Are Blockchain and Web 3.0 Meant for Everyone?

Web 3.0 is an extension of the internet, that's its main point. If Web 1.0 has been about websites and Web 2.0 about applications and phones, Web 3.0 represents values, specifically how we can prove ownership or verify that something happened somewhere.

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Bogdan Habic interview

Illustration: Lenka T.

What exactly is Web 3.0, what are its advantages and challenges, was explained to us by Bogdan Habić, the CTO and co-founder of Tenderly.

As a co-founder and CTO of Tenderly, Bogdan leads and mentors a team of talented blockchain programmers. His blockchain career started in 2017, and since then, he has become a vocal advocate and enthusiast of web3.

Web Mind: What are the advantages of Web 3.0 and blockchain technology over conventional and Web 2.0 technologies?

Bogdan Habić: We don’t think that Web 3.0 should completely replace Web 2.0, just as Web 2.0 hasn’t completely replaced Web 1.0. The primary idea behind Web 3.0 is decentralization. Everything is accessible to everyone, and we collectively decide what is true and what is false. If I send money to you, we all need to agree on whether I did it or not. There shouldn’t be a bank deciding on that.

I believe that everyone in the Web 3.0 industry initially thought that this transition would happen much faster than it currently is. I am convinced that this time will eventually come, just much later than we expected.

Web 3.0 is an extension of the internet, that’s its main point. If Web 1.0 has been about websites and Web 2.0 about applications and phones, Web 3.0 represents values, specifically how we can prove ownership or verify that something happened somewhere. That’s the main divergence.

Web Mind: What are the main challenges of Web 3.0 and blockchain technology?

It’s important to emphasize that there are two concepts: cryptocurrencies and blockchain. Crypto is what needs to be regulated, considering that it involves people’s money, while blockchain is the underlying technology. This technology itself cannot be regulated, just like any other, but its applications can.

Many people talk about scalability issues. What does that imply? Currently, enough people have started using blockchain that it has started to show some cracks. However, this is not such a big problem, as it would be much worse to expect everything to work perfectly.

Web Mind: Web 3.0 and blockchain are still obscure to the general public. How can they be made more accessible?

Bogdan Habić: The question is whether they need to be made more accessible. Let me explain with my favorite example. My mom’s favorite chat app is Viber. In addition to WhatsApp, Viber is the first chat app to have end-to-end encryption. This further implies that when I send you a message, Viber cannot read it.

My mom is a huge fan of Viber because she likes stickers, and her friends use it as well. Those are her only reasons. Now, it’s really cool that if she sends a sticker to her friend, Viber cannot know which sticker was sent.

No one mentions this end-to-end encryption here. In that sense, blockchain will succeed when it is no longer the main value of an application.

So, how to make it more accessible to people? I assume that once they see some value in it, they will be interested in how it works “behind the scenes.” Until then, I believe that blockchain technology should not be excessively pushed.

Web Mind: Where are we positioned when it comes to blockchain?

Bogdan Habić: My entire presentation at the ETH Belgrade conference was about “ranting” to the audience that we’re nowhere near the end. It is solely my personal opinion that we are just approaching the end of the beginning. We are now slowly entering the middle part where people might start encountering it more in their work and realize that blockchain is great for certain specific things, while it may not be applicable to others.

I believe that now, enough innovations have happened for other people to start using them and create something useful. Ultimately, Tenderly’s mission was about enabling people to reach blockchain as much as possible, or in other words, making it easier for people to understand the true values.

Web Mind: Last but not least, what is Tenderly, and how was it born?

Bogdan Habić: Tenderly is a platform we created to solve our own problem. How we started is fairly amusing. Five years ago, we used to participate in blockchain hackathons, and the name originated from the fact that we were working on tenders on the blockchain, so it was comical to name the company Tenderly.

For a few months, we attempted to make that work, but what we realized was that the tools programmers were using didn’t exist in Web 3.0. So, we started building internal tools and discovered two things. The first thing was that we weren’t interested in tenders, and the second thing was that we enjoyed working on those internal tools much more.

Five years later, Tenderly has become a platform that helps Web 3.0 programmers become more productive or not have to choose infrastructure, as we offer ours instead. Essentially, we save people time and money, no matter how commonplace that may sound.

"Ever tried. Ever failed. Never mind. Try again. Fail better."