Welcome to Web3: The Evolution of the Internet
A look at digital assets and how your online world will (possibly) change.
Smart contracts for blockchain
A smart contract is a digital contract in which the terms between the buyer and seller are written into a program using lines of code. This agreement is then distributed across the blockchain and recorded as a trackable and irreversible transaction. One of the main advantages of a smart contract is that there’s no need for a broker or intermediary to validate and facilitate the contract, which lowers costs and speeds up transaction times.
Much of the discussion about NFTs has to do with people buying digital artwork like Bored Apes, a collection of animated images of, yes, you guessed it, bored apes. But NFTs in Web3 could potentially have other use cases around proof of ownership and proof of work.
For example, instead of having to record a grant deed at the county assessor’s office to prove that you hold the title to your home, it could be recorded on the blockchain using an NFT. Or instead of having to provide a potential employer or business partner with your resume, which they have to rely upon your word for accuracy, you could provide them a token in which all of your previous work experience or business transactions have been recorded and verified on the blockchain.
As with all emerging technologies, it’s easy to talk about their future potential, but not as easy to figure out exactly how we get from here to there, and it’s no different with Web3. We don’t even know why it’s called Web3 instead of Web 3.0, let alone if it will truly transform the way we interact online. But it’s important to keep an open mind and remember that everything from email to the internet, to social media, and thousands of other things we now take for granted in our daily lives, once seemed impossible.
If you have additional questions about these technologies or digital assets, consider submitting a question to our weekly podcast, Everyday Wealth ™. Every week, our co-hosts Jean Chatzky and Soledad O’Brien discuss relevant topics that impact our lives and personal economy.