Literally in recent days, two significant events have taken place: the UK Home Office allowed the extradition of Julian Assange to the United States, and Telegram introduced a paid subscription. How are these events connected and what do they talk about? This shows that the golden age of web 2.0 as a space of freedom is naturally coming to an end. On the one hand, the state is on the offensive: Julian Assange created his Wikipedia, WikiLeaks, a resource that was dedicated to the main value of freedom of speech – the ability of people to expose the abuses of the powers that be: states and corporations. As a result, for such revelations, he was persecuted by the most powerful state on earth – the United States. US prosecutors have not forgiven him for helping Chelsea Manning leak war crimes data in Iraq and Afghanistan.
On the other hand, a new turn in the development of Telegram. In itself, the appearance of a paid subscription, except for its strangely high price (at first it was announced 449 rubles per month, almost immediately it fell to 299 rubles), there seems to be nothing: the old features remain in place, and the fee is introduced for new advanced features. Although, of course, fears immediately arose that for the free Telegram, this means a gradual stop in development: it will, of course, be updated and supported, but really new, useful and expected features (like decoding voice messages into text) will become the prerogative of the already paid versions. For many, this was the end of an era of free and at the same time advanced – probably the most advanced in the world – messenger.
But the main thing here is not the fate of a particular messenger, but the reality that these changes reflect. Of course, it would be naive to expect it to be free forever. But the era of web 2.0 consisted of these naive expectations – that in itself technical progress, technology, will provide people with freedom and independence. Such technological communism, when, thanks to technology, tomorrow everything will be better than yesterday – and, at the same time, cheaper or completely free. And for the time being, this worked: Uber made trips cheaper, you can google for free, technologies grew and developed, competing with each other, without shifting their costs to users. And everything was fine, Google followed the Don’t be evil principle, and Telegram was free and free.
This era is over. In 2018, Google quietly abandoned the principle of Don’t be evil, and Telegram became the first more conciliatory with the authoritiesand now commercialized. Users became aware of all this after the fact. Why? Because they don’t make the decisions. 700 million people use Telegram, but only one or several decide – it’s not even so important how decisions are made in Telegram, personally by Pavel Durov or by some circle of investors. It is important that the key problem of web 2.0 turned out to be that the circles of shareholders – those who control decision-making, and stakeholders – those whom they influence – do not coincide at all.
Shareholders – owners, large investors – who in total control 51% of the votes and more – these are, as a rule, several tens or hundreds of people. Often these are institutionalized investors – that is, other corporations. Stakeholders – users of services – are millions and billions of people. The imbalance is thousands, if not millions, of times. In the heyday of web 2.0, this was not a problem – while companies fought for the user with each other, they looked like an ally of the average user.
But now, when the competition has already been won by many, there are no small players left, the Internet is divided between giants operating at least tens of millions – and up to several billions – of users, and the “enslavement” of users into ecosystems has begun, this is a romantic time – when the interests of services coincided with interests of users – ended. Now the interests of the services have become to recoup the huge investments made in them, to return to investors their investments with a profit. And how they will do it – they will decide for themselves, without the participation of users, but with a narrow circle of those who own these services and who earn on them.
Therefore, it is not so important that the free Telegram has not become worse with the advent of the paid version. It is important that this decision, like all previous ones, and all future ones, was made by Telegram for users: they were simply confronted with a fact. Now it is already 700 million people. So far, these decisions remain tolerable, and there seems to be nothing to complain about, but the fact itself is already beginning to disturb many. Because there are examples of how services that survived the “flower-bouquet period” of attracting users at the expense of investors, having established relationships with them, began to present bills: you have to pay for everything, and it’s also desirable not to go to another – the transition from ecosystem to ecosystem, platforms to platform, it becomes more and more difficult and expensive for itself.
All this forms a request and terms of reference for Web 3.0.
Why is web 3.0 needed?
First, Web 3.0 should solve the same problem that Web 2.0 did: allow people to exchange information, collaborate and trade directly around the world, freely and independently of the state. Web 2.0 coped with this task only for the time being – then regulators came, and not only in Russia, but around the world. And the example of Assange: whom liberal Great Britain is going to extradite him to the United States, where freedom of speech is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution, who are persecuting him for publicizing war crimes in a country that is another science.
Second, Web 2.0 proved vulnerable to monopolization. The users who form its basis do not decide anything in it. Their last freedom is the freedom to choose between a dwindling number of competitors that have taken over almost the entire space in all important areas: search, content, services, finance, etc.
This adds up to the terms of reference for Web 3.0:
- encryption – any contact between users should be protected from control, wiretapping and tracking even by the most advanced intelligence services on a completely different level.
- decentralization – users of services and platforms themselves and must determine their development, make decisions and provide them with resources.
Now a new generation of services of the future, platforms that will make up web 3.0, is just emerging. There are several of them: Utopia, Y messenger, Keybase and TOR. The purpose of all these services is the protection and security of user contacts with each other.
The most versatile system among them – Utopia. Y messenger is a messenger that is designed to be secure yet convenient like Telegram or WhatsApp.
Blockchain startup Keybase was building a cryptographically secure file vault. And in 2020, Zoom bought it, and Keybase specialists began to improve the security of the service.
Well, the well-known Tor is only a browser that offers encryption and anonymization of traffic. Utopia, on the other hand, is a platform for full-fledged interaction between people, including communication, and payments. Thus, in Utopia, people can not only communicate, but also collaborate, create different projects, collaborate, build businesses in as secure and secure a mode as they need.
With Utopia, users can exchange instant text and voice messages, transfer files, create group chats, channels and news feeds, as well as organize private discussions. The channel can be geo-tagged using uMaps, making it easier to access across Utopia channels and providing an extra layer of security. This allows you not to use public mapping services, which, as you know, collect data to replenish Big Data arrays.
uMail is a decentralized alternative to classic email. Servers do not participate in the transmission and storage of letters. uMail account, which can be created in a minute, gives you the opportunity to use an unlimited number of messages and storage space for attachments. The encryption used by the Utopia ecosystem guarantees the security of mail transmission and storage. The uMail account, which is an integral part of Utopia, cannot be blocked or hijacked.
All financial instruments are available in Utopia’s built-in uWallet: send and receive instant payments in Utopia’s Crypton cryptocurrency, mine currency, accept payments on your website, pay with Crypto cards without revealing your identity, or bill others for your services Utopia users. Among other features, it is necessary to mention the API and the console client for convenience and ease of integration.
The Utopia Network includes a secure alternative to the traditional Domain Name System (DNS), the Utopia Name System (uNS). This is a decentralized registry of names that cannot be captured, frozen or corrupted. After registration, they will remain yours forever. uNS, together with the packet forwarding function, allows you to tunnel any data between users of the ecosystem and store different types of resources, including websites, on the Utopia network.
Many other amazing features are available that you will love, such as voice call encryption, tons of stickers and emoji, multiplayer games, collaboration and organization tools. This is a full-fledged prototype of Web 3.0. Whether Utopia becomes the future of the Internet or not is up to users to decide.