After hearing about blockchain technology and its infinite possibilities, the conversation often turns to the internet of value. But what exactly is the internet of value and what makes it different from the internet that we already know and use today?
It’s generally agreed upon that the internet has evolved in two distinct stages and that we are now on the brink of its next evolutionary phase. Web 3.0 and the internet of value, in fact, are closely intertwined so let’s take a closer look at the matter:
The first wave of the internet was characterized by its lack of interactivity. It was expensive to get a website (even to connect to a website) and a bulk of the information was largely uni-directional. Yes, you could send an email but most of the information was broadcast to us from corporate websites, leaving no room for any interaction.
The main characteristic of the second wave of evolution is the fact that the web became more inclusive and interactive. Think social media, personal blogs, user-generated content, and marketplaces that let us rent out our houses and take rides in other people’s cars. Essentially, the internet that we all know and use today.
So what’s the problem with that?
Well, while the information may be spread equally around the world, its value still is not. In fact, just one percent of the world owns half the world’s wealth and some 2 billion people around the world remain unbanked with little or no access to financial services.
Blockchain technology is giving rise to the internet of value, whereby value can be exchanged as quickly as information. So, forget costly international bank transfers that take days to clear and mountains of fees.
The entire value can be transferred as fast as your keystrokes–without intermediaries taking their cut. The ability to monetize the smallest of transactions also has significant possibilities for accelerating financial inclusion.
Web 3.0 and the Internet of Value
Web 3.0 will take interactivity to the next level. In fact, you could think of Web 3.0 as the internet of everything, as IoT comes into its own and almost any object imaginable is assigned a digital identity and connected to the web.
Beyond that, one of the most interesting aspects about blockchain tech and Web 3.0 is that they allow us to unlock value–and not only when it comes to payments.
Until now, we have relied on centralized intermediaries to act as our source of trust. With blockchain technology and smart contracts, we no longer need this. It cuts out the middleman, meaning that the value can be exchanged purely in a peer-to-peer manner without any commissions or fear that the transaction won’t take place.
As we begin to tokenize real-world assets, we start to democratize access to wealth in a way that was never before possible. Through alternative investment asset marketplaces, anyone around the world can now access and invest in exciting projects. They can hold a stake in an asset and have a chance to gain access to wealth so that it is no longer remains in the hands of a select few.
Blockchain technology allows us to monetize almost anything. So we can generate value from our data, earn cryptocurrency from our content, opinions, and even time. Likes and shares no longer just bring a smile to our lips but actual funds in our digital wallets. We can even get paid for watching advertisements should we so wish.