The role of mutual funds in the future of the internet is the latest great debate among billionaires on Twitter: Elon Musk, the owner of Tesla, and Jack Dorsey, the founder of the social network Twitter, have questioned the hoarding of the concept web3 , the presumed next evolution of the internet, by Silicon Valley mutual funds. But what is really the web3?
The term was first coined by Gavin Wood, one of the founders of the blockchain network. Ethereum, to raise the possibilities that the decentralization of the internet would give. In the current state of the network, users depend on large technologies and their platforms. The servers where everyone’s data is centralized belong mainly to companies like Amazon, Microsoft and Google; which not only causes privacy problems due to the administration of this information, but also makes the system vulnerable. Supporters of web3 want to end this.
Web3 Foundation, an organization created by Wood in 2017, is one of the initiatives that pursues this goal: “The web3 seeks to return to the initial idea of the internet, when it was decentralized, open source and node-based. Nowadays we all depend on the big providers, but if one of their servers goes down, we cannot use the applications like WhatsApp, Netflix or Uber. We want that within web3 it does not depend solely on one provider ”, he indicated to Five days Ursula O’Kuinghttons, spokesperson and participant of Parity, the subsidiary of Web3 Foundations that develops one of the softwares to make this possible. According to the expert, web3 is already a reality, only that its elements have been developed over the years and its technology has not yet been assimilated by the general public. Examples of web3 technology that exist today are decentralized cryptocurrency finance and metaverse platforms.
O’Kuinghttons affirms that one of the most interesting elements that the web3 will allow is the participation of its users. Currently, there are already different governance models in some platforms that use blockchain. Among them, there are DAOs (Autonomous Decentralized Organizations), which are communities of users who participate in the platforms and who make decisions democratically about the future of their platforms. There are also the Technical Councils or Committees, which are groups of participants who make decisions about the development of projects.
These models can work both in a totally democratic way among all users or as a kind of shareholders’ meeting where the future of these projects is decided: “For example, if Spotify decided to go to the web3, it would have to democratize and look for a system of governance where the future of the application would be decided within a community ”.
Much to Musk and Dorsey’s chagrin, much of the sector’s funding comes from mutual funds that have seen potential in the projects. One of them is Lightspeed Venture Partners, the American fund that was the first big investor in the social network Snapchat. Lightspeed has been investing in these projects since March 2013: “In the last eight years, our commitment to the sector has increased. We have invested almost 500 million dollars in 2021 in 40 blockchain web3 companies ”, Lightspeed sources have assured Five days. According to sources, it is enough to look at how Facebook changed its name to Meta to understand the magnitude of what the web3 is going to be together with the metaverse and other of its applications.
In Spain, some initiatives have already begun to experiment with new business models based on decentralized systems. This is the case of Ethichub, a social enterprise that uses blockchain technology to connect groups of small farmers with users who can facilitate the financing necessary to work their lands and sell their crops in direct markets. “We are talking about a disintermediation of trust. Before we depended, for example, on the banks, which kept a percentage. Now it is no longer necessary, “he told Five days Jori Armbruster, CEO of Ethichub.
- Bitcóin. The original blockchain system. It was conceived in 2008 by an entity or person known under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, whose specific identity is still unknown. Satoshi worked on the source code of the reference application together with other volunteer developers until December 2010, at which point he decided to conclude its public activity and leave its development to the responsibility of the community. At the moment it can only be used for cryptocurrencies.
- Ethereum. The second largest network in the world. They created the concept of ‘smart contracts’ which are a kind of certificates that also allow the creation of tokens and NFTs among other things. It is programmable, which means that developers can use it to create new types of decentralized applications.
- Polkadot. Polkadot is the flagship project of the Web3 Foundation. According to its creators, Polkadot is designed to provide full interoperability. The network seeks to facilitate an internet where an independent blockchain can exchange information and transactions in a reliable way. It was founded by Gavin Wood, one of the founders of the Ethereum network.