Silicon Valley: After the emergence of Metaverse Web3

Status: 08.12.2021 10:45 AM

At first there was a lot of talk about the metaverse, but in Silicon Valley the biggest topic was Web3: it is supposed to be a decentralized online ecosystem based on the blockchain – controlled by users.

Written by Marcus Schuller, ARD Studio San Francisco

Web3 wants to be the radical alternative to the Internet as we know it today. It should be a network that, according to many Silicon Valley pioneers, belongs to the users. A decentralized network based on the so-called blockchain. In doing so, it can become a digital proof: a part of it can be owned by anyone. It must not belong to technology companies like Google or Facebook, nor to banks or political systems. It’s a logical progression: Alex Wilhelm of TechCrunch Tech says on the Twit podcast:

Web3 is a rebranding of the blockchain. This, in turn, goes back to cryptocurrencies. In recent years, the term has continued to expand. We first talked about Bitcoin and LightCoin, and later it became the blockchain.

Web3: Tokens and Cryptocurrencies

To most people, these terms still sound too perfect. But Web3 has been here for a long time. You can earn tokens on gaming platforms, in discussion forums like Reddit you also receive codes depending on your post and thus get more attention.

The most popular cryptocurrency. However, their reputation is not particularly good. Currencies like Bitcoin, Ether or Cardano are experiencing huge volatility these days, and there have been frequent cases of fraud on smaller exchanges in recent months.

However, experts agree: these are dental problems. The biggest advantage of this technology: the blockchain makes every transaction transparent and thus traceable. “Web3 also includes NFTs or games that you can play on the Ethereum chain. Something has changed here in the past few months. If you want to look cool, you now use the term Web3,” says Wilhelm.

No state censorship, no censorship

There’s kind of a libertarian spirit around Web3 now. No state censorship, no censorship – everyone can participate. However, it has not yet been decided whether this will actually happen. A decentralized network will have a huge advantage for users. It will be easier for them to take their data in the blockchain with them to other offerings. Therefore, the Twitter SMS service would like to rebuild its infrastructure for this.

Billions are currently pouring into blockchain technologies. Even football clubs like Real Madrid or Paris Saint-Germain issue fan tokens. German sporting goods manufacturer Adidas recently purchased a virtual plot called “adiVerse” in the blockchain-based world of “The Sandbox.” The goal: to sell virtual items such as shoes and clothes.

Web 1.0, Web 2.0 and now Web3?

It all started with Web 1.0 in the 1990s. With static websites that hardly allow any interaction. Web 2.0 begins in the 2000s and marks the emergence of user-generated content on social platforms such as YouTube, Facebook or Twitter. The Internet no longer just means consumption, it also means participation – that is, to be engaged.

Money comes from venture capitalists

Most of the big money for this Web3 build comes from venture capitalists. It is located along Sand Hill Road in Silicon Valley. However, through their financial commitment, they thwart the spirit of the decentralized network, say critics, because they demonstrate a kind of central power with their commitment.

Facebook recently rebranded itself Meta because it wants to invest more in the internet metaverse in the coming years. What is meant here is above all a futuristic Internet in 3D – virtual – spaces. An interesting question will be what term will eventually become the generic term and who will follow – Metaversum or Web3.

Web3 – mind you without saying “zero point” – wants to democratize the network. If caught, it could pose a threat to the business model of big tech companies.

Each user controls their own data

Users can not only trade cryptocurrency and buy goods here. Everyone can take their data with them to other offerings because they are registered in the blockchain – a digital directory hosted by many computers. As a result, there are no more data repositories like those currently maintained by Google or Facebook. An example of tokens are NFTs – certificates of ownership. Virtual art objects have grabbed headlines here in the past, but a more practical application would be the digital medical record. Each user controls their own data.

After Metaverse comes Web3

Marcus Schuller, ARD Los Angeles, Dec 8, 2021, 9:25 a.m.

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