Is Web3 useful for anything? These platforms and apps say say yes
NFTs, DeFi, DAOs, dApps, various metaverses… The web seems to be at a boiling point. Under the substrate that is already visible and promised by blockchain technology, Ethereum and all the push that the crypto ecosystem has had for a few years, the term Web3 has been gaining strength since last year to start being on the lips of everyone with a certain technological interest.
The promise, a distributed internet, freer and less controlled that overcomes the barriers of what until now we could consider web 2.0: the internet of social networks and the content created by the user but no power to the user. If at the moment Web3 is something relatively distant for you, here we explain its proposals in depth.
However, as in any change, it is difficult to glimpse the tangible that is really proposed. And also, of course, those who have taken advantage of the FOMO before something that promises to change everything have appeared. Scams seem to be the order of the day in what still looks very much like a kind of digital Wild West.
However, there is already a large number of projects with faces and eyes that under the surname Web3 are beginning to launch certain proposals that use blockchain technology. Some, like the ENS domains, have already gained significant visibility. However, they seek to solve problems that have arisen in their own ecosystem (in their case, making wallet addresses more accessible). In the following lines we are going to see some examples of some proposals that try to take current needs, such as web infrastructure, content creation, or file storage, to the supposed terrain that web3 promises. We have ruled out some that may make more noise and all those defined in the DeFi environment or what too insistently call themselves DAOs without giving too much proof of it.
Not in vain, the developer Molly White, who has become a voice of interest in this new ecosystem due to the scams that she has been revealing on her blog web3isgoinggreat, commented in a recent interview with Fast Company emphatically that “My overwhelming My impression is that most projects that call themselves DAOs are neither distributed nor autonomous, and those that are trying to be have been organized by people who have thought a lot about how such an organization could work in theory, but They have little practical experience with this type of organization.”
With notice given, let's explore.
Alchemy: As an AWS of Web3?
Alchemy is defined as a blockchain infrastructure company that has received external funding and one of those that has generated the most expectation in a solid way. In a nutshell, Alchemy wants to opt to do with the blockchain and web3 what AWS (Amazon Web Services) has done for the current network.
Founded five years ago, Alchemy's goal is to be the starting point for developers looking to build a product on top of a blockchain or conventional blockchain applications. Its developer platform aims to remove the complexity and cost of building infrastructure, while enhancing applications through “must have” tools for developers. It launched its offer in August 2020.
“Basically the biggest companies that mine crypto are powered by Alchemy, so by investing in Alchemy you get a broad index of the entire space,” a source connected to the funds that had recently invested in the company told TechCrunch.
Mirror: the Medium or Wattpad of the web world3
Mirror's proposal is to provide the tools so that any creation is standardized as a web3 project, although, in practice, it is being referred to as a kind of blogging platform for Mediums but with blockchain involved.
Mirror also works with Ethereum and runs on a decentralized network and under the promise of being owned by users. According to Mirror.xyz, “Mirror's publishing platform revolutionizes the way we express, share and monetize our thoughts.”
In October 2021, Mirror announced that anyone with an Ethereum wallet could join the platform and start writing on the premise that their data stays with them. Thus, a writer can publish their content and, if they want, put it under a cryptocurrency paywall to finance future publications or offer NFTs. Mirror has already produced some success stories, such as that of the writer Emily Segal, who financed her novel with the platform.
Theta, the Twitch that some streamers might want
Theta is a video call streaming network that compensates users for sharing their extra bandwidth and resources with other members of the community.
One of the co-founders of YouTube, Steve Chen, believes that Theta will disrupt the streaming video market in the same way that YouTube did in 2005.
Theta addresses the challenge of distributing video to areas where bandwidth is not as good. For that, those who contribute their bandwidth and computing resources are rewarded with the TFUEL (Theta Fuel Token).
Sia is another cloud storage proposal focused on the benefits of web3, where its users share their excess space among the entire network. With this they have managed to offer that you can store 1 TB of data for only 1 to 2 dollars per month, which is much cheaper than other cloud storage services.
To handle this cession of spare space, Siacoin has its own token to compensate hosts for making their spare space available to others.
Arweave: A decentralized Google Drive?
Arweave is another decentralized storage network that allows data and files to be stored indefinitely on a network of computers. The proposal is that the information is stored on a collective hard drive supported by all the members of the network and therefore belongs to the entire community and is never forgotten. One of the advantages of this design is that nobody will be able to delete information, supposedly.
By contributing to the maintenance of the Arweave infrastructure, users are compensated with AR tokens. Coinbase Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures have contributed investment to the initiative.
Flux, a proposal supported by NVIDIA
Flux proposes a cloud architecture that is also scalable and decentralized.
They are also building a decentralized operating system known as FluxOS, available for purchase. A series of proposals that has made it receive the interest and financial support of companies such as NVIDIA, in an alliance where Flux will receive support from the giant's engineers in exchange for sharing its advances in web3.
Kusama: a testnet for blockchain developers
Kusama is a scalable and open source blockchain network that has its greatest reference in that it is created by Gavin Wood, co-creator of Ethereum, designer of Polkadot and the person who is credited with the revival of the term web3.
Kusama provides a forum and common space for blockchain developers to share and launch their code as a testing ground for the Polkadot network. It has its own token, necessary to validate projects or vote on community statutes.
Helium: provide coverage for the internet of things
We are going with two proposals with similar objectives but different proposals. Helium proposes a decentralized network that uses radio wave technology to mine its native token HNT. For what? Helium's goal is to provide Wi-Fi coverage for Internet of Things (IoT) devices, including environmental sensors and GPS trackers.
Network participants can use a small access point device at home or in their office to provide low power network coverage within a few kilometers radius. In exchange for providing this network coverage, participants can earn passive income in the form of HNT tokens. Consequently, Helium is positioned as a simple and cost-effective solution for the connectivity of IoT devices.
Some of the proposals we have seen are suggestive, solve problems and certainly sound good. But when reviewing and analyzing them, I can't help but think: And if one of them succeeds, will it continue to defend the decentralization proposal that web3 promises, or will we simply change, for example, AWS for Archemy or Google Drive for Sia?