What is Web3?

Web3 is the label some technologists give to the concept of a new type of internet service developed utilizing decentralized blockchains — the shared ledger systems used by cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ether. The term has been around for a while but has only recently gained popularity. Packy McCormick, a web3 evangelist, defines it as "the internet controlled by the creators and users, orchestrated with tokens."

Web3 advocates anticipate decentralized social networks, "play-to-earn" video games that reward players with crypto tokens, and NFT platforms that allow users to purchase and trade digital culture fragments. According to the more optimistic, web3 would alter the internet as we know it, upending established gatekeepers and ushering in a new, middleman-free digital economy.

What Are Dapps?

A decentralized application, or dapp, is analogous to a digital app on any smartphone or laptop. Still, it uses blockchain technology to protect users' data from the hands of the companies behind it. Dapps are decentralized apps, the same as bitcoin is decentralized money.

The blockchain simultaneously stores copies of its growing data stack on many collaborating computers known as "nodes." These computers are owned by users, not the dapp's authors.

Dapps, like typical apps, can provide social networks, gaming, entertainment, productivity tools, and so on. Many are intended to serve as tools to assist customers in gaining access to decentralized financial services, or DeFi. This latter function is so common that the Ethereum network white paper divided dapps into three categories: "financial," "semi-financial," and "other." So far, Ethereum has been the primary host for dapps. At its inception, one of the network's key goals was to make it easier to construct dapps.

Web3 in Mobile

Between 2020 and 2022, there was an increase in mobile apps that identified themselves as "web3" apps. The number of web3 apps currently available for download is increasing about five times as quickly as it did in 2021, and year-to-date, the number of apps is up by 88%.

Nearly 46% of these apps were in the financial sector. This is due to the abundance of mobile wallets, NFT apps, and similar apps currently clogging up app stores. Apps in the social, tools/utilities, business, and gaming categories all had far lower percentages.

Web3 apps are becoming more widely available; however, the volume of downloads for these apps seems to fluctuate. Additionally, it discovered that the top 50 cryptocurrency applications had suffered a 64% decline in downloads since November and that the NFT marketplace apps OpenSea and Veve were down 90%+ from their highs.

Solana and Coinbase Examples

Web3 giants are also considering opportunities in the mobile space. For example, Solana announced its mobile stack, and Coinbase expanded its products to mobile.

Solana Mobile, a subsidiary of Solana Labs, launched the Solana Mobile Stack in June 2022, an open-source software toolkit for Android that enables native Android web3 apps on Solana with the Seed Vault secure custody protocol, which allows for the instant signing of transactions while keeping private keys separate from wallets, apps, and the Android operating system. The Solana Mobile Stack (SMS) is a new series of libraries for wallets and apps that allows developers to build rich mobile experiences on Solana, the world's most performant blockchain, and is designed to operate alongside Android. The SDK includes libraries and programming interfaces for Android apps as well as secure critical private storage, making it easier for developers to build and improve dApps functionality for Solana.

Coinbase, America's largest cryptocurrency exchange, has made Web3 application capabilities, including a hot wallet and browser, available to a select group of its mobile app customers. Selected users can use the app to gain access to decentralized applications (DApps) on the Ethereum network, such as Uniswap and OpenSea. Coinbase's director of product management, Rishi Dean, announced on May 17, 2022, that eligible users would be able to begin trading on nonfungible token (NFT) marketplaces, making swaps on decentralized exchanges (DEXs), and interacting with decentralized finance (DeFi) lending protocols to borrow and lend funds.

Web3 Gaming

Web3 games (also known as play-to-earn, play-to-own, crypto, blockchain, or NFT games) are digital games that include blockchain technology as an underlying component of the game's economy. Web3 games are distinguished by the presence of game assets controlled (stored in custodial wallets) by players in the form of Nonfungible Tokens (NFTs) or Fungible Tokens. This innovation's functional implication is that player assets are tangibly owned, and liquid markets exist to allow assets to be sold or traded the same way as actual items. The fact that players in play-to-earn web3 game economies own in-game assets contrasts sharply with traditional Free-To-Play (Freemium) game economies, which have primarily existed within a closed ecosystem that prevents players from trading in-game things for real-world value.

Here are top examples of Web3 Games according to builtin:

Alien Worlds: Alien Worlds is a near-future sci-fi exploration and territory-staking game in which players explore space in an intergalactic bitcoin mining community environment. Players can find NFTs, mine for Trillium, and stake claims to new frontiers in their expedition.
Axie Infinity: Axies, axolotl-inspired charming monsters that serve as both the method of play and NFTs in and of themselves, can be collected, fought, and bred by players in Axie Infinity. Teams of three Axies compete against each other (think Pokémon). Players compete to obtain "smooth love potions" by winning battles. The potions can then be used to breed Axies to make new ones.
Bomb Crypto: Bomb Crypto, a pixel-based fighting play-to-earn game, nails the arcade vibe. Players purchase so-called bomber heroes from the market and pay in stakes for all-out pixelated brawls. It also contains quests and adventure modes, and players may buy houses and other stuff to level up their characters.