Creating the Internet We Deserve: The Case of Web3

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There is no doubt that the Internet has transformed the way we live and work. It has made communication and collaboration easier than ever. However, there is a downside to this increased connectivity.

The centralized nature of the Internet means that a few large corporations control most of what we see and do online. This concentration of power has raised concerns about data privacy, censorship and other abuses of power.

It is becoming clear that the previous, and even current, iteration of the Internet does not represent what the World Wide Web is really intended for. To understand this and also the promise that Web3 holds, we’ll take a look at the history of the internet and how it has changed over time.

The current internet

The internet as we know it is largely a product of the 1990s. That was the decade when commercial use of the internet took off, and companies like AOL and Netscape became household names. The web browser was invented and HTML became the standard markup language for creating web pages.

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The 1990s were also the decade when World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) was founded. The W3C is an organization that sets standards for how the web should work. Its best-known standards include HTML, CSS, and XML.

The late 1990s and early 2000s saw the rise of search engines like Google and Yahoo! These companies have built their business by indexing websites and making them easy to find via search keywords. Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin also developed the PageRank algorithm, which ranks websites based on their popularity.

The centralization of information and the gatekeepers of the internet

The search engine boom of the late 1990s and early 2000s led to the centralization of information on the Internet. A few large companies came to dominate the market, and they continue to do so today.

These companies are known as the “gatekeepers” of the Internet. They control what users see when they log in and have a significant impact on how businesses operate. The problem with this concentration of power is that it can be abused.

Guardians can censor content, restrict access to information, and collect user data without their consent. Several cases of abuse have been documented in recent years. In 2018, for example, Facebook was embroiled in a scandal on the misuse of user data.

Although arguments are often made about the need for centralization of information, it has become increasingly clear that this model is not viable in the long term. The internet was designed to be a decentralized network, and the centralized model goes against the spirit of the web.

Evidence of this dates back to the early days of the Internet. The first iteration of the Internet was known as ARPANET, and it was created by a branch of the United States Department of Defense in the 1960s. ARPANET was designed to be a decentralized network which could continue to work even if some parts were destroyed.

The next phase in the development of the Internet was the creation of the TCP/IP protocol in the 1970s. This protocol allows computers to communicate with each other on the Internet. It was also designed to be decentralized, so if one part of the network went down, the rest could still work.

Even going back to Charles Babbage’s conceptualization of the Analytical Engine in the 1800s, it is clear that the decentralization of information has always been seen as a key advantage of computing. It’s only in recent years that the internet has become more centralized.

The rise of cryptocurrencies

In 2009, a man or woman (or group of people) known as Satoshi Nakamoto published a white paper titled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”. This document proposed a new way to use the Internet to send and receive payments without the need for a central authority.

Bitcoin is a decentralized network that uses cryptography to secure its transactions. It is also the first and best known cryptocurrency. Since its launch, Bitcoin has been used for various purposes, both legal and illegal. It has also been praised and criticized by people around the world.

Another popular platform for launching cryptocurrencies is the Ethereum blockchain. Ethereum was created in 2015 and has since become the second largest blockchain by market capitalization.

Ethereum is different from Bitcoin in that it allows developers to build decentralized applications (dapps) on its platform. These dapps can be used for a variety of purposes, from financial services to social media.

The rise of cryptocurrencies has led to the development of a new kind of internet, known as Web3. Web3 is a decentralized network that is not controlled by any central authority.

Instead, Web3 is powered by a network of computers around the world that run blockchain software powered by Ethereum and several other platforms. This software allows users to interact with each other without the need for an intermediary.

Web3 has the potential to revolutionize the way we use the Internet. However, it is still in its infancy and it remains to be seen whether or not it will deliver on its promises.

How Web3 Can Create the Internet We Deserve

There are many ways Web3 can create the Internet we deserve – for example, enabling greener technology, fairer decentralized finance and economics, true censorship resistance, and privacy-friendly alternatives to existing centralized social media.

These Web3 use cases are complex and deserve their own dedicated articles (which we’ll be sure to write about and link to in the future), but let’s briefly touch on each of them below.

Enable greener technology

The current internet is based on a centralized model that is not very energy efficient. The data centers that power the internet consume a lot of electricity, and that electricity often comes from dirty energy sources like coal.

Web3 can help create a more sustainable internet by enabling data centers to run on renewable energy sources – or abandon the idea of ​​data centers by providing a better infrastructure for edge computing. The closer your information is to you, the better it is for the environment.

A fairer decentralized finance and economy

The current financial system is controlled by central authorities, such as banks and governments. This system is not very accessible to all and often benefits the rich more than the poor.

Web3 can create a fairer financial system by making it possible to launch decentralized applications (dapps) that offer financial services to anyone with an Internet connection. For example, there are already dapps that allow users to borrow and lend money without the need for a bank.

True resistance to censorship

Today’s Internet is censored in many parts of the world. For example, China has a strict censorship regime that blocks access to many websites, including Google, Meta (Facebook), and Twitter.

Web3 can help create a truly censorship-resistant Internet by making it possible to launch decentralized applications that cannot be blocked by censors. For example, there are already dapps that allow users to access the Internet without the need for a VPN.

Privacy-friendly alternatives to existing social media platforms in Web3

Algorithmic accountability is an area that current social media platforms have neglected. By keeping social media centralized, there’s no way for the average user to know what’s behind the algorithms that run these platforms. These algorithms often determine which content is promoted and which content is buried.

In fact, studies have shown that more extreme and polarizing content, the more weight algorithms give it, which can have a detrimental effect on society by promoting division instead of understanding. Although there are ongoing experiments with decentralized alternatives to these algorithms, they are still in their infancy.

Decentralized social media would be much more transparent and users could understand and change the algorithms if they wanted. Additionally, decentralized social media would give users the ability to own their data, which is not possible on current centralized platforms.

Web3: Creating the Internet We Deserve

So, going back to the issues we mentioned, what would an ideal Internet look like? What are the parameters that define it? We believe that an ideal Internet should have the following properties:

  • It must be accessible to everyone.
  • It must be energy efficient.
  • It must be censorship resistant.
  • It must respect the privacy of users.
  • It should promote algorithmic accountability.

These parameters are achievable with the promises of Web3 technologies. In the next series of articles, we’ll dig deeper into the factors that led Web2 to become Pandora’s problem box, and how the next iteration of the Internet will have the potential to transform the Internet into the platform we deserve – a platform -lasting shape. , fair and empowering.

Daniel Saito is CEO and co-founder of StrongNode.

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