The world of web3 in 8 keywords by Ann for Flanders DC
What exactly is web3? To understand this properly, let’s go back to the beginnings of the world wide web. Initially, the internet was intended to provide information in an easy and global way. Web pages made content available to anyone whose computer had an Internet connection. That was web1.
Over time, this static content became increasingly dynamic and interactive. Responding became possible, even sharing content was possible, photos and videos took their place on the internet and social media also saw the light of day. That is web2, the internet as we know and use it today and where major players (Google, Amazon, Meta,…) are in control and especially our data. These large companies use our data (content, reactions, play time, insights,…) to earn money, so that the user immediately becomes the product of these services.
Web3 takes a different approach and wants to return the power of data to its owner in order to create a more democratic internet. You therefore remain the owner of your information, your ‘work’,… and can decide for yourself what happens to it. And that is just now possible by means of a new technology. Instead of storing this data centrally at the major players, it ends up in a network of different computers and servers. This system is called a blockchain.
Simply put: each blockchain consists of several computers and servers that contain part of the data (or copies of it) as links. Together, these links form a chain of data called a blockchain. Because these different computers and servers always compare the stored data with each other, it immediately becomes impossible to modify or falsify and the dependence on one external party for data storage is therefore also superfluous. The data is encrypted, making the blockchain decentralized, traceable and secure.
There are different blockchains, each with their own uniqueness, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Solana, Lukso, Algorand, Tezos, Cardano, …
Be sure to check out this video in which expert Jef Cavens explains blockchain with references to the fashion world.
We often hear the word NFT in the news these days, but what exactly is an NFT? NFT stands for ‘non-fungible token’ (translated: non-fungible or unique token) and works on the basis of the technology that creates a digital ownership certificate with which you can prove that you are the owner of the digital content. An NFT is therefore not the item in itself. The information about this certificate, with a timestamp, is stored on a blockchain, making it unique and traceable. Storing this information on a blockchain is what we call “minting”.
Discover together with Ryan Gill from Crucible & Ann Claes in this Flanders DC webinar what exactly NFTs can mean for creative entrepreneurs.
4. Smart contracts
When you place an NFT on a blockchain, you also create a smart contract. This smart contract describes what the NFT entails, which rights have been sold exactly (copyrights, commercial rights,…), but also whether or not royalties flow back to the original author in case of resale. That makes it interesting to be able to follow every transaction in the future and, if it continues to increase in value over time, to even earn money from it.
Cryptocurrency is a form of digital money that does not require the intervention of banks or other financial institutions to register transactions. All transactions are tracked on a blockchain. Bitcoin is by far the best known digital currency, but there are hundreds of other digital coins including Ether, Tezos, Polkadot, Dogecoin and Ripple.
8. Digital identity
We spend more and more time online. The digital world will become increasingly important in the future, especially among the younger generations. Just like in the real world, the will for an own identity is very strong. In daily life, the choices about our clothing, haircut, possessions, who our idols are, which parties we attend, … make us who we are and how we present ourselves to others. This need also exists in the digital world. Consider, for example, the use of filters, the number of likes, the type of contacts, …
Creating a digital personality (or even several) will go hand in hand with the items you own. Here, too, uniqueness and scarcity are important, which is where NFT technology comes in handy. For example, you will be able to unpack or even trade a limited edition digital sneaker, just like in the real world today.