What is Web3? Blockchain? Ethereum? NFT? Smart Contracts?

Hello :)

In today’s article I am going to speak about the following:

  • Web3, Web2, Web1
  • Blockchain
  • Ethereum, ETH, and Smart Contracts
  • Bitcoin
  • NFT
  • StartFI and SFTI
Photo by Executium on Unsplash

What is Web3?

Web 3.0 is the new emerging version of the internet that…Maybe I should explain what is Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 first :)

Think of them as periods of the internet.

Web 1.0:

is the read-only period of the internet, where users can only read the content but can’t write (post, comment, and upload…etc).

Web 2.0:

is the content creator period of the internet, where users can read and write content…Just like Facebook where you can read and write posts.

in Web 2.0, we relied on organizations such as banks to save our money, and YouTube to upload our content, or eBay to sell and buy assets.

While this seems legit, but the downside is that the content created by the users is being profited by these organizations, even the user’s data are being collected and sold for profit.

Google keeps 45 percent of all YouTube advertising on your videos.

To make any transaction, you have to trust a third party to do the process of validation which is costly because of service fees.

The organizations manage the users’ accounts and decide who gets to stay and who to be banned.

Websites are hosted on dedicated servers where all the data are being stored as a single source of truth….and failure.

Data breaches are a symptom of having a server as a single source of truth AKA a “honeypot” for hackers to steal data from, or clueless workers leaking data.

Web 3.0:

It is the decentralized version of the internet that allows users to participate in an open public decentralized blockchain-based cryptographically-secured trustless peer-to-peer network user-centric system…Easy, right?

Let’s break the definition into small terms:

  • Open/Public: All the data (transactions) are not private or closed to a specific party, but stored inside of all the computers in the network equally.
  • Decentralized: There is no “central” entity that rules the network, but the decision-making and the data are distributed to the entire network.
  • Blockchain: for example, transaction information between two users is stored in a block, this block is linked to another block that contains similar information, and the second block is linked to a third, and so on. This forms a chain of blocks AKA blockchain.
  • Cryptographically-secured: each data is stored in a block, to ensure that each block is secured, there is a hashing process that assigns a hash address to each block to make sure it is unique and to prevent tampering with the block.
  • Trustless/peer-to-peer: The transactions are done without a third party (e.g a lawyer) and you don’t need to trust the other end because the validation of the transaction is done by all the computers in the network using different algorithms (e.g proof-of-work) and by validating that each ledger on each computer is matching.
  • user-centric: The user account and data are self-governed and removes the authority of organizations to profit or manage or censor the user data.

While all of the above sounds scary and complex, in reality, they all try to describe one thing: The Blockchain!

What is a Blockchain?!!

I know I mentioned what is Blockchain earlier but hear it again because it is not as simple as it sounds.

Blockchain is a….techonology…Ugh…I know…It is difficult to understand what is Blockchain with all the different definitions thrown across the internet.


Blockchain is a technology for storing data.

For example, you made a money transaction with a friend, this transaction is stored in a block and this block is assigned a unique hash address made of the block’s content.

You make another new transaction, which means a new block will be created and assigned a new hash address…and will be linked to the previous block!

Now, imagine you have an entire network of users making transactions, each transaction is stored inside a block and each block is linked to the previous block, therefore we have a…A blockchain!

Yes, you heard it right. It is a chain of blocks!

I can hear you thinking: But…why?

Remember when I said each block is assigned a unique hash address made of the block’s content?

This means if you try to change (AKA tamper with) the block content you will end up changing the hash which address means…You end up with an invalid hash address!

Why is this unique or secured despite the data is being stored in a blockchain that is distributed to all the computers of the network?!

Any transaction takes around 5 minutes ~ 3 hours to be validated and added to the blockchain…Ouch!

This duration is the length of the validation process, where all the computers compete to solve a crypto puzzle, the first computer to solve the puzzle shares the solution with the rest of the network to confirm/validate the solution, if a Consensus is agreed upon, the first computer will be rewarded and the block will be added to the chain.

What is Ethereum?

Long story short, Ethereum is an open-source software platform that allows blockchain developers to create decentralized applications.

ETHor Ether is a native cryptocurrency that fuels Ethereum, which means users use it to tap into Ethereum’s superpowers!

Spoiler alert: It is used to execute Smart Contracts.

Smart Contracts are small programs that contain self-executed agreements logic that facilitate the performance of transactions without the need for middlemen in the process.

What is Bitcoin?

It is a cryptocurrency used for trustless peer-to-peer digital cash transactions.

What is NFT?

It stands for Non-Fungible Token, which means a token is unique and not replaceable.

Digital assets are an example of tokens, such as videos, photos, and documents…etc

NFT is a certification that a digital asset is unique and not replaceable.

A token is unique and belongs only to the token-holder, he/she can sell/auction their tokens on NFT marketplaces such as StartFI.

The token’s copyright and ownership can not be tampered with because it is stored inside a blockchain network.

What is StartFI and STFI?

StartFI stands for Start Finance, it is a content management platform that enables content creators to create unique digital assets and sell/auction them through an empowered NFT ecosystem and by utilizing MetaMask wallet to allow users to manage their account and tokens.

STFI is StartFI’s native NFT, it fuels the NFT ecosystem and acts as a governance token that represents a voting power on a blockchain project.

Well…I am done.

Hopefully, I did a good job.

Thank you for reading :)

Front-end web developer and graduate student from Microverse.