By Tim O’Reilly
December 13, 2021
"There’s been a lot of talk about Web3 lately, and as the person who defined “Web 2.0” 17 years ago, I’m often asked to comment. I’ve generally avoided doing so because most prognostications about the future turn out to be wrong. What we can do, though, is to ask ourselves questions that help us see more deeply into the present, the soil in which the future is rooted. As William Gibson famously said, “The future is already here. It’s just not evenly distributed yet.” We can also look at economic and social patterns and cycles, using as a lens the observation ascribed to Mark Twain that “history doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes. Using those filters, what can we say about Web3?"
“Web3” as we think of it today was introduced in 2014 by Gavin Wood, one of the cocreators of Ethereum. Wood’s compact definition of Web3, as he put it in a recent Wired interview, is simple: “Less trust, more truth.”
"To get a feeling for the web3 world, ... made a dApp called Autonomous Art that lets anyone mint a token for an NFT by making a visual contribution to it. The cost of making a visual contribution increases over time, and the funds a contributor pays to mint are distributed to all previous artists (visualizing this financial structure would resemble something similar to a pyramid shape). At the time of this writing, over $38k USD has gone into creating this collective art piece.
I also made a dApp called First Derivative that allows you to create, discover, and exchange NFT derivatives which track an underlying NFT, similar to financial derivatives which track an underlying asset 😉.
... there is nothing particularly “distributed” about the apps themselves: they’re just normal react websites. The “distributedness” refers to where the state and the logic/permissions for updating the state lives: on the blockchain instead of in a “centralized” database."