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Web 3.0 does not work for the majority of people and it is web 2.5 that provides a winning foundation, ftw (for the win). In this post, I'll define web 3.0. Then I will outline the issues with it: too much effort, limited security, zero trust, a tech built by and for techies. This is why most companies that have been successful in the web 3.0 have actually been what I would call web 2.5 companies. We'll go over what web 2.5 is and why I think that it, not full web 3.0, is the future of internet commerce.
Web 3.0 technology can broadly be defined as decentralized zero trust transparent systems, basically anything decentralized on the blockchain. This also implies that there should be no single point of failure, as the data and apps are all distributed. These decentralized systems provide no safety for the users with unrecoverable transactions; any false move could cost a fortune. We've seen this as people lose access to their accounts or get duped by fraud or hacked. The interfaces of web 3.0 are also lacking because making money on the decentralized web is more difficult than on the centralized web. Mainly the blockchains themselves or the liquidity pools are the places to make such web 3.0 money. Of course, there is always selling NFTs.
I define web 2.5 broadly as a centralized interface to the decentralized web 3.0.You may be surprised to learn that the largest web 3.0 companies are actually web 2.5. Exchanges like Binance, Coinbase, and FTX all add safety and controls to protect themselves and their users. Even with NFTs, companies like OpenSea often control the ability to distribute (for the less sophisticated users). Recently they even locked the sale of a collection following fraud. Having that ability means they are not decentralized. Using an exchange also requires jumping through hoops. They control your wallet and can cut your access to it any time.
That is not Web 3.0 and that is ok. Web 2.5 allows safety and a single point of blame and a single owner that can provide relief and a great interface. That last point is required for a technology to go from deceptive to embraced, at least according to the book, Bold. I concur with this assessment. Furthermore, the zero trust nature of web 3.0 creates a lot of transactional friction. This is death to commerce, while web 2.5 allows you to trust the provider and them to trust the user. This allows providers to remove some of the transactional barriers to smooth transactions. The metaverses themselves - AR, VR - all have stores, and are owned by companies that we either trust or do not. They control our access in a very centralized manner.
At Datalus Corporation, we understand we are building a web 2.5 company, a gateway for our users to interact with a web 3.0 world to earn income from something that has been taken for free, but also provide centralized functionality to enhance their experience and privacy. We will be their trusted vessel and companion in the ever-dangerous open sea of the web.
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