Inside Crypto’s Plan to Retool the Internet
Crypto enthusiasts don’t only dream of revolutionizing the world of money. They want to reinvent the World Wide Web. That vision, which goes by the name of “Web3,” is of a decentralized environment built on crypto technology in which swarms of collaborators take back control of the web from giant tech companies. It’s a threat that those tech firms — including Facebook owner Meta Platforms Inc. and Twitter Inc. — are starting to take seriously.
1. Why Web3?
The idea is this: The early web was composed of static pages of text and simple images. In what became known as Web 2.0, users began to interact with one another, sharing pictures and videos that they could upload quickly now that bandwidth was plentiful. But users needed to coalesce around big platforms for anyone else to see their stuff. So a development that seemed to put us in charge instead created today’s landscape of giant corporations sucking up data from the activity on their sites and using it to make billions by selling ads. Web3 advocates — many of them anti-establishment libertarians — argue that governments can’t force the tech giants to serve our interests through regulation, so it’s time for a new model where we create and own the web experience we want.