WTF is web3? With Gaby Goldberg, Crypto Investor & Thought Leader

Gaby Goldberg, crypto thought leader and investor at The Chernin Group (TCG), joined Upstream to give us a deep-dive on Web 3.0 and why it matters.

Sarah Wood
Sarah Wood

If you’ve wondered what in the world “web3” is, this blog post is for you.

Gaby Goldberg, crypto thought leader and investor at The Chernin Group (TCG), joined Upstream to give us a deep-dive on Web 3.0 and why it matters. You can listen to the full podcast here.

Check out the blog below for highlights from Gaby's interview with Alex talking about web3.

What is Web3?

The internet was created in 1989 with the intention that it would be completely decentralized. This means it would be owned by the people who used it. It’s a good idea in theory, but in practice, it created a poor consumer experience. You had to be highly technical to use the internet. It was largely read-only. We can call this version of the internet “Web 1.0.”

As a solution to the poor consumer experience, early internet companies sprung up to bridge the gap. They made the internet more usable. As a normal person without a computer science background, you could ask questions and get answers (Google) and meet new people (social media). These “Web 2.0 companies” made the internet more accessible to everyone. This shifted the internet to become more centralized, with user data controlled by large tech companies.

Enter Web 3.0. The idea behind Web 3.0 is to combine the decentralized ideals of Web 1.0, with the consumer-friendly user experience of 2.0.

What is the difference between Web3 and Web2?

The key difference between the web3 world and web2 world comes down to who owns user information.

In web3, user data remains with users. Information is stored within smart contracts, instead of being owned by a small number of big tech companies who control and profit from users’ information.

How close is Web3?

Web 3.0 is in its early stages of development. Candidly, the web 3.0 user experience has room to improve. Many web3 apps still need technical knowledge and language to be able to use them.

The big question is: "How do we onboard the billions of people using social media (web2 applications) into web3 applications?

Or said differently: “How do we create a web 3.0 user experience that matches or supersedes what the web 2.0 users are enjoying?"

For reference, there are currently 4mm+ people using web3 technology compared to the 3bn+ people on social media. The companies that can figure out the answer to these questions will be the big winners of the decade.

What are the biggest opportunities in Web3?

Gaby is excited about the opportunity for digital identity in web3.

Facebook and Instagram are used to share pictures with our friends and family. But where do people share about their NFTs and favorite tokens? Currently there is no leading platform to convene around crypto content.

Financial literacy is another exciting topic for web 3.0, especially for people looking to better understand what the financial opportunities and risks in crypto are.

How does the metaverse fit into Web3?

The metaverse is a virtual world. If you need a refresher, check out the “WTF is the metaverse” video. There are currently several existing metaverse worlds, including Wilder World, Minecraft, Decentraland, and Sandbox.

The metaverse is still in its early stages. There are only a handful of fully developed games and worlds for people to engage with, most of them being blockchain based. Web 3.0 serves as the umbrella term for all the numerous metaverse worlds.

How do you learn about Web3?

Gaby has an amazing reading list that she updates every day on Notion. This library of content consists of articles that she read learning about web 3.0, with her favorites starred. Gaby recommends starting from the bottom because it is arranged chronologically from the bottom to the top.

You can also check out the Upstream Youtube channel and blog for additional “WTF is…” crypto deep-dive events and interviews.

What do people need to know about Web3?

Gaby cautions that while web 3.0 is an exciting opportunity to create a decentralized internet that is better than the existing, web3 is not simply a silver bullet solution for everything.

Unless intentional effort is put into making web 3.0 inclusive and accessible, the danger is that web 3.0 could become an exclusive ecosystem that is all about wealth.

To prevent this from happening, Gaby says it is essential to help bring more people into the space. Peer to peer education will go a long way towards shaping the web 3.0 ecosystem as we imagine it could be.  

Background on Gaby Goldberg

Gaby Goldberg is an investor at The Chernin Group (TCG). Growing up, Gaby spent her time exploring video games like Minecraft and platforms like Tumblr. Gaby majored in Computer Science and Philosophy at Stanford. Previously to TCG, Gaby worked at Chapter One and Bessemer Venture Partners.

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Sarah Wood

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