Web3 is the term used to describe the “next level” of the internet – after web 1 (HTML or the “world wide web”) and web 2 (social media and the user-generated web).
While what exactly defines a Web3 site, service, or application is still a matter of some debate, there is general agreement that it is decentralized with infrastructure owned by users and creators. It will also be deeply connected to the real world as it is built on Internet of Things (IoT) technology and the concept of immersive, connected environments (aka “metaverse”).
Honestly, as I write this post, web3 is very much a work in progress and different people have very different ideas of what it should look like. However, the fundamental principles are very operational today and are already being used to create a new generation of digital platforms and services that are cutting edge in concepts. Take a look at some of the most exciting and innovative ones you can try today:
Some people might be surprised to see Bitcoin make such a list, but the fact is that despite being over a decade old (much older than the web3 term), it was the first decentralized digital currency, the first application to popularize its use. blockchain and is still the most widely used. Newer cryptocurrencies and blockchain platforms like Ethereum or Solana may be more complex and focused on web3 use cases like powering metaverse e-commerce, but Bitcoin itself still fits the web3 definition. Today, 36% of small businesses in the US are said to accept Bitcoin payments, and it is even recognized as legal tender in one country – El Salvador.
It is the blockchain network that powers the world’s second most popular cryptocurrency – Ether – and also serves as a platform for many of the decentralized applications that make up today’s web3 iteration. The Ethereum network builds on the work done by Bitcoin in creating a decentralized, encrypted digital ledger, adding the ability to run software code known as decentralized applications (dapps) and even groups, companies, or corporations known as distributed autonomous organizations. (DAO).
Pancakeswap is a popular exchange for trading and investing in cryptocurrencies and other decentralized tokens. It is built on the Binance smart chain – a smart blockchain network similar to the Ethereum network – and can be used to build, run and host other decentralized applications. Since cryptocurrencies and blockchain tokens are themselves decentralized, web3 applications, users want to trade over decentralized networks themselves, rather than the original cryptocurrency exchanges that are centralized and tend to disappear overnight and take away users’ funds. with them. In theory, no one person or organization has control over a decentralized exchange, making it impossible for something like this to happen.
It is a decentralized messaging app that aims to be the web3 version of WhatsApp or WeChat. It aims to prioritize privacy and security by allowing users to communicate without an email address or phone number, both of which can generally be attributed to individuals due to the centralized nature of the service providers that host them. It also has built-in trading functionality for secure trading of cryptocurrencies and blockchain tokens such as NFTs.
It’s an online virtual world where users can meet, chat, play games, socialize, and attend events—commonly called the metaverse these days. Users can buy or rent virtual plots of land using the platform’s cryptocurrency called MANA. In recent years, it has become popular with global brands and celebrities such as Samsung, Morgan Stanley, PwC, Adidas and Snoop Dogg, all looking to stake their claim in the metaverse. Decentraland is governed by a DAO consisting of users and landowners within the platform, who enforce rules and regulations through a democratic process.
Essentially a decentralized Youtube-style video streaming platform. Instead of a centralized corporation (in this case YouTube owner Alphabet) controlling which videos can be seen and what appears in users’ feeds. Importantly, they also decide which videos can be monetized and therefore which users can monetize their videos. All this is done according to a set of rules and regulations that the site owners have complete control over. DTube strives to put this power in the hands of its users, with all video visibility decisions driven by views, shares and likes. There are no “owners” in the traditional sense who can censor uploaded content by simply removing it from their servers.
It is a decentralized cloud storage for personal files like Google Drive or OneDrive. It’s fully open source, so anyone can check the source code to make sure it does what it says it does and that there are no potential security holes that attackers could exploit in stored data. Users can offer their spare storage space to the network and get paid for it in the service’s own cryptocurrency.
A decentralized social blogging site similar to Reddit where users can get paid for their content based on community votes. Steemit is built on its own blockchain called Steem and uses its own cryptocurrency of the same name. As of this writing, 1.7 million accounts have been registered on the platform.
Everledger is a private, centralized company that offers a range of decentralized solutions that run on private blockchains. These aim to ensure transparency, accountability and evidence in supply chains across a range of industries including art, luxury goods, diamonds and fashion. It is slightly different from other web3 software examples in that it is built on Hyperledger Fabric, originally developed by IBM, and its focus is on creating proprietary, industry-specific solutions. This shows that there are many different opinions about what constitutes web3 and where the future of the decentralized internet is headed.
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