If you’re a tech enthusiast, chances are you’ve been introduced to the term ‘Web 3’ recently. Just like our gadgets, the internet is evolving, and a new term ‘web3’ is being thrown around a lot, especially by cryptocurrency investors and entrepreneurs. However, some find it an “echo word” that comes to prominence without any context. One of them is Tesla CEO and Time’s Person of the Year 2021, Elon Musk, who recently called Web 3 ‘BS’.
Simply put, Web3 is an evolution of the ‘World Wide Web’ which now includes blockchain – the technology behind cryptocurrencies like Ethereum, Bitcoin, and more. This can also apply to the metaverse – another avenue popularized by Mark Zuckerberg of Meta. This essentially means that people now have equal ownership of their presence on the Internet rather than being an audience. In that case, Web1 is understood as the Internet age where people with technical know-how enter information online in a decentralized manner. Web2, which became popular in the late 90s, lets people create content online, but under a technological banner where all data is stored in a centralized hub.
I’m not suggesting that Web 3 is real – there’s more marketing buzz than reality right now – just wondering what the future will be like in 10, 20 or 30 years. 2051 sounds crazy futuristic! — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 20, 2021
In his latest tweet, Musk reiterated that Web3 isn’t real at all, and that there seems to be “more marketing buzz than reality right now.” However, the tweet indicates that the concept could become a reality, and the full potential of Web3 could be unlocked. Near future, let’s say 2051. To prove his point, he attaches a clip by angel investor Jason Calacanis that shows an old interview of Bill Gates with David Letterman. In the interview, Gates explains the concept of the Internet (essentially Web 1) by saying that it allows users to access content at any time. Calacanis agrees with Gates because the Internet allows anyone to publish anything without gatekeeping. Given that the Internet has been around for just over 20 years of just publishing content, Web3 will be much more than a blockchain and metaverse when its full potential is unlocked, the tweet indicates.