Is Web3 All Hype? Or Is Web3 The Future of the Internet?
Exploring new trends in tech is tempting, but you can’t possibly keep up with all of them. Especially something like Web3 that regularly makes headlines—and raises eyebrows along the way. We get it! Especially when you might hear folks ask, "Is Web3 the future?"
New technology can be confusing—and easy to write off as nothing but hype.
Consider this: When the internet first came out, the majority were somewhat indifferent. Some thought it was just a fad. And some reacted similarly to the now-famous meme “What is the internet, anyway?” Well, we all know how that went down.
The internet was nothing short of a revolution. It shaped who we are today. Individuals (and entire countries!) that recognized its importance early benefited the most.
We can learn a lesson from the history of the internet. What can appear to be hype today could easily be the future of technology tomorrow. The key is to identify the trends that have the potential to turn into a revolution. Web3 certainly ticks off many of those checkboxes.
In this article, we’ll explain what Web3 is and whether it’s worth your time to delve deep into this emerging technology field.
What is Web3?
Web3, often referred to as the next phase of the internet, is majorly based on decentralized peer-to-peer networks. Applications and code are encrypted and distributed across all the computers participating in the network. As a result, there is no single point of failure or central authority, making it tamper-resistant and easily verifiable.
To understand why Web3 is needed (and if, indeed, Web3 is the future!), we need to take a trip down memory lane.
The History of The Internet: Web1 and Web2
We have come a long way from the Web1 generation of the internet and laughably low speeds. (We’re looking at you, dial-up!)
In Web1, internet access was limited to governments, the military, and people in urban areas. It worked similarly to an “announcement” system, where you could read the daily announcements, but you couldn’t make any changes.
While Web1 was a “read-only” era, Web2 marked the rise of social media. Social media enabled us to interact and collaborate across continents. However, as all good things go, there was a trade-off. That was allowing corporations to access, store, and use your data.
That’s one reason why Web3 came into the picture.
The trend to decentralize the internet
The current system works, so why do we need to “decentralize the internet”? Proponents point to two benefits: privacy and transactions independent of third parties.
Web3 privacy benefits
In Web1 and Web2, data privacy is a myth. Fraud is rampant, and others hold the power over your data.
Web3 promises a decentralized alternative. Decentralizing the internet enables easier, transparent transactions through verifiable pieces of code. Once deployed, that code cannot be tampered with or changed. Built-in payment systems (cryptocurrency) enable fast transactions across the globe without a go-between, such as a bank or currency exchange.
Direct transactions in Web3
Web2 transactions go through centralized entities. That means that when you buy something online, it may feel like you’re paying the seller directly. The exchange takes place via multiple mediators, such as PayPal, your bank, or a currency exchange.
In contrast, Web3 transactions and rewards happen independently and automatically—without interference or interaction from third party entities. Miners (computers) are rewarded for helping the network function, and the community is rewarded for participating (such as in play-to-earn games). These interactions happen through a secure blockchain and are transparent. Smart contracts (pieces of code that automatically execute) enable these transactions.
Increased transparency and privacy, as well as the ability to complete transactions directly, make Web3 a welcome alternative for many people.
I already work in tech. Should I care about Web3?
Short answer? Yes, you should.
There are stark differences between existing tech roles and the opportunities that Web3 offers. Contrasts between today’s tech jobs and Web3 jobs include the level of experience needed, the pace of innovation, and of course the pay.
Let’s dive in.
Web3 jobs aren’t entry-level tech roles
When you work in Web3, you are working on the cutting edge of technology. You’ll have the chance to work with tools that will likely shape how we interact on the internet in the future. Most employers hiring for Web3 positions prefer someone who already has background with the technologies used (such as Solidity), so it’s a good idea to start building your portfolio.
Web3 is fast-moving
Now, saying that learning Web3 tech is easy would be wrong. The opportunities are vast but challenging.
In Web3, your role can change rapidly. The technology can even go through many iterations within weeks and months.
To be successful, you’ll need to learn, unlearn and adapt to new innovations. That’s one reason why it’s so exciting—and an attractive field to explore.
Web3 jobs pay well
You’re probably plenty familiar with the economics concept of supply and demand. When something is in low supply but high demand, people are willing to pay more for it. That’s exactly what’s happening with Web3 professionals.
People with Web3 skills are likely to earn above-average salaries.That’s one reason why people are jumping at opportunities to become Web3 experts in this early stage.
Web3 is early and not yet widely adopted
We’re still in the nascent stages of the Web3 evolution. The most widely adopted aspects of Web3 revolve around trading and investing—hence the buzz around cryptocurrency.
This barely scratches the surface of Web3’s potential.
There is an enormous amount of room to grow. Many projects now gaining traction aim to bring real-world utility, such as smart contracts governing real estate or metaverse games. As these projects get built, they will shape Web3—and what the internet evolves into years from now.
As a result of Web3’s constant changes, many opportunities and jobs will arise. The best time to start building your Web3 skills—and to reap the benefits of Web3—is now.