Concepts / Web3

The web originally required technical skills to publish anything to it. Retrospectively, this stage has been called Web 1. Then came Web 2 (aka the social web, the read + write web), enabling anyone anywhere to publish anything.

A vision for the web known as the semantic web (see Wikipedia) was and is still referred to as Web3. Confusingly then, all things relating to what many refer to simply as “crypto” has also attracted the moniker.

Ironically for a field obsessed with distributed consensus, there is no consensus on defining this more recent Web3. Here’s one way …

Web3 is a subset of the decentralized web (dweb) describing the relatively recent application of novel cryptographic techniques to the challenges of distributed computing. Distributed ledger technology is a subset of Web3, of which blockchain is one form, and so cryptocurrency and tokens are very much in the mix. Information-centric networking (e.g. IPFS, Hypercore, Maidsafe, and Swarm) and so-called self-sovereign identity (SSI) also come under the Web3 banner.

It’s become popular to think of the newer Web3 in terms of read + write + own. Nevertheless, putting property on such a pedestal is not entirely appropriate, or indeed imaginative. Rather, it may be thought of in terms of commoning, of cooperating, of helping us work better together at scale.

Two tweets. One defining web3 in terms of owning and the other in terms of commoning.


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