By Mehab Qureshi
The internet has been around for only a few decades, but it has become impossible to imagine living in a world without it. Now, many are betting on an improved, decentralised version of the internet we see today, commonly known as Web3. In fact, Web3 is billed as the ‘next big thing’. It is expected to be more democratised and decentralised, being harnessed by the power of blockchain technology.
“But for that a number of things need to happen, such as interoperability between chains, and higher security. One component that Web 3.0 cannot materialise without is real-time data,” says Chet Kapoor, chairman and CEO of DataStax. Kapoor has more than 20 years of leadership experience at innovative software and cloud companies, including Google, IBM, BEA Systems, WebMethods, and NeXT.
For Web3 to take off, it also needs a “killer app”, one that drives everything. “What really made Android take off? It wasn’t only a good operating system, but turn-by-turn directions on Google Maps. It was unique, available only on Android.
I don’t think people have come up with something unique on Web3 yet,” he says.
Kapoor believes India could be the country to make this happen, since it has a tonne of talent, along with a massive population. “Every product company struggles with a couple of primary problems: Do you have enough engineers, and do you have enough users? Companies in India don’t face either of these problems. ”
The blockchain space remains scattered at present. While it is believed to have the potential to power the ‘internet of the future’, it lacks certain features that are needed to connect it more thoroughly and help it fulfill Web 3.0’s promise. Most important, it lacks the main component – real-time data – that will allow it to go big, similar to how Web 2.0 (the modern-day internet) exploded. This is a well-recognised issue and some are working towards resolving it.
DataStax is making the Ethereum blockchain available as a service to users. Developers can use an open API, file any queries – and have access to real-time data.
It has uploaded the entire Ethereum blockchain into a database. Some entities are even building global payment settlement networks that are based on blockchain while maintaining systems of engagement outside of the blockchain. But the question of how blockchain can help when you need real-time data needs to be answered.
Banks are already starting to do reconciliations with blockchain. Kapoor says, “Whenever a transaction happens in a bank, and there’s another in a different bank, a lot of processing is needed to reconcile them. And that can happen on blockchain because it’s transparent. Blockchain is starting to make its way to the back offices of banks.”
One of the biggest factors driving Web3 is the metaverse. Both technologies support each other perfectly. Kapoor compares the growth in iPhone sales with the metaverse. Angry Birds and Zynga were the first gaming apps on the iPhone. “These showed people how to interact with the device, but they were not game-changing applications,” he says, adding that “this is the stage Metaverse is at today. The version 2.0 apps on Metaverse will get really interesting.”
Work in progress
One component that Web 3 cannot materialise without is real-time data
For Web3 to take off, it also needs a “killer app”, one that drives everything
DataStax is making the Ethereum blockchain available as a service to users
One of the biggest factors driving Web3 is the metaverse. Both technologies support each other perfectly