Tesla founder Elon Musk is voicing his feelings on a brand-new and still hypothetical version of the internet called “Web3” or “Web3.0.” Right now this web version is just a concept, but Web3 is supposed to be a decentralized version of the internet based on blockchain technology.
For those who didn’t know, blockchain is the tech behind many major cryptocurrencies and NFTs (like those weird monkeys!).
The idea behind Web3 is that it would be an alternative vision in the future of the internet where the ordinary internet user would be able to directly profit from their content and online activity. Right now, most of those profits go to a few huge internet companies, and you likely won’t see much if any of that profit.
Tech-focused entrepreneurs are trying to design and build technologies and protocols that would support the mystic “Web3.” Musk decided to weigh in on this possible new internet, by recently tweeting a TikTok video of an interview between David Letterman and Bill Gates from 1995 on the internet.
If you’re not familiar with the interview, Gates explains to Letterman the basic makeup of the bright, shiny and new internet, giving examples of what it could provide in the future. Letterman of course, makes light of it pointing out in one example of gaining the ability to listen to a baseball game online, he says, “does a radio ring a bell?”
Musk replied to the tweet saying “I’m not suggesting web3 is real — seems more like a marketing buzzword than reality right now — just wondering what the future will be like in 10, 20 or 30 years. 2051 sounds crazy futuristic!”
In a recent interview, Musk admitted he may be getting “too old” to understand these new technologies like Web3, while also saying Web3 is “more marketing than reality.”
Here’s why you should care about Web3: Its legions of supporters want to see the power of the internet put in the hands of the people, not venture capitalists. They believe the internet is too big and important for a small number of companies and investors to manage.
If you’re keeping track, we’re currently on Web2.0, which is a term that gained popularity around 2004. And, yes there was a Web1.0 that started in 1991. Before then the world was in black and white and on paper.
Other tech-focused billionaires have also weighed in. Twitter founder and former-CEO Jack Dorsey said that the supposedly “decentralized” version of the internet is already owned by venture capitalists… which sort of defeats the purpose.
It’s anyone’s guess when “Web3" will launch, what it will look like and who will own it. But one thing is for certain, Elon Musk will tweet about it every step of the way.