WW#024: What the Web3?!

newsletter Feb 22, 2023

It’s hard to imagine a world where we don’t have tech readily available to make our lives easier. A friend of mine was recently saying that on a night out in London circa 2001 she wouldn’t leave home without her brick of a mobile phone, her London A-Z to find wherever she was headed and enough cash to be able to find a minicab home. She’d also usually have a Walkman and/or a book in her bag to keep herself occupied on the tube, which she’d need the right change to pay for.

Nowadays, we can go out for a night and everything we need to get somewhere, see friends and get home is on our phone… and we can even get Alexa to put our lights on for us when we get back!

The advances in tech make life 20 years ago seem positively Victorian, but when you think about the earliest version of the web, it’s astounding how far we’ve come. I think most people will have observed the evolution of the internet without giving it a great deal of thought. But did you know that it’s heading into its 3rd age?

Web1 was the equivalent of a read-only word document, with little interaction (apart from Ask Jeeves). It’s what Sir Tim Berners-Lee created at CERN and was the stuff of sci fi for most of us – users loved the novelty of features like email and being able to get the news in real-time.

Web2 is the web as we know it now – think about the rise of e-commerce and social media. Many may think this is the ‘bad’ web – the rise of e-commerce has all but killed the high street, and social media is a horror story all by itself. With Web 2.0 user-generated content can be viewed globally almost in an instant. This growth has been driven by mobile internet access and social networks, and the use of smartphones.

We’re now heading towards Web3 - built on the core concepts of decentralisation, openness, and greater user utility. Web3 could be understood as the “read/write/own” phase of the Internet: users can participate in the governance and operation of the protocols, instead of just using free tech platforms in exchange for data. This means people become participants and shareholders, rather than just customers or products.

In a nutshell – it gives users more power over their web experience.
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We delved into this Brave New World at this month’s Wiser Wednesday panel event – What in the Web3?!

We learn't that 'if it can be tokenised, it will be tokenised' - Ismail Malik.

Our speakers are Ismail Malik (Blockchain Lab), Ida Faldbakken (Katapult Future Fest), Nick Kengmana (Go Beyond) and Yaz El Hakim (VerifyEd). Enjoy! 

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