Web3 is considered the next step in the evolution of the Internet. In terms of functionality – it means that some part of the software is interacting or is using source code based on the blockchain technology.
The crypto wallet is in essence holder for private keys or accounts. It could sign, encrypt or verify operations – independently from the public blockchains or it could publish them after spending some coins. The result in the old way is – to be used in an external to the Indexed Internet Database. The Storage most often are some old Web 2.0 Platforms. I personally find a little bit – overkill using a Crypto Wallet Software for this purpose. You could use any private key API that doesn’t implement all the Standards of a blockchain protocol. The application may be made a lot smaller in size and a lot more user friendly. The Visual Interface may be customized to hide all the cryptographic complexity.
The Simplicity is the reason why many technologies are in use, understood and in practice even without the basic understanding of how things work. In some small aspect – this is the reason why the Blockchain apps have less reach than for example – the smartphones. To be considered as a semi-expert – you need to understand:
- what is a crypto wallet,
- what are coins
- Which are based on a blockchain
- Which are smart contract based
- What is decentralization
- Proof of Work/State or Something
- Limit or cap of the coins etc.
If you do not understand all of this, the crypto space is probably not for you. Yes, you could use it without being a tech guy. Be aware of greed and gambling or it will be easy to get you scammed. If you stick to the top currencies and software, you should be OK.
Some apps may have the role of verifiers or explorers of some Public Crypto Database. One of the great features of the blockchain is that – it is accessible to everyone. Everybody could check the data inside it. The Bitcoin Blockchain contains only a spreadsheet with the amount of coins each account has. Ethereum extended the functionality with Smart Contract based tokens. Namecoin is a Blockchain Database for a .bit domain names. The more functional a blockchain is – the more valuable will the explorers and verifiers will be.
There are many services that offer payment gateways. In essence these providers do not use cryptocurrencies. Instead, they offer Credit or Debit Card Internet Forms for anonymous users and pre-saved cards to choose from – for authenticated users. This boosts the user experience and minimizes the need to enter the plastic card or the bank account information each time the user buys something on some new site.
All the Crypto coins and tokens could potentially be used as a payment solutions. They may work-around having a centralized third party, but, the user must be crypto aware and also he/she must have sufficient amount of the crypto you accept.
This is the big innovation above the blockchain, that, accumulating the features of the legacy crypto and adding code execution, could be World Changing. The Question here is – do you need it – from a creator/developer point of view? Centralization has its pros – better control and fine tuning on data structures, more control and options for algorithms, scalability solutions, 3rd party internal and external software and so on.
Login may be implemented with algorithms that validate operations on unique and runtime data. The trick is – only a certain client to be capable to accomplish the required operation. The server may request a timestamp + some concrete client GUID – to be signed by the crypto account. This way, cryptographically, the server may know that the user is valid. This, in general, could be executed by off-chain private keys. If some of the data is present on-chain, this could be just one more level of validation for the server.
Crypto tipping / payment
Donation option is already accepted by most payment service providers. Doing this in Crypto is just – one more developer or marketing choice.
Public ownership – NFT
A NFT represent an invoice – cryptographic proof of ownership on something. Many items sold on the Internet today are available – with watermarks on them to proof ownership or copywrite. Wrapping the creative with NFT could be one more level of software or proof of ownership. Thanks to the smart contracts – reselling could give fee to the creator directly. I’ve tried to explain that in the Teddy Bear Analogy.
Beyond NFT and Login, Decentralized Finance is one very big reason to plug in Web3 software. All the banks around the world offer no benefit, actually even – taxes and fees – for keeping your money in the financial institutions. This tendency raises the interest on alternative applications.
Currently, there are not much implementations of Web3 – beyond Login, NFT, Money & Finance. The technology opens endless possibilities, but, it has its challenges before going mainstream.
Web3 vs Web2
Do you really need Web3? Are the users tech savvy? Is the software with the new crypto features gonna be used enough? Otherwise – it will not cover the development effort and investments. Are you trying to put a Blockchain – where the old school technologies will do the work perfectly well? Decentralization, Control of the User, Independence from 3rd Parties, User Experience, Scalability, Speed, Financial efficiency … The balance between all is hard to accomplish.
Marketing tactic or strategy
Some of the features of Web3 may be added to Web2 Web Site, App or Platform for marketing or branding reasons. There is not any essential need for Twitter to add any cryptographic blockchain stuff in my personal opinion. It worked perfectly so far. Jack – the Chief of the company is also a partner in a Payment company that has some work in crypto, so he mixes the both services.