Developers are split over Web3 and the future of the web

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Web3, blockchains, crypto are undoubtedly set to form part, if not all of the future of the internet - but how do developers, the people actually building the tools, feel about these technological innovations?

Stack Overflow polled 595 developers on their views on Web3 and blockchains, two areas that could form the heart of the next phase of the internet, and discovered some very differing thoughts. 

Opinion on Web3 was divided, with 25% saying Web3 is the future of the internet, although 15% said it was a bunch of hype, 14% think it was important for crypto and related apps, and 9% said it was a scam. 

Believing the hype?

Interestingly, a further 36% – so the largest group of all – asked "What's Web3", which points to the confused nature of the branding, which is often promoted by venture capitalists, such as Chris Dixon at a16z.

We hear a lot about Web3, especially from people building things in the space, but the exact definitions and dimensions of the technology, besides a reliance on some kind of blockchain, remains heavily contested. 

Blocking the road 

Many technologists agree that while Web3 in its present form is full of scams and deceit – just look at how many multi-million-dollar-plus hacks and "rug pulls" there have been – blockchains represent a really interesting development. 

Decentralising control of a database is, according to proponents, something that could have many uses as the technology sector develops and grows. 

But do developers agree? 

According to Stack Overflow, 85% of the developers surveyed hadn't built anything using a blockchain (and of those who had, 62% did so as a hobby). 

31% were developing a blockchain for work, most likely for a software company, and over half (55%) who did so for work did it as a side project. 

New developers were the most inclined to be interesting in blockchains. 20% to 30% of new developers are searching Stack Overflow for resources on developing such things. 

Max Slater-Robins has been writing about technology for nearly a decade at various outlets, covering the rise of the technology giants, trends in enterprise and SaaS companies, and much more besides. Originally from Suffolk, he currently lives in London and likes a good night out and walks in the countryside.