Web 3.0 is the catalyst for the decentralization of everything.
The trigger for this article came from a conversation I was having with my dad about "why Bitcoin?" Here I want to summarize my thoughts on why Web 3.0 matters for all of our future realities and why I think history will look upon this new era as a non-linear event.
Web 1.0 - Late 1980s to Mid 1990s
First, a quick synopsis on the last 30 years. Circa 1991 marks the dawn of the modern world wide web as we know it which is considered to be the area of Web 1.0. For those old enough to remember or old to have read about you may recall the era of the Early Macintosh computers, Amiga PC or the IBM PS/1 among the now large dust bin of early Intel processors.
This was the phase of the modern computer that dovetailed with the dawn of the modern internet and static webpages that you could interact with in a very one sided way, i.e. reading the words on screen and waiting for the dial up 28.8k or 56k modem if you were really look to load the slow graphics.
Web 2.0 Mid 1990s to Early 2000s
Web 2.0 is basically the internet that you remember from the last few years. This is the Facebook, Google, Instagram, Pintrest, Snap Chat and Tik Tok era. The core feature of Web 2.0 is that it allowed for and has been lead by user generated content that lives on centrally controlled platforms. This era has seen a remarkable rise of the creator class as real media and entertainment powerhouse and big tech has exploited this for the benefit of their stock price and share holders. The creators get a few pennies for their time as well with a few people think --Howard Stern, Joe Rogan and PewDiePie reaping huge windfalls.
Web 3.0 Mid to Late 2000s to current
Personally, I think of Web 3.0 as not really kicking off until the great financial crisis with the launching of the Bitcoin whitepaper on October 31, 2008 followed by the first genesis block of the Bitcoin networking be mined on January 3, 2009. This period has hence forth been canonized by Bitcoin acolytes (more on this topic another time).
While I refer to Bitcoin to mark a point in time that is not the whole story. Bitcoin is just a piece, albeit a big technological contributor of Web 3.0. The other items that play a big role in Web 3.0 are:
- Proliferation of powerful smartphones to well over 4 billion people on earth
- Low orbit satellites (thank you Amazon and for the Elon Musk Acolytes here)
- 4G/ 5G internet/ Internet of Things
- Distributed Ledger Technology Generally
Each of these items alone is amazing for humanity but taken together they function like the Transformers and lead to a number of develops that I see playing out which will become increasingly obvious to all.
Significance of Web 3.0
Web 3.0 is the catalyst for the decentralization of everything. By this I mean all of the large societal structures we interact with today as noted below.
Today (Web 2.0) Tomorrow (Web 3.0)
Traditional Banks ---> Dencentralized Finance
Websites ---> The Metaverse
Fiat Currency ---> Bitcoin and CBDCs (at our peril)
Corporations ---> Distributed Autonomous Organizations (DAOs)
Central Authority ---> Decentralized Authority via Blockchains
Permissioned Access ---> Permissionless Smart Contracts
Financial Analysis ---> Onchain Analysis
In person Meeting ---> Augmented Reality and Virtual Worlds (Metaverse)
Local Working ---> Global Working Remotely
10.Nation States ---> City States & Nimble Communities of People Online
11.Top Down Rule ---> Commuinty Based Governance
As you can see above what I believe we are seeking is the early stages of the decentralization of the core pillars of the twenty century which is fitting given that we are living in the twenty first century and have been for quite some time. However, just like the industrial revolution it was still called a "revolution" because it led to the extinction of some industries and parts of humanities way of life while ushering in other profound changes.
See below what is believe to be the first Bitcoin wallet controlled by Satoshi Nakamoto (he/she/them). To date that address currently still recieives small transactions everyday with no intermediary from anyone on the internet.
When was the last time you took a steamship across the Atlantic or a horse and carriage to the next town? Me either...