Some call it the next phase of the internet. Some say it’s a fast-money scam that’ll fall apart. But what exactly is Web3?
The phrase “Web3” is used broadly to refer to a new-era internet that will run on the record-keeping technology blockchain, a decentralized public accounting system. The current iteration of the internet, Web2, by comparison, runs on centralized, company-owned servers.
Web3 “offers a read/write/own version of the web, in which users have a financial stake in and more control over the web communities they belong to” by enabling users to own their data, according to the Harvard Business Review.
Investors hope this version of the internet will lead to a democratization of data on the web, where transactions and contracts can be double-checked by all users. However, consumers should be skeptical, according to venture capitalist Joe Lonsdale, as mainstream products have yet to materialize despite heavy cash investments.
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“A lot of what people are calling Web3 was a Ponzi scheme, and it made no sense whatsoever,” the Palantir co-founder previously told Fox News. “That said, the protocols to have decentralized ownership are very interesting.”