At the RAK DAO launch event, our CСO Masha Tankushina got to chat with Dominic Williams: Founder, President, & Chief Scientist at DFINITY, responsible for building the Internet Computer.
M: At the “Exploring Blockchain and its Impact on Traditional Businesses” panel, you said that achieving full-stack decentralization is the future of tech. How will Web 3.0 change the way we interact with online services?
D: One of the big problems in blockchain is people still don’t really understand what ‘built on blockchain XYZ’ means. Today, it means built on Amazon Web Services, with just tokens and NFTs that link to external content on the chain — and users can’t own anything that’s built on Amazon Web Services. It is owned by either Amazon or the developers who can log in to the Amazon account and arbitrarily change the content and data, computation, and user experience that is hosted there. So, to some extent, ownership is an illusion.
That’s the prevailing model for Web3 today, but what we’re seeing on the Internet Computer is an explosion of “open internet services,” which run fully on-chain in full-stack decentralization. User data is fully on-chain, all the computations are on-chain, user experiences are on-chain, and everything is built using advanced smart contract software running on the blockchain. These smart contracts are autonomous, meaning they can exist independently of a centralized entity like Amazon Web Services. And you can assign full control over such services to a DAO.
The real juice of Web 3.0 is the inversion of traditional business models through the provision of ownership to communities of users, developers, and investors via DAOs. The community of governance token holders gain ownership over open internet services in the same way one might get ownership of a digital asset using an NFT. So, it moves the game on from users who just own tokens and NFTs to users who actually own the internet services themselves. That’s much more powerful.
Web 3.0 involves full-stack decentralization and the creation of borderless services operated by DAOs. There’s no CEO, no board of directors, and Amazon can’t switch them off. A social media service can reward users creating viral content by giving them DAO governance tokens, incentivizing industrious behavior, making them part of a giant virtual team, and making them into co-founders. The user community directly controls the service through decentralized governance; there are no back doors, and everything’s transparent. That’s the profound promise of Web 3.0 that we are now beginning to see realized.
With a vivid picture of the transformation Web 3.0 paints, we must also recognize the broader implications of this shift. As communities gain genuine ownership over internet services, we could witness a renaissance of innovation, with diverse voices being heard and rewarded. This could reshape not just our digital landscape but also challenge socio-economic structures, fostering a more equitable online ecosystem.
The transition to the new web challenges us to think differently about how we design, engage, and govern online spaces. Web 3.0 isn’t merely a technological upgrade; it’s a call to action for a more inclusive and decentralized digital future.