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Tomasz Kania-Orzeł
Tomasz Kania-Orzeł

Posted on • Originally published at youtube.com

What is Web3? Software engineer explains.

Web3? What is this? Today I will try to answer this question!

What is web3 in general?

I remember when the internet changed from read-only to fully interactive and responsive. In the early 2000s appear a lot of social platforms with user-generated content, also in Poland.

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That was the transition from web 1.0 to web 2.0. You - as a user create content on web 2.0, but you accept terms of services, and somebody could censor your content. And there web3 comes in here. But what the heck is web3? Why you should bother with that?

The simplest comparison is like monarchy and democracy.

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Monarchy refers to web2.0, where you are dependent on centralized servers.

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On the other hand, democracy refers to web3, where you have decentralized architecture without main servers, you have a peer-to-peer network.

You need to know that web3 is defined differently according to used technologies. Some of the devs talking about decentralization, some about cryptocurrencies, some about storage, some about coin economy (like Ethereum/Solana), etc.

In my opinion, the most universal definition is Decentralization connected with transparency of operations (Blockchain works in this way). The goal of Web3 is to build decentralized internet (yep you're right like in the Silicon Valley show!).

What I think about Web3?

Bitcoin and everything around blockchain started more than a decade from now, but many developers and users are used to web2.0 (centralized approach).

That's why many decentralized solutions, are web2.0 apps with guts filled with web3 technology. You are connecting through the gateway, just for user experience. You don't need to run your private node, you only use API from the vendor. That's why many applications (claimed decentralized), are in fact centralized 🙈.

This is not the goal of creators, but making it easier for users & developers. Another thing - Mobile phones. They are powerful nowadays, but it's hard to create Ethereum nodes on mobile devices. Ofc. there are plans for light nodes, but right now everything is in the stage of development.

Worth mentioning about other technologies connected with web3: IPFS, FileCoin, Ethereum, Solana.

Those technologies solve many problems connected with centralization. This is the same story when we don't have cloud solutions. For example, before the AWS, you need to create bare metal configuration or own hypervisors for virtualization (that was a problem with maintenance).

AWS solves issues but generates new ones: costs, centralizations, monopoly, vendor locks. The same story with web3 tech, they solve some problems with centralization but generate new ones. Complex deployment and development (you need to get more knowledge - Smart Contracts, Blockchain), to write applications. And you need to understand how to implement some solutions in ecosystems of blockchains.

On the other hand, decentralized technologies give you an opportunity to build applications differently.

Should you dive into Web3 right now?

Oh yeah! There are endless sources, where you can learn something new, new approaches.

I totally love the idea of IPFS (Interplanetary File System - this tech is a spine for NFT storage and FileCoin :)). There are tons of use cases to implement this technology in your own projects.

For example downtime proof website, like mine:
https://ipfs.io/ipns/ipfs.tomasz.kania.orzel.me

IPFS has the potential to distribute content (efficient access to data), when you download containers (Docker) download images or distribute videos. It's like the torrent peer-to-peer approach for HTTP (new protocol behaves like HTTP). Surprisingly IPFS is working through gateways (ipfs.io for example), or directly in your web-browser ex. Brave or Opera has native support

Blockchain concepts and everything around cryptography are very interesting topics, so if you are a developer, and you are seeking something new to learn, this is the next point on your bucket list. Learn how it works, maybe you came up with the next game-changer idea :)

Wrap up

Right now web3 is in the early stage. I think should take some time, when performance will be more robust. I only referring to blockchain operations in Ethereum (Solana has a goal to create super-uber-ultra-fast blockchain).

Worth mentioning that all blockchain mining operations "eat" tons of energy, that's why a lot of eco-activists talk about problems with energy consumption.

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But everybody forgets about servers and datacenters. There are tons of very powerful beasts. Those take energy as well. This is the only point of view. Worth to checking this report (from Cambridge): https://ccaf.io/cbeci/index/comparisons

Either way, check IPFS and use Ganache to run Ethereum locally :)

Right now I'm working on the SingleBoardComputer cluster (build on top of Raspberry Pi & Rock Pi X) to check IPFS locally. Stay tuned.


Watch this on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tSNCbDjjzA

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