What it will take to implement Web3 | SehndeWeb

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Lately, there has been a lot of talk about the transition to Web3, a new digital frontier powered by the blockchain and accessible via decentralized applications (dapps). But while many of the products created so far are groundbreaking – offering verifiable digital ownership and access to new financial instruments – they have still failed to galvanize widespread adoption.

To achieve critical mass, the blockchain industry must ensure that platforms and services are easy to use like their current generation counterparts.

We’re not there yet

The current Internet landscape is still very much anchored in the Web2 architecture. While users can access a range of services, each requires their own username and password and third-party platforms are usually still required to process payments. While this model has seemingly worked quite well over the past two decades, it has been mired in the centralized control of big tech companies, which thrive on the sale of user data.

In Web3, the services will all be interconnected and interoperable. Users will be able to transfer assets and value to virtually any platform. Often, they will even own these platforms and, above all, their data.

Part of the foundation for this future has already been laid with the rise of smart contract platforms and, by extension, dapps. But, problems remain.

Take Ethereum, for example; despite its popularity, the network struggles with severe limitations. For one thing, current throughput levels, around 15 transactions per second, are simply not enough to support the kind of traffic that global adoption would drive.

Then there’s the fact that fees have gotten so high that many users can’t afford to transact on-chain, resulting in elaborate scaling solutions that literally add a another layer of complexity to the user experience. This creates a real barrier to entry for a large majority of the population, especially those unfamiliar with blockchain technology, undermining the notion of “banking the unbanked”. Nor is it straightforward to scale the network, as evidenced by the fact that Ethereum has been trying to scale the network for several years now and there are still issues.

There are still other hurdles that are also slowing overall adoption. Too many entry points are confusing for newcomers and the means to adequately secure assets are equally complex for most. Combined with the growing concern that cryptocurrency has a negative environmental impact, it’s not hard to see why so many average users are hesitant.

What it will take

To overcome the myriad barriers to entry, these services need to implement improvements that make the space much more attractive to outsiders. For starters, these blockchains need to be able to handle a lot more transactions than they currently can. It’s not enough to match legacy payment processors – they have to surpass them. The same goes for streaming web content. The average person doesn’t want to wait any longer for their data, even though it’s more secure. Future blockchain services must be able to match or exceed web speeds if they are to attract casual users who don’t inherently care about blockchain.

On that same note, integration and user experiences should be seamless and require no understanding of the underlying technology or even knowledge of its existence. We cannot expect the average person to learn all the nuances of blockchain interfaces to unlock the potential here. Web3 should be as simple as Web2 and require as few clicks as possible.

This also extends to infrastructure, including consumer-friendly wallets. Users need an easy and secure way to store their assets and access dapps that doesn’t require advanced skills to operate, long recovery boot phrases to memorize, or private keys to secure.

Finally, the public must be reassured that this technology does not kill the planet. No one will want to reap the benefits of blockchain if they feel they are taking seconds off the doomsday clock by doing so. Future services will need to be proof-of-stake (PoS) based and go beyond to ensure they are fully carbon negative.

Possibilities

Everything we’ve described is essential if Web3 is going to appeal to average users. Once in place, the possibilities of Web3 are almost limitless.

For example, any physical item could be tokenized as a non-fungible token (NFT) and traded in the same way. It would revolutionize the way peer-to-peer commerce works, offering a new paradigm in secondary sales and giving rise to a new market for virtual commerce. Such a powerful and accessible system could even be used by large corporations for professional record keeping and documentation. Additionally, dapps should be one-click accessible from a secure, universal access point that appeals to power users and casual users alike.

By making the whole process relatively simple and intuitive, the average user will almost certainly be onboarding the same way people have grown accustomed to eBay and Amazon. Additionally, as these new systems will be built on highly efficient blockchains, the whole community can overcome the stigma that digital assets are a pest of the environment. Once practical and ethical barriers are removed, there is a clear path for such systems to achieve a fully global level of adoption.

Web3 — taking shape

Web3 is starting to take shape, but it’s not all there yet. What is missing is a degree of accessibility that currently only exists with Web2 services. It is hardly insurmountable, but it will take work to make the accessibility and user experience of these platforms as simple and intuitive as possible. Once accomplished, this should open the floodgates to a whole new level of adoption as more and more newcomers begin to appreciate the benefits this space has to offer. Anything less, and the upcoming Web3 will likely be stuck in a concept development phase forever.

David Kim is the Head of Publishing at WAX Studios.

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