What is Web3?

Web3 promises to make the internet more decentralized and democratic — but there are lots of unknowns that could cloud that utopian vision.

00:00 The future of the Internet is here! Or … it might be?
00:10 Web 1.0 was read-only.
00:23 Web 2.0 was read/write.
00:52 Web3 promises to be read/write/own.
01:20 Examples
02:15 Web3 isn’t inevitable, however. And there are some red flags.

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Web3 is being touted as the future of the internet. The vision for this new, blockchain-based web includes cryptocurrencies, NFTs, DAOs, decentralized finance, and more. It offers a read/write/own version of the web, in which users have a financial stake in and more control over the web communities they belong to. Web3 promises to transform the experience of being online as dramatically as PCs and smartphones did. It is not, however, without risk. Some companies have entered the space only to face a backlash over the environmental impact and financial speculation (and potential for fraud) that comes with Web3 projects. And while blockchain is offered as a solution to privacy, centralization, and financial exclusion concerns, it has created new versions of many of these problems. Companies need to consider both the risks and the benefits before diving in.

Script by Tom Stackpole and Kelsey Gripenstraw
Design and animation by Alex Belser
Art direction by Karen Player
Voiceover by Christine Wilder
Co-produced by Scott LaPierre and Gretchen Gavett

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