back to article Web3: The next generation of the web is here… apparently

The growing scepticism around web3 can be summed up by the titles of a few recent blog posts. Web3 is B*llsh*t. Web3? I have my DAOts. Web3 is not decentralization. Or how about: Web3 is not Decentralisation — it's a Ploy to put Crypto Bros in Charge. Or Keep the web free, say no to Web3. For balance, let's look at what some …

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      1. Tom7

        In what ways exactly? Not having Facebook scrape all your data for advertising? Not having advertisers insert themselves into your communications with friends? Not having nutjobs promoting content to you? Being able to communicate without people without a corporation trying to make money off it? Only sharing content with friends instead of friends+platform? Having granual levels of vouching for someone's actual identity? Being able to "delete" your identity without pleading with some corporate department?

        I sure there are downsides, but there are some hefty upsides, too.

        1. dazzerrazzer

          Your first paragraph hits the nail firmly on the head

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Tom7 - For your information

          Facebook began exactly like that.

          Now to get down from our high horses, who is going to develop and maintain the App, on what infrastructure will it be published and how much hosting would cost, who can guarantee the app will not be hijacked by some entity with an appetite for financial gain ?

          I think we're spending too much time on our mobile phone without having even a basic understanding of the underlying technologies and their associated costs. GAFAM clouds are an enormous mix of technology and people, all working to make sure apps get into our mobile phones out of thin air, effortlessly and most of all, free. So don't expect them to allow us to play in their garden with us dictating the rules.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Whenever your device's IP address changes, it sends a message to each of your friends saying, "Hey, my IP address has changed.

      Depending on the rate at which IP addresses change the whole thing falls apart as such messages cross each other in the net.

      You cease to become you if you lose your devicephone and somebody else becomes you if the phone gets stolen.

      1. Tom7

        Yes, if everyone in your "circle" changes their IP address while the IP address change notifications are all in flight, you lose connectivity. Excuse me being skeptical whether this is a realistic situation. If only one person's IP address doesn't change while the notifications are in flight, they'll receive all the notifications and then everyone else will (eventually) ask them where to find everyone else.

        True that a lost/damaged/stolen phone poses problems. At least someone can't social-engineer your phone company into giving them your ID.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          I think a phone is more likely to be lost and picked up or stolen than the phone company being socially engineered unless the victim is being specifically targeted.

          I really don't like the idea of a phone being used as personal ID irrespective of whether it's via mobile number or IP address - there seems to be too much opportunity for stuff to go wrong. Even something simple such as a flat battery at an inopportune moment could stuff up your urgent 2FA driven transaction.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Having said all that Signal delivers a good deal of what Tom suggested although in different ways. Being free with no promotion budget, however, it doesn't get the same publicity as the big tech services.

        2. KSM-AZ
          FAIL

          Ummm, Do you work in IT?

          -- Yes, if everyone in your "circle" changes their IP address while the IP address change

          -- notifications are all in flight, you lose connectivity. Excuse me being skeptical whether

          -- this is a realistic situation.

          'That'll never happen' heheheh Famous Last Words . . .

          1. Tom7

            Re: Ummm, Do you work in IT?

            If you have one friend, it's possible but unlikely. We're talking about both of you changing your IP address at exactly the same time.

            By the time you have five friends, it is vanishingly unlikely.

            Recovery involves either being physically close enough to a friend for NFC to work or being on the same subnet as them.

    2. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Whenever your device's IP address changes, it sends a message to each of your friends saying, "Hey, my IP address has changed." You use your OpenPGP identity to sign this message so they can tell it's really from you.

      Congratulations, you've done a shitty reinvention of DNSSEC.

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Web3

    "Web3 refers to the addition of the power of blockchain to the web"

    That seems a waste of an increment on the "web X" moniker.

    Given Google's prevalence as the dominant browser, and their decision to break so many things with Manifest 3, we should hope the real "Web 3.0" in some way takes some (or much) of that power away from Google and gives it back to the community and end-users.

  2. Zippy´s Sausage Factory
    Devil

    Why does reading this article immediately made me think of "Millicent" (DEC's failed plan to replace web advertising with micropayments), or "Brave Rewards"?

    Bringing "the power of blockchain to the web"? Of course, a more sinister version of that might be that every page view is recorded in the website's blockchain, so the entire world can see who read what web page, forever?

    I don't see that Web3 is any more than a marketing gimmick for those selling cryptocurrencies and I want no part of it. Some might say I'm cynical because my meagre investment in cryptocoins has so far failed to make me a millionaire, and to those people I would like to say that I was already cynical to begin with and it can't have made it much worse...

  3. lglethal Silver badge
    Joke

    Wait a minute, So we had Web 1. Then we had Web 2.0. Shouldnt the next one be Web 3.00?

    1. dazzerrazzer

      No, the fashion for labellising version numbers past years back.

      web3. Just that.

      It included many parts, like above where u have social networks not exploiting users, layers of identity.

      But the overall idea is to stop being exploited to near slavery level by the big media tech companies into doing their work for them and then they getting paid for it.

      It is an evolutionary step in the internet.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @dazzerrazzer - You mean something like

        a Bolshevik revolution for the Internet ? Cool!

        1. dazzerrazzer

          Re: @dazzerrazzer - You mean something like

          More like the Israelites exodus. Tbh, it will not have a precedent. It will as, www, them mobile was, be unprecedented.

    2. Howard Sway Silver badge

      No. It'll be Web 3.11 for Workgroups.

      Bit Torrenting a 3Kb text file will require the entire power production output of South America, as a blockchain entry is added on to each packet.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Trollface

        I was thinking web 3.141592...

        "Pi are not square, Pi are ROUND!"

      2. dazzerrazzer

        You so funny. I laughed at your cleverness. So hip. On the ball. Not.

        Honestly, you and your ilk complain relentlessly about the evils of big media tech but never do anything about it.

        And when those more imaginative than you suggest a possible better future you try to pull them down to your base level.

        Web3 is a little misleading as a label as it suggests just web2.0 updated

        It isn't just that, or even just crypto.

        It isn't even really web. It serves many purposes and fits the needs of the many and the few.

        One of the aims is to destroy this ad based monster that is called the internet. To fight back against the bottom feeding w*****rs from marketing is a good enough starting point for many.

        The skill is to see through the marketing b******s to the true value the technology is offering and try to get rid of those waste of space marketing ars*holes who are only doing that job cause nobody with a soul would.

        So far, there have been a select few excellent post on this subject which have far outshined the naysayers. Cheers, reg for the story. At least thee neanderthals know a little now.

        Downvotes. Bring it. I luvs it.

        1. msobkow Silver badge

          Arrrrgh, Matey, this one have the gift for big and baffling words that in the end mean little to nothing of substance, the same as all the "Web 3" hype.

          There is no "big idea", just a lot of potential technologies with varying degrees of baggage and handicap that could have been built even in the era of Web 1, as they do NOT rely on dynamic browser/JavaScript capabilities at their core at all!

          There is absolutely no benefit to imposing the expense of blockchain calculation on internet services in general. Period.

          I stand firm in that belief, and do not consider it up for debate. Blockchain is an interesting theoretical experiment that has failed abysmally to scale to the degree necessary for global adoption for any purpose.

    3. Len
      Coat

      It is Web 3.00 but the second 0 is silent.

  4. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Long Runs the Fox from the Hounds of Hell, but with Nowhere Safe and Secure to Hide ....

    ....... is Capture Guaranteed Either a Bloodbath and/or a Bloodletting

    Pyramid schemes do work, for a while, as long as people keep buying into the scheme – pouring new money in, inflating the fund, and so tempting new investors.

    Amen to that scam truth ..... they work for a while, and some work exceedingly well too, but eventually inevitably they always fail and spectacularly explode and implode to wipe out trapped collateral and suckered investors alike.

    And what other than a pyramid scheme and global scam does one see whenever one ponders on the present plight of the Federal Reserve and the fiat US dollar ....... which worked for a while while foreign folk were buying up Gilts marketed in Treasury auctions, but everything quickly collapses and turns to just so much dust whenever empowering interest and foreign capital wanes and disappears and one is then forced to buy one's own poisoned chalice product to try to remain a leading player.

    And some here think Bitcoin is a fad and bad and totally rad. They be completely blinded and blindsided by that paper dollar mote in their eye, methinks.

    Uncle Sam and the SWIFT Fractional Reserve Banking System say .... Been there, done that, got the crappy T shirt, now desperately trying to avoid national bankruptcy and violent global payback ‽ .

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Long Runs... ...from... ...Hell... ...to Hide....

      https://youtu.be/6aZzVnOmGtY

      should have been posted @untangledbluetooth , but better not

      Symph #5 vs Galvanise

      /DJs From Mars Bootleg

      55 73

      ps: https://youtu.be/F7XGIKUY7Fg , but you know

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Re: Long Runs... ...from... ...Hell... ...to Hide....

        :-) ..... the tales told in those musical trailers, AC? ...... Don’t mess with Global Operating Devices for there be unintentional consequences freely available to be avoided or exercised?

        Yeah ..... I agree.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Long Runs... ...from... ...Hell... ...to Hide....

          EEEXXXactly, Doc

          Thank you for your patience which others could turn Hell for others and, what's much much worse, for themselves, if they had been even a tad more nervous/less Seen Everything... for one Being Easy and Comfortable with This of That... ...*generously* Easy and Comfortable, inspite of Doubts Undoubtefly crawling In... SemaFlow Is Tuned Absolutely Correct, that is

          https://youtu.be/ajVoeX4eqIQ

          U2 - Invisible

          55 73

  5. Mike 137 Silver badge

    "Web 1" never existed

    "Web 1" was just the world wide web. The first 'official variant' was Web 2.0.

    But I'm convinced that the primary motivation for these labels is the promotion of churn - to force users to keep upgrading so they can access the 'new stuff'. I'm constantly finding online services that suddenly completely or partially cease to work except in the latest browser version. In most cases, analysis shows that the changes are not necessary for delivery of the service - they're just made to 'keep up with the leading edge'.

    The fundamental principle of client agnosticism the Tim Berners Lee defined on day one has been entirely abandoned.

  6. aregross

    Why has nobody said the word...

    Vaporware. It's what it seems like to me, though I do like the Pyramid-Scheme analogy.

  7. msobkow Silver badge

    Sounds like "crypto-desperately-in-search-of-a-purpose" to me. I cannot fathom one single reason why I'd want to see the internet subjected to such a heavy, bloated disaster of energy waste.

    1. bitdivine

      Energy waste - proof of work is so last gen.

  8. bitdivine

    Ignore the price

    I work on a blockchain. I frankly personally don't give much of a toss about the price. There are far too many people with a get rich quick mentality in the space and they make a lot of noise. It's froth. Ignore. The value will come when it produces real outcomes. The tech is extremely interesting and sure, the UK might have a stable regulatory system but plenty of countries don't. I personally worked in the foreign office and to me one of the most interesting battles of the moment is between the democratic leaning forces in Ukraine and the oligarchic ones that will do pretty much anything to retain their power. In particular, if Ukraine succeeds as a democracy, Russia is likely to follow. If Ukraine folds, people on all the other ex Soviet states will point to Ukraine and say: Democracy is not worth it. Public records that cannot be fudged are a valuable tool in combating corruption, of which oligarchy is a particularly nasty type. It's not a silver bullet but it's jolly useful! But it needs slow, hard work, not shills and cheap shots.

    I know there are other applications of a similar nature, e.g. tracking fishing and forest usage but I'm not involved in them. There are also really interesting use cases around user-owned user data platforms. E.g. a Facebook clone where you get a vote on how data gets used. A Google drive where the contents of the drive are not mined for data about you. And so on. These things are much lower profile than the latest price bubble but if you actually do your research and look for the real use cases the projects are there. I'd love to see a good voting app built on blockchain. Maybe not interesting in relatively stable Britain but a big deal in places where ballot boxes are full before voters arrive. Or maybe you would like a more direct democracy, instead of delegating decisions to some bloke in Westminster?

    I understand that high performance Blockchain can do wonders for things like finance. Great. And if it needs the same tech that I need, I will help to build it. But that's not my game.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: Ignoring the price of a right dog and bum steers is increasingly costly/prohibitively expensive

      How very odd, bitdivine, that you would say Britain is relatively stable rather than like a Ukraine of wannabe oligarchs.

      Who/What has been feeding you that intel whenever there is so much unavailable scant evidence at source?

    2. dazzerrazzer

      Re: Ignore the price

      Nice.

  9. josvaz

    Whether you want to recognize it or not, centralization today is a problem, both in the Internet...

    For example: https://www.datacenterdynamics.com/en/news/aws-us-east-1-outage-brings-down-services-around-the-world/

    And that happens now every other Wednesday

    And on the monetary system...

    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/M1SL

    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/WM2NS

    The current international monetary system sits on a Single Point of Failure, the Fed. As people versed in technology, you should understand a SPOF is quite a bad thing, and that the monetary system is quite a critical one, so you should know the grave danger we are all in.

    All crises are now centralized, worldwide and systemic, and they happen more often each time, and with worse starting positions. For instance, gov debts in 2008 were relatively low, specially compared to today, many over 100% of GDP. And that avoids certain maneuvers. Fiat money printing cannot be infinite or forever.

    https://wtfhappenedin1971.com/

    So maybe there is a lot of crap and hype in Web3, not unlike what was happening during the dotcom bubble, BTW. Maybe no meaningful decentralization will be achieved, and most of the projects and cryptos will be temporary fads or scams.

    But we should hope that there are still some successes behind all that noise, as there also were after the dotcom bubble (Amazon, Google, etc).

    We need a way to reverse or somewhat compensate excess in centralization in the Internet and in our money. For instance, have you heard of CBDCs? maybe you think that is a good idea...

    Today the stakes are much, much higher and in early 2000s. This is not just about a bit of better or worse technology going forward, it is about avoiding a global collapse.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      AWEsome is as AWEsome does. What else do you have that compares and competes?

      Today the stakes are much, much higher and in early 2000s. This is not just about a bit of better or worse technology going forward, it is about avoiding a global collapse. .... josvaz

      That is exactly as may currently be, josvaz, with very near future global collapse only being avoided and averted and diverted with the prime premium help of Novel Ennobling Technologies and Artilectual Methodologies which many would not unreasonably presume and view as being akin to some sort of NEUKlearer HyperRadioProACTivated IT and Advanced IntelAIgently Designed Magic given the remote virtual nature of its practically real product deliveries supply chains.

      It should also be well noted, for it be equally as easily done, can such also simply cause and ably assist in catastrophic near future global collapses ..... which one surely has to admit is a Pretty AWEsome Ability/Facility/Utility/Security/Application of Otherworldly Proprietary Intellectual Property.

      Be careful not to test out its Dark Side Use though if one doesn't Own and Control Command of ITs AWEsome Reins and Reigns and Rains. Recovery from mistakes made in abuse and misuse there is not possible.

      And you might like to accept that all of the above freely shared content is a major part of what Web3 is all about providing .....and mentoring ....... and monitoring.

  10. streaky
    Terminator

    Yikes

    Rumour has it you couldn't edit web 1 and you certainly couldn't own bits of it (this was actually said, in testimony to congress, by a supposed expert, I shit you not), or something (presumably the infra was all owned by aliens and the lizard people and all the content was written by AI, or something).

    I hate people and don't want to live on this planet any more - it's these sorts of morons who don't know what they're actually doing who are advising governments on a pandemic that should have been over last Northern Hemisphere summer but for the dragging it out with explicit intent of feeding cash into the mouths of the likes of Pfizer.

    Sigh.

  11. Stuart Castle Silver badge

    Blockchain seems, to my (admittedly inexperienced) mind, to be a solution looking for a problem.

    Virtual currencies can, in theory, be a good thing, but there needs to be some sort of regulation. At the moment, it seems as though any Tom, Dick or Harry can set up a Virtual Currency, probably named after a meme, take a fair bit of money, then sell all of their own holdings, thus crashing the market, and vanishing with potentially a lot of real currency. I realise regulation goes against the nature of virtual currency, but there are enough con artists in the world that I think it needs to be regulated.

    The other problem I have with Virtual Currency is that the "mining" process uses a hell of a lot of electrical power. You can mitigate the environmental impact by using renewable energy, but it would be better to reduce the usage. There is also the environmental impact of building thousands of mining computers, disposing of them and building thousands more. Those processes can be massively damaging to the environment,

    Finally, NFTs. In theory, a good idea. But it seems open to scams. Especially as there no protection stopping people uploading copies of the NFT everywhere, unless the NFT itself includes some sort of copy protection. At least with physical objects, you have to buy them to keep them.

  12. SundogUK Silver badge

    The thing about Web1 and Web2 is that we defined what they were AFTER they had happened. All this defining what Web3 will be before it happens is just pissing in the wind and setting yourself up to look like a pillock.

  13. Deanamore

    42

    If ever a technology could be summed up as an answer in search of a question it's crypto. All the advantages it purports to have can already be done or don't offer enough of an advantage to change from existing systems. I used to work for a blockchain insurance startup and the company rode that crypto hype train for two years before the investors finally realised that having insurance backed by blockchain offered no advantages over regular insurance and they were competing with behemoths like Lloyds. Crypto has a niche role as internet cash (assuming you remember to wash those coins and don't leave a trail) but that's about it. Eventually the world will catch on and, when that happens, the only way crypto will survive if it becomes so entrenched that people view it as an asset rather than a currency - which is already how people treat it for the most part.

  14. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

    I thought the pyramid scheme was the best analogy in the article.

    People thing virtual currencies are "those things you buy to make money"

    No one seems want to actually use them as money.

  15. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

    3?

    web 3.0 ?

    never heard of it .

    I've only just worked out what the web 2.0 buzzword was all about thanks to a recent Tom Scott video on APIs

    ..and it wasnt the same as the definition given in this article

  16. JimmyPage
    FAIL

    Web 1.0 -> Web 2.0 was NOT a technical development

    it was social. The idea of non-tech people using the web to communicate with each other.

    If there is a Web 3.0 step change it would be IoT in my opinion. But notice I said "if" ....

  17. dazzerrazzer

    This,

    https://youtu.be/l44z35vabvA

    from 3 years ago will show it isn't marketing bollocks. And it is way out of date but bang on for then.

    We have been at this for quite a while now.

    Don't let the marketing a-holes drag it down to their cease pit level.

  18. Ian Johnston Silver badge

    It always strikes me as weird when people use "trust" and "blockchain" in the same sentence. As if anyone with sense would put any trust in an opaque technology used almost exclusively by criminals.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It always strikes me as weird when people use "trust" and "blockchain" in the same sentence.

    You could say the same of "safe" and "rocketry".

  20. IGnatius T Foobar !

    decentralization and federation?

    "decentralization" and "federation" will only happen once people start ACTUALLY USING sites that decentralize and federate, instead of trusting facebook and twitter with their eyeballs. We understood decentralization and federation decades ago, when most Internet discourse was on UseNet.

  21. Omnipresent

    Highly entertaining to say the least.

    Not the article.... The new internet of things.

    Lets sum it up. There are criminal entities that harvested the power of the internet to get filthy stinking rich off ponzi schemes that have become so big they have gained legitimacy (including extremists and Steve Bannon). This is because they don't involve a certain class or group, but the entire worlds population (that's a massive ponzi). The old schoolers recognize it and are rebelling, but the ones who got rich already have the power to make the rules now because... the old schoolers are old now, and well, the criminals got rich.

    kill your interwebz if you want peace and normalcy again people. It's like watching skeksis eat themselves alive. You don't have to be emperor. You can just be normal humans you know? You might find you're much happier.

    1. Sixtiesplastictrektableware

      Re: Highly entertaining to say the least.

      Your calls for balanced living make me uncomfortable, and I think your adherence to your humanity shows us all who the real monster is.

      (For serious, though, you nailed it. Skeksis was just the perfect rancid icing on the putrid cake.)

  22. kschrock

    Bravo

    Speaking about value... Whatever the value of the Reg is, 90% of it comes from the user comments on articles like this.

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