What Industries Will Web 3.0 Transform?

05 Dec 2018
Print-Ready Version

Artificial intelligence and a blockchain powered Internet of Things has far-reaching potential in nearly every area of the modern economy. Just as computing and the internet fundamentally changed the way business gets done, so too will the blockchain-enabled, distributed platforms of Web 3.0. Here are ten industries that Web 3.0 will transform:

1. Banking & Finance

Digital currencies like Bitcoin have already become a cross-border, global store of value. However, many countries are also interested in blockchain asset issuance and security, and fiat currencies could be blockchain-backed.

Digitizing currency would require retooling the banking system to offer more value-added services to consumers (e.g. instant bank transfers and on-demand lending). Securities and other tradable assets could also use blockchain signatures to ensure security and allow for around-the-clock trading.

2. Logistics & Supply Chains

The clothes, electronics, and food in your house probably came from dozens of countries around the world. Blockchain can create a global ledger where the supply chain behind products is transparent. Furthermore, IoT sensors on the products can update the blockchain ledger at each stage of manufacturing and shipment. With a clear view of the supply chain, companies become more efficient and consumers can verify the sustainability of the products they buy.

3. Real Estate

Land and resources can also be recorded and managed on a distributed ledger. Satellite imagery, computer vision, and government records could constitute a global property ownership blockchain. Then buying and selling property becomes as simple as transferring a digital certificate. In thriving economies, Web 3.0 will make real estate transactions faster and easier. In the developing world, it can make a huge difference for people who have lived on a piece of land for a long time but don’t have any legal documentation of ownership.

4. E-Commerce

The current online shopping experience relies on middlemen that create costs for suppliers and therefore raise prices for consumers. In Web 3.0, marketplaces will no longer need to rely on a central authority to gather buyers and sellers. Instead, vendors can use open platforms to sell directly to consumers. Consumers, on the other hand, can use AI-powered reputation systems to determine which products best meet their needs. Smart contracts will execute the sale and monitor delivery via IoT-enabled real-time tracking.

5. Voting & Governance

Online voting has long been a goal of techno-enthusiasts, ever since the dawn of the Web. The problem is that Web 1.0 and 2.0 have no good answers for verifying identity, preventing repeat voting, and guarding against attacks. Blockchain, AI, and facial recognition/biometrics help solve these problems by enabling independent online identities that can be verified. While the details of online balloting and identity verification are still under development, once online voting becomes a reality, democracy will become much more direct. People will be able to vote more easily and more often on issues that directly affect them.

6. Insurance

Insurance policies currently run on a monthly or yearly basis, with a central insuring corporation assessing premiums that are designed to make money. A better path is if AI learns to evaluate risk and assess claims on a case-by-case basis. From there, blockchain smart contracts can collect payments and automate payouts when claims are filed. Imagine paying your car insurance on a daily or even hourly basis, having a higher premium while you’re in traffic and a lower premium if your car is parked in the driveway. Blockchain smart contracts, AI, and IoT make that possible as part of Web 3.0.

7. Advertising

A major side effect of Web 2.0 is that advertising has increasingly moved online. This means companies have incentives to collect and sell user data, which is bad news for your privacy and your attention. Additionally, online ad fraud means that bad actors use bots to simulate impressions and clicks, charging advertisers for fake traffic that will never result in a purchase. Web 3.0 technologies will help by keeping user data in the hands of users and letting them decide how to share or sell their own information. These new technologies will also prevent many forms of ad fraud by verifying impressions and clicks with the user’s identity.

8. Entertainment

Social networking, movie streaming, and even ticketing for live events could all see massive changes as a result of Web 3.0 technologies. Any service that requires login authentication and user data input could benefit from some form of encrypted distributed ledger. AI is already making recommendations for things you should do, content you should watch and read, and people you should meet. Taken a step further, IoT in the real world and augmented and virtual reality promise to fundamentally change how we interact online and in-person.

9. Data Storage & Computing

Dropbox, Google Drive, and Amazon Web Services are massive companies with mountains of user data, but they’re centralized, targets for attack, and expensive. A better solution might be storing information on unused space across thousands of computers on a decentralized network. Techniques such as encryption and file sharding make this possible with redundancy and reduced vulnerability to attack. Additionally, the processing power from network nodes is another resource for Web 3.0, and this decentralized infrastructure will prove increasingly important as Web 3.0 matures.

10. Healthcare

Medical records are some of the most important and private documents in the world. Securing those records on the blockchain makes sense from a data security perspective. It also has the added benefit of making the records shareable between your care providers if you give consent. As wearable devices and sensors become more popular, real-time health data will be able to write directly from your body to the blockchain. AI algorithms can then recommend when you should go to the doctor or even diagnose some illnesses immediately.

Web 3.0 Impacts Nearly Every Part of Life

As we rely more and more on our phones and personal devices, the internet becomes a greater part of our lives. We rely on it to talk with friends, purchase goods, find entertainment, and get essential services. Web 3.0 furthers that integration with greater security and privacy, while also offering more efficiency and personalization in your interactions with the world, both online and in person.