I was having lunch with a friend a few weeks ago who was telling me about a new business venture he has. This friend of mine is an entrepreneurial physician who made his first million by 30 and is well on his way to nine figures today. His brain works in ways that I find hard to contemplate, but it comes easy for him.
He told me that his new venture involved maintaining health records through Web3. I have heard of Web3, but I never stopped to consider what it meant apart from being a new and improved internet. Beyond that, I had no knowledge.
Turns out that Web3 is forecast to change the way all of us do business and live our lives over the next decade or two. It will likely change the way I practice law as I head into retirement, and I suspect it is the next frontier for those of us who work and have some entrepreneurial spirit.
From what I have been able to learn since that first conversation a few weeks ago, Web3 embraces the blockchain as a means of storing value and transferring assets. Blockchain is more than just cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens, or NFTs. If I am already going beyond your knowledge base, prepare yourself. A firehose of new knowledge is coming your way. It is time to start preparing.
I am just learning about this technology, and I know that my knowledge is limited. There is no consensus that these technological advances will be good for all. Some forecasters worry that embracing Web3 will lead to a greater concentration of wealth and a loss of personal privacy.
Essentially Web3 is the third iteration of the World Wide Web. I was in college when Web1 was starting. My roommate had an internship with IBM in 1989, and he was working on a technology called Prodigy that allowed you to get news, scores, and weather in real time. It also allowed you to book airline tickets. For those of us who lived in the same house, it was mind-blowing technology. Today, I get that information on my watch.
Web2 came about in the mid-2000s with applications like Facebook and YouTube where users of the technology went from being strictly consumers to becoming content creators on the Web. The technology allowed individuals to reach wider audiences and sell products and services directly to consumers. It is the world we live in and continue to marvel at today.
The current iteration of technology has changed the way I do business, allowing me to move away from expensive advertising, file retention, and brick and mortar office space to name a few changes. My costs have reduced and my revenues have risen.
And that is why I am intrigued by what comes next with Web3. Some visionaries see Web3 as integrating blockchain – the web’s ledger of ownership of electronic tokens – smart contracts, and cryptocurrencies to change the way we handle legal and financial matters while creating more market accessibility for everybody.
Conceptually much of Web3 is difficult for me to understand. However, I see the potential for it to change the way we work and live. I am going to continue trying to learn more about it.