Why Web3 Is A New Model And Identity Layer For The Internet
There was no public and open-source identification layer among the early internet protocols, which was one of the most significant omissions. As closed-source applications, Web2 platforms like Facebook and Twitter have monopolized that layer. The Web3 position is that you should own your own online identity and only expose aspects of it when you choose to. In practice, an Ethereum identity is pretty simple. Consider it a container for claims that can be attached to it. Without discovering anything else about your digital identity that you don’t want them to, the government might attest to your date and place of birth. Your identification could include your financial transaction history, which a financial provider could query without knowing your birthplace. Furthermore, the digital identity you create on one social network may be transferable to another.
The Ethereum Name Service is the closest thing we have to a universal identity layer in Web3 (ENS). With ENS, you can buy an ERC-721 non-fungible token with a unique name (for example, jamesbeck.eth) and have it point to an Ethereum address. ENS produced human-readable Ethereum addresses, but they’ve since been used to airdrop NFTs, show off your tokens or NFT collection to others, and figure out who’s voting for which ideas in DAO governance elections. There’s an apparent draw to indicating that you “understand” Web3, which could explain why Paris Hilton, Shaq, and other celebs have.eth Twitter handles. There are no early investors in ENS, as there were with the early internet protocols, and the protocol is decentralized and based on open standards.
critical thing to understand about ENS that makes a lot of what we do make sense: ENS is a serious attempt at a new protocol of the internet, like DNS or SMTP. Hence open, neutral, extensible, robust, decentralized, EIP standards, etc. we’re thinking 100 yrs out in our decisions
— brantly.eth (@BrantlyMillegan) September 25, 2021
IDX and Self.ID, two more 3Box Labs services, allow you to connect your wallet and control your digital identity. You can link your Ethereum addresses to your existing social media identities and any other self-identifying data you want. The wider objective, like ENS, is for people to automatically choose which data and information from their identities to give when they join up for new services and platforms. For the time being, the majority of traction with blockchain-based digital identities is in the Web3 world — tying your Ethereum address to your social accounts — but the long-term Web3 goal is for real-world identities, such as a government ID, to be attested to on-chain as well.
Web3 is a new internet patronage model.
The increasingly nebulous “creative economy” refers to online places that enable producers to monetize in innovative ways. OnlyFans, Twitch, and other platforms allow users to earn directly from their followers rather than relying on an ad-driven, attention-based revenue model. Unlike Web3 networks, however, authors can be kicked off the network at any time and do not own the content they post.
The appeal of earning money directly from your audience has grown for writers and journalists in the last year, thanks to platforms like Substack, Ghost, and Lede. None of these allow writers to form a direct relationship with their audience by allowing them to own their work. Mirror, a Web3 blogging network, allows users to sell their work as an NFT and uses “crowdfunding” to reimagine the writer and patron model. The crowdfund function allows patrons to donate ETH to fund a concept in exchange for a token that serves as proof of patronage and can be used to acquire access to a DAO or future benefits from the magazine. The coin has been used, but it also has the potential to show your early support for a concept or writer, and it will grow in value as more people contribute to the crowdfund. “Subscription is absolutely a sustainable business model for many sorts of media, but it does not suit all forms of content or experimental work, which collectors and patrons are ideally suited for,” said Kyle Chayka, a New Yorker staff writer who supported Dirt.xyz through Mirror. NFTs and the kinds of tokens that Mirror supports, such as $ESSAY and Emily Segal’s $NOVEL, can help sustain collector and patron connections. Instead of relying on readers and recurrent payments, I’d like to see blogs, series, and think tanks sponsored by tokens and NFTs, with rewards for both producers and patrons.”
Artists have a direct line to their earliest supporters with fungible or non-fungible tokens as part of the patron-artist relationship — a collection of Ethereum addresses or ENS names that can be used for mailing lists, entry passes, and payment systems for artists to engage their fans regardless of the platform they are using.