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From Big Tech Companies to Crypto, How top talent is moving to built Web3

Introduction

Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 refer to eras in the history of the World Wide Web as it evolved through various technologies and formats. Web 1.0 refers roughly to the period from 1991 to 2004, where most websites were static webpages, and the vast majority of users were consumers, not producers, of content.[8][9] 

Web 2.0 is based around the idea of “the web as platform”[10] and centers on user-created content uploaded to social media and networking services, blogs, and wikis, among other services.[11] Web 2.0 is generally considered to have begun around 2004 and continues to the current day.

The Semantic Web, sometimes known as Web 3.0, is an extension of the World Wide Web through standards set by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).[1] The goal of the Semantic Web is to make Internet data machine-readable.

To enable the encoding of semantics with the data, technologies such as Resource Description Framework (RDF)[2] and Web Ontology Language (OWL)[3] are used.

These technologies are used to formally represent metadata. For example, ontology can describe concepts, relationships between entities, and categories of things.

These embedded semantics offer significant advantages such as reasoning over data and operating with heterogeneous data sources.[4]

These standards promote common data formats and exchange protocols on the Web, fundamentally the RDF. According to the W3C, “The Semantic Web provides a common framework that allows data to be shared and reused across application, enterprise, and community boundaries.”[5] The Semantic Web is therefore regarded as an integrator across different content and information applications and systems.

Terminology

Web3 is distinct from Tim Berners-Lee‘s 1999 concept for a semantic web.[13] In 2006, Berners-Lee described the semantic web as a component of Web 3.0, which is different than the term Web3 in crypto context.[14]

The term “Web3” was coined by Polkadot founder and Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood in 2014, referring to a “decentralized online ecosystem based on blockchain.”[1] In 2021, the idea of Web3 gained popularity.[15] Particular interest spiked toward the end of 2021, largely due to interest from cryptocurrency enthusiasts and investments from high-profile technologists and companies.[6]

Executives from venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz traveled to Washington, D.C. in October 2021 to lobby for the idea as a potential solution to questions about regulation of the web, with which policymakers have been grappling.[16]

Some writers referring to the decentralized concept usually known as “Web3” have used the term “Web 3.0”, leading to some confusion between the two concepts.[2][3] Furthermore, some visions of Web3 also incorporate ideas relating to the semantic web.

Concept

Specific visions for Web3 differ, and the term has been described by Bloomberg as “hazy”, but they revolve around the idea of decentralization and often incorporate blockchain technologies, such as various cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).[6] Bloomberg has described Web3 as an idea that “would build financial assets, in the form of tokens, into the inner workings of almost anything you do online”.[19] 

Some visions are based around the concept of decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs).[20] Decentralized finance (DeFi) is another key concept; in it, users exchange currency without bank or government involvement.[6] Self-sovereign identity allows users to identify themselves without relying on an authentication system such as OAuth, in which a trusted party has to be reached in order to assess identity.[21] Technology scholars have argued that Web3 would likely run in tandem with Web 2.0 sites, with Web 2.0 sites likely adopting Web3 technologies in order to keep their services relevant.

Technologists and journalists have described Web3 as a possible solution to concerns about the over-centralization of the web in a few “Big Tech” companies.[6][16] Some have expressed the notion that Web3 could improve data securityscalability, and privacy beyond what is currently possible with Web 2.0 platforms.[18]Bloomberg states that skeptics say the idea “is a long way from proving its use beyond niche applications, many of them tools aimed at crypto traders”.[19]The New York Times reported that several investors are betting $27 billion that Web3 “is the future of the internet”.

web3
Web3
  • Executives at tech giants like Google, Facebook and Amazon are quitting to take jobs in the buzzy world of crypto.
  • Blockchain platforms such as Polygon and Circle have hired top talent from Big Tech firms lately, enticing them with the pitch of working on the next “big thing” in tech — Web 3.0, or Web3.
  • Ryan Wyatt left YouTube earlier this month to lead a new gaming studio from Polygon. Wyatt had joined the Google-owned video site back in 2014 to head up a push into video games content and compete more aggressively with Amazon’s Twitch platform. 
  • Tech executives are being drawn to the crypto industry due to its rapid growth and lucrative compensation packages, according to experts.
619e8894c81ca21ef156258b Web 2 vs. web 3
web3

Experts say tech executives are being drawn to the burgeoning industry in part due to its rapid growth.

“Naturally, people will want to work on what they view as the most exciting and innovative developments in the technology space, and currently, that is crypto and Web3,” Alex Bouaziz, CEO and co-founder of payroll software firm Deel said.

Potentially lucrative career move

There’s another thing that’s attracting talent at Big Tech companies to Web3: money.

According to data from Blind, a social network for tech professionals, bitcoin exchange Coinbase offers as much as $900,000 a year for software engineers.

Investment into crypto companies has surged, meaning they’ve got much more cash to spare on lucrative compensation packages for big hires. Blockchain start-ups raised a record $25 billion in venture capital last year, according to CB Insight figures.

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Abhishek Shah

Journalist at TechMantle Technology Writer, Entrepreneurship, Business, IoT, Management

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