Unsurprisingly, I get asked “What is Web3?” a lot these days along with “What happened to blockchain?,” “What is the metaverse?,” and “Are NFTs legit?”
Before we answer these questions, let me pose another one: Why should you care about any of it? There are several possible scenarios where MSPs, technology vendors, integrators, et al, will need to deal with Web3, metaverse, NFTs, etc. (which I will group under “Web3 technologies” from now on):
No one knows exactly what Web3 is or will be, yet. First, the terms “Web1” and “Web2” only came into common use recently and were defined in hindsight, so we’re probably a few years, or decades, away from truly understanding what Web3 really is (was), mostly likely when we are on the precipice of Web4. Second, there is an implication in those terms that each subsequent iteration of the web replaced the previous, which could not be further from the truth. Each iteration built on the previous, adding more features and function.
One way to look at this is by the above graphic. Web1 was essentially one-way communication—from website owners to the public. It was largely informational (Wikipedia, webzines, etc.) with no feedback loop. Web2 added two-way communication allowing for feedback, ecommerce, and content to upload and monetize content. However, it is entirely centralized with power consolidating in very few monolithic companies who can change their affiliate programs at a whim and have as evidenced by the criticism leveled against YouTube. Web3 will allow creators to not only own their content, but their revenue streams, turbo charging the Creator Economy. To be fair, some Web2 companies are already doing this, but they retain control. Web3 will decentralize control, granting far more power to creators.
Well, nothing. The term is simply diminishing in popularity and being replaced by Web3 and NFTs. Many of us in the blockchain space predicted this years ago. Blockchain is a foundational technology. It is used for applications where a decentralized ledger is a good fit. It makes as much sense to be talking about blockchain as it does about TCP/IP or HTTPS. NFTs, for example, are simply a blockchain use case. Blockchain is taking its correct place in the application backend, like other databases such as MSSQL, rather than front and center as it has been.
This is another loosely defined term. Any virtual experience, in other words a place or content that can only be experienced via technology (e.g., VR goggles, AR via a phone’s camera, or even just a web browser) can arguably be called part of a metaverse. In these early days, frankly, it’s a mess. Everyone is either creating their own metaverse (e.g., Meta) or staking claims in others (e.g., Gucci in The Sandbox). I believe this will shake out in one, or both, of the following ways:
Yes, but the current art- or profile picture-based craze will die down. There is still some value for those use cases, but it is clear that they are currently massively overvalued and are already crashing down to earth (check out what happened with Jack Dorsey’s first Tweet). NFT stands for non-fungible token. All that means is that they are limited in number and exchange rates with other tokens cannot be established.
Think of fungible tokens like real currency where there is always an exchange rate with another currency (e.g., USD to Euros) and NFTs as items, such as cars. There are many Honda Civics out there, but there is no exchange rate between Honda Civics and BMW 5-series (imaging being able to exchange 2.2 Civics for a BMW, ha!).
There are many business cases for NFTs, including tokenizing assets, document management, identity, etc. Ultimately, those will be what survive, as well as many others that haven’t been created yet. Contact Musato Technologies today to get a quote on our innovative ICT solutions and services that empower businesses to prosper.
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