Reading log and notes: Web3
Since I make websites for a living, one of my 2022 resolutions is to keep an eye on the Web3 topic. This is an assorted list of articles, threads, and resources that I've been curating for some weeks now; I include quotes from each piece and my own opinions.
The one that caught my interest, it's well documented and written. If in a hurry, skip everything else and stick to it.
One of the best articles I've read. I like it because the author has gone the "empiric" way, building a couple of dApps (Decentralized Applications) and an NFT (Non-fungible token). It's very insightful, and all the ins and outs about NFTs are worrisome, at the least: the dApps dependency of non-distributed systems to interact with the blockchain and the fact that the NFT represents data that is not stored on-chain but in a regular HTTP server.
Given the history of why web1 became web2, what seems strange to me about web3 is that technologies like ethereum have been built with many of the same implicit trappings as web1. To make these technologies usable, the space is consolidating around… platforms. Again. People who will run servers for you, and iterate on the new functionality that emerges. Infura, OpenSea, Coinbase, Etherscan.
Put bluntly, the Ethereum “world computer” has roughly 1/5,000 of the compute power of a Raspberry Pi 4!
If you don't fully understand how the blockchain works, this statement could raise an obvious question: How can such a low-power computer system be that revolutionary? This also adds to the argument that cryptocurrencies are an environmental disaster.
How long can it possibly be “early days”? How long do we need to wait before someone comes up with an actual application of blockchain technologies that isn’t a transparent attempt to retroactively justify a technology that is inefficient in every sense of the word?
The author discusses one of the most common responses that Web3 advocates sentence when detractors hit a fundamental issue: it's early days. Is that argument legit? Interestingly, when the Web2.0 term was coined around 1999, one of the most important technical features that made it possible was the XMLHttpRequestObject. At that point, It wasn't wholly functional and widely adopted. So, there were also "early days" for the Web2.0, and it still managed to succeed as an effective marketing term and as a platform.
If true and coming from a mainstream media outlet, this one is terrifying.
A must 👀
I don't believe that many people are actively and knowingly working on deliberate scams, but there definitely are some.
This could work as "final thoughts". In my experience, software engineers are kind, smart, and usually work for good. Constantly stating that Web3 is a scam, could be discouraging for new folks trying to enter this new space. Are there too many speculators and people who only are interested in profits? Sure, but assuming no one is entirely right, those dissenting views and arguments against the Web3 could prevent someone with really good ideas from solving some of the current Web's issues.