Is web3 decentralized?

Web3 will provide access to connected data in a decentralized way, unlike Web 2, 0, which primarily stores data in centralized locations. Web2 refers to the version of the Internet that most of us know today. Internet dominated by companies that provide services in exchange for your personal data. Web3, in the context of Ethereum, refers to decentralized applications that run on the blockchain.

These are applications that allow anyone to participate without monetizing their personal data. At the most basic level, web3 refers to a decentralized online ecosystem based on blockchain. Platforms and applications built on Web3 will not be owned by a central guardian, but by users, who will gain their ownership share by helping to develop and maintain those services. As big investors in this space, Andreessen Horowitz has a lot of skin in the Web3 game, so a healthy pinch of salt is in order, and critics like Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey have been more than happy to call Web3 “a centralized entity with a different label.

Instead, web3 applications run on blockchains, decentralized networks of many point-to-point nodes (servers), or a combination of the two that form a cryptoeconomic protocol. These applications are often referred to as dapps (decentralized applications), and you'll see that term is often used in the web space3. Web3 is also very different from what Tim Berners-Lee described as Web 3.0 in 1999, or the semantic web, which focused on making the Internet machine-readable, a vision that remains largely unrealized. For me, Web3 is actually a much larger socio-political movement that is moving away from arbitrary authorities towards a much more rational liberal model. I'm a developer who recently transitioned to the web3 space from a traditional development environment.

While Web3 promises to bring NFT's underlying technology and cryptocurrency ownership to potential new realms of the web, that promise has yet to be fulfilled. But there is a weak link in Web3's vision, according to a widely circulated essay by cryptographer Matthew Rosenfeld, better known as Moxie Marlinspike, from the creator of the encrypted messaging app Signal. Bloomberg has described Web3 as an idea that would build financial assets, in the form of tokens, into the inner workings of almost anything you do online. Web3 (also known as Web 3.0 and sometimes stylized as a web) is an idea for a new iteration of the World Wide Web based on blockchain technology, incorporating concepts such as decentralization and the token-based economy.

This is reflected in the mission statement of the Web3 Foundation, to “foster cutting-edge applications for decentralized web software protocols through a “decentralized and just Internet where users control their own data, identity and destination”.

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