Is Web3 Overhyped?

Tue Feb 15 2022

With NFTs and the Metaverse (which seemed like it was announced pretty early to save face) being the buzz the last couple of years, I spent some time trying to wrap my head around Web3, cryptocurrency, blockchain and figuring out my whole stance on them. I've always thought that blockchain technology (decentralized data storage) is very cool. In my opinion, it hasn't really been used to its full potential. With cryptocurrency being a type of Distributed Ledger Technology, people seem to gravitate to use cases in that bubble since there's a lot of cash flowing in that area. However, if people shift to try to expand usages of the technology (in a casual, educational and professional setting), blockchain may not be as overhyped as it currently is.

There are more use cases that are soon to see the light of day with decentralized technology. Some that I would really enjoy seeing are:

Personal Information: Storing and tracking personal information is a touchy subject on the Internet. Will decentralized storage be able to allow for personalized browsing experiences while people can safely manage and view what information they share with platforms and websites? Can it also be leveraged by systems (ie. Health care providers) to safely store and access records about people?

Voting: Voting is still an in-person event, which could be one of the many reasons why many people don't vote. Is blockchain the technology that will be the key to ensuring online voting is supported and safe?

Gaming: Gaming is on the rise for children, teenagers and young adults. With gaming now moving onto online platforms, many concerns arise, such as safety from fowl language, inappropriate visuals and scammers. Decentralization can handle things such as moderation, authentication and world-building in a very safe and community-first means, which is very exciting.

Web3 will probably be great, but there's still a ways to go. I still wonder how innovation will spur and be incentivized when decentralization does not encourage entities/businesses, since the power/status climb will be harder in a decentralized land. But then again, maybe that doesn't matter as long as they are dollar bills to be made.