It's Web3 Time, But Are We Ready?by@kurtivy
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It's Web3 Time, But Are We Ready?

by Kurt IvyJune 27th, 2022
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In the early days of Web2, companies like Facebook and Myspace faced a few important challenges. The Web still ran on 2G internet, which was remarkably slow. The first Web2 founders quickly discovered that everyone wants to work with interfaces that are intuitive and not difficult to use. The pioneers of Web3 are today too. They had so much to do, but they had to wait for the world to catch up. We are also facing some hardware problems with Web3 transactions. And our hardware capabilities need to catch up to our innovation, for us to fully enter the Web3 revolution.

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There is no denying that the reality of Web3 is the future of the internet. However, only a fraction of the developer and founder population are building in it. Importantly, many of these builders are facing the same problems that the early builders of Web2 faced.

In the early days of Web2, companies like Facebook and Myspace faced a few important challenges. The first was that not many people saw the vast potential of what they were building. While that first hurdle was sociological and could easily change with the presentation of compelling evidence and hype, one big hurdle that they had to cross was technological. The Web still ran on 2G internet, which was remarkably slow.

It meant roughly two things for these pioneers of Web2. The first was that it made internet browsing a highly unrewarding venture if one did not live in areas with blazing internet speed. It also meant that there was a limit to how expansive they could make the experience for their customers.

Think of it this way — people who make great games are limited by the capacity and consoles of their time.

So even if Rockstar games could create an open world of a hundred cities with a million interactive NPCs, they would only be able to release the game once there is a console that can handle the level of programming and complexity it requires. That was, roughly speaking, the position the pioneers of Web2 found themselves in. They had so much to do, but they had to wait for the world to catch up. Incidentally, that's where the pioneers of Web3 are today too.

The Barriers Of Web3 Today

We are in those early stages of Web3 development where there are still hurdles. Of course, many of these hurdles are surmountable in due course, but it's also vital that we are clear about what they are.

User Experience

What the first Web2 founders quickly discovered is that everyone wants to work with interfaces that are intuitive and not difficult to use.

Today, it's easy to take for granted how intuitive user interfaces are without realizing the back-breaking work it took to get there. The computer — or a programming machine, in itself, isn't a very intuitive device. There are thousands of possible commands, in thousands of possible combinations, and there is no naturally occurring way to arrange these commands in an intuitive way for most people.

To solve the problem of user experience, the builders of Web2 invested thoroughly in design research and dedicated time and willpower to understanding the best way to make computers intuitive for human use.

Web3 is at that point right now. If you've ever tried to work on anything on the blockchain or tried to execute a smart contract, you'd know that the blockchain has possibly the worst user experience one can think of. If one doesn't know what one is doing, it can take a lot of time and effort to even figure out how to execute a basic chain of commands.

You can't even use your web browser to directly work with many of these core Web3  elements. You'd have to purchase plugins, extensions, and all manner of things to even start working on Web3 today. Right now, you even need a Metamask walletto interact with the Eth blockchain.

The truth is, lots of people will not leave the comfort and ease of their Web2 experiences to deal with that. For us to be truly ready for Web3, we must be willing to fund and build a streamlined customer service experience that makes it easy for everyone to onboard and use web3 for everyday stuff.

The Hardware Gap

Just like we had at the beginning of Web2, we are also facing some hardware problems with Web3. Transactions in Web3 can get really slow since the entire transaction has to be pushed through the whole network for it to be approved. To speed up these transactions, we will need to increase the computational power that each computer chip carries. For people who want instantaneous processing of their transactions, this translates to higher gas fees.

Of course, most people will not be willing to pay extra money for their transactions to be confirmed. In fact, the idea of paying to confirm transactions will probably discourage many from joining Web3 at all. The good news is that every day our capacity to produce high-capacity chips that can reduce the programming burden of these transactions is growing.

While we may not be there yet, the signs that it is possible to create chips that can significantly speed up this process are there. For example, we know that the fastest signal transmission theoretically possible by microchips is one petahertz or one million gigahertz. That's about a hundred thousand times faster than chips today. So we still have a long way to go in chip production.

Another hardware problem that we have to solve is the issue of web servers and endpoint devices, like smartphones, not having the capacity to work on the blockchain. For example, a blockchain mobile app will rapidly swallow all the free space that a modern tablet or smartphone has to offer. The app would also have huge energy demands. This means that we have to create smartphones that are extremely fast, with a lot of storage, and with bigger batteries.

Of course, this hardware gap will one day be filled. In 2004, more than half the world ran on 2G internet speed, and almost two decades later we have 5G. The hardware can always get better — but it's important to realize that it needs to get better before Web3 can truly take off.

Are We Ready?

These are huge barriers to the global adoption of Web3, and they must be solved before Web3 can succeed Web2.

Here are some of the ways that these barriers can be - and are being surmounted.

Utility Today

If the Web3 apps that exist today can solve an important problem, the people who need that problem solved will adopt it. This means that people will be willing to brave these barriers to get access to solutions to problems that would have gone unsolved without Web3.

For example, gamers who need a platform to access and play all kinds of Play-2-Earn games will make use of imperfect solutions to access Web3 as it is. Platforms that provide that service, like __Rainmaker__games, are meeting the demand for that service in the Web3 space.

By meeting this demand, they are giving players who are in the space already more incentive to work with these imperfect Web3 tools, and also giving the uninitiated a reason to join.

And that's just one example. The film industry has been plagued with the problems of piracy for years, and solutions in Web3 that solve this problem — like TheFilmcoin token, will incentivize more entertainers and creators to join Web3. In fact, one of the stated goals of the token is to facilitate the transition of film and television to cryptocurrencies.

Get Involved

The thing about these advancements in tech we need for the blockchain is that they are achievable. We already know that we can make our chips at least 10 times faster than they are now. We also know that with these better chips, we'll be able to build better hardware.

This means that we need to be able to accelerate these needed technological improvements. The one sure way to do that is by creating a demand for it. And that's what getting involved in Web3 is all about. Today, the user experience may be clumsy and complicated, but as more people populate these spaces, more resources will be dedicated to the advancements that will make Web3 a reality faster than expected.

Already, 50% of companies are putting serious resources towards the development of blockchain technology. The higher that percentage goes, the quicker the technological advancements we need to happen will happen.

An Open Playground For You

Right now, Web3 is a shiny new space where there are relatively few players. This means that the room for innovation is vast. Some solutions are being ideated now that will change how we do many things forever.

In essence, there is still room for so many firsts. Remember how groundbreaking Google, Facebook, YouTube, and even Instagram were — that's literally how big many of the fledgling Web3 companies are going to be in the future.

If you missed investing in those companies, well here is your second chance. You're witnessing the rise of trillion-dollar companies, and it's only wise that you get on the bandwagon before it actually becomes a bandwagon.

That's why you need to take time to study the pioneers in the ecosystem today. What problems are they solving? Who are they building for? How rapidly are they moving towards solving that problem?

On the flip side, you could also become one of those who eventually solve these problems. And the good thing is that it's now easier than ever to innovate in the blockchain. All you need is a great idea, a great team, and an excellent technical partner on your side.

Companies like Ankr, for example, have helped hundreds of Web3 innovators to scale in different ways. It doesn't matter whether you're trying to build a Dapp on a blockchain, or need full nodes for your chain — Ankr has got your back. Since the company is probably the most distributed web3 infrastructure company in the world, there's probably no better company to have your back on your journey to innovate.