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Web 3.0 - the gradual tokenization

Updated: Aug 24, 2022

Should one look at Web 3.0, they would find that it is quite an ambiguous term. To start, one has to grasp the web cycle that started from the very beginning of the internet. Firstly, there was a decentralized internet, the Web1. Subsequently, all of what has been spread around on individual spaces, servers, and drives became centralized and labelled as Web2. Anyone who has been online for the last two decades and had experiences with the internet must have observed the shift that has been taking place; all projects, pages, and ideas were centralized into platforms. Nevertheless, a third revolution has taken place: from Web2 to Web3 – in short, a new way of operating online shows traits of both preceding versions combined. On the one hand, it is full of new ideas and solutions from Web2, and on the other, it strives to remain decentralized.

‘In Web 3.0, the decentralized web, the emerging narrative is that tokens are the new digital primitive that will serve as the key building blocks for many of the future products, services, and innovations that will impact our society.’[1]

Every subsequent version of the Web is a direct response to the shortcomings of a variant before it. The Web2 was an answer that came with the unsuspected usability of the internet in the Web1 time. Back then, its premise was that every user was both a consumer and a content creator. This approach has one gigantic fallback: nobody wants to keep, pay for, organize, and run their private servers. Should the Web1’s practice be common, everybody would have to set up their private servers to remain decentralized. Those who spotted that problem and were able to provide people with their centralized server offer became the later Web 2.0 giants.

Further, if something is constructed firstly as centralized, it’s tough to shape it subsequently in a decentralized form. The great (and probably one of the most significant ones ever) is that the headache of technology is overlapped by the demand for something new, better, bigger, and faster by the overgrowing community ecosystem. If one or a company will not keep up with the expectations, they will disappear from the market.

‘When the technology itself is more conducive to stasis than movement, that’s a problem. A sure recipe for success has been to take a 90’s protocol that was stuck in time, centralize it, and iterate quickly.’[2]

Web3’s narrative may seem strange and inconceivable; however, it is pretty straightforward if one look’s at the process chronologically. As a digital revolution, rather than simply occurring events somewhere in history. It is essential to pay attention to the development of the internet, as the technological advancement has been more logarithmic than linear – the further we go, the more information we gather and the more knowledgeable we become. Therefore, the term ‘blockchain’ automatically comes to mind, as it is the foundation of the third generation of the Web.

‘The blockchain or distributed ledger underpinning Web 3.0 networks provide the decentralization layer, which can be considered in itself a globally available, unstoppable utility’[3].

Further, due to blockchain tech, people could emit two main types of tokens: fungible and non-fungible. Those two types of tokens complement one another, giving a very well-suited substitute to real-life cash, goods, and even (today old-school) digital banking. That innovative approach and shift in perceiving the P2P exchange system allowed people to make the big step from Web 2.0 to Web 3.0. Frankly, no other phenomenon connected to the blockchain has ever been as successful as tokens.

Nevertheless, one seldom knows the right amount of decentralization. I often wonder whether I like it more when everything is easier, quicker, requires less personal input, and is more controlling, or the opposite - a world in which I control as much as possible. Well, the answer is not universal, and everybody will find for themselves what they want; however, there is an instrumental test that indicates the level of centralization. It takes into consideration the number of choices given to the users, the standardization of the services, and the amount of data transferred out of the necessary circuit. The right amount of centralization would suggest users who are not overwhelmed by the possibility of choice, use relatively standardized products, and control the data they create using a given service.

I believe I will cover more areas of Web3 in the next blog entry, as the topic is enormously vast and requires much more information. However, I reckon the general introduction has been sketched and shows the colossal potential of Web3 and future generations of internet use.

For further lecture, I recommend two texts that are also sources mentioned in the text:

[1] & [3]: Svensson, Conor []

[2]: Marlinspike Moxie []

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