What the hell is a Web3 browser? And what does it do? - Deepstash
What the hell is a Web3 browser? And what does it do?

What the hell is a Web3 browser? And what does it do?

Curated from: thenextweb.com

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Web3 is not as accessible or ubiquitous as it might sound

Web3 is not as accessible or ubiquitous as it might sound

  • Large chunks of Web3 experiences are still built on open-web technologies, and you can access them through a good ol’ browser
  • In today's world (our not-quite-Web3 society), when we type out a website's address, we rely on our browsers to handle all the complex back-end stuff and take us to our destination in cyberspace.

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Essential Web3 concepts

  • Wallet: Your cryptocurrency wallet where you store different tokens such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Matic
  • dApps: Decentralized applications running on blockchain-based protocols
  • Blockchain: A decentralized protocol for Web3 projects
  • Smart contracts: Snippets of programs on blockchain that execute when terms of the agreement are met
  • IPFS: The InterPlanetary File System
  • Non-custodial wallet: The service provider/browser doesn't store keys to your wallet. You have to remember your 12-word secret phrase to restore your wallet on another device.

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History of browsers and Web3

History of browsers and Web3

  • A browser is just a window to the internet. You only have to store a minimum amount of data and do minimal processing on your computer to access websites and apps
  • In 2015, the team at the Ethereum foundation tried to build a browser called Mist. It was just a shell based on Electron
  • The problem with Mist was that it was running a full node in a blockchain, so when you started the browser, it needed to synchronize all the block data that was created while you were offline.

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The current set of browsers

The current set of browsers

  • Modern browsers are able to handle Web3 applications, but you might have to do some legwork to access them
  • There are a few browsers like Opera and Brave that offer a somewhat native Web3 experience with in-built wallets and Web3-based domain name support
  • Both of them have this experience available on mobile and desktop.
  • Privacy-focused Brave browser offers a slightly different experience. It doesn’t have a dedicated crypto browser or a content hub, but it has a cryptocurrency wallet.

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Challenges in Building for Web3

  • One of the biggest challenges while accessing Web3 properties is that you should know what tokens you’re using, and what blockchain protocol a particular app runs on.
  • There's an issue of security as well. In Web3's nascent state, many bad actors use phishing to lure users to fraudulent websites, and steal their assets.
  • Brave is trying to bridge this gap by slowly integrating more standards on the browser itself, so you don’t have to worry about what's on the backend.

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The Way Ahead

The Way Ahead

  • Accessing Web3 properties is complicated, and the average user has a steep learning curve
  • Modern browsers, and standards like universal profiles, will need to work in tandem to make all of this simpler
  • A world where a user doesn't have to worry about the backend protocol and where Web3 is just... the web

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