Five Ways People Can Experience Web3 Todaybr>
Every day, more of the world’s gifted computer scientists leave their jobs at tech companies like Google and Amazon, to help build Web3 – a decentralized internet where end users will hold all the control. Every year, more programmers graduate from top universities, brimming with dreams of designing the next big decentralized application (dApp) –whether it’s a play-to-earn video game, a marketplace for digital real estate or a tool for browsing the web away from the prying eyes of advertisers and spies.
It’s not surprising to see all the attention and speculation around Web3. But most discussions center on things that are still in the ether, still under construction and still baffling to most people. Web3 is all about the future, not the present, or so conventional thinking goes.
But even if metaverses are still a half-built dream, the decentralized experiences that Web3 promises are already real enough to touch (without having to own a VR headset, haptic gloves, or high value digital currencies).
For those who want to see what the next iteration of the internet is all about—and even influence its development–here are five ways anyone can already dip their toes into Web3 technologies:
Whatever shape Web3 eventually takes, digital currencies will be an important part of it. For people who want to start getting familiar with digital assets—but not necessarily by investing in the volatile crypto market—there is the option of setting up a crypto wallet.
A crypto wallet is an application that allows you to store, send or receive funds and other digital assets, like NFTs. Each wallet has a unique address and can only be accessed with the “private key.” The wallet forms the base of every digital currency toolkit, integrating with various marketplaces and enabling financial transactions.
Creating a wallet is easy. You can create one with a secure and popular decentralized wallet provider (MetaMask is very popular and trusted) or join an exchange which creates one for you when you sign up with them.
Create, Mint and Trade NFTs
Once your wallet is set up and running, you can access the world of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). These are unique digital assets that can hold data or media (including pictures, music, videos, books, or in-game items). Unlike other digital assets, which can be copied and shared endlessly, NFTs are one-of-a-kind, enabling digital ownership of an asset. They cannot be replicated, and are encoded in the same manner as many cryptos.
NFTs are minted on blockchains, and bought and sold in popular marketplaces like OpenSea, Binance NFT Marketplace and SuperRare.
People buy and sell NFTs for the same reason they have always bought or sold great works of art: They are rarities that might increase in value.
Earn money playing a video game
Video games have always had digital economies, which grow as users shuffle in. But blockchain technology is expanding these economies. Instead of a single entity controlling the game dynamics, the players of blockchain-based games are in charge and are compensated for their participation. The payouts come in the form of the game’s native tokens. New ways to earn are constantly emerging in the blockchain gaming space. Video game NFTs, for example, enable players to earn rare in-game items which can then be traded with other players.
Web3 games usually have their own marketplace where a player can sell their tokens or NFT collections specific to the game. Most of the current blockchain games run directly inside web browsers so all you really need to get started is a browser with a connected wallet. Just sign up and start playing.
DEX and DeFi
Traditional financial markets are only open on weekdays during business hours, and all transactions are linked to banks and other institutions. But many people want to trade more anonymously and frictionlessly and do so at any hour.
A decentralized exchange (DEX) is a marketplace for trading and exchanging cryptocurrencies, and anyone with an internet connection can trade anonymously. Although governments have been getting involved with DEXs to a certain degree, decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols like those offered by Aave and others let you lend and borrow money from liquidity pools using smart contracts instead of government agencies or financial institutions. The process is automated and secure and allows for continuous rotation of your money with no down time.
These experiences are available in the form of dApps and can be downloaded and used on computers or mobile devices just like any other app.
Keep an eye on Metaverses
Metaverses will one day deliver a virtual world experience like no other. VR technology will likely be at the forefront, and digital real estate will soon be coveted in the same way that physical real estate is. Still in a nascent state, Metaverses will take quite some time to become what they set out to be. But every day, more developers are creating tools to allow communities to enter and develop the worlds they themselves will populate.
Metaverses are being built by various different companies working separately, but one day they will be connected to enable incredibly massive and innovative new worlds.
To get an early taste of metaverses, and even help them develop, you can explore ecosystems like the Sandbox, where users can create their own games and tradable assets without any investment or advanced coding skills.
Dive In Today
Web3 is still in its early stages. While there’s still so much you can do right now, it pales in comparison to what we all can really accomplish with it. In the meantime, it is a patchwork of services and development environments. Ones that still offer experiences ranging in a spectrum between half-decent to amazing. So… should you wait for the latter to become the norm?
Beginning to explore and experience now means not just understanding what is being built, but even having a say in how it develops. Because it won’t be advertisers, government agencies or tech giants who control the next iteration of the internet. It will be the users.
And the more users begin experiencing Web3 today, the more they can help build it into something far better than Web 2.0.