LearnIntro to Web3
What is web3?

What is web3?

April 13, 2023
 min read

Why does web3 matter? Let's cover the key differences between web1, web2, and web3 along with why web3 is the ownership economy.

By: Peter

Welcome! If you're new to web3, then you've come to the right place. In this Intro to Web3 path, we'll help you:

  1. Understand concepts such as blockchain, Bitcoin, and Ethereum.
  2. Buy crypto, set up your wallet, and avoid wallet scams.
  3. Learn how to use L2 and other L1 chains to save money.

Let's start by discussing why web3 matters.

Why does web3 matter?

Crypto has one feature that has never existed before - trust. - Ben Horowitz

If trust can be set by code, then people don’t have to rely on middlemen to get things done. They:

  • Don’t have to trust banks to get paid
  • Don’t have to trust lawyers to draft a contract
  • Don’t have to trust social networks to make a living

With trust comes ownership. By reducing the middleman tax, people can finally own the upside from their work. Web3 matters because we're building an internet owned by people instead of middlemen.

It's still early for web3 - there are scammers that undermine this trust and ownership narrative. That's why it's important to get educated early.

Web1, web2, web3

Let's compare web1, web2, and web3. As Eshita writes succinctly:

  • Web1: Read
  • Web2: Read, write
  • Web3: Read, write, own

Web1 (1990-early 2000s) was read-only. People consumed static webpages that they navigated to from directories like Yahoo. Web1 was built on open-source protocols like HTTP.

Web2 (early 2000s-today) is read and write. People create and consume content on the social platforms that we're all familiar with. In web2, tech giants extract value from users by sitting in the middle. Web2 is built on client-server architecture where users are the client, and companies control the servers. 

Web3 (2020+) is read, write, and own.  People create, consume, and own the upside of their work through tokens. Web3 is built on peer-to-peer networks of computers that talk to each other without middlemen.

Web3 is powered by tokens. Let's cover that next.

What is a token?

A token is a record of ownership of an asset.

Tokens can be fungible or non-fungible:

  • Fungible tokens are interchangeable (e.g., the US dollar, bitcoin).
  • Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are unique (e.g., a piece of art).

Let’s look at a game like Fortnite or Roblox as an example:

  • Fungible tokens are the virtual currency (e.g., VBucks, Robux).
  • Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are the character skins and emotes.

Tokens live on the blockchain. Let's explain how that works next.

Up next: What is blockchain?

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Why does web3 matter?

Web1, web2, web3

What is a token?

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