This article promotes the concept that Web 3.0 is around the corner. However, the web as it is commonly recognized consists of standards that are rigorously defined and tested to assure interoperability around the world. This is accomplished through the RFC (Request for Comments) process which anyone can contribute to. But while multiple RFCs currently identify blockchain technology as a mechanism to better manage the IP address space (and identity), I see none associated with the higher-level functions described in this article as Web3. The article, in fact, explains web1 properly without mentioning standards, then describes web2 as multinational behemoths, amassing enormous amounts of user data which is the opposite of a standard. Multinational behemoths, like Facebook, are entirely about locking users into its platform. I see the same for most web3 proposals.
It is true that many RFCs are derived from open-source communities, but open-source is not a standard nor do open-source terms necessarily align with the IETF’s Trust Legal Provisions (TLP). More importantly, many open-source implementations perform the same or similar functions as other open-source implementations, which creates islands depending on which software solution is implemented. For making money, this is capitalism at its finest. For deploying a solution that is interoperable and consistent around the world, as with TCP/IP or SHTML browsers, it’s a problem.
So, to be clear, web3 is a vision used to promote islands and make money; it is not an internet standard that enables global interoperability. While I’m delighted that so much intellectual capital has been invested in open-source solutions that offer new solutions to the world, I bristle at the term Web3:
“Web1 refers to today’s global, interoperable network, built on standards and increasingly with services and platforms we all connect and engage with (web2).
With Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), and especially the blockchain technology, the idea of a web3 has emerged.
Where web2 has given birth to multinational behemoths, amassing enormous amounts of user data (forcing regulators to react with regulation such as GDPR), web3 seeks to leverage the features of DLT and especially the blockchain and provide services where data security and privacy is assured for financial-, personal- and business data.
What sets web3 apart from web2 is ownership and control of data. With the blockchain’s fully decentralized ledger, records are managed without a central authority or intermediary. Combined with blockchains unique use of tokenized data (i.e., tokens), we are witnessing the birth of the next IT revolution. A revolution that will undoubtedly and dramatically disrupt many, many areas of our daily lives.
Even as there are many current and emerging examples of web3 services, there are still many outstanding areas to cover. Why, how, and ultimately when individual industries and societies will be affected is an open question and work in progress.
However, undoubtedly some industries and areas are already showing the contours of disruption and potentially seismic shifts for their entire value chain.”
The article continues from here to discuss how all of this will impact financial institutions, but the discussion is regarding blockchains, cryptocurrencies, Ethereum, smart contracts, and NFTs.
Overview by Tim Sloane, VP, Payments Innovation at Mercator Advisory Group