Web3 sandwiched between old and new worlds

A large influx of investment institutions, and ultimately Web3 may be controlled by capital rather than citizens – this is contrary to the original intention of Web3. 

The gist of the article is as follows:

First , the existing understanding of Web3 is more of a vision based on various problems arising from Web2. The general consensus is that in Web3, everyone needs to have unified identity authentication, data confirmation and authorization, no need to trust and break monopoly.

Second , Web3 “believers” believe that the Internet is meant to be open and free, and now most of the Internet manufacturers have become synonymous with monopoly, so they put forward a new proposition – Web3 that is closer to the original intention of the Internet in its early days .

Third , the concepts of blockchain, NFT, Metaverse, and Web3 are related to each other.

Fourth , the existing Internet giants get together into Web3, revealing strangeness. Web3 wants to revolutionize Web2, and now the big Internet companies are all vested interests of Web2.

Fifth , the current development of Web3 is still between Web2 and Web3. Practitioners try to develop and create new cakes, but Web2 penetrates all aspects, and Web3 practitioners are basically from big Internet companies, and many projects are set. Web3 coats Web2.

Sixth , it is a typical “siege dilemma” for investors to enter the market. The involvement of capital can make Web3 grow rapidly and gain more trust and reach more consensus with the endorsement of established investment institutions. But the “mission” of Web3 is to decentralize and confirm rights, and investment, in their view, belongs to the “traditional gameplay” of the Web2 era.

The general consensus in the industry is that most of the existing Web3 projects are not really Web3.

The “Awakening Age”, which will be popular in 2021, has given Jax a new understanding of his career. In “The Age of Awakening”, brothers Chen Qiaonian and Chen Yannian and like-minded classmates, in order to find a way out, conducted an experiment together – Jianjie Canteen. The form of the experiment was the frugal and clean canteen of the mutual aid society, during which the participants formulated regulations such as “no private property” in advance as mutual constraints.

When he saw this episode, Jax thought of Web3: “This organizational relationship is similar to DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization), they are trying a new organizational form – everyone’s relationship with each other is equal, and all decisions Vote through voting rights, and then obtain rewards through joint labor, and then distribute them.”

Jax is now a Web3 product manager. Since joining a blockchain company in Hangzhou in March 2019, his work has been popular with tokens, DeFi (decentralized finance), NFT, Metaverse, Web3, etc. concept is directly related.

“To this day, I still think of it as a social experiment that could succeed or fail,” Jax said.

In the second half of 2021, after the concept of Web3 began to be widely discussed, individuals, enterprises, and organizations were all rushing for the beach, and it became a trend for a while.

Zhu Xiaohu, managing partner of GSR Ventures, bought the running shoes of the game StepN, and commented on its economic model that “there is a chance to run through, not necessarily Ponzi.” The number of companies or projects in the Web3 field exceeds 80; since January this year, Sequoia Capital has invested in at least 20 Web3 companies so far.

In addition to new and old money flocking to Web3, technology and talent are also flowing here. Employees or executives of companies such as Alibaba, Tencent, and Byte have been fired into the Web3 field; Silicon Valley giants such as Meta, Google, Amazon, Twitter, and eBay have also begun to explore Web3.

It seems that practitioners are more rational than onlookers.

“For example, the overseas NFT platform OpenSea, this platform is not completely decentralized, it is just a transaction system, not a right confirmation system. The main feature of Web3 is that it can be owned. The premise of being owned is that it needs a cross-platform system. Identity can only be confirmed, so OpenSea still has a certain distance from Web3. Some people say that it is 2.5 generations, which is further than Web2, but it has not reached Web3.” Zhu Youping, the rotating chairman of the Blockchain Special Committee of China Communications Industry Association, told “Chinese Entrepreneurs”. Zhu Youping’s point of view is also similar to Jax’s. The large number of digital collections currently appearing in China is an exploration of Web3 and is crossing the river by feeling the stones.

“To be honest, I am skeptical about the current Web3 projects, because I understand that Web3 must be a win-win result of de-platforming and project openness, but from the current situation, many projects are still Web2 thinking. Not only did they not use a decentralized way to do projects, but they were still doing all kinds of staking, the projects were not open enough, and they were not Web3.” Jax told “Chinese Entrepreneurs”.

Web3 is an isolated city. People outside the city shouted “this is the future” and rushed in with people and money. People in the city were looking at the endless projects, worrying that there might be a lot of mixed up. Li Gui, hurt their beliefs.

Web3 sandwiched between old and new worlds

Web3 is stuck in Web2: want to change, but can’t get around you

The news of Zhu Xiaohu’s purchase of virtual running shoes sparked heated discussions. The focus of discussion is divided into two categories: one is that Zhu Xiaohu, an investor in the Internet field, actually embraced the Web3 project; the other is, will he be deceived?

In the field of Web3, investors are entering the market.

In addition to a16z, which has always been aggressive, well-known investment institutions such as Sequoia Capital and Bridgewater Fund have also entered the market one after another, and many new funds focusing on investing in the Web3 field have been established successively. According to 21st Century Business Herald, in February this year, Sequoia Capital announced the launch of a cryptocurrency-focused investment fund with a capital size of between $500 million and $600 million. The crypto fund will primarily invest in crypto projects, including tokens already listed on crypto exchanges and not yet listed.

For investors to enter the market, in the eyes of the insiders, it is a typical “siege dilemma”.

Undoubtedly, the involvement of capital can make Web3 grow rapidly and gain more trust and reach more consensus with the endorsement of established investment institutions. But the “mission” of Web3 is to decentralize and confirm rights, and investment, in their view, belongs to the “traditional gameplay” of the Web2 era.

Because of this contradiction, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey was blocked by his own investors.

In December 2021, Jack Dorsey tweeted criticizing Web3 as a tool for venture capital firms. Some media reports said: After Jack Dorsey, Musk also joined the ranks of criticizing Web3, he accused the popularity of Web3 concept is just a marketing method. The a16z founder and other Web3 supporters also responded and refuted.

In the end, a16z founder Marc Andreessen “blocked” him, and Jack Dorsey responded by blocking the other party.

What Jack Dorsey is questioning is not Web3 itself, but the suitability of investment methods—a large influx of investment institutions, and ultimately Web3 may be controlled by capital rather than citizens—this goes against the original intention of Web3.

In addition to leveraging the capital with Web2 attributes, so does the thinking inertia of talents.

“The understanding and description of Web3 just mentioned is an ideal situation. Everyone is doing what they are good at. Now there is a situation with Web3 in the industry, that is, its business format has not been formed.” For example, give an example.

In Web3, there is no consensus on social networking, relationship construction, etc. Different teams are working on similar projects based on what they are good at. Jax told “Chinese Entrepreneur”, “Most of the product managers of these projects are transferred from Web2, and their thinking still stays on building a moat. To differentiate, my data cannot be waited for by other teams.”

In Jax’s view, these products under the banner of Web3, but still using Web2 thinking, do not solve the two major problems of decentralization and user information in the hands of individuals, at most Web2.5.

In the process of Web3 from concept to maturity, the biggest barrier is not technology, but how to make a new cake. If there is no new cake, who would intend to reduce the efficiency currently enjoyed.

Dr. Guo Cheng, the founder and president of STEPVR, gave an example of efficiency. For example, an ordinary Internet user can reduce his Internet speed by 30% now, in exchange for his rights and interests that he does not know where it will be reflected in the future. Who would be willing? He also told “Chinese Entrepreneurs” that improving efficiency and fairness is the persistent theme of mankind. Equity and efficiency also need to be within the framework of economic returns. At present, the most common, most direct and most risky economic reward for attracting users is issuing coins.

Guo Cheng believes that there is no place for what is said in the industry at present, mainly because under the current organizational form and distribution of rights and interests, no new rights have been made. In the past, the rights and interests have been divided very carefully and efficiently.

Although there are various centralization problems, Web2 achieves the ultimate efficiency.

“Existing Web2 products are designed based on the principle of ease of use. It is a nightmare for product managers to click more than one step. It is very likely that 50% of the traffic will be lost for every additional click. Who is willing to pay for this part in the end? What about the cost?” Guo Cheng said.

If you want to develop into an era, Web3 is far from enough to rely on belief and consensus.

Web3 sandwiched between old and new worlds

Building a Utopia: They want to revolutionize the lives of Internet giants

Web3 is not a new concept.

In 2007, a young man named Li Zongen explained what Web3 is to his mentors such as Jack Ma and Shi Yuzhu in the program “Win in China”.

“Web3 is the combination of the virtual world and the real world. It can analyze the behavior of users in the virtual world to guide real consumption.” At that time, Li Zongen believed that Web2 was basically interactive, and the content was changed by the users themselves. . And Web 1.0 is basically one-way, like the Alibaba website, no matter how its users are and how much interaction there is, it is a platform that takes the company as the core to dominate the whole thing.

In Li Zongen’s program, Jack Ma asked two questions at the end, one of which was about Alibaba’s positioning, “Alibaba is 1.0? Have you ever used Alibaba?”

In this regard, Li Zongen said embarrassedly: “I may not know Alibaba very well.”

Ma Yun concluded: “If it is useful to customers, even Web0.1 does not matter.”

In 2006, a year before this dialogue, Jack Ma attended the world’s first Web2.0 conference, and he was the only representative from China. This is where the discussion on Web2 and Web3 begins.

In 2006, World Wide Web creator Tim Berners-Lee came up with the concept of Web3. The purpose is very simple, it is to describe the next stage based on the Web2 that has been seen at that time. At the time he thought the Semantic Web would be the central key to evolution.

At that time, Time Magazine’s Person of the Year was “you”, referring to a group of netizens who used user-sharing websites. The subtitle was “Yes, it’s you. The information age is in your hands. Welcome to your own world.”

The cover of this issue of the magazine is a capitalized and bold “you” on a computer monitor with a film-coated patch, which just reflects the reader himself. According to media reports, most of the content of the entire magazine is to introduce the development of the Internet in 2006, especially the development of Web2, including online video, blogs, grass-roots news and so on.

Web3 sandwiched between old and new worlds

After Web2 was generally accepted and confirmed, discussions on Web3 also came into being. But at this time, the understanding of Web3 is ignorant and rudimentary. It can be seen from Li Zong’en’s statement that the understanding of Web3 back then was more like the Metaverse. Until 2014, Gavin Wood, one of the co-creators of Ethereum, also put forward his own understanding of Web3 again.

Zhu Youping explained the current general understanding to “Chinese Entrepreneur”. Web1.0 is a readable Internet, just like portals like Sina in the past, readers can only read. Web2 is not only readable, but also can be written and shared. Typical platforms such as WeChat, Douyin, and Kuaishou are Web2. Web3, on the other hand, is readable and writable and can be owned, and is built on the blockchain (smart contract). In the Internet era before Web3, the creator of the work did not actually own the copyright and enjoy the right to benefit from it.

Guo Cheng summed up the concept succinctly. He believes that Web3 is a distributed Internet based on blockchain technology, emphasizing the attributes of individual rights, and emphasizing the confirmation of each person’s rights. It is the general name of the next generation Internet.

Zhu Youping’s understanding of Web3 is based on Tim Berners-Lee, emphasizing the relationship and rights between readers and the platform. The definition given by Guo Cheng is more inclined to Gavin Wood, adding elements such as power confirmation, distribution, decentralization, and blockchain.

“The concept of Web3 is still evolving. ” Zhu Youping said.

As Nietzsche said:

Every concept stems from our equanimity of things that are not the same. No leaf is exactly the same as another, and the formation of the concept of “leaf” is abstracted from individual differences and achieved by people forgetting the differences.

– Nietzsche, 1873

Web3 is such a concept, everyone’s understanding of it is not the same, but there are similarities.

In “Understanding Web3.0 in a Book”, a refined sentence is used to summarize the characteristics of Web3 – after knowing the shortcomings of Web2.0, the characteristics of Web3 will be clear.

Web3 sandwiched between old and new worlds

Web3 is an economic phenomenon

Web3, which appeared in 2006, why has it not become a trend until now?

Web3 is actually an economic phenomenon. The dividends of the Internet of this generation are gone , and the population of domestic Internet and mobile Internet users will not increase significantly. Most fields such as taxis, takeaways, and social networking have been divided, and naturally they will appear. A new growth point. ” Guo Cheng told China Entrepreneur.

In his view, if there is still enough room for growth and imagination in Web2, there is nothing to do with Web3 now.

China’s Internet has developed for more than 20 years. It has experienced traffic changes such as social networking, search, blogging, e-commerce, O2O, social e-commerce, and short videos. It has also spawned Tao brands, Dou brands, and Kuaishou brands. Emerging emerging brands. In the face of growing demand, every time traffic peaks, mining or finding new traffic dividends has become an inertia.

From search engines, group purchases, taxi-hailing software, shared bicycles, short videos, e-commerce live broadcasts, to community group purchases, from first- and second-tier to sinking markets, giants continue to compete for user usage scenarios, traffic and duration, and conduct comprehensive surveys on nearly 1.1 billion netizens. “Encirclement and suppression”.

“As users around the world spend more and more time on the Internet, which can reach an average of 5 to 10 hours a day, except for eating, sleeping, and going to the toilet, there is only so much time left for each person to be awake in a day.” Guo Cheng said .

Traffic is the attention of people, and traffic is the time people stay on the platform. Behind the competition for traffic and the growth of traffic is the competition and squeeze for the time that people have. But there are only 24 hours in a day, which is immutable quantification. So how to compete for the attention of users is the focus of Internet companies.

“Web3 is bound to be a trend. In the context of Tencent, Alibaba, Toutiao and other manufacturers competing for user time and customizing various rules, Web3 is more like a clear stream. It gives the rules to the community for customization and returns the ownership of users’ data to Users, so Web3 will reshape the entire value system.” Jax said that even though he has encountered various bubble problems, Web3 is also a belief for him.

Web3 in Jax’s mind has two major characteristics: first, decentralization , there is no logical existence of who managed who in the past; second, everyone’s value or data belongs to individuals. These two points are the basic core of Web3.

And these are developed based on the exploration of blockchain, DeFi (decentralized finance), NFT, DAO and other directions in the past few years.

In May of this year, Zhu Xiaohu bought a pair of virtual running shoes. After the experience, he posted on a circle of friends and said: The first day of running, I earned 30 dollars, but the energy will be gone in a while, and it seems that the money for shoes will take 3 months to pay back. And the avatar of Zhu Xiaohu’s circle of friends is the representative work of NFT, The Boring Ape. According to Opensea data, BAYC #9279 was bought by allenzhu.eth at 170 ETH (Ethereum), and Zhu Xiaohu’s English name is Allen Zhu.

The concepts of Web3, Ethereum, NFT, and blockchain are intertwined in Zhu Xiaohu’s WeChat Moments.

Regarding the differences between concepts such as blockchain, NFT, DAO, and Web3, Guo Cheng told “Chinese Entrepreneur” that blockchain is a basic technology for all these distributed computing and distributed rights confirmation.Then NFT is a right attribute based on this technology to confirm the right, similar to the contract of land deed in daily life.DAO is a decentralized organization method based on smart contracts on the blockchain. Web3 is based on blockchain technology, emphasizing the attributes of individual rights, and this kind of distributed Internet that emphasizes the confirmation of each person’s rights, which is also the general name of the next-generation Internet. Metaverse is the best practice scenario for Web3, DAO, NFT, and blockchain implementation.

The viewpoint in “Understanding Web3.0 in One Book” is similar to Guo Cheng. The author believes that blockchain is the core technology of Web3, NFT is the basic element of Web3, Metaverse is the concrete manifestation of Web3, and DAO is Web3. The basic organizational form of Web 3 is the sharing of production materials.

Today, in the exploration and development, the outline of Web3 is gradually clear.

Web3 sandwiched between old and new worlds

A city of faith and doubt

Defining Web3 as an experiment means hope, the future, a high rate of fault tolerance, and a mixed bag. At this time, it is necessary to learn to distinguish which are opportunities brought by technology and which are speculation.

For Web3, most practitioners are convinced, but they are skeptical of the endless projects under the name of Web3.

Guo Cheng has been working in the VR industry for 10 years, and he can be regarded as one of the earliest VR practitioners in China. He basically has no doubts about such organizational methods or basic concepts, “because it does represent a bright future.”

Guo Cheng told “Chinese Entrepreneur”: “The rational attitude is that we should not be skeptical about things with future imagination. We should look carefully at the application of it, such as the field of VR. It appeared in 2015 and 2016. Some projects, saying that the phone is inserted into a cardboard box, this thing can be presented, we should be suspicious of this matter.”

During the Web3 boom period, there were also many Ponzi schemes packaged as Web3 or blockchain, or projects that borrowed concepts to cut leeks—this is unavoidable.

The book “Technological Revolution and Financial Capital” mentions that the economic bubbles brought about by the big technological revolution have a similar sequence: technological revolution – financial bubble – collapse – golden age – political unrest, which repeats every half a century or so .

A technological change, a social experiment, is bound to be accompanied by bubbles, and the bigger the wave, the more bubbles. For ordinary people, how to avoid the “bubble” under the big waves has become a skill.

Zhu Youping summed up the skill of distinguishing whether this project is “Li Kui” or “Li Gui” as continuous learning and understanding: “Master the underlying logic of understanding new things, including technical logic, business logic, understand its team and some operations. Then I think it is easy to see whether it is a capital disk and how much technical content it has.”

Jax and Zhu Youping have similar views, Li Kui or Li Gui, understanding is the first step. Jax summed up three points: first, first understand what is the basic concept of Web3; second, don’t rashly invest in a Web3 product, you can experience it and understand it. For example, if you have 1 million and want to invest in a Web3 project, it is recommended You only take 10,000 yuan; the third point is to learn as much as possible about other projects. Although Web3 projects are mixed, there may be only a few head projects. Try to participate in the head projects, because these projects have reached a certain level. degree of consensus.

Guo Cheng is more simple and direct, “You can never wake up a person who is pretending to be asleep. It’s easy to judge. For example, you can go and see if he is actually using this product.”

Before users can actually feel the real change, the current fanaticism and conviction may give the preacher a big slap in the face. Gavin Wood gave Web3 a pocket definition in a recent interview, which is “less subjective trust, more objective facts”.

In the movie “The Fantastic Drifting of Pi”, Pi said: Faith is a house with many floors, each floor has many empty rooms, and doubts may live in each empty room. And doubt is useful, it keeps faith alive.

For an “experiment”, while giving enough time, it is necessary to look at the project in hand objectively and calmly. This may be the next tulip bubble or the next Internet era.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/web3-sandwiched-between-old-and-new-worlds/
Coinyuppie is an open information publishing platform, all information provided is not related to the views and positions of coinyuppie, and does not constitute any investment and financial advice. Users are expected to carefully screen and prevent risks.

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