Web 3.0 on the horizon

Man, 2021 escalated quickly! With the increased concerns and distrust of public platforms owned by big companies, “something’s gotta give”. That “something” will probably be hallmark Web 3.0 features which have been in the works for a while, as well as some Web 2.0 applications that lost popularity because people didn’t want to (or in some cases could not afford to) pay money, at least until now. But what is “Web 3.0”? Since it is difficult to define the entirety of Web 3.0 before it becomes mainstream, here are some elements I’m expecting to come from it.

The first thing to expect is an explosion of self-hosted solutions for the Open Web, such as WordPress, Mastodon, and many others. While that explosion may cool off as quickly as that explosion became hot, it is the first knee-jerk reaction to expect from the distrustful, the censored, as well as for those who wish for a quieter, more thoughtful experience. The hosting has become cheaper as of late – one can self-host a fairly secure WordPress site for as little as $5 a month if they are technically minded, or have someone take care of the technical side for them for as little as $12-15 a month if they are not so technically minded.

The next “big thing” I expect to happen is for Ethereum (or at least its underlying concept of decentralized applications) to start becoming more mainstream, as the underlying technology is resistant to even government-level censorship, though currently at the cost of comparatively slow page-loading times.

At its core, decentralization will be the name of the game for Web 3.0

At its core, decentralization will be the name of the game for Web 3.0, and will give companies like Facebook a run for their money. This is why Twitter is already researching how it could potentially morph into a decentralized system in the years ahead.

This will enable both good and bad.

Let’s start with the bad – to be certain, bad people ranging from human traffickers to fake news vendors and everybody in between will harness this to their advantage. This won’t render catching the criminals impossible, it’ll just mean they can’t be easily censored and catching them via the Internet will require a change in strategy.

However, this also opens up the potential for many good things! Soon we may be able to transmit money digitally without the need (or the trust) of a third party vendor, and with increased security measures. As of right now, you can donate the Ether cryptocurrency directly to my decentralized domain name, codextypes.eth, without the need for entrusting PayPal or Venmo’s data warehouses to protect your sensitive financial data. For a transaction fee, I can convert this into fiat currencies where it is legal. In the US, for example, it is currently allowed provided I report any capital gains.

This will also enable religious freedom in new and exciting ways, such as Christian communities being able to archive and share digital copies of the Scriptures in their local languages, both text and audio, without censorship from persecuting governments.

This also has the potential to enable people who previously couldn’t afford a WordPress subscription or hosting plan to have a place where they can share their thoughts and beliefs with full control over their data.

Every major iteration of the Internet won’t help or solve the human condition, but it will attempt to improve upon the technical pain points that came with the previous iteration of the Internet, and that’s something to be excited about!

4 comments

  1. “Brave new world,” Josh? The competing needs for freedom of expression AND stopping bad guys from criminal activity will always be with us. Removing the restraints of censors who would seek to limit MY speech/perspective is appealing; having no restraints on immoral, obscene, and predatory speech/actions sounds like Dodge City without a marshal. (But who gets to pick the marshal?)

    When everyone does what is right in her/his own eyes, chaos (or worse) abounds. As a believer, I have a “restrainer” whose voice I need to hear: the Holy Spirit. I’m reminded that I will give an account for every word (posted, emailed, shouted, or whispered). “Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt” is good advice (especially when one has to eat one’s words). 🙂

    Thanks for keeping us informed of what’s coming. May God help us to steward well the far-reaching resources entrusted to us, my brother.

    1. Amen, brother! Some good news is that in Web 3.0 there will still be a degree of technical restrainers, including “smart contracts”, which are computer programs that cannot be modified by a rogue party or even by the creator once they are started (excellent for protecting against fraudulent behaviors), and as the end user there’s still the option to filter select content in some sites or else to move to a better website (or start your own).

      And as before, since there’s no substitute for being controlled by the Holy Spirit, being a Spirit-discerning end user and/or engineer doesn’t end with any iteration of the Web!

  2. Decentralization is a remedy to popular platforms whose leaders go off the rails. The challenge is in finding and maintaining connections — tracking this person’s blog, that person’s Discourse server, that other thing over there, etc. It’s hard to track it all without some help.

    To that end: I couldn’t find an RSS feed for your blog. Is there one? I’d like to follow a feed so I’ll know about new posts without having to remember to come here to look for them.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *