The web is a great place to be. It’s a universal platform that anyone can build on. But it’s also a lot of things at once. The internet as we know it might be changing forever with the introduction of the “Web3” standard, but there are still many hurdles to overcome before we have something better. Ethereum is one of the most popular platforms built on top of the “Web3” standard, and it’s probably best known for its smart contracts: applications that run exactly as programmed without any possibility of tampering or modification. But unlike other tokens and decentralized systems, Ethereum isn’t just another blockchain—it’s an entire platform for creating online applications. The web has become so much more than just a collection of static websites… and it only looks like it’s getting bigger!
What is Ethereum?
Ethereum is a cloud-based, decentralized software platform. It’s similar to the concepts behind Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency systems, but it runs on a different network—the blockchain. Unlike other blockchain systems, though, Ethereum doesn’t rely on a central figurehead like a Satoshi Nakamoto to launch and maintain the network. Rather, it uses smart contracts that are programmed to run exactly as programmed without any possibility of tampering or modification.
A brief history of the blockchain
The blockchain is a record-keeping system that’s published on a public ledger. It’s what underlies digital money like Bitcoin and most cryptocurrencies and can also be found in most online transactions. In theory, the blockchain maintains a permanent record of all transactions across the entire network. The “distributed ledger” is actually made of a network of computers that constantly update and record transactions across the network. This distributed ledger system is what underlies the blockchain network, allowing it to be used as a decentralized ledger.
What makes a decentralized system better than a centralized system?
Decentralized systems are meant to be operated by multiple parties, not just a central authority. This is why decentralized apps, or decentralized systems, tend to run better and faster than centralized ones. Centralized systems are often more prone to hacks and fraud, so they’re only suitable for larger organizations with higher stakes in the outcome.
The future of the web with the “Web3” standard
With the introduction of the “Web3” standard, the Ethereum network has become even more decentralized. It uses a decentralized web architecture, with the software being built on the blockchain rather than a server farm. This approach allows for faster transactions and cheaper transactions thanks to lower bandwidth requirements and less power consumption.
Ethereum: What’s next?
Ethereum also comes with a wide range of applications and use cases beyond just a blockchain. It has smart contracts, digital assets, decentralized applications, and decentralized web hosting. This last capability allows you to host websites on the Ethereum network and accept payments in the same way that you accept credit cards and other digital payments. The future of the web with the “Web3” standard promises to be even more exciting. It allows for more applications to be built on top of it and for the technology to be scaled to meet the broader needs of the internet. Beyond that, it will also help to determine how the internet itself will evolve. With any luck, the “Web3” standard will lead to better internet, one that is decentralized and global.