Blog post

What is Web3?

By Avivah Litan | February 07, 2022 | 0 Comments

Web3 enables peer-to-peer interactions with no reliance on centralized platforms and intermediaries. Users own their own data, identity, content, and algorithms, and can govern the blockchain protocols they use by owning governance tokens.  Users participate as “shareholders” by owning the protocols’ tokens or cryptocurrencies.

Web3 shifts power and money away from centralized Web 2.0 “gatekeepers” such as Google and Facebook.

For example, Web3 disrupts gatekeepers’ targeted-advertising businesses by shifting ownership of required consumer data away from gatekeepers and to consumers themselves.

We just published  What is Web3?  to help clients understand Web3 and how it compares to Web 2.0, as shown in table below.

Our research explores Web3 use cases in action today such as DeFi protocols, DAOs, and NFT markets.

We also begin to outline numerous Web3 risks, most notably a potential drift towards centralized control, the key aspect of Web 2.0 that Web3 is supposed to reverse.

These risks must be largely addressed before mainstream users adopt Web3.  In fact, many startups are already helping mainstream users mitigate risks inherent to Web3 cryptocurrency trading and DeFi.  Startups specializing in security, analytics, market surveillance, and compliance help traditional financial services companies remain secure and compliant while using Web3 crypto and DeFi applications.  We expect more such innovation in the next couple of years that address the wide range of Web3 risks so that:

By 2024, 25% of enterprises will integrate legacy apps and services with decentralized Web3 applications.

Web3 innovations will take the internet into new realms and give rise to applications not previously possible. Users will be able to control their own data, privacy, content, and algorithms, and smart contracts will efficiently utilize trustless computing, which eliminates the need to trust and pay intermediaries.

Let’s hope it stays that way…

The Gartner Blog Network provides an opportunity for Gartner analysts to test ideas and move research forward. Because the content posted by Gartner analysts on this site does not undergo our standard editorial review, all comments or opinions expressed hereunder are those of the individual contributors and do not represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management.

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