The digital wallet war is the new browser war

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Most people may not remember that the website once had such an icon, which said “This website has been optimized for Internet Explorer”, but it was not uncommon twenty years ago.

Just like the war between the Web 2.0 monopolist and the Web 3.0 community today, when the early consumer Internet began, there was also a similar war about who will own its portal: closed-source global monopolies, or open source Non-profit organizations.

A battle for the soul of the Internet

Long before Web 3.0, the browser wars defined the early Internet. Netscape Navigator is the first consumer browser on the market and the browser of choice for the first batch of web users. For many people, it is synonymous with the dawn of the Internet.

However, Microsoft slowly but surely used its monopoly in the operating system to promote its closed-source alternatives: Internet browser (IE). Just package the browser with Windows, and it can surpass Netscape and become the user’s default choice.

In 1998, Netscape opened the source code of its browser and helped create the Mozilla Foundation, which supports the free software community of its contributors. By 2002, the Mozilla Firefox browser based on open source principles was launched under the original code name “Phoenix”, which represented how it rose from the ashes.

A battle for the soul of the Internet follows. Internet Explorer is closed source; Firefox is open source. Internet Explorer is launched by a monopolist; Firefox is run by a foundation.

Firefox broke the constraints of Microsoft’s closed source and paved the way for Chrome, which is built on top of the open source Chromium project. With the rise of the mobile web, it has had an impact on the gears of Internet Explorer. If not, users may still see “This site is optimized for Internet Explorer” when loading this page.

Internet Explorer is also the core of Microsoft’s monopoly, which led to Microsoft’s 10 years of reinventing itself and becoming the champion of open source software.

A new internet

Fast forward to today.Wallets supporting Web 3.0 are tools used by millions of people to participate in a brave new world Decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), community-driven DeFi protocol and Metaverse.they are Web portals For these applications, it is as if the browser was the portal to the early Internet sites. Soon, they will become the default interface of the new Internet—the land they will fight for.

related: The three characteristics of Web 3.0 can solve the problems of today’s Internet

The more things change

Once again, we have a monopoly that hinders us. It is not free and open source. The website is being optimized for this. We must fight for this again. Just like IE’s role in shaping Web 2.0, many DApps and Web 3.0 applications have begun to be optimized for MetaMask, the current leader in the digital wallet market. Although users will indeed follow the path of least resistance, this may have a detrimental effect, placing the entry point of the ecosystem in the hands of the corporate group.

Just like IE, MetaMask has begun to rely on monopolistic behavior and a walled garden approach that can be traced back to Web 2.0 and its retrogressive business model. After converting its code base into a layered proprietary license, it increased from approximately 500,000 to more than 21 million monthly active users in more than a year as the mainstream flooded into Web 3.0.These same users Paid During this period, the service fee for the swap function in its wallet exceeded US$237 million.

According to these figures, Project raised $200 million Capital from many companies including HSBC. This is a good thing for ConsenSys, a conglomerate that owns the MetaMask code base. However, it does no benefit to users. In addition, former employees and shareholders are now issuing warnings about the involvement of ConsenSys and JPMorgan Chase and other Wall Street companies—a relationship that is inconsistent with their initial thoughts about financial openness and decentralization.

Many people believe that this growing market penetration and MetaMask’s Web 2.0 approach to developing digital wallets betray the potential of the Web 3.0 stack. Decentralized applications provide opportunities for participatory business models, and these models may disappear due to the original proponents of the more open Internet. The business model of the relationship between a tool and its users can be redefined.

related: The three characteristics of Web 3.0 can solve the problems of today’s Internet

But they don’t have to stay the same

History need not repeat itself. In this new context, when it comes to Web 3.0 and digital wallets, we will see a lot of historical reverberations. There will continue to be closed-source, monopoly-operated software, and there will be new open source and community-operated alternatives. However, unlike Web 2.0, users now have a greater say in determining the direction of things. They can now choose to build, manage, and participate in the benefits of open source software they actually own.

Web 3.0 is creating an environment in which the copyright heavy, walled garden, and profit-driven business model of Web 2.0 will no longer be as effective as it used to be. Projects developed on this stack are open source, composable and community driven. When we talk about technologies that support programmable currencies, these details determine everything.

related: Is a new decentralized Internet or Web 3.0 possible?

The nature of Web 3.0 allows any project to fork the code base of any other project and develop better alternatives-this situation ultimately benefits users. At the same time, decentralized capital acquisition and community incentives enable any project to penetrate the market.

This overturns the centralized Web 2.0 model and makes the community a success or failure factor for any Web 3.0 project.Some examples of this can be seen in the current DeFi 2.0 trend Liquidity owned by the agreement And keep increasing Purchasing power DAO. Unfortunately, the interface for many users to access these applications is still stuck in Web 2.0.

What to expect

More and more users are becoming familiar with the possibilities of Web 3.0. Looking to the future, they hope that the interface they use to access these applications will provide them with the same benefits as the applications themselves. It may be too early to determine which project will share the fate with Internet Explorer. Now it is too early to know that Web 3.0 users want to have a piece of software they trust and their digital assets.

This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading action involves risks, and readers should research on their own when making a decision.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are only those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Matt Longo He is the founder and CEO of Thesis, the crypto risk production studio behind Fold, Keep, tBTC and Saddle. Since its establishment in 2014, Thesis’s product portfolio has provided services to millions of users, with a total locked-in value of more than US$300 million, and has cooperated with brands such as Visa to promote the adoption of Bitcoin and other digital assets. Matt Luongo has been a serial entrepreneur for the past ten years. Before entering the cryptocurrency industry full-time in 2014, he held various technical executive positions. Matt has a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Georgia Institute of Technology, and currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia. The husband and father of two children.