Web3 Promise and Perils: An Exclusive Interview with Anndy Lian

July 10, 2024
Web3's Promise and Perils: An Exclusive Interview with Anndy Lian

Web3: buzzword or breakthrough? Skeptics dismiss it as a passing fad, while proponents herald it as the next internet revolution. In this candid conversation, we challenge Anndy Lian, a leading voice in the blockchain community, an Intergovernmental Blockchain Expert and Best-Selling Author, to address the doubts and concerns surrounding Web3. Lian shared his insights on the technological, regulatory, and adoption challenges that Web3 faces, while also highlighting the transformative potential it holds for industries, economies, and our digital experiences.

The Shib: In your own words, what is Web3, and what are the key distinctions between Web3  and the current internet (Web2)?  

Lian: Web3 represents the evolution of the internet into a space where users have more control and ownership over their digital interactions. It’s built on the principles of decentralization, enabled by blockchain technology, which allows for a network that isn’t controlled by any single entity. This contrasts with the current iteration of the internet, known as Web2, where centralized platforms hold significant power over user data and content distribution.

In the Web3 vision, the internet becomes a place where users can interact without surrendering personal information to service providers. Instead of data being stored on servers owned by a few large companies, it’s distributed across a network of nodes, making it more resistant to censorship and outages. This shift also introduces the concept of tokenization, where digital assets or tokens can represent anything from currency to ownership rights, accessible through secure digital wallets.

Another key aspect of Web3 is transparency. Since it’s built on blockchain, all transactions and data exchanges are recorded on a public ledger, which anyone can verify. This level of openness is a stark departure from the often opaque practices of Web2 companies. Moreover, Web3 aims for interoperability, where different applications and services can work together seamlessly, unlike the siloed nature of many Web2 services.

Identity in Web3 is also transformed. Users can have a single, self-sovereign identity that they can use across multiple platforms without needing separate accounts for each service. This not only simplifies the user experience but also enhances privacy and security.

The Shib: What are the most compelling potential benefits and use cases of Web3 that could reshape industries, economies, and our digital experiences? What are the most significant challenges and risks associated with Web3 adoption?  

Lian: Web3 is like a fresh canvas for the digital world, offering a palette of possibilities that could revolutionize how we interact online. It’s akin to the leap from snail mail to email, but on a grander scale. The most compelling potential of Web3 lies in its ability to give power back to the people. Imagine a world where you’re not just a user but a stakeholder in the platforms you use. This shift could transform industries by fostering innovation without the need for centralized gatekeepers.

In the creative sector, artists could sell their work directly to fans without intermediaries taking a cut. In finance, decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms could offer loans and savings accounts managed by smart contracts, not banks. For the everyday internet user, imagine logging into different services with a single digital identity that you control, not a tech giant.

But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. The road to Web3 is paved with challenges. The technology is complex, and for many, it’s like learning a new language. There’s also the issue of scalability; blockchain networks can be slow and expensive to use. And let’s not forget the regulatory maze. Governments are still figuring out how to deal with cryptocurrencies and digital assets, which are at the heart of Web3.

Security is another concern. While blockchain is secure by design, nothing is foolproof. There have been high-profile hacks of DeFi platforms and crypto exchanges. These incidents raise questions about the readiness of Web3 to handle our digital lives.

In short, Web3 has the potential to be a game-changer, democratizing the internet and sparking a new wave of digital innovation. But it’s a bit like the Wild West right now, full of opportunity and danger. Navigating this new frontier will require patience, education, and a careful approach to risk management. It’s an exciting time to be online, and the future is unwritten.

The Shib: Do you believe Web3 will be a passing trend, or is it the dawn of a new internet  era? What factors will determine its long-term success or failure?  

Lian: Web3 feels like the early days of a revolution, much like the internet in the ’90s or smartphones in the early 2000s. It’s not just a fleeting trend; it’s the groundwork for a new digital epoch. The promise of a decentralized, user-empowered web is too potent to ignore. It’s like we’re at the cusp of a new dawn, where the internet becomes more than a tool—it becomes a community.

The long-term success of Web3 hinges on several factors. First, it needs to be user-friendly. Right now, it’s like a tech enthusiast’s playground, complex and intimidating for the average person. For Web3 to truly take off, it must be as easy as Web2. People should be able to interact with it as naturally as they scroll through a social media feed.

Second, scalability is crucial. The current blockchain infrastructure can be like a two-lane road when we need a highway. It has to support millions of transactions swiftly and affordably to become mainstream. Third, there’s the question of security. The more we rely on Web3, the more attractive it becomes to bad actors. Building a secure yet open system is one of the biggest challenges it faces.

Regulation will also play a pivotal role. Governments around the world are grappling with how to approach this new frontier. The decisions they make could either stifle innovation or nurture it. And finally, there’s adoption by businesses and developers. They’re the ones who will build this new world, and their embrace of Web3 technologies will be a deciding factor in its success.

In essence, Web3 is not just a new set of technologies but a new philosophy for the digital age. Its success or failure will be determined by how well it can balance the ideals of decentralization with the practicalities of everyday internet use. It’s an ambitious vision, and like any grand endeavor, it will face its share of skeptics and setbacks. But if history has taught us anything, it’s that the boldest ideas often have the most enduring impact. Web3 has the potential to be one of those ideas.

The Shib: How will Web3 impact the way we own and control our digital assets, data, and  online identities? What are the implications for privacy, security, and user empowerment?  

Lian: It’s about shifting the control of digital assets, data, and identities back into our hands. In this new era, your online identity becomes your passport, granting access across various platforms without surrendering your personal details to each one. It’s like having a VIP pass to every club in town, but the bouncers can’t see your home address.

This shift promises a boost in privacy, as the need to share personal information diminishes. Your data becomes a treasure chest that only you can unlock, rather than being left out in the open for companies to pick through. Security-wise, blockchain’s robust architecture acts like a fortress, defending against unauthorized access and ensuring that transactions are tamper-proof.

However, with great power comes great responsibility. User empowerment means we must be vigilant custodians of our digital keys. Losing them could lock us out of our own digital kingdom. Moreover, the decentralized nature of Web3 means there’s no ‘customer service’ to call if things go awry. It’s a brave new world, one where we’re both the rulers and the guards of our digital realm. The implications are vast, and the potential for a more private, secure, and user-centric internet is immense. It’s a shift towards true digital sovereignty.

The Shib: Which specific industries or sectors are most likely to be disrupted or transformed  by Web3 technologies in the coming years? Can you provide concrete examples  of how this transformation might unfold?  

Lian: It is poised to be a game-changer for several industries, much like the arrival of the internet itself. It’s not just a new layer of technology; it’s a seismic shift in how we’ll interact with the digital world.

Take the art world, for example. With Web3, artists can mint their creations as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), ensuring authenticity and ownership in a way that’s never been possible before. It’s like turning a painting into a one-of-a-kind digital masterpiece that can be bought, sold, and collected without fear of forgery.

In finance, Web3 could usher in a new era of decentralized finance (DeFi). Imagine a world where you can lend, borrow, and invest without ever walking into a bank or filling out a pile of paperwork. Smart contracts on blockchain could automate these transactions, cutting out the middlemen and potentially offering better rates and more accessibility.

The gaming industry is also on the cusp of transformation. Web3 could enable gamers to truly own the items they earn or buy in games, carrying them across virtual worlds. It’s like having a universal inventory that’s recognized in every game you play.

These examples are just the tip of the iceberg. Web3 has the potential to reshape industries by creating new business models, revenue streams, and ways for consumers to engage. It’s a brave new world, and we’re all part of the journey. The transformation is already beginning, and it’s only going to accelerate from here.

The Shib: If you were to advise entrepreneurs, investors, or policymakers about Web3, what  would be your top recommendations for navigating this emerging landscape?

Lian: Navigating the Web3 landscape is like exploring a new continent. It’s vast, untamed, and full of potential. For entrepreneurs, my advice is to focus on user experience. Web3 can be complex, so making it accessible is key. Think of it as building bridges over technological rivers. Investors should look for projects that not only have solid tech but also a clear vision of how to integrate into the current digital ecosystem. It’s like planting seeds in fertile ground—look for where they can grow.

Policymakers have a delicate task. They must balance regulation and innovation. It’s a dance between setting boundaries and allowing freedom. The goal should be to protect consumers without stifling the creative spirit that drives Web3 forward.

For all, staying educated is crucial. Web3 is evolving rapidly, and keeping up with its developments is like keeping a boat steady in a fast-moving current. Be adaptable, be vigilant, and be ready to pivot. This new digital landscape is unfurling its map, and those who can read it well will be the ones to find the treasure.

Anndy Lian’s insights offer a sobering yet hopeful perspective on Web3. While the potential benefits are undeniable, the road ahead is not without its hurdles.  Lian’s balanced approach reminds us that Web3 is not a magic bullet, but rather a complex ecosystem that requires careful navigation.  The success of Web3 hinges on overcoming technical, regulatory, and adoption challenges, but the reward could be a truly decentralized and user-empowered internet.

For further insights from Anndy Lian and other industry experts, be sure to check out The Shib’s Alpha Insights.

About the Speaker:

Anndy Lian is an Intergovernmental Blockchain Expert, Best-Selling Author, and a highly respected figure in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space. He is a sought-after advisor to governments and businesses on blockchain adoption and regulation, and his insights are invaluable for anyone interested in the future of Web3.

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Yona has no crypto positions and does not hold any crypto assets. This article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial advice. The Shib Daily is an official media and publication of the Shiba Inu cryptocurrency project. Readers are encouraged to conduct their own research and consult with a qualified financial adviser before making any investment decisions.

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