From the beginning of time, the world has been in a constant cycle of evolution.
We’ve seen the world take new forms and we are not immune to those changes. Humans continually develop and adapt according to their needs, gains and losses, and this paves way for a more efficient future.
Blockchain technology or Web3 technology is among the numerous developments witnessed in the world.
Blockchain technology was created by Satoshi Nakamoto, an entity whose identity is unknown. This technology is another iteration of the web, only better, and it’s influence has grown far and wide.
Blockchain is a decentralised ledger used for storing records of transactions in a peer-to-peer network of computers or nodes. These transactions are stored publicly on the ledger, but cannot be altered. It is a Web3 technology.
Iterations of the Web
The iterations of the web or internet are the various forms or stages of the internet. It includes Web1, Web2 and Web3.
Web1 is the earliest form of the internet. At this stage, the internet was a read-only version. That is, users of the Web1 internet could only read information. They could not comment, add or alter any information.
Web2 is the current internet. As we know, it is centralised (owned and monitored by a separate central body), and has a read-write principle as its users can read information, as well as add to the information. This could be in the form of blogging, commenting or merely just reacting to the information. Unlike Web1, users can interact with the network in Web2. Web2 platforms include Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc.
Web3 is the future. Based on a read-write-own principle, it eradicates the need for a centralised system, allowing users to own their data and identity by using the blockchain system. Unlike its predecessors, where users’ data and identities can be accessed by a centralised entity, Web3 is decentralised and thus, has no central body that owns it. The blockchain system is a Web3 technology.
Features of Blockchain
The three features that make up the pillars of blockchain and the blockchain Trilemma are:
You can think of the blockchain as a whiteboard in a classroom. The board is owned by every student/user of the class/network, and not just a separate central body.
Suppose students want to keep records of activities done in the classroom on the whiteboard, mechanisms would be set in place to prevent individuals from wiping the board or altering information on the board. Records of transactions are stored safely on the blockchain making it almost immutable to malicious users. This ledger is secured by keys, consensus mechanisms and nodes of the network.
Scalability is simply the number of transactions per second, or in the case of the whiteboard, the number of students that would want to write on the board at a particular point in time.
The blockchain technology is useful for:
- Money transfers and savings.
- Backup of data digitally.
- Records of transactions.
- Digital voting.
Pros of Blockchain
- The blockchain has no central authority.
- Users own their data and identity.
- The ledger is secured and immutable.
- Transactions are carried out faster on the blockchain.
- Transactions are less costly on the blockchain than traditional institutions.
Cons of Blockchain
- Since there is no central body monitoring transactions conducted on the network, frauds could be committed over the network.
- If the network is not efficiently scalable, transactions could take longer hours to process.
- When transactions take too long, gas fees/transaction fees become very costly.
In conclusion, blockchain technology is the future of the internet. It is utilised in various aspects of our daily lives and eradicates the shortcomings of its predecessors. Even with its cons, the system is always developing new mechanisms that are being devised continually to make the ledger better.