumenci, a full-service technology consulting firm. “Crypto wallets have become the gateway to Web 3.0, just like FB., Google, Twitter, etc. are in Web 2.0. Also, Web 3.0-based Decentralized Finance (DeFi) is disrupting the Web 2.0 fintech companies, which is forcing Web 2.0 fintech companies to redefine themselves as blockchain-first companies — most evident from Square’s name change to Block.” So traditional technology companies are trying to veer into the lane of blockchain or crypto companies. What about crypto companies themselves? How do they rank on the Web 3.0 adoption scale?
Coinbase’s move to Web 3.0
It can be said that strictly crypto-focused companies are the pioneers of Web 3.0 adoption. Coinbase is introducing Coinbase Pay, a new Web 3.0-focused payments service. Coinbase Pay eliminates all the steps that needed to be made to add funds to the Coinbase Wallet previously. It should now be more intuitive and more accessible for everyone who wants to participate in the NFT and crypto world.
According to the exchange, the change makes the process “faster, easier, and more secure than ever before.” All that needs to be done now is select “Add crypto with Coinbase Pay” when you want to add crypto to your Coinbase Wallet extension. No more copy-pasting addresses, or switching between apps.
Coinbase so believes in the success of this endeavour, that it is planning to hire 2,000 new employees this year. Besides the Coinbase Pay wallet, the company is also launching its own NFT marketplace, which will allow it to diversify from strictly crypto-related activities, to also making money on commissions from NFTs.
Youtube’s move to Web 3.0
Besides crypto-companies, Big Tech is also not staying far behind. YouTube, the most popular content creator platform, has recently announced that it aims to support the new decentralised technologies. As top celebrities are constantly looking for opportunities to expand their reach, Youtube will offer that playground ecosystem for them using NFTs, crypto, and blockchain.
Youtube stars will be able to, for instance, sell their NFTs through the Youtube platform, but also offer purchasable experiences to their fans. Some of them may even take place in the virtual world, the Metaverse, in the future.
An open letter by Susan Wojcicki, the CEO of YouTube, outlines the exact direction in which the company is headed.
“The past year in the world of crypto, non fungible tokens, and even decentralized autonomous organizations has highlighted a previously unimaginable opportunity to grow the connection between creators and their fans,” said Wojcicki. “We’re always focused on expanding the YouTube ecosystem to help creators capitalize on emerging technologies, including things like NFTs, while continuing to strengthen and enhance the experiences creators and fans have on YouTube.”
However, no concrete plans have been made so far, so we will have to see how the situation evolves. It would be a mistake, on the other hand, to underestimate the power of Big Tech gians to turn their Web 2.0-focused environments into something more Web 3.0-friendly. The change is inevitable and it is likely all of the big firms will be aiming to prepare for it. “Innovate or die”, as Peter Drucker, the famous American author, once wrote.
It seems like the Web 3.0 race has begun. Just like Web 2.0 in 2001 has given birth to the giants that Google, Amazon, Facebook are today, Web 3.0 will have its own winners. It will be interesting to see how the main ideas behind of decentralisation: accessibility, open-source foundations, etc. will hold up as the race progresses. For now, one thing is certain: the possibilities, with Web 3.0, are endless. The new era of the Internet has started.
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