2021 was a phenomenal year for cryptocurrencies, as evidenced by their record-breaking cumulative market cap of $3 trillion, which they hit in October, the highest since their inception. In addition to crypto, other blockchain products such as NFTs, the metaverse, and Web 3 as a whole saw widespread adoption globally. Despite Tesla’s Elon Musk and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey raising concerns against Web 3, the momentum behind this new version of the internet has not waned one bit.
The evolution of the internet
The internet as we know it came to fruition in 1990. From then till around 2004, most of the internet was comprised of business and corporation websites. Most of the data on it was static, meant only to be consumed by individual users. That was the first version of the internet, Web 1.0.
In the mid-2000s, the internet underwent a revolution with the entrance of social media platforms and other communication channels. Suddenly, users like you and me could generate content and share it for public consumption. Things like blogs, vlogs, music, and other content became commonplace, and now individuals could earn from their online creations. However, the data was still under the control of large corporations like Google and Meta. This was Web 2.0.
Now, the internet is slowly transitioning into a community-owned, decentralized platform. This transition is centered around blockchain technology, crypto tokens, whether fungible or non-fungible, AI, and metaverses, with more emphasis on peer-to-peer transactions. The goal is to base the internet on personalized content and give people control over their own data. This is Web 3.0. To that end, here are the leading Web 3.0 projects worth keeping tabs on.
Leading Web 3.0 projects
Helium is a Web 3 project that aims to bring the internet to everyone, regardless of where they are. Think of it like the internet service providers of today, the likes of Verizon and AT&T. Just like these giants; it utilizes hotspots to provide wireless internet, or WIFI if you will. Users can buy these Helium hotspot devices and set them up in their buildings. If any other users want to connect to the internet, they search for a nearby hotspot and do so. In return, the owner of this hotspot device earns HNT tokens, the native token of this project.
This way, users are incentivized to place these hotspot devices in highly populated areas. Additionally, the subscribers to these hotspots also get rewards for joining a network and popularizing it. Recently, Helium launched several 5G hotspots to provide high-speed internet.
Flux is a platform for developers that enables them to build Web 3 projects and other decentralized applications. This is achieved through FluxOS, which is one of the first completely decentralized operating systems. In addition to the operating system, Flux also offers cloud computing capabilities to aid in web 3.0 app development. Like Amazon Web Services, this platform offers several services for data aggregation, such as the Oracle hosted service that allows users to access and analyze data across blockchains.
Notably, this project utilizes the proof-of-work mechanism, which has received criticism over its huge energy requirements. Be that as it may, this allows users with mining hardware to earn rewards from the platform. Recently, Flux simultaneously launched 30 dApps on their platform. The acceptable mode of payment on this project is FLUX, its native coin.
You can think of Filecoin as a decentralized filing cabinet. It offers cloud storage to its users, replacing the traditional entity-owned cloud storage that is common today. In addition to holding any conceivable file type, Filecoin also ensures that its cloud services are secure enough to hold private business records.
If you wish to invest with Filecoin, you can do so by offering cloud storage space in the form of unused hard drive space. In return, you’ll earn FIL coins depending on the amount of storage you provide. This model allows Filecoin to charge competitive tariffs.
Polkadot is a leading network when it comes to Web 3.0 adoption, thanks to its parachain technology. These parachains are a series of networks running parallel to the main blockchain, whose main goal is to reduce congestion on the network. What’s more, these parachains are compatible with other blockchains through bridges.
Developers build parachains on the network and hold auctions to have them supported and funded on the network. By year-end 2021, there were 100 supported parachains. More of these are expected to be added as 2022 progresses. Polkadot is also known for the immense support they extend their projects. They spend north of $1 billion in funding various web 3 projects developed on their network. Their native coin, DOT, is currently the 10th largest token by market cap.
Kusama is an experimental network for Polkadot. It is used as a trial run platform for Polkadot projects. This allows their developers to fix any bugs and make any necessary alterations and updates before they are officially launched on Polkadot. Similar to the latter network, projects on Kusama have to win auctions to secure a spot on the network. Whichever project wins at the auction goes on Kusama, where users get a feel for it; suggest any bug fixes to developers before the app is taken to the widespread Polkadot network. This platform’s native coin, KSM, is ranked 63rd largest coin by market cap.
Web 3 is the emerging version of the internet where control over data is being taken away from the corporations and being placed in the hands of the users themselves. It is centered around decentralization, which puts peer-to-peer transactions at its forefront. To that end, there are several projects and applications that have been built in this Web 3 space, and we have looked at the top 5 worth investing in.