WEB 3.0: Beyond the Hype - Principles and Opportunities

By Roberta Isfer, Sr. Director of Innovation for Visa Latin America and the Caribbean 

We are living in a time of great transformation, where emerging technologies are gaining traction and being adopted at scale. Soon, our identity, ownership, and the way we interact and pay will be significantly different from what we experience today.

I consider it important to approach this topic without sensationalism, exploring the current context and how we can leverage what is to come, before Web 3.0 becomes mainstream/popular in practice. We need to understand the technology, concepts, and use cases that will shape the next decade.

Before we start, it is worth clarifying the difference between Web 3.0 and the Metaverse. Although the two terms are often confused, Web 3.0 is the infrastructure and technology that make a new iteration of the internet possible, while the Metaverse can benefit from this new technology to establish different immersive experiences that enable new ways of interacting, buying, and moving money.

If Web 1.0 revolutionized access to information and Web 2.0 completely changed content publishing and online interactions, Web 3.0 goes even further by empowering users with transparency, ownership, and portability of digital assets; i.e., recording of ownership of an asset.

Web 3.0 will replace centralized corporate platforms 

With open protocols and community-managed decentralized networks, combining the open infrastructure of Web 1.0 with the public participation of Web 2.0. It represents the next evolution of the internet, bringing new possibilities and interactions for users.

One of the key aspects of this new internet is the transformation of identity, ownership, privacy, and management of digital assets. By adopting a peer-to-peer approach, Web 3.0 integrates emerging technologies such as tokens and blockchain to establish trust-based relationships through transactions defined by immutable, decentralized, and open source.

One of the challenges is the issue of digital identity. Currently, there is no unified protocol for defining and managing online identities. Web 3.0 allows users to implement new ways of storing data, security protocols and ownership, which has the potential to create a more transparent and secure internet for everyone through cryptographic identity credentials.

Another key aspect of Web 3.0 is the tokenized economy, which is based on ownership of digital assets represented by tokens. This approach offers new opportunities to monetize creators' and users' activities and contributions, enabling them to have more control over their own value.

I eagerly follow the Brazilian government's efforts to advance the Real Digital project, which has the potential to transform the entire financial sector. Earlier in July, another major step was taken when the Central Bank made available the source code utilized to create the framework used during the test phase of the Real Digital pilot and the businesses involved in the project should already be inserted in the test environment.

Digital asset management

Also in the realm of digital assets, I want to go a little further and highlight the importance of managing these assets in this new internet that we see emerging. In it, digital assets can take different forms, such as cryptocurrencies, tokens, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), digital identities, and many more. Here are some aspects of digital asset management that illustrate Web 3.0 solutions:

Ownership and Control: Allows users to have direct ownership and control over their digital assets through the use of cryptographic keys. Users have a unique private key that grants them control and access to their assets within the blockchain. This ownership allows users to transfer, trade, or use their assets as they see fit, without relying on intermediaries.

Wallets and Key Management: Introduces digital wallets that serve as secure containers for storing cryptographic keys and managing digital assets. These wallets can be apps, hardware devices, or even browser extensions. Wallets allow users to securely store and interact with their assets, sign transactions and manage their digital identities.

Interoperability and Portability: Focuses on interoperability, allowing users to manage their digital assets across multiple platforms and blockchains. Through standardized protocols and cross-chain solutions, users can transfer or interact with their assets friction-free across different blockchain networks. This interoperability increases the portability and flexibility of digital assets within the ecosystem.

NFT Management: Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are unique digital assets that represent ownership or proof of authenticity of a particular item or content. Web 3.0 provides tools and platforms to manage NFTs, including buying, selling, transferring, and displaying. NFT management involves interacting with decentralized markets, digital art platforms, gaming ecosystems, and other applications built on blockchain technology.

Programmable Assets: Digital assets can be programmed, allowing for more dynamic and sophisticated management. Smart contracts make it possible to automate asset management functions such as distributing royalties to content creators, creating complex financial instruments, or performing conditional transfers.

This wave that promises to restructure the Web as we know it represents a new perspective for the identity, ownership, privacy, and management of digital assets. By embracing open protocols and decentralized networks, it empowers users with transparency and control over their own data and value. The payments industry has an opportunity to explore and leverage Web 3.0 principles to create innovative, user-centric solutions, transforming the way we transact financially and interact in the digital age.

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