The first web page went live on August 6, 1991. It was dedicated to information on the World Wide Web project. The engineer behind the project was Tim Berners-Lee (who I blew off once) and his vision for the web was for it to be decentralized. Unfortunately, it didn't turn out that way, so today there is a growing community of people who want to see the next version of the web move in that direction. Many of these folks have created projects around the idea of a decentralized web. Heck, Tim has his own called SOLID, though they haven't tweeted anything since 2017, and their last commit was nine-months ago which does give me some concerns. 😬
I think that's okay though, building a decentralized web is hard. And as someone once said, we should do things "not because they are easy, but because they are hard." Come to think of it, deploying a completely decentralized web might be harder than getting a man to the moon. 🤔 Only the crazy ones are attempting to.
While the Web3 ecosystem as some call it isn't the first to revive the idea of a decentralized web (projects like dat://, Matrix, Secure Scuttlebutt, and others have been hard at work for a while), it's sparked a renaissance of sorts in the volume of interest in the subject. But what does Web3 mean?
"The decentralized web, also called [Web3] is a vision of the next generation internet as a peer to peer network built around blockchain technology, where users own their own data, data is portable, computing and storage resources are provided by end-users within distributed networks, apps run locally on end-user devices and platforms are decentralized and autonomous."
I remember reading about blockchain a while back, and I just rolled my eyes. My understanding of the Web3 movement at the time was:
"it's just magic internet money, and besides my coins were easily stolen from MTGox, how could this ever get anywhere."
But in the last few years, it's become clear that there's much more to Web3 than just tokens. Some cool Dapps (decentralized apps) are launching like Status (messaging), and Our Zora, are starting to grow, and tools like IPFS and Arweave (check out this neat permanent chess app) are starting to power more of these types of applications.
There are many ways to get started with Web3 development. But what if I told you that you could get learn from Web3 experts for free? There is a six-week online hackathon/incubator program called the Open Web Incubator. There is an investment pool of $100,000 😱 for winning projects that will help build a decentralized web (the kind of web Tim Berners-Lee envisioned 🙌).
Not only that, but you could demo your Dapp (permaweb app in this case) in front of investment firms such as Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), Union Square Ventures, and others. Learn more here. 👈
💬 Let's get this discussion going:
What are your thoughts on Web3 and/or blockchain?