Definitive Overview of Web3 With Practical Examples

Web3 has been the internet’s favourite buzzword in the last few months and even though you may not be in
Definitive guide to Web3
Definitive Overview of Web3 With Practical Examples

Definitive Overview of Web3 With Practical Examples

Today on Web3 and More, we’re going to explore the meaning of Web3 with practical examples and how it is different from Web2.

Some of the questions that will be addressed in this tutorial includes: 

  • What is Web3? 
  • How is Web3 different from Web2? 
  • Popular concepts of Web3
  • Practical Examples of Web3

What is Web3?

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Web3 has been the internet’s favourite buzzword in the last few months and even though you may not be in blockchain you must have heard too much of it that you’ve become curious to understand what exactly it stands for. 

The term Web3 was first coined in 2014 by computer scientist Gavin Wood who is the co-founder of Ethereum and creator of Polkadot, Kusama and Parity. 

Simply put, Web3 is the next phase of the internet that is largely interconnected with Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain Technology. 

Unlike Web2 (the current phase of the internet) which is centralized and controlled by big tech companies like Amazon, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook & the likes, Web3 will be the decentralized phase of the internet where users become co-owners and their data or content can be managed, distributed or monetized by the users themselves.

How is Web3 Different From Web2?

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An epic example of how Web2 is different from Web3 is Parler, the social media app that was abruptly disconnected from its users in early 2021 by Amazon Web Services and other “Big Tech” companies for not censoring it’s users political opinions. In Web3 that wouldn’t be possible. 

There is no single point of failure in Web3 because it uses Blockchain Technology which stores data across thousands of individual computers around the world and even though a number of them are shut down, the network can still function. Hence, no central authority and no censorship.

Besides the above example, other vital differences were outlined on Ethereum.org and they include:

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Popular Web3 Concepts

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Metaverse

The metaverse in its simplest form is a virtual world backed by high financial incentives, where users can interact with others and carry out similar activities as they would in real life. 

At a deeper look, the metaverse is the one place where the world’s most powerful technologies like AI, AR, VR, Blockchain, IoT and others can interoperate. 

The metaverse is mostly confused with Web3, but it is different in that you can’t have the metaverse outside of Web3 but you can have Web3 outside the metaverse. For example, if you must buy or trade crypto, you must access an exchange via the internet, the same way, for you to access the metaverse, you will go through Web3.

NFT

Non Fungible Token (NFT) refers to a unique and immutable cryptographic asset. Meaning, a digital asset that cannot be imitated or plagiarized because each NFT has a code that can identify if it’s fake or real. 

For instance, you bought a new Gucci jacket for $5000, only for you to discover weeks later that it was a fake Gucci… Ouch! 

However, if that Gucci jacket had a scannable QR code as an NFT, you could simply scan it’s code to verify if it’s directly from Gucci or not. Likewise, you could buy a Gucci NFT jacket online and the real jacket will be delivered to your physical address, making you the rightful owner of both the NFT and the physical jacket. Hence, it’s immutability and the reason most NFTs command high price tags.

DAO

Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) is a popular Web3 concept referring to a group of like minded individuals aiming to attain a mutually beneficial goal. Similar to traditional Cooperative Societies, each member can contribute any amount they can afford (a limit can be set via collective votes – governance) towards the set goal and each contribution can be represented by a tokenized asset (NFT) which will also determine the amount of yield or dividend a member will receive over time (mostly automated via smart contracts).

DAC

Decentralized Autonomous Company (DAC) was coined by MetisDAO. It refers to fully functioning Web3 companies with all the tasks that come with Web2 companies like running payrolls, marketing, messaging and insurance, unlike DAOs which deal with only voting/governance.

GameFI

GameFi is the short form of Game Finance which refers to the combination of video gaming and blockchain powered decentralized finance. It is the origin of play-to-earn.

Play to Earn

Play-to-Earn (P2E) is just as it sounds, play games to earn money. It is the hottest category in blockchain right now and in 2021 alone, it generated over $121 million in gaming rewards for players. Players are rewarded for playing a game and progressing through its levels either in NFTs or cryptocurrency.

SocialFi

SocialFi is the short form of Social Finance. It refers to the combination of social networks and decentralized finance. In a child’s viewpoint, it means social media platforms where user content does not belong to the platform, rather, it belongs to the users and where these users are financially rewarded for the content they own.

For example, if LinkedIn was a decentralized social media platform, the posts you publish on LinkedIn could be tokenized into NFTs and you can sell the right to that content as an NFT or keep it to gain other rewards based on the engagement your content generates.

Practical Examples of Web3

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The concept of Web3 has been in development for some years and many successful products have been built around this concept. 

My favourite Web3 example is Unstoppable Domains. It is a Web3 domain name provider that enables users to own a website name that automatically serves as a payment gateway. 

For instance, If you own the domain name “linkedin.crypto”, you can host your decentralized website on that domain and if you wish to receive donations or payments from any part of the world, the only needed info is “linkedin.crypto” and the recipient can complete the payment in seconds without a third party to permit it. 

This is a direct contrast of how things work in Web2 with payment gateways like Stripe/PayPal and domain name servers functioning in a disconnected sphere.

Another good example of Web3 is the Brave browser. This browser offers everything that Google Chrome has to offer but in contrast to Google that takes your data and sells it to advertisers without your permission, Brave gives you the right to choose whether or not you want to see ads while you surf the internet. 

If you choose to see ads, they will pay you for every ad you click to view and if you choose not to see ads, you definitely won’t be shown any ads, no matter the platform, not even in Youtube videos.

Currently, there are several other decentralized products that will definitely get you excited about Web3 and all the goodies that it brings, but, we’ll get to explore them all…slowly. Next, we’ll look at the individual concepts of Web3 and how we can prepare for Web3 both as individuals and brands;

How Can You Prepare for Web3

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Tips for Brands

While Web3 is not a do-or-die affair, it is critical for growth-minded companies to make adequate preparations for it, not just in thought or paper, but in actions – very fast. 

Some subtle questions you can answer to help you determine how your company can prepare for Web3 includes:

  • What can you give up about your company to better position it for the future? The likes of Meta gave up their globally recognized name “Facebook” in order to be a front runner in this next phase of the internet (Web3). 
  • What new infrastructures is your company developing or acquiring to equip it for success in the era of Web3? Microsoft recently acquired Blizzard Activision for $69billion. 
  • What other trigger are you waiting for to get started? If the world’s top 20 companies and banks are publicly racing to gain a strong foothold in Web3, are you still willing to bet against Web3? 

Suggestions:

Based on the activities of reputable brands and market trends, you may prepare your company for Web3 in the following ways:

  • Make a precise decision and plan for Web3: What do you hope to accomplish with Web3 and how can you get there?
  • Restructure your organization: Web3 is largely decentralized, open and deeply integrated with tokenized assets, will your current organizational structure fit in or draw you back?
  • Put automation into consideration: AI is an integral part of Web3, meaning most things that require 10 people to do now could be done in the near future by a single code that automates the entire task.
  • Develop a stronger IT team: Recruiting a qualified developer is already a hassle for most Web3 companies, thus, they end up incentivizing developers 2 to 3 times more compared to other industries. Building a strong and reliable IT team now will save you lots of headache and disappointment in the near future.
  • Recruit the right skills or upgrade existing employees: Developers are not the only talents needed to run a successful company in Web3. You’ll need the joint effort of other departments to ensure success. For example, you’ll need a tech oriented HR expert to recruit, train and manage your talents, you’ll need blockchain or tech oriented marketers/sales experts, you’ll also need a tech/blockchain experienced legal team, you’ll need a tech savvy admin team and so on.
  • Adopt a flexible approach when you implement your plan: This is the fastest moving industry you might come across and things move and change very quickly. You’ll do yourself and your team great harm if you get too stuck on doing things a specific way, rather than adapting to the trend.

Tips for Individuals

It is a known fact that millions were laid off when businesses embraced Web2 and took their operations digital. Sadly, the same cycle will repeat itself when companies start embracing Web3. Hence, it is crucial for individuals to be prepared in advance.

Based on trends in the blockchain/Web3 space, below are two steps you may take to equip yourself for success in Web3.

1. Learn: As an individual, there’s no better way to prepare for Web3 than to learn new skills or sharpen your existing skills to fit into professions that will be in high demand. No commitment is too small so long as you’re consistent. 

A few examples of professions that are already in high demand with 2-3x more compensations includes:

  • Programmers or Engineers (Data scientist, blockchain developer, big data engineer, blockchain architect, machine learning and related)
  • UI/UX Designers
  • Graphic Designers
  • Digital Artists
  • Legal consultants
  • Technical writers
  • Technical recruiters
  • Business developers etc.

Most of the skills required for these professions are readily taught for free on Youtube but if you’re looking to acquire certifications to enhance your CV, then Udemy offers the most effective and affordable certified courses, or upgrade to LinkedIn premium to enable you access LinkedIn Learning.

2. Invest: Whilst I’m not a financial advisor, I dare to draw your attention to the vast amount of attractive investment opportunities in Web3. You may not have all the time or money in the world, but, just as you may consider investing in stocks, you could also consider acquiring assets under reputable Web3 brands. For example, a piece of Sandbox land was sold for about $45 in late 2020, now it is worth $1000s and it just got started. 

Summary

Web3 is much more than a trend, it is here to stay. The faster we acknowledge and understand it, the better we can utilize it’s unlimited power. 

I understand that many of you have lost a good amount of money or know someone who has lost their life-savings in crypto, thus, you are very very sceptical about anything related to crypto, but, I’m here to help you understand the foundational principles on how this space and related assets truly work. 

I’m not a guru of any kind, but I hope that I can help you and others to make informed decisions regarding the Metaverse, Web3 and related concepts.

You can also learn practical steps on how to position yourself in web3 so you can prepare yourself for the best of this industry.

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