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How To Own A Piece Of The New Web With Web 3.0 by@kadeemclarke

How To Own A Piece Of The New Web With Web 3.0

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Kadeem Clarke Hacker Noon profile picture

Kadeem Clarke

Head of Labs @ Momentum 6 | Tech Entrepreneur | Blockchain Investor | Car Enthusiast | Ask me about crypto and NFTs

What is Web 3?

The world has seen lots of inventions and innovations, but the introduction of the internet has been so far one of the greatest gifts to humanity. Web 3 is the latest wave of the internet that is already changing how users utilize and interact with the web.

Web 3 in layman’s language is a decentralized internet that is user-owned and user-controlled.

Some of the features that define Web 3 include:

  • Verifiable
  • Trustless
  • Self-governing
  • Permissionless
  • Distributed and robust
  • Native built-in payments

This new shift focuses on introducing decentralized apps (dApps) that seek to improve backend functionality. However, before we discuss Web 3, we must first check how we got here by analyzing the internet’s evolution from Web 1 to Web 2 and finally to Web 3.

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Web 1 — Companies Create Content, Companies Earn Money

This version of the internet ran from 1990 to 2005. This phase was all about providing information and online content. Web 1 websites mostly allowed users to read information. This phase consisted of sites serving static rather than dynamic content. The sites in that era didn’t have much interactivity as content and data were served from a static file rather than a database. It was more of a read-only web.

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Web 2 — People Create Content, Companies Earn Money

This version of the web was dominant from roughly 2005 to 2020. Web 2 was all about siloed and centralized services controlled by corporations. Some of the big companies that became dominant during this phase are Facebook, Google, Amazon, Twitter, and Apple.

The phase was largely associated with the rise of social media platforms with a focus on ‘frontend’ usability and interactivity. The users could now consume and also create information in this phase. Web 2 allowed internet users to create content without having to be a developer. Users could craft a thought and share it with millions of followers using Web 2.

When Web 2 upgrades to Web 3, this is what happens:

  • Companies become Communities
  • Vision becomes a Whitepaper
  • Equity becomes Tokens
  • Names become Domains
  • Policies become Protocols
  • Commitments become Contracts
  • Titles become Addresses
  • Marketing become Memes
  • Distribution becomes a Network
  • Investing becomes Staking
  • Private becomes Public
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Web 3 — People Create Content, People Earn Money

With Web 3, builders and users can now own pieces of internet services by owning tokens, both fungible and non-fungible (NFTs). Tokens give web users property rights, which simply means that they have the power to own a piece of the internet. On the other hand, NFTs allow web users to own objects which can be pieces of art, music, code, in-game items, governance rights, credential rights, texts, and much more.

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) exist on top of a blockchain, such as Ethereum. Ethereum is a decentralized blockchain network that is owned and operated by users. Blockchains are decentralized special computers that anyone can access, but no one can claim ownership over the entire network.

A perfect example to understand how blockchain and Web 3 work is when we evaluate how Ethereum works. ETH is a fungible token that powers the Ethereum network. ETH is the token that incentivizes all the physical computers that run the network. ETH also acts as the system’s native currency, which is used in transactions such as NFT purchases. Fungible and non-fungible tokens can be acquired through purchasing or even earned through a variety of approaches, such as play-to-earn or build-to-earn.

The Importance of Community In Web 3

Web 1 and 2 made information and data accessible. Web 3 is now making it easy to own content and information on the internet. The modern centralized web platforms focus on creating network effects that attract builders, users, and partners. Control over these groups rises as the adoption of these platforms increase. The relationships also grow as platforms such as Google and Facebook extract value from their users with valuable data. Web 3 decentralizes communities, and the value of the tokens is what aligns participants with the network. The following are some of the roles that a community plays in a Web 3 setup:

  • Help raise funds. Community members who see potential in a project will help raise funds to grow the project.
  • Community-driven marketing. Marketing is one of the biggest barriers when it comes to growing products. A solid community will be the marketers that you need to push your Web 3 projects. It is a perfect approach to increase awareness by utilizing word of mouth.
  • Onboard users with easy-to-understand content. A community can be the missing link that will help break down hard-to-understand concepts for non-technical users.
  • It can become a talent pool. A good project will attract a community of people who are interested in growing the Web 3 era.  The Terra ecosystem is a perfect example where the community members have built a good number of upcoming projects.

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Industries Impacted by Web 3

The modern web space has programmable blockchains like Ethereum. In simple terms, programmable blockchains are virtual computers that keep state and run on code. When a code is deployed on Ethereum, this code will run autonomously and perpetually. The author or creator of the code can decide that the code and all the data it operates on are controlled by an individual, a community, or no one at all.

Code in most Web 3 projects is autonomous (controlled by no one) or controlled by a community. Therefore, Web 3 allows people to create advanced protocols like RSS that are open. On top of that, users can also store things like usernames, posts, and social graphs credibly and neutrally.

Web 3 is already impacting various industries such as gaming, music, finance, and entertainment.

To understand better, we will analyze how Web 3 is changing the music sector. The modern world has over 8 million musicians that are spread across different streaming platforms. The sad news is that less than 0.2% (about 15,000) of musicians make more than $50,000 per year. The reason behind this is that the streaming services and record labels keep most of the revenue generated. NFTs allow artists to keep over 90% of sales as it cuts down on intermediaries. Musicians with about 1,000 true fans can thus support themselves and move to the next level.

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How Music Can Leverage Web 3, Crypto and NFTs

  • Streaming payments on-chain. Streaming payments can now be done on-chain. A good example of a project that is making this a reality is @AudiusProject, where artists can even set their streaming prices.
  • A fair payment split system. Web 3 opens up the doors to visible standards where artists can see if a deal makes sense or not. This approach also allows artists to determine which platforms are really on their side.
  • Attendance protocols. Some Web 3 protocols such as @FWBtweets give users who vote on the system attendance tokens known as @poapxyz. The same can also be applied in concerts where a fan gets a token after attending an event.
  • Ticketing with NFTs. About 12% of people who head out to buy concert tickets end up being scammed. Such occurrences can be avoided when the data is on-chain. Artists will also get royalties on secondary transfers in perpetuity.
  • Bringing real-world utility to a collectible. How would it feel if you had an NFT that gives you backstage access? @3LAU is working on something that brings similar value to what @nbatopshot is bringing to the basketball world.
  • Royalty Sharing. Web 3 is now allowing fans to share royalties generated from their favorite artists’ songs. @3LAU is working on @join_royal which helps artists sell ownership to the collectors and everyone shares profits.
  • Social/community tokens as investments. Just like entertainment companies sign artists, fans can invest in artists they believe will continue to grow. Utilities from such an arrangement can include Web 3 drops, exclusive community access, and merch discounts.
  • Music Rights Registry. Music in its current state is spread throughout multiple systems that are centralized. Web 3 brings music to an open environment and this solves most of the challenges faced when it is distributed.
  • Artist fan club DAO. You can give your biggest fans a say over where to tour or even what to include in your upcoming album. The idea comes from the article NFTs and a Thousand True Fans where fans are part of the decision-makers.
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Universal Identity System

Social media can be described as an exit from reality. Web 3 helps design systems that respect people and do not come with reverse incentives. Data dignity and ownership is what Web 3 is all about. Web 3 introduces a universal identity system where there are no more usernames and passwords.

The modern world is dominated by large corporations where users must log in using in-house logins. Decentralized Identities (DIDs) enable users to trust code and not the big corporations that control their data. Web 3 introduces a digital journey where you are the guide. All the incentives in such a system will be aligned between users and builders. You can always take your data and identity with you if you are not happy with an application.

Web 3’s Token Economy and Token Incentives

Networks can be described as the killer apps of the internet. Networks are very broad, and they include things like the web, email platforms, marketplaces, and social media platforms. Networks get more valuable as they get more participants. Getting such participants is easy when these networks scale. However, it is always a challenge when they are starting out, and that is where the bootstrapping issue arises.

Those who wanted to overcome the bootstrapping challenge in the Web 2 era had to employ heroic entrepreneurial efforts and spend loads of money on sales and marketing. Bootstrapping networks is hard, which leads to a situation where we need many networks. Such networks could improve our well-being, but they don’t exist simply because no one has figured out how to bootstrap them.

Web 3 introduces token incentives as a powerful tool for bootstrapping various networks. The approach is simple, whereby users are provided with financial utility via token rewards during the bootstrapping phase and before network effects have kicked in. This approach makes up for the lack of native utility.

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As the native utility and network effect grows over time, the token incentives will eventually taper off and go to zero, and the world will be left with a new and scaled network.

Helium is a perfect example of a project that is trying to compete with big telecommunication companies by incentivizing homeowners to install basic networking equipment in their homes. The idea has been a perennial techie fantasy, and Web 3 might be the solution. Helium is already using token incentives to bootstrap the supply side. Helium network has over 200,000 functioning nodes.

Token incentives are not only effective but also fairer when compared to centralized Web 2 models. The approach allows people who help build a network to own a meaningful share of it. In Web 3, there is no need to spend money on marketing when the users are genuine owners, love telling other people about it, and love what they do.

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