NFTs, DeFi, Metaverse, Web3. Whether or not you’re directly involved in the tech world, you’ve likely heard the terms on numerous occasions in the past few years. But what exactly is Web3, and what does it mean for the future of tech?
Back in 2014, co-founder of Ethereum Gavin Wood coined the term “Web3”. However, more than five years would pass before the concept gained mainstream traction.
Throughout the mid-to-late-2010s, Wood shaped the notion to reflect the future of the internet — the phase after our current Web 2.0.
So, what is the definition of Web3?
“Web 3.0 is an inclusive set of protocols to provide building blocks for application makers. These building blocks take the place of traditional web technologies… but present a whole new way of creating applications,” Gavin Wood outlined in a 2018 Medium post.
In a recent CNBC interview, Wood also describes the concept as “sort of an alternative vision of the web, where the services that we use are not hosted by a single service provider company, but rather they’re sort of purely algorithmic things that are, in some sense, hosted by everybody. So it’s like, it’s very peer to peer, right? […] The idea being that all participants sort of contribute a small slice of the ultimate service.”
Alternatively, in simple terms, the definition of Web3 can be narrowed down to a decentralized internet ecosystem that employs blockchain technologies. As a result, many also refer to it as the “decentralized web.”
Web3 vs. Metaverse: What’s the difference?
Oftentimes, people use the terms “Web3” and the “Metaverse” interchangeably. Nevertheless, there’s a significant difference between the two as they continue to evolve.
As highlighted by Blockchain Council, Web3 focuses on the who, while the Metaverse displays the how.
Essentially, the people and tech orgs involved in the next stage of the internet represent Web3. On the other hand, the Metaverse encompasses the ways in which users will be able to interact with Web3.
Finally, it is important that not even industry specialists widely agree on the distinct concepts. While some companies have a certain vision for Web3, others view it in a highly different light.
The reason is simple. Nobody knows what it actually will be like — because we’re not there yet.
Until then, the GCTV team will continue to document tech innovation and its implications in business as everything unfolds.