So, what in the hell is Web3?

Lately, a number of my friends and people that I trust have started to talk about web3. That tells me that it’s time to start diving in and paying attention to what’s going.

The Internet is approaching its next Seldon Crisis, and change is upon us. The next set of technologies will require remapping what we know and think about transactions, payments, currency, and how companies and communities are governed. And that’s just a few things that are bound to get turned upside down in the near future.

But before a deep, deep dive. I recommend starting with this article: What is Web3? The Decentralized Internet of the Future Explained.

In web3, developers don’t usually build and deploy applications that run on a single server or that store their data in a single database (usually hosted on and managed by a single cloud provider).

Instead, web3 applications either run on blockchains, decentralized networks of many peer to peer nodes (servers), or a combination of the two that forms a cryptoeconomic protocol. These apps are often referred to as dapps (decentralized apps), and you will see that term used often in the web3 space.

To achieve a stable and secure decentralized network, network participants (developers) are incentivized and compete to provide the highest quality services to anyone using the service.

When you hear about web3, you’ll notice that cryptocurrency is often part of the conversation. This is because cryptocurrency plays a big role in many of these protocols. It provides a financial incentive (tokens) for anyone who wants to participate in creating, governing, contributing to, or improving one of the projects themselves.

These protocols may often offer a variety of different services like compute, storage, bandwidth, identity, hosting, and other web services commonly provided by cloud providers in the past.

In web3, Identity also works much differently than what we are used to today. Most of the time in web3 apps, identities will be tied to the wallet address of the user interacting with the application.

Unlike web2 authentication methods like OAuth or email + password (that almost always require users to hand over sensitive and personal information), wallet addresses are completely anonymous unless the user decides to tie their own identity to it publicly.

If you do any work in the world of digital, then it would behoove you to start digging in web3 now. And where you can, map where your profession and skill set fits in (or probably more importantly, where it doesn’t). There is more to this next version than this summary provides. Web3 is going to be complicated beyond new languages or scripts to learn, it will create new methods of business, transactions, and monetization.

After reading the complete article referenced here you’ll find three more promoted at the end: The New Creator Economy - DAOs, Community Ownership, and Cryptoeconomics, The Value Chain of the Open Metaverse, and The Rise of Micro-Economies. This is a good start.

As the web shifts once again, now is the time to prepare yourself to make the most of the opportunities to come. Stay curious and start poking around.