Jimmie Steinbeck, Co-Founder, and CEO of Penning is taking you the readers together with the Pen into the world of Web3, the "buzzword" for blockchain technology which has caused confusion amongst industry newcomers, but we're here to "set the record straight". Web3 is the 3rd revolution in the world of connectivity, but more so it's a game-changer for the world of finance, money, and democracy. So without further ado, have a good read.
WHAT IS WEB3?
The early crypto pioneers wanted to democratize money. Finance 2.0, if you will. But now, the believers in blockchains have their eyes on a bigger prize: They want to decentralize everything. Web 3.0. Facebook without the propaganda. Twitter without the terms of service. Reddit without censorship. Online identity without the hacks. Internet browsing without tracking software. Websites without advertising.
We pay with either attention or privacy. So we either have advertising thrown at us, our attention monetized, or we pay with micro violations of our privacy. And that is why the internet today is the ultimate surveillance economy. One privacy tool is the Brave browser. It doesn't store data and pays users and content publishers in their Basic Attention Tokens.
- “The Basic Attention Token (BAT) is a blockchain-based system for tracking media consumers' time and attention on websites using the Brave web browser. Built on Ethereum, its goal is to efficiently distribute advertising money between advertisers, publishers, and readers of online marketing content and ads.”
What most people in the crypto space are probably most excited about is the notion that we can create these kinds of user-owned decentralized networks. You can, for instance, offer file storage in the way that Amazon does, or you could offer search, you know, the way Google does, but do it in a peer-to-peer fashion without this behemoth at the center extracting rents. And do it in a way where all the people that are users of it can benefit.
Blockstack is the next evolution in computing. We've seen three main eras of computing before. We had mainframes which were these large computers that everyone depended on. Then we got desktops where users were in control, and they owned their computers, and their data and information. And then we saw cloud computing where we're dependent on these large companies running services for us. And we're about to embark on this major shift in computing called decentralized computing where users are getting back in control. And they really could someday compete with, if not take down some of the big tech giants, like Facebook and Google and the Amazon that we know. That's a tall, tall order.
It is, it is, but I mean who would've thought at the beginning of the Internet that Wikipedia would beat out Encarta? These Web3 promises sound good, but my professional network is on LinkedIn. My photos are on Instagram. If I deleted my accounts, I'd lose everything! These services aren't just walled gardens, they are digital prisons.
Data is locked up in several companies, and we don't own it. The companies own it, but they use the data to mine it, advertise to us, sell us things, manipulate us, to change our behaviour, and Ocean Protocol is the answer to freeing up the data and giving the power back to individuals. So how do you plan to do that? It's essentially an operating system on top of Ethereum that allows people to share data, storage, algorithms, and computation in a way that preserves privacy.
WHAT'S NEXT FOR WEB3
It's too early to tell whether projects like these can succeed. But I do like the idea of digital property rights. Wouldn't it be nice if companies paid us in cryptocurrency when they use our data? and if we control who has access to it instead of our digital overlords. And then there is the question of our most precious information, our very identity. If you take the history of mankind, a lot of blood has been shed getting to democracy, right?
The idea is that every man has a vote in the world. In the United States alone there are 14,000 different paper forms of birth certificates issued by local authorities. There are mistakes in them and even identity theft starting from birth. All your information is already out there. There are +five hacks a day happening, so how do you prove that you are who you say you are? with your compromised information?
Currently, we are holding our reputation, and our history with different systems and different companies, like Facebook and Twitter. With the blockchain, the core of important information sits on that trusted system which we control and we can take it from wherever we want to go to something else.
Penning down the thoughts” is a series compiled by the CEO and Co-Founder of Penning, Jimmie Hansen Steinbeck. A compilation of his vast experience, knowledge, failures, successes, know-how & ideas. Jimmie has spent the last decade (almost since the birth of bitcoin), working in the crypto, blockchain (also known as Web3) space, as an investor, entrepreneur, and expert advisor to numerous crypto companies.