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What Are Blockchain, Web3, and NFTs?

Web3, NFTs, and the blockchain at the apex (hopefully?) the hype cycle right now. These concepts are often talked about as a group but then are in fact distinct concepts and it’s important to recognize that.

Let’s dive in and clarify what each one is…

Web3

Web3 describes a new iteration of the web that is decentralized and allows for a common economic system in order to recognize more granular value outside of traditional structures.

This is a shift away from Web 2.0 which saw the rise of centralized data collection for ad tech and data aggregation in social media networks.

The implementation specifics of Web3 are in flux and will be for a while yet.

There is no “cut over” date or launch day. This’ll be an organic process as Web3 services gain popularity.

Blockchain

A blockchain is a linked list of records. Each record can be used to validate the previous record. This means that records can’t be changed without changing every record after it.

This allows the blockchain to maintain its integrity while distributed instead of sitting with one organization or company.

Anyone can verify each entry, ensuring that it hasn’t changed. That makes blockchains useful in any number of situations where verification of something is required. Things like voting, financial transactions, proof of ownership, etc.

NFT

An NFT is a non-fungible token (horrible name). This is an implementation of a specific contract stored on a blockchain (so it can be verified). Most commonly, an NFT is an item within an Ethereum smart contract.

The idea is to have a technological method of proving ownership of something. An NFT is a verifiable certificate of authenticity or ownership.

NFTs have been used in a number of creative ways. As tickets to events. Proving ownership for artworks. To representing ownership in a shared endeavour.

What’s Next?

Web3, blockchain, and NFTs present interesting ideas to change certain aspects of our digital world. Like any technology or approach there as strengths and weaknesses to each.

The challenge—as always—is recognizing those and making sure to use the best technology to solve the problem at hand.