There has been some hype on Web 3.0. Personally, I do not think it has a lot of potential.
It would be idealistic to have a fully decentralized web that ensures data privacy and data ownership. However, I do not think that is where the internet is going and nor is it actually solving a real immediate problem. Now if it were related to financial privacy or medical/urgent security privacy, it would be a whole different story, but we are talking about some generic data privacy and data ownership. We know that when we use Google, Netflix, Amazon, Doordash, Instagram, Tiktok or some other popular web products, we already know that they are collecting lots of data on us. However, people keep using them. Why? It solves people’s immediate needs. Many tech companies have experienced a data breach. If this Web 3.0 paradigm were to actually make sense, all of them should have gone bankrupt. Well, the reality is that most of them are doing just fine. If a banking service got hacked and lost money without an insurance policy, then it would actually go bankrupt.
Data ownership narrative also doesn’t make a lot of sense. People want to own things because they want to derive financial values out of it (I admit this is not the every case, but I believe is the majority of the cases). People these days don’t upload Youtube videos for fun. Many do it for financial incentives. Thus, while not 100% data ownership, current platforms allow users to derive financial values out of them. If this complete data owernship was such an important problem to solve, and people feared few tech companies owning the majority of the data, companies like Steem, Sia, Theta.tv, Golem should be gaining large tractions right now. The reality is not.
For Web 3.0 to actually work, I think some kind of evolutional human behavior change needs to occur. People know that they need regular exercise, healthy diet and repetitive and restrained routine to maintain well being. However, it is hard to keep up with this for a very long time for many people. Immediate needs and satisfactions go against this long term ideal path.
Blockchain is booming, because it currently has financial incentives, which has a very strong and intrinsic motive. Generic data privacy and data ownership do not.
I do not think blockchain will create some kind of Web 3.0 that a lot of media are depicting. Rather I believe it is a technology that will challege the status quo with huge financial stakes and yet innovating slowly due to safeguarded strict regulations that prevent new comers. When regulators come into get these blockchain based products, they can’t kill them as it is decentralized. When a lot of people want these products, it will slowly force the regulators to redraft those regulations. Bitcoin is the epitome of this.
I think financial sector is due for dramatic changes. Programmable money makes a complete sense. I can envision financial transactions running on some kind of blockchain technology in the future. Blockchain can make financial transactions cheaper, faster and more secure. Decentralized banking systems also make a complete sense. People want 100% ownership of their money and people don’t usually want to deal with the banks. This is a real frustrating problem and blockchain has enough momentum to bring a real solution to the world.
Now, when there is no direct financial or medical/urgent security motive, would people care about them? They could, but those problems will be stacked at the bottom in terms of priorities. It is not solving immediate needs. I bet even blockchain companies pushing for a decentralized world have financial motives. Web 3.0 is an idealistic web future, not a realistic web future.