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Rasmus Peterson — 02/09/22

What is Web3 and how will it affect the future of the internet?

In this interview with Adam Barlam from Decentraweb you will learn all you need to know about a possible near future with a decentralized web constituting blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies and tokenization.

Our own Marucs Glaad is at NamesCon 2022 in Austin and tries to learn more about what’s is going on in the world of the internet and domains.

So I’m here with Adam Barlam from the DecentraWeb. Thank you for a good session.

Thank you.

So, in short, tell us what is Web3?

Web3 is the transition from Web2 from a platform economy into an ownership economy. And it constitutes blockchain technology, decentralization, cryptocurrencies and tokenization.

Thank you. And what is the use case we will see in the near future, with Web3?

Web3 is finally the ability to escape from the centralized gatekeepers of the Internet. Like, like your ICANN like your, you know, Facebook, all these companies that control the Internet right now and monetize your user data that you’re freely providing for them and, you know, results in excessive corporate profits and corporate greed. With Web3 you can actually flip, the flip the script on them and actually start monetizing your own identity, your own data, and your own compute resources.

And what do you see from a corporate perspective? What will the usage be entering this Web3 era?

Sure. I think you’re going to see a lot of corporations are going to start adopting their own Web3 domains and their own Web3 identities, and then potentially even offering this this functionality, this capability to their users and to their their client base and customer base. For instance, say Apple was to register dot apple. They can then provide Adam dot apple and all these sublevel domains and nfts to their customer base and have an entire blockchain based ecosystem focusing and surrounding their top level domains.

And what’s the big change from I mean, using Apple dot com today and doing the same thing?

So, there’s a number of things that goes through the current centralized system. So there’s a number of things that that change. It reduces attack vectors. There’s no longer centralized attack vectors, such as a registrar, such as domain name hijacking, DNS spoofing, man in the middle attacks by having DNS, which is currently a very arcane protocol that was created in 1983 and moving it onto a very secure type of environment and networks such as blockchain technology.

You reduce and remove a lot of these these centralized attack vectors that exist.

Yeah ok. And what do you see in the near future for domain names and DNS that we use primarily today?

Yeah, I think, you know that the current system is really focused around big tech companies, governments, big organizations, and it really locks out the little guys. It locks out individuals or locks out small businesses because it’s unaffordable right now to go to ICANN and spend $211,000 in your first year to get a top level domain of which they’re most likely going to deny your application to begin with.

So you’re just out $185,000 application fee. The ability for anyone to create their own top level learning or sublevel domain trustlessly and permissionlessly, meaning that they don’t need to ask permission to create any of this stuff. It’s on a permissionless blockchain, which we, we use Etherium And anyone can go through and create a domain, a wall address, interact with this blockchain and not need permission from a governing body like ICANN.

What time line do see for web3 in general. I mean, it’s a lot going on and a lot of new technology. It’s really booming. So what can we see happening in the near future, you think?

I think you’re going to start seeing mass adoption occurring in the next I would say within the next 2 to 3 years. And then even furthermore, the masses are going to get involved in this and corporations are going to get involved in and you’re starting to see corporate and corporate involvement because they’re starting to realize how powerful this technology is.

You have Facebook, for instance, Meta. They are now enabling Nfts on their platform via Instagram or via the Facebook platform. You have DraftKings, that are now doing NFT based fantasy sports. So they’re starting to realize the power of this technology. And they’re realizing that not only can they potentially profit from it, but the user can also profit.

So, it’s a dual incentivized system that exists.

Okay. And what is the security risk, as you see today with the Web3 and everything that’s going on?

I would say there’s a couple of inherent security risks. One is protection of your private keys. So everything on blockchain is done through cryptography and math, cryptographic proofs. And that all relates back to your private key, which assigns these transactions. So protection of your private key is key or even potentially enabling what we call multi-signature devices, which allows more than one device to say you are, and prove, you are, who you say you are.

I think that’s an issue that needs to be worked on and even made easier for the end user because it’s kind of complex and for the current user and also different attack vectors that exist in smart contracts themselves. So I think more auditing of smart contracts, more security professionals getting into this industry and auditing the current system that’s in place.

Yeah. And on the other hand, what do you see in security benefits from from this new technology and system?

Sure. So one of the means, security benefits, is that you no longer have like these centralized attack vectors that exist right now. For instance, like if I have a domain, say, at GoDaddy, this is commonplace at GoDaddy where someone will call up and we’ll do a social engineering attack and they’ll say, Hey, I own domain X, Y, Z, but I got locked out of my account.

Can you help me out? And then the, you know, the representative would be like, oh, what’s your name? You know, what’s this? What’s the last four digits of your credit card you use, blah, blah. You know, I forgot this information, and they get gathered bits and pieces and they get just nothing. They hang up and then they call another record either like, Hey, I got locked out of my account.

This is information I provide you. And they do this a couple of different times. And finally they find a ref that’s like, Okay, I feel bad for you. I’m going to give you access into your account, they get access to their account. And often they point a domain away from the rightful holder into a malicious, smart contract or a phishing website that’s identical to the current website.

So having these centralized gatekeepers provide attack vectors for hackers by moving it into a decentralized fashion, these hackers would actually need to attack the individual, user or entity that holds the private key to these records, which is a lot harder to do.

Yeah. So finally, what’s the recommendation for corporation/companies from your side going into this new era?

I would say start researching it, start getting involved, read up about blockchain technology. I would say read up about Etherium and basically how they can modify their business model on their business structure to start incorporating these technologies. In my opinion, within the next 5 to 10 years, 95% plus of industries are going to be affected by blockchain technology.

Thank you!

No problem, Thank you.