In 2022, you have probably heard the term “Web3” before, but many are still confused about what it actually means. To put it simply, Web3 focuses on decentralization and is built, operated, and owned by its users. At its core, Web3 gives power back to its users in the form of ownership by using blockchains, cryptocurrencies, and NFTs. The term “Web3” was coined by Ethereum’s co-founder, Gavin Wood, in 2014.

To add to a basic understanding of Web3, it’s important to understand the terms that make up Web3. Blockchains change how information is stored, shared, and owned. Blockchain is what’s called a “distributed ledger,” which means it is a database that is consensually shared and synchronized across multiple sites, institutions, or geographies.

Cryptocurrencies are a digital currency that are designed to be exchanged through a computer network and do not rely on any central authority, such as the government or banks. Two of the common cryptocurrencies are Bitcoin and Ethereum.

NFTs, also known as non-fungible tokens, can be thought of as a digital receipt of ownership for unique, digital objects, typically in the form of image, video, and audio files. NFTs have risen dramatically in popularity over the past few years. One of the more common NFTs that have been floating around the web is the Bored Ape, which cost roughly $300 in Ethereum each at the time of the first release. Now, the price has increased drastically and sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars, with some surpassing the million dollar mark.

Where did Web3 even come from (and where could it go)?

Before Web3 made its appearance, first came Web1 and Web2. Web1, sometimes known as the “read” internet, was the internet of the 1990s and early 2000s. It covered the basics and there was not much else that could be done with it, so it was mostly static web pages that users could see and download information, although it was at a much slower speed than the internet as we know it today.

Launched around 2004, Web2 is sometimes known as the “read/write” internet and is what most people use today. One of the most common ways that people use Web2 today is in the form of social media. Web2 allows users to upload and download information, such as photos or comments that are posted to platforms such as Facebook, Youtube, etc.

That brings us to Web3, which we are starting to see grow in popularity lately. Even though there are many discussions happening with Web3, we still expect to see it evolve and improve. The goal of Web3 is to free its users from Big Tech and exploitative capitalism.

Why does Web3 matter?

Web3 gives users ownership of digital assets, censorship resistance and DAOs, which is something that is not available with Web2.

Web3 users have direct ownership through the form of NFTs. No one has the power to take away your ownership, however users can sell or trade items on an open market and regain their value. 

Censorship resistance is the idea that users can participate in any given platform or network and no party can prevent them from doing so. Web3 users’ data lives on the blockchain, so when a user decides they want to leave a platform, all of their data and their reputation goes with them.

Decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) are member-owned communities without centralized leadership. This means DAOs let you coordinate decentralized ownership of a platform and make decisions about its future.

How do I get involved in Web3?

There are plenty of ways to get involved in the Web3 space. For starters, learn all of the tools and put them to use; the best way to gain a better understanding for these tools is to use them yourself. You can do this by setting up a crypto wallet and exchanging cryptocurrencies and/or purchasing an NFT. 

Next, make sure to read and do lots of research. There is so much to learn about the world of Web3 and as we all know, the internet is filled with false information, so make sure to find reputable sources and distinguish what is fake and what is true.

Once you feel you have been properly informed about the fundamentals of Web3, you can start building. If you feel comfortable enough, you can start on your own or you can join a developer group to build together. You will find plenty of Web3 developer groups on Discord to get started. In fact, we have one! 

Hack3rs Club is a place for aspiring Web3 developers to get together and learn more about developing in the Web3 space. The Hack3rs Club Discord is open for anyone to join, and the gated community is available through purchasing a Hack3rs Club NFT. The gated community will host webinars, networking events, a convention and a very large hackathon! Find out more on the Hack3rs Club website.