DailyPost 2021

Thomas Friedman in his book published in 2005, The World is Flat, visualised a world, propelled by technology, ushering in globalisation. The world he says was becoming a level playing field wherein all competitors have an equal opportunity. Geography has become history was the catchphrase, broadly you could do anything and get the moon, from any part of the globe. This was Web1, the onset of the information age and as we moved forward this open / new free world of information we started creating the asymmetry and centralization of the physical world in the digital world as well. Web2 had this theme and added to that the military internet complex. Web3 was born with the promise of bringing the user to the centre of the internet universe, a decentralized one, catering to all our modern-day requirements, with sufficient technical checks and balances.

Why decentralisation matters, is now clear to all who are in know of the internet world and lots of us who have faced and experienced the ill effects of super centralization in a variety of ways. Then the question arises as to who will control the software that powers the internet. When controlled by few the natural corollary is that encroachments on personal freedom, choice and privacy are inherent. Decentralisation has faced major roadblocks so far, primarily because of the limitation of technology. The situation has completely changed with the emerging technologies of crypto and web3, ”specifically programmable blockchains, composable contracts, and digital assets – makes it possible for decentralised systems to achieve unprecedented levels of coordination and operational functionality.”

The web needs to be completely redefined. One is the technical capability but more important is the functional enablement using this capability. The digital design would / should have three different but interrelated elements; technical, economic and legal. It is important to understand the differences as that would be the key because design decisions with respect to one affects the others. When we talk of technical decentralisation, it relates to security and structural mechanisms. A permissionless, trustless, and verifiable ecosystem. The economic decentralization relates to the advent of programmable blockchains, with open-source decentralised systems having their own decentralised economies. Legal decentralization means legality of the web3 systems.

This all-inclusive design model will meet the first digital threshold with the dream of getting on to a completely decentralised internet trajectory, an antithesis to what we are living with today. When web3 systems if designed well, “decentralization becomes a virtuous, not vicious circle.” The newly designed web3 systems would usher in technical decentralization enabled transparency, by open-source public goods, by allowing data portability, mobility and interoperability, and by prioritising composability – programs as building blocks. What will all these irreversible changes collectively mean; reducing the risk of information asymmetry, & importance of web3 system’s proprietary technology and also increasing the importance of system’s network of contributors and consumers. Internet in web3 would become unrecognizable from today’s standpoint.

Sanjay Sahay

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

Scroll to Top