Tactics for Web3 can be ready to move forward with the blockchain networks
Let’s put it straight, the tech world and the business domain are now reverberating with the coming of Web3. In some quarters, expectations from this latest tech marvel are running high but at the same time, there are cautionary tales looming against the over-enthusiastic response. Technologically speaking, Web3 is the newest Internet propelled by blockchain networks. But there is more to it than what we can see today. Web3’s central claim is that it unlocks the power of self-governing economic networks to the extent that none is able to govern such networks and the associated transactions. Web3 promises to usher in a thoroughly decentralized scenario in which highly sophisticated and robust blockchain will use cryptology to rule out the ‘rulers’ and intermediaries from any kind of control. As one report on The Web3 Landscape mentions, decentralized technologies offer an alternative to a digital status quo that is increasingly dominated by big tech and oppressive regimes. Web3 proponents repeatedly stress how it will ensure decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and decentralized finance (DeFi) relating to saving, lending, and exchanging. All this really sounds quite promising but there is the shadow of the proverbial gap between the cup and the lip.
It is now common knowledge that the Internet started its Web1 journey through a hyperlinked information system. It was associated with the great promise of decentralization in which anyone could publish and interact with anyone without being subject to gatekeeping. But with the emergence of Web2, paradoxically enough, the initial phase of barrier-free ‘open ended’ interactions, backed up by mobile/smartphones, and social networking gradually came to be rather close-ended with the oligopolistic control of tech giants like Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon. ‘Attention’ became a major factor of production in the economy and monetization of attention came to be the order of the day. Centralization became the mantra of the Internet. There are studies that assert how history technology has always come up with the liberating promise only to metamorphose itself into a controlling artifact. Can Web3 really defy history?
Another major promise associated with Web3 is the encryption-sourced extreme security and privacy in all sorts of transactions. There are a couple of problems associated with such a promise. First, there is no denying the fact that however much efforts are being made to secure the net the hackers often subvert them. With more and more reliance on digital devices, the hackers take up the challenge and quite often prove the weakness of even the ‘most secure’ system. Second, cryptocurrencies are most often promoted by the publicists of Web3 as a major tool for ensuring ‘safe and private’ transactions. They are described as the most reliable units for ‘borderless, low cost, near-instantaneous, peer-to-peer’ transfer of actual value without the third party interventions, even beyond the orbit of mainstream financial institutions. The core importance of cryptocurrency in the Web3 scheme is based on cutting-edge research in cryptography in which it is claimed that the validity of certain information can be mathematically proved, without providing the information itself. But the fact remains that cryptocurrencies themselves are still shrouded in mystery. Leaving aside various issues that contribute to prevailing skepticism about their reliability it may be mentioned that there are substantial reasons to argue that cryptocurrencies are coming under the control of a few unidentified crypto-miners.
Tim O’Reilly, the man who had famously defined Web2, is banging on target when in a recent article on Why It’s too early to Get Excited about Web3, he wryly comments that the past has revealed several times how decentralization is followed by decentralization. He resonates with other critical observers of Web3 in flagging the point that Web3 may be a useful development provided it is able to “decentralize trust” in the real world, that too with the solid back-up of legal means and operational economy. So let Web3 become a reality by moderating euphoric idealism with pragmatic considerations.
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