There is still a lot of hype around blockchain. However, the focus has shifted from cryptocurrencies themselves, with buzzwords such as Web3 and metaverse being the most prevalent. But what exactly is the current state of non-cryptocurrency blockchain technologies? We have yet to see a breakthrough application using smart contracts, but this race seems to be close to being over.
Blockchain and the spark of innovation
With the so-called crypto winter in sight, the industry’s eyes are particularly on blockchain applications other than cryptocurrencies. At the dawn of this technology, many predicted its proliferation into almost every aspect of our lives. It seems that these optimistic predictions – while correct in many contexts – are yet to come true. But make no mistake, because the spread of the blockchain technology is predictable and follows the same patterns that every innovation has in the past. It takes time for every life-changing technology to mature.
The maturing of every life-changing technology requires time. And, according to the Gartner report, we’re close to achieving a so-called plateau of productivity, largely thanks to Web3 and metaverse technologies, which can be, in many cases, complementary.
Cryptocurrencies can be seen as an risky investment opportunity, which itself raises many questions and concerns, along with their current low market capitalisation. However, blockchain-based Web3 has never been better – its proposed features and future opportunities are too good to pass up, even if cryptocurrencies are temporarily in decline.
New Web3 start-ups are formed nearly every day, with major tech companies focusing their efforts in this area. There’s no doubt, at least in the IT industry, that switching to Web3 is inevitable, and it’s a great time to expand the portfolio of products and services. The world needs blockchain more than ever, with many privacy concerns and little control over digitally created assets by their creators. It’s especially important for those of us who rely on remote work, and the number of these people constantly rises. The Web2 infrastructure we use every day has proven to be ineffective in the context of the never-ending stream of content people put onto the internet, with its bulky authorisation systems and many flaws which make it prone to data leakage.
What makes Web3 better?
Web3 aims to put an end to that, with its core features being decentralised and de-attached from any external influence, be it corporate or state. This certainly appeals to customers, as recent data shows that privacy is their rising concern. Of course, with more and more personal data being put on the internet, this concern is understandable. We’re yet to see the rise of widely used Web3 applications, but it’s just around the corner. It’s better to get used to this thought earlier than later – be it in the business context or from a customer standpoint. Blockchain will continue to exist, even in the opinion of the most ardent sceptics, who believe that cryptocurrencies may soon become obsolete.
In fact, Web3 can resemble the early days of the Internet, when all control over content and its sharing was up to the users of various websites. The web now appears to be very centralised, with a few major hubs to which we devote our attention.Detaching from this operating style can be beneficial for both innovation and new business opportunities.
Of course, the advancement from Web2 to Web3 can’t happen without significant cost. Web2 has its advantages, mainly due to its scalability and recognisability. We’re used to the technology we use every day, and switching to another – no matter how much it can improve our lives – can be difficult. There will certainly be more hiccups along the way, with Web3.0 needing to mature, but with enough time and effort they can surely be mitigated.
Metaverse and Web3
It’s critical to understand a precise definition of this innovation given the hype that the metaverse has generated (largely due to Facebook’s parent company, Meta’s, efforts). The most common description of a metaverse is a persistent, shared 3D environment not owned by a single company. This is where the blockchain and blockchain-based Web3 can and will support it.
Without decentralisation (the core feature of every blockchain application), we can’t ensure that the metaverse stays what it ought to be. Successfully deploying a metaverse will therefore require using many Web3 technologies (which are currently being developed and deployed fragmentally) in conjunction. In its bare-bones form, the metaverse is itself an application run solely on its users’ devices, with all information stored in a blockchain thanks to smart contracts. A fundamental component of the metaverse must be non-centralized governance and administration, and high control of users over their self-created content.
Because of this, creating Web3 solutions is crucial. As they are being integrated into the Web2 that we use every day, more complex ideas, like metaverse, can leave innovators’ heads and actually be developed. Although we haven’t yet begun to explore its full potential and its difficult to anticipate how it will affect the industry, we’ll undoubtedly profit from employing many of the upcoming Web3 capabilities.