Guest post: The new Internet – a place for everyone
The internet is currently controlled by a few large corporations that generate $75 billion in profits per quarter through advertising and our data. Today, however, we face a new stage in the evolution of the Internet: the transition from Web2 to Web3. In her guest post, Joséphine Gerves explains what this means and what social potential it entails.
Web2, the Internet as we use it today, appeared around 2004 and inspired new features such as blogs, wikis, apps and social media. And what would today’s Internet be without “Big Tech”: These are the 5 tech giants Amazon, Apple, Alphabet (Google), Meta (Facebook) and Microsoft. Created as innovative start-ups, they now dominate the internet world and can wield their power almost unchecked due to the lack of regulation. While these giant corporations present content and collect data, consumers are only given the opportunity to consume predetermined products and services.
The evolution from Web2 to Web3
The transition to Web3 opens up new possibilities which, above all, transcend borders. Web3 is shaped by innovations such as blockchain, cryptocurrencies and NFTs (non-fungible tokens) and aims to return the power of tech giants to individuals in the form of property. For example, users of the Roblox platform can create their own online games and make them available to others. Technologies like virtual reality allow us to dive deeply into this immersive universe. Thus, the borders of the virtual world and the physical world will continue to merge.
About the Expert
Josephine Gerves has been Managing Director of DEPT since 2022, where she looks after new international business, as well as advising and expanding European clients. Additionally, Joséphine is the co-founder of the Meta Festival, the first hybrid festival in Europe that brings together people, brands and technology and celebrates the Metaverse. A jury voted her one of the top 100 people to watch in 2021 and the top 10 people in the metaverse to follow in 2022.
Even though most of us still live in Web2, it must be said that Web3 is no longer a pipe dream. In 2021, 49 billion US dollars have already been invested in Web3-related projects and startups. Even real estate is now as coveted in the virtual world as it is in the physical world: the sale of virtual real estate alongside that of rapper Snoop Dogg brought in a whopping US$450,000 in December 2021.
Who owns Web3?
The evolution of the Internet means not only a technological change, but also a cultural change. This gives us the opportunity to actively participate in the development of the new version of the Internet. In Web3, we are not only consumers, but we become so-called “creators” – creators who shape the digital universe and can therefore also own parts of it. At the heart of the vision is decentralization and an equitable distribution of power and the inclusion of every person who actively contributes to shaping Web3.
New insights from experts
The community approach that underlies the idea of Web3 is not only the driving force behind the democratization of the Internet. It also opens whole new doors to self-actualization, diversity and inclusion – three important topics that have occupied our society for some time. An example: In 2020, 2 out of 3 properties are still bought by men. The reasons for this gender inequality are multiple, but Web3 is reshuffling the cards: to buy land on a virtual platform like The Sandbox, Decentraland or Somnium Space, no negotiation with banks, land registry and notary office are necessary. – any Obstacles that may seem big and daunting in the way of buying a property. Real property on the Web3 is much easier and anonymous to obtain here: with money in the form of cryptocurrency.
An optimistic outlook
The power to create something exceptional does not reside in the know-how of a single person, but in the collaboration of people with diverse backgrounds and ideas.
Now is the time to learn from the mistakes of Web2 and to recognize and use the great potential of Web3. But borders are only redefined if people work for them. Power is only redistributed among those who fight for it. We are all invited to help shape the Internet of the future. Let’s not miss this opportunity.
The Mission Female business network, founded by Frederike Probert, is actively committed to empowering women in business, society, media, culture, sport and politics. It brings together successful women from all walks of life with the goal of advancing together professionally.