I am not going to say there is a be-all and end-all single simple definition of web3, but by golly My first impressions of web3 by Moxie Marlinspike nails the basics and goes into some interesting technical issues.
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This quote is particularly clarifying:
I have only dipped my toe in the waters of web3. Looking at it through the lens of these small projects, though, I can easily see why so many people find the web3 ecosystem so neat. I don’t think it’s on a trajectory to deliver us from centralized platforms, I don’t think it will fundamentally change our relationship to technology, and I think the privacy story is already below par for the internet (which is a pretty low bar!), but I also understand why nerds like me are excited to build for it. It is, at the very least, something new on the nerd level – and that creates a space for creativity/exploration that is somewhat reminiscent of early internet days. Ironically, part of that creativity probably springs from the constraints that make web3 so clunky. I’m hopeful that the creativity and exploration we’re seeing will have positive outcomes, but I’m not sure if it’s enough to prevent all the same dynamics of the internet from unfolding again.
Matt Mullenweg touched on web3 during the State of the Word so I feel it’s important that we all have a least a dangerous bit of understanding for this maybe new (most likely not) technology shift.