What is web3?
Note: On October 4th, Bunches is partnering with a number of other organizations here in the state of Tennessee to kickoff an event series targeted around educating hobbyists and professionals alike on the ins and outs of building in blockchain. I have the honor and pleasure of emceeing the event, and would love to see you out! RSVP here.
Crypto, at its foundation, is not financial.
Crypto’s core nature is economic.
This distinction is nuanced…but important.
Economics is the study of how value is produced, consumed, and moved in the world, primarily via goods and services. Finance is derived from economics, as financial instruments and markets are very efficient ways of moving and storing economic value.
Cryptography, particularly when combined with decentralized blockchains, allows for the digital ownership and transference of value.
Cryptocurrencies are a clear example of this: they allow for the digital transfer of liquid financial value. The DeFi (or decentralized finance) industry is another example within the category of “digital financial value”.
Some of the most valuable things in the world aren’t financial in nature: time, attention, relationship, identity.
But these things are still owned, traded, earned, and allocated.
While not financial, these things — time, identity, attention, etc. — are economic in nature.
The systems and technologies that allow these “instruments” to be owned, earned, and traded are collectively web3.
These systems and technologies include protocols that provide identity on top of a public key (Lens, ENS, etc.), protocols that provide for community or communication (like Farcaster or XMTP), or apps that combine all of the above (like Bunches).
Cryptocurrencies and DeFi offer benefits like moving and growing wealth without the oversight of centralized institutions like state treasuries or banks, web3 offers benefits like building an audience or communicating with another without the oversight of centralized institutions like Big Tech™’s Meta or Google.
web3 brings a lot of value to our digital world, in ways that we haven’t seen before.
The biggest value-add in my opinion?
This not only guarantees everyone’s voice, but provides job security to digital creators.
No more building an audience over the course of years only to have it yanked from you by the YouTubes, Instagrams, and Twitters of the world.
No more wondering if you’re going to be demonetized for talking about firearms, or Trump, or cannabis, or universal basic income.
No more tiptoeing around the topics you want to discuss, how you want to discuss them.
Now…some people believe that web3 will replace or supplant the existing World Wide Web as the dominant way that people interact with one another digitally.
web3 is complementary to the existing web, adding functionality and optionality that didn’t exist before.
The existing web isn’t going anywhere for a while.
But this new, upgraded web is going to be a lot of fun for quite some time.
Want to enjoy the ride? Help us build Bunches!
Give us some feedback on our TestFlight.
Disclaimer: this is an attempt to define web3, a nefariously nebulous term. As such, this attempt falls short in a couple of ways, but it’s a good starting point for folks trying to understand the difference between “crypto”, “defi”, and “web3”.