Blockchain: web 3.0

Posted by kdow on Jul 21, 2017 1:29:35 PM

This analogy just hit me today. Remember Digg? The Reddit-esque website that allowed people to submit stories to earn Diggs, i.e. internet points. At some point in the mid part of the 00’s it had a big overhaul. It was sexier, sleeker, removed some of the powerbase from big users, and brought a lot of what it did unto itself; which primarily manifested itself in a browser bar as you clicked links out of onto the actual content.

Scandal’s aside around Digg’s redesign, it was the first real attempt that I was aware of that truly leaned into web2.0. Yes, there was the design piece. Yes, there was the nascent trend to add/remove letters to form a word that was skewed enough to have the .com domain available. But what it truly was turned out to be the ability for services to bring things into a centralised place, run a service in an economically viable way and service users at scale. Other examples here are Amazon as a shop or Flickr as a photo repository.

From an economic standpoint, that centralised mode of serving users brought to life SaaS (Software as a Service), which turned out to be the genius, predictable and easy-to-measure economic axioms behind these centralised services.

Today, SaaS has exploded. More than that, normal users can use SaaS economics in their business/services. Shopify is itself a SaaS business that allows thousands of businesses to provide Amazon-esque services.

But Blockchain totally decentralises this stuff. Imagine Slack as a centralised service. Everything runs on Slack’s servers and Slack Inc. tries to generate revenue from their users in order to scale it’s business. Now take IRC, which is a technology that allows anyone to create an IRC server, running various services for specific, often niche audiences. You could run an IRC server for internal chat in your business, have one specifically for your gaming friends, and so on. IRC is the decentralised version of this stuff.

Blockchain is a fundamental technology in the same way IRC is, but anything can run on it in a fundamentally different manner to the way web2.0 services (like Amazon or Slack) do. I really think that Blockchain services can be thought of, or will be once they properly kick into high gear & reach the masses, as web3.0. That’s how fundamental this shift will be.