It is being said that Web3 is the future of the internet which promises a decentralised, immutable version of the global web – free of intermediaries and equipped with the same cryptographic verifiability as cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). But what does that really mean? And how does it apply to freelancers? Read on to find out!
- Web3, Blockchain and NFT: what do they mean?
- Impact of Web3 on the future of work
- Benefits of Web3 for freelancers
- How freelancers can use Web3 to monetise their services
- Becoming a Web3 developer
Web3, Blockchain and NFT: what do they mean?
Web3 is currently a somewhat vague concept whose exact definition has not yet been determined. It is more of an ideal image of a future web than a usable technology stack that developers can build directly on top of.
Web3, to put it simply, is the next version of the Internet. The core of Web3 is to make the Internet decentralised, meaning that:
- there is no one who owns the Internet
- all the data on it converges
- it’s independent
The Internet has always been structured in a decentralised manner.
It has many interconnected networks that are also connected to each other. The only problem is that most sites and Internet services now run on the servers of a few large corporations. Due to the dependence on their server infrastructure, the Internet has become significantly more central.
In addition, these companies often collect data that is resold or used to serve advertisements. A good example of this are social networks such as Facebook or the search engine Google, that are primarily financed through their advertising network.
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Web3 must therefore become more decentralised again. The hope for this lies in blockchain technology, which enables secure data traffic that is independent of an intermediary platform. Blockchain is currently used for cryptocurrencies and NFTs, for example.
Since both cryptocurrencies and NFTs are the biggest hype these days, there is a surge in the demand for everything related to blockchain – but especially developers and engineers.
But what exactly is blockchain?
In principle, the blockchain is nothing more than a large database that starts with an original block to which new data blocks are always appended chronologically after they have been checked and confirmed. It thus depicts a history of data records (e.g. financial transactions).
In theory, decentralisation through blockchain has one major advantage: the security of your own data. If your data is secured by blockchain, nobody can gain unauthorised access to it.
So you may be wondering who or what drives Web3. The answer to this question is DApps.
DApps are decentralised applications that are responsible for driving web3 and essentially limiting anyone from monopolising ownership.
Each DApp is in turn powered by a token, either Fungible Tokens or Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). Fungible tokens are assets that are non-unique and can be interchanged. Examples of these are cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, LTC, etc. These have been around for a while and are fairly common knowledge. NFTs, on the other hand, are new and can be quite confusing. Let’s dive a bit more into detail about them below.
What is an NFT?
NFTs are digital certificates of authenticity that are secured with the blockchain data chain and are unique. Whoever has the code is proven to be the sole owner of the NFT in the digital world. The important thing is that when you buy an NFT, you don’t get the objects themselves, but a code that identifies you as the owner.
NFT is the abbreviation for “Non-Fungible Token“, which means “non-exchangeable token”. The word token is described in the dictionary as a “sequence of digits or letters”, among other things, but has a different meaning in the context of the NFTs.
Here an example to better understand the concept:
A ten euro bill is an exchangeable token. It can be replaced with other bills or coins and the value remains the same. However, not all cash coins or bills are interchangeable. Cash coins that are no longer produced and have a certain characteristic are not interchangeable and have their own value. An example would be the 1933 “Double Eagle” coin. Its face value was $20, but it was sold in June 2021 for $18.9 million. Although this coin is a non-exchangeable token, it is not yet considered an NFT.
Impact of Web3 on the future of work
Now that we’ve covered the basics of what Web3 is, let’s talk about the impact it can have on the future of work. Before that, however, we need to understand what DAO is.
DAOs (Decentralised Autonomous Organisations) represent the foundation of Web3 and the future of work. They are becoming the defining structure for everything that will make up the new internet.
They were originally a simple concept. DAOs were conceived as developer-driven organisations that use smart contracts and blockchain to achieve business functions and processes. Its core concept is to flatten complex business processes and diverse organisations, and transform assets into future-oriented digital interactions without intermediaries promising cheaper and faster transaction processing.
By replacing intermediaries, DAO acts as a digital intermediary, providing transparency and giving status to the organisation without the need for traditional groups and bodies and other forms of collective action.
And since DAO is essentially led by the community as a whole, this model is what is responsible for the new freelance economy where freelancers can pick and choose what jobs they want to work on for multiple DAOs.
As a result, Web3 will impact work by favouring nonlinear work over traditional work – much like freelance working.
Benefits of Web3 for freelancers
The DAO model has led to a new freelance economy – of sorts. Because Web3 eliminates the need for intermediaries and centralised corporations, freelancers now have the benefit of having full ownership of the work they produce.
Further benefits include:
- Getting paid quickly – Web3 eliminates the need for currency exchange and fees through crypto.
- Zero commission fees – freelance content creators can avoid paying commission fees to big corporations by selling their content as NFTs instead.
- Ability to monetize content – freelancers no longer need to depend on centralised apps like Instagram and Facebook to monetise their content. They can now use intermediary-free apps like Mirror and Bitcloud instead.
Are freelancers planning on using Web3 then?
We conducted a poll recently to learn if freelancers are indeed aware of what Web3 is and if they are planning on using it for their business. The results indicated that 50% of freelancers said they would be using Web3 while 25% said they would not. The remaining percentage were unaware of what Web3 is.
How freelancers can use Web3 to monetise their services
There are lots of different ways freelancers can use Web3 to monetise their content depending on what they do.
#1 Freelance writers
As a freelance writer or content creator, you can sell your written work as an NFT or simply sell your content work for startups that are based in Web3. If you choose to do the former, you can sell your work on platforms like Mirror, Scriptarnica, Sigle, Minds among others.
#2 Freelance Designers/Illustrators
As a designer (graphic or fashion), you can get paid as a freelancer by designing NFT avatars or outfits for the Metaverse. The Metaverse is all the hype right now and even top fashion brands – like Dolce & Gabbana who created a collection of 20 looks of Metaverse wearables – are taking part in it. As a freelancer you can showcase your designs on platforms like Sensorium or Decentraland.
UX/UI designers are also in demand to create Web3 apps with a user-friendly interface.
#3 Freelance Architects/Interior designers
☝️ The Metaverse is a full of possibilities for architects and designers since it is essentially a utopia where architects don’t have to worry about the constraints of the physical world.
#4 Freelance music artists
Music artists can release exclusive or limited runs of their works in the form of NFTs and also use Web3 to simplify the percentage of royalties they earn by use of song tokens. They can also upload their work through Web3 applications such as OpenSea or Royal.
#5 Freelance developers
Freelance developers can sell their work to Web3 organisations or startups in exchange for tokenized rewards. You also have the option to work on quick and easy projects (called bounties) that are provided by an individual or organisation on the Web3.
Another way for you to make money is by developing dApps for different startups and organisations by offering your services as a freelancer.
Becoming a Web3 developer
Now that you’ve read up on what Web3 is and what it means for freelancers and the future, you may be wondering if Web3 development is something you can potentially dip your toes in. If that is the case, then congratulations, you’re way ahead of your competition already!
Becoming a Web3 developer is something that, like everything else, starts with action. If you think that this is something you want to do, you need to start learning and making a plan.
The first step you need to consider is what aspect of Web3 development you’re interested in.
Just like web2, Web3 has many aspects to it such as:
- Frontend development: Development relating to front-end portion of websites and applications i.e. part of website and apps that users directly interact with
- Backend development: Development relating to the back-end (server side) of applications and websites
- Smart contracts: These are programs that are stored on a blockchain that contain terms of an agreement between a buyer and a seller
Becoming a Web3 developer – Resources and guides:
- Front End Web Development Career Kickstart
If smart contracts are what interest you instead, you should consider reading the Ethereum and Solidity documentation. These will provide you with a deeper understanding of how to write a smart contract.
Because of Web3’s popularity, there are lots of tutorials and communities that are being created online on a regular basis. You can especially find new courses being added on websites such as Udemy and Coursera and communities being formed on websites like Web3 University and Buildspace.
Job profiles for developers in the Web3
If you’re interested in learning a bit more in detail about the different kinds of developers related to Web3, you’re in luck! We’ve added a list of job profiles below for you to familiarise yourself with and to learn how these jobs differ from each other.
Got more info about Web3 you’d like to share? Tell us in the comments!