The hottest and most eagerly anticipated development in the world of technology is the emergence of Web 3.0, a decentralized, hyper-individualized, micro distributed, and mega grid of connected devices that would revolutionize the world of computing. Web 3.0 has been envisaged as a network that would make us all “prosumers” or producers and consumers at the same time. Anyone with access to the grid can be a creator or a producer, whose goods and services can be sold to anyone and everyone on the grid, and where all can also buy them, using Cryptocurrencies and perhaps, the most transformative innovation in this space, NFTs or Non Fungible Tokens, which allow unique identification and tagging of digital artefacts, resulting in a World Wide Web of Commerce, where there are no entry barriers and no middlemen, thereby facilitating a seamless web of buying and selling of anything and everything under the Sun.
Already, the hype surrounding Web 3.0 has been accentuated by the launch of Meta (or short for metaverse), by Mark Zuckerberg, the pioneering tech innovator, who gave us Facebook. Indeed, if not anything, Meta would perhaps be as revolutionary as the latter in terms of the impact it would have on the lives of the Billions of people who use Facebook and are most likely to transition to Web 3.0 with minimal friction. Moreover, with Cryptocurrencies taking the world by storm and where issues related to transparency and authenticity are almost non-existing, it is a matter of time before this Fourth Wave of Digital Age transformation would be as or more impactful on all of us, whether creators or consumers of content on the existing and previous iterations of the tech revolution. I will shortly explain how this would happen in detail. Suffice to say that Web 3.0 would be the first “truly digital” marketplace where everyone from the buyers to the sellers, as well as the medium of exchange, would all be fully virtual.
Coming to the Prosumer bit, Web 3.0 would enable all of us to create digital artefacts or for that matter, even physical items as well as services and sell them to whoever is interested. While this might seem like something that we have done for ages, it is instructive to note that in Web 3.0, the very definition of “goods and services” has been redefined since we can “sell” anything right from our house and the various items that we possess to the very “ethereal” aspect of selling even artefacts that can be as basic as pictures of the former to advanced creations such as this post you are reading as well as “anything and everything” imaginable. In effect, we are all creators and producers and the transformative aspect here is that there are no “hard and fast” rules about what makes a product or service to be sold. The outcome of all this is we become prosumers who produce and consume content at the same time, thereby “unlocking” the wealth that has hitherto been relegated to the corners of our minds.
Now, coming to the medium of exchange, by making NFTs of objects and using Cryptos to buy and sell them, the “synergy” between Web 3.0 and virtual currencies would mean much to the world of commerce. When we are redefining what “money” means by making it totally digital, then we can well and truly say that the aforementioned synergies would usher in the Digital Age. Note how everything and anything on Web 3.0 is by means of a membership to the grid, that does not need any special “entry pass” and rather, anyone and everyone with a Smartphone can become a Prosumer. Of course, this was what Web 2.0 was about when Smartphones revolutionized all aspects of our lives. However, with Web 3.0, the transformation is taken further as the connected grid to which we belong does not discriminate between micro and hyper-individualized entities and the gigantic Big Businesses, that quietly took over Web 2.0.
Of course, there are some critics who point to how Web 3.0 has already become a “playground” for Big Tech and the sense of Deja Vu that pervades such naysayers is true to some or even, to a large extent. Even in these early days of Web 3.0, it is a fact that Venture Capitalists and Hedge Funds have been rushing in, as are the Silicon Valley Tech firms, and so, it is up to the individuals like you and me to ensure that Web 3.0 does not go the way of earlier waves of innovation. As I have been explaining here, the truly game-changing aspect of Web 3.0 is its hyper individualization and connectedness of all devices, as well as the use of Cryptos. Much like the Gamestop investors who “gathered” on Reddit and caused a crash, in a very activist and retaliatory manner. So, here’s to Web 3.0 and Crypto to drive the next wave of innovation and hopefully, there are no False Dawns here.