Over the past several months, you may have heard technologists talking about “web3,” which advocates argue is the next step in the web’s evolution. In theory, web3 represents a more decentralized web, one in which everyone retains more ownership of their data via the blockchain, NFTs, and other technologies. Depending on who you ask, the “metaverse” (an ecosystem of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) apps) will also play a big part.
But what do developers think of web3? Do they think it’ll result in a new, better, and radically different web? That’s a huge question, one that Stack Overflow recently put to its enormous community of technologists. And the answers were… mixed.
While nearly 40 percent of developers claim they haven’t heard of web3 (which means they’ve done a great job of staying off Twitter and tech-related subreddits), a quarter think it’s the future of the internet. Another healthy portion (15.1 percent) think web3 is a bunch of hype, and nearly 9 percent see it as an outright scam. Around 13 percent take a more measured approach, framing web3 as important to crypto and related apps.
Stack Overflow dug a little deeper and found that developers with at least some experience working with blockchain were far less likely to view web3 as hype or a scam. Notably more (29 percent, versus 20 percent for those with no blockchain experience) were likely to call out web3 as important to crypto and related apps, while just slightly more (41.4 versus 40.1 percent) called it the future of the internet:
Whatever your beliefs about web3, its actual form remains somewhat amorphous. In the meantime, companies have posted some 20,384 jobs related to blockchain skills over the past 12 months, according to Emsi Burning Glass, which also predicted that blockchain-related jobs will grow 24.6 percent over the next two years. Whatever the future holds, learning how blockchain works can open up opportunities for many organizations.