Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Waves Platform; Web3 Apps and Products: Trustless, Synergistic and Monetizable


We live in the era of tectonic shifts in society and technology. The shape of the future world is still quite vague, and changing all the time. Futuristic concepts that have been proposed not so long ago stop making sense or need to be adjusted. One thing is obvious — development of the Internet will be crucial for the development of the world we live in, and what happens to the Internet will essentially happen to the world.

The concept of Web3.0 that emerged almost twenty years ago acquires a more tangible shape only now. Because of the emergence of the blockchain technology we are starting seeing some products that can be called Web3 prototypes. It's still too early to lay out the standards for the future Web, we might need some more products to actually understand what those standards should be. On the other hand, we could define Web3 products essentials, since now we have all the major ingredients for building applications that are essentially different from the applications we are accustomed to now.

Web1, the original Internet, was just a collection of interlinked documents with very little interactivity. Web2, the Web we use now, is interactive but centralized, it essentially mimics the structure of human society with ineffective vertical structures, controlling but at the same time vulnerable. Current Internet infrastructure quite often brings out the worst in society: due to the increased number of social connections we get fragmentation and segmentation on steroids — despite its global nature the Internet paradoxically leads to less, not more, connectivity in many cases.

Web3 was proposed as Semantic Web, a Web of Meaning. It might sound different from the Web3 we have in mind now, but if we look more closely we'll see that it's not really the case. "Semantic" in this setting means understandable by computers and running according to protocols, decentralization is essential in the true semantic approach. Protocol becomes the king of Web3, there's no need for trust any more, once established Protocol runs indefinitely and cannot be manipulated.

Web3 needs decentralization in its core; decentralization is not the whole of it but it is the foundation for other technologies. This is the glue that connects disparate technologies in a synergistic consortium. Web3 is holistic, it does not pit one technology against another, it brings them together on a layer which minimizes the need for trust.

Web3 is going to be deeply intertwined with the society structure, in Web2 you have some stale concepts brought over to the Internet, now the process becomes reversed — Web3 leads the way, showing more effective approach to human interaction.

So what are the essential features of Web3 Products and applications?

Web3 products minimize the need for trusted third parties and let you control your data.
All the data created by the user is controlled by the user; she explicitly allows access to her data including all the data she produces. Private keys are stored on the user side, there is no need for centralized user authentication. Data storage is as decentralized as possible; only encrypted data can be stored in a centralized way. Access to sensitive user data is fully controlled by the user.

Web3 products are synergistic. Combination of different technologies is essential, combined they produce new added value.
Combinations of IoT, Big Data, AI and distributed ledgers are very natural, they create trustless data processing environment that cannot be manipulated.

Monetization of Web3 products is transparent. There's no hidden monetization through collected user data. You get what you paid for, and you know how the money is made.
New technology begets new economy. Through tokenization we achieve transparency in Web3 business models. Decentralized does not mean non-monetizable, it means monetizable in a new and transparent way.

So what Web3 products are we going to see soon? Browsers with an integrated blockchain layer and private keys stored on the user side; uncensored or community-censored social networks where access to the network cannot be denied and user data deleted uncontrollably; messengers that run on blockchain private/public key pairs and, even if not completely decentralized, allow for multiple public servers; enterprise systems running on a decentralized layer and processing huge amounts of data in real time.

Web3 concept is inclusive, it it not a concrete product, it is rather a philosophy that can be implemented for any application type. In 2019 first true Web3 products will be launched.

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