From Web1 to Web2
During the 90s, a new means of communication began to spread all over the planet: the internet. With the democratization of computers, it was now possible to access a multitude of information from your home.
Called “Web1”, however, it was not possible to interact with the available sites, you could simply access it and read information. A growing number of actors took up this new means of communication and made it evolve.
This evolution is above all for the users, being able to write on the web thanks to blogs, comments, online media.. so online interactivity was born! Then came internet access on mobile devices, social networks, streaming and downloading. This universe is commonly called “Web2”.
Currently, we use Web2 in our everyday lives with the vast majority of sites hosted on Amazon servers and most of the services we use go through the Cloud, or servers located outside the walls of companies.
In summary, web2 is currently centralized and shared between a few huge companies. Our personal data belongs to them and is used for mercantile purposes at best, surveillance and influence at worst.
Web3: Taking back internet ownership
The historical idea behind Web3 is that of a semantic web. An internet capable of being read by all machines. But in the end, this idea did not have the desired adoption.
The term Web3 was taken up years later to promote a “decentralized web”. This has brought a lot of criticism, because the internet is already decentralized. It was therefore mainly a question of decentralizing not the internet, but rather the ownership of our digital identity. With Ethereum and its smart contracts, the use of blockchain seemed to be part of the solution to this problem. The goal is not to replace Web2, but to provide it with an additional layer.
The name “Web3” is therefore a little misleading because in the end, it is an update rather than an upgrade, but the need for this technology is very real.
The main “utility” projects of Web3
To address these issues, several projects have been created to cover these usecases:
- Decentralized domain name
- Where to buy and sell NFTs?
- Proving a presence to an online event
- How to access to exclusives clubs?
- Selling NFT ticket for concert?
Decentralized Domain Names
Ethereum Name Service (ENS) is a tool that allows you to have a decentralized domain name. Each domain name is an NFT that can redirect to other Ethereum, Bitcoin, Litecoin or Dogecoin addresses. Each registration is limited in time and must be renewed.
Ethereum Name Service makes it possible to simplify the sending of crypto-currencies from one wallet to another. Rather than typing or copying/pasting a very long string of characters as the recipient’s address, just type “example.eth”. It is also possible to register subdomains and associate websites with them.
In 2021, an airdrop of the $ENS token took place for all users who registered an ENS before November. This token will serve as a governance token to decide on the future policies of the project.
Opensea, Rarible, Zora… Exchange your NFTs through marketplaces
Open marketplaces are used to gather together nfts from other projects in one place. As soon as an NFT smart contract is deployed on the blockchain, it is possible to go through these platforms to find the smart-contract more easily.
The graphical interface facilitates the purchase of NFTs from other projects. Even if they are not NFTs strictly speaking, these platforms remain very useful for the ecosystem.
Event Attendance Token
What if you wanted to say “I was there” on the blockchain after attending an event? This is exactly what the Proof of Attendance Protocol (POAP) offers. This token can be claimed during an online event or not (concert, treasure hunt, presale..) Its usefulness simply serves to prove your presence in a place, at a given time.
NFT key / pass
Keys are NFTs that allow you to obtain exclusive access to certain events in the metaverses. For example, the Metakey allowed access to the VIP area during the first Metaverse Festival in Decentraland.
These keys have different uses depending on the project that delivers it. Generally, they are used to access exclusive drops, have airdrops, buy certain items or be transformed into avatars.
NFT ticketing of concerts or other cultural events
The use of NFTs as a ticket for concerts is not yet well known but still has enormous potential. GET Protocol has already made good progress on the subject, their service having been used by several concerts around the world and also online.
Using an NFT for each ticket makes it possible to have tamper-proof traceability and therefore, radically reduce fraud and counterfeiting. In addition, it is possible to associate several bonuses with each ticket such as access to a VIP area or the possibility of buying exclusive goodies at the end of your concert.
Conclusion : Utility NFTs will be indispensable in the future
Technological developments are increasingly rapid and more and more present in our daily lives. Today the term NFT is still used because this technology is new.
But in the same way that it was common to say at one time “I downloaded an album in MP3”, tomorrow we will use “utility” NFTs without realizing it.
Having a tamper-proof traceability of a single asset should not, however, rhyme with a generalized surveillance of our actions and actions. The Web3 overlay is a great step forward, but the fight for our individual online freedoms related to Web2 must not be forgotten!