How To Learn Web3, Quick Guide (2023)
No matter what is happening in the news, Web3 is getting more an more popular, rebuilding stagnant industries and shaping the future of the internet.
In this guide, we will show you how to learn Web3, be it for personal curiosity or to start your careers as a Web3 developer. Let's get into it!
How To Learn Web3: Core Concepts and Technologies
Web3 is a vision of a decentralized, more inclusive iteration of the current Web. It is powered by concepts and technologies like blockchain, decentralization, smart contracts, and tokenization.
More specifically, the core ideas of Web3 are rooted in the concepts of being decentralized, permissionless, and enabling native payments through cryptocurrencies instead of using traditional banking and payment systems.
But for us to understand Web3 better, we’ll need to run back the short history of the Internet and segregate it into three broad “eras”: web1, web2, and Web3, as well as talk about the core concepts and technologies that power it.
Web1 vs Web2 vs Web3
Web1 refers to the first iteration of the internet between the 90s and the 00s.
Blogs, message boards, newsgroups, FTPs, and early portals like America Online were the norm.
The internet was built mainly on open protocols that we still use to this very day, including HTTP, SMTP, and FTP.
Most people's activity centered on browsing static web pages, reading emails, and posting on message boards and Usenet groups.
Web2 is the second iteration of the internet, beginning from 2005 onwards.
This period was characterized by the emergence of monolithic social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and video-streaming site YouTube.
Web2 was driven by user-generated content, with tech firms powering said platforms - monetizing and distributing the “UGC” (user-generated content).
People became the product, and their data and content were controlled and profited from by companies. Consequently, these tech giants consolidated control over Web infrastructure.
Web3 is believed to be a new era and succeeding iteration of the internet, replacing the heavily-centralized, corporate-controlled platforms with decentralized networks using open protocols and smart contracts.
Proponents push Web3 as an alternative combining web1’s open protocols with the massive social appeal and participation of web2.
The premise of Web3 is taking control back from the publishers of web1 and the platforms of web2 and giving it to empower creators and users.
The role of blockchain in Web3
Blockchain technology is an integral part of Web3, often associated with Bitcoin and its underlying technology.
Bitcoin is an excellent example of a cryptocurrency built on a public ledger not owned, controlled, or issued by a single entity. Instead, it is fully open and decentralized, run by distributed nodes across the network.
Blockchain essentially redefines how data is stored and managed. The blockchain enables a universal state layer of unique data that is collectively managed in a decentralized fashion.
It consequently powers a value settlement layer allowing users to send copy-protected data and use consensus mechanisms to enable network transactions, such as transferring assets or validating new blocks. Blockchain technology facilitates peer-to-peer transactions without the need for a centralized middleman.
Web3 is essentially a set of protocols mainly powered by blockchain, developed to revolutionize the backend of the World Wide Web as we know it.
Blockchain technology powers the cryptocurrency that allows network participation, the crypto wallets that gives users a passport to access Web3, and enables the decentralization that makes Web3 possible. It’s safe to say that Web3 would cease to exist without blockchain protocols.
Distributed ledger technologies and Web3
In essence, blockchain is a distributed ledger technology that records transactions and other types of data across a distributed network of computers.
You can think of blockchain technology as a ledger of data transactions stored in blocks linked together to create a chain of said ledgers across many computers, hence the term “blockchain.”
Cryptography plays a crucial role in ensuring the integrity of the data after it’s been appended to the blockchain.
Moreover, transactions on the blockchain are appended only to the distributed ledger after a network of nodes verifies them. The more nodes or computers dedicated to preserving the security of the blockchain protocol, the more secure the blockchain is.
In short, your data just can’t be hacked or misused. It would take a nearly impossible effort to alter a distributed ledger preserved on distributed computers, which significantly increases security.
Smart Contracts in Web3
Smart contracts are simply programs stored on a blockchain that automatically run when prearranged conditions are met. They essentially govern the rules and logic of Web3 protocols, with the conditions “baked” into the smart contract code.
Web3 apps are powered by smart contracts, which allow them to be accessed by users. They execute the rules developers encode within smart contracts without requiring a third-party intermediary for verification.
Smart contracts allow functions like buying, selling, and trading cryptocurrencies or other digital assets like NFTs.
They also enable you to stake digital assets and earn NFTs or cryptocurrency or exchange one cryptocurrency for another. Because of the concept of programmability, smart contract agreements can be customized by developers as necessary, depending on a blockchain protocol’s incentives, rules, and logic.
To develop smart contracts to build dapps, aspiring Web3 developers need a solid knowledge of a couple of programming languages, in particular, Rust and Solidity.
While Rust (the language of Solana) is quickly gaining popularity, many developers build dapps using Solidity, as Ethereum remains the primary blockchain for Web3 smart contracts.
These include decentralized finance (DeFi) dapps, NFT collection and marketplace protocols, DAOs, and blockchain gaming applications, among others.
Crypto vs NFTs: What’s the Difference?
Cryptocurrencies and NFTs are digital assets based on the blockchain developed using similar standards. They share many of the same characteristics due to their origin (blockchain), but they are different types of iterations of the technology altogether.
NFTs are non-fungible, unique digital assets. NFTs are minted using a smart contract, assigning ownership rights and reassignment whenever the underlying NFT changes hands.
Cryptocurrencies, on the other hand, are the native currency you use to buy (or mint) those non-fungible assets.
Both technologies rely on the blockchain to verify their ownership and authenticity, and in a majority of the cases, you will need crypto to buy, sell, or stake and earn NFTs.
Examples of Web3: Use Cases
Web3 is yet in its nascent stages, and its proponents have varying ideas about how it will look in the near future. One thing is for sure, however: Web3 will change how we view the World Wide Web and its entire space.
However, the fundamental concepts of Web3 are already operational and being used to create a new era of futuristic digital ecosystems and services that are testing its principles.
Here’s a look at some of the most exciting and innovative Web3 concepts already taking off all over the world.
Web3 protocols are heavily reliant on cryptocurrencies. They are digital assets linked to blockchain protocols that make up the monetary incentive for users to add or validate new blocks on the chain.
Cryptocurrencies are the financial incentive for nodes to continue doing their job and support the blockchain network.
Every blockchain has its native cryptocurrency integrated with the network and its consensus mechanism, such as Bitcoin (BTC) for the Bitcoin blockchain and Ethereum (ETH) for the Ethereum blockchain.
For instance, users need Ethereum tokens in order to interact with smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain to mint NFTs or stake cryptocurrencies for yield on a DeFi application.
Decentralized Finance (DeFi)
One of the core concepts of Web3 is using blockchain to create a more democratic, equitable internet. Well, decentralized finance (DeFi) is the Web3 vision of a more transparent, inclusive financial system allowing anyone to generate income streams through staking cryptocurrencies or NFTs for yield, exchange cryptocurrencies for another, or take advantage of decentralized lending and insurance protocols without intermediaries.
DeFi apps are programs that allow users to participate in decentralized financial transactions linked by a series of smart contract rules.
Examples of established DeFi protocols include lending platform Aave, decentralized exchange and liquidity protocol Uniswap, and yield farming protocol Compound.
Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs)
DAOs are technically defined as a predetermined set of smart contracts that enable automated decentralized decision-making over community and resource governance.
Users owning tokens of a particular DAO, for instance, can vote on how a protocol spends its resources and vote on key governance measures with the smart contracts automatically implementing the voting result.
DAOs may very well evolve even more in the near future. For example, they could replace corporate governance as we know it, enforcing policies to be encoded into smart contracts.
Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs)
NFTs are one of the major use cases of Web3 that have captured mainstream attention in recent years. NFTs are tokenized assets representing collectibles, works of art, or even real estate.
No one can unilaterally change the record of ownership or copy and paste an existing NFT to create a new one. NFTs have enabled the creator economy that Web3 empowers, allowing artists and content creators to monetize their works and open up novel income streams.
They are minted using smart contracts and can be staked for cryptocurrency yields on DeFi platforms, and have a variety of applications across industries. High-profile NFT projects include Cryptopunks, Bored Ape Yacht Club, and Cryptokitties.
Metacrafters also released its own NFT collection! The Genesis NFT drop released Zeronian Blocks into the world, allowing owners to gather the power and participate in the Metacrafters world.
Best Resources To Learn Web3
Interested in pursuing a career in Web3 development? Here are some of the best resources to learn from so you can start building your career as a Web3 developer.
Metacrafters is the bridge between Web2 and Web3. Not only will you learn what Web3 is, you will also gain valuable skills and knowledge, allowing you to apply for Web3 developer jobs when you finish the course.
The platform offers several free courses where you will be able to learn about Web3 through education video modules taught by some of the top minds in the industry. There are also two concepts that separate Metacrafters from the rest:
- Proof of learn - after you finish the course, you will receive an NFT as proof of your skills and knowledge!
- Learn to earn - during your studies, the platform will allow you to earn rewards to purchase the next modules for a lower price.
Through Metacrafters, you will be able to learn Web3 and also start progressing in Web3 native languages like Rust, here are some of the modules:
- Module 1: Getting To Know Solana
- Module 3: Tokens In Solana
- Module 4: Rust For Solana
If you ever wanted to take part in the record-high Web3 developer salaries, now is the time to get started!
Last but not least, Metacrafters is the only platform where you will be taught by household names of Web3 development, such as Gage Bachik, or Isabel Sieh.
Figment is a pioneering educator opening doors for hundreds of developers to pursue a career in Web3 development. Figment Learn is a free educational platform that provides developers with educational content, videos, resources, and tutorials to help them learn Web3 development across 14 blockchains.
This includes smart contract platforms such as Avalanche, Polkadot, and Solana, to name a few.
Buildspace makes it easy for any aspiring Web3 developer to start building. If you’re a developer who prefers to learn as you go, Buildspace allows you to collaborate with other like-minded developers around the world.
The community allows you to hone your developer skills through feedback and access secret work opportunities in the Web3 space through the new connections you’ll make on the free educational platform.
Buildspace offers a smart contract course on Solidity as part of its "Build a Web3 App with Solidity" course.
Some of their courses and tutorials include:
- Build a Web3 App with Solidity
- Create + Ship your own custom NFT collection on Solana
- Build a Web3 app on Solana with React and Rust
Web3 University is an interactive school offering a wide array of lessons and video tutorials on the major knowledge areas of Web3 development.
Its has a 5,000-strong community of Web3 and blockchain developers, which could help an aspiring Web3 developer find job opportunities.
Notable courses include:
- “The Complete Guide to Full Stack Ethereum Development” taught by Nader Dabit (a great introduction for a Web3 developer to get into full stack blockchain development)
- “Solidity Smart Contract Course – Beginner to Expert Python Tutorial” taught by Patrick Collins
And a variety of tutorials on upgradable smart contracts, blockchain development tools, and building full-stack dapps, among plenty of other free resources and videos.
A16z Crypto Startup School
A16z Crypto Startup School features instructional videos, tutorials, and educational resources featuring thought leaders in Web3, including Chris Dixon, Balaji Srinivasan, and other members of the a16z team.
Hours upon hours of free videos, presentations, interviews, and lectures from the brightest minds in the crypto space from all over the world.
The videos and tutorials are a great way to get a full introduction to blockchain development and how to run a crypto business – the latter being a key skill all developers should know about.
5 Tips To Learn Web3 Quickly
Ready to go on your Web3 blockchain development journey and stake your claim as a newly-minted Web3 developer? You’re right in time. With a glut of companies wanting to enter the Web3 space, startups and established businesses need talent. Opportunities may also come your way as a professional freelance Web3 developer. Here are five tips to help you get a headstart.
Learn by doing
There’s no substitute and no faster way to help you learn Web3 quickly than learning by doing.
Creating simple Web3 projects like launching your cryptocurrency, NFT collection, building dapps, developing simple programs using smart contracts, and trying out Web3 apps to learn their ins and outs.
With Metacrafters, you can learn all the needed skills and create several functioning Web3 projects along the way. Your own projects, along with assembling a portfolio, can help you build your network and open more professional opportunities in the Web3 space.
Follow Web3 developers on Twitter
Twitter is where Web3 lives. After all, developers, influencers, and thought leaders often share updates about their projects and deep insights about Web3.
Apart from building your following as a developer, you can also expand your professional network and find opportunities to hone your blockchain development skills.
Also, we would (completely objectively of course) suggest that you start following Metacrafers Twitter account. We publish updates, news,
Discord is another social platform where you can join Web3 project-specific servers of all types. Web3 project-focused Discord servers are great resources to ask questions, look for collaborations, and pick the brains of Web3 developers who are often happy to interact.
Best of all, most servers have channels that post job opportunities, events, and learning resources. Lending your expertise is also another way to earn experience points.
Metacrafters Discord server has a lively community of over 15,000 users who are also learning Web3 and are helping each other along the way.
Join a DAO
Joining a DAO focused on Web3 developers and Web3 development is a great way to expand your network, find mentors, start building projects, and collaborate with new teams under an organization following Web3 principles.
Web3 developer DAOs are welcoming to newcomers to help nurture the community.
Don’t stop learning
Web3 is a nascent field that’s constantly on the verge of innovation. That said, you need to make sure that your coding and programming skills are up to speed.
Where can I learn Web3?
Metacrafters is your best pick! Otherwise, you have Twitter, Youtube, and free online resources where you can also get started.
Is Web3 easy to learn?
You can get the main concepts quite easily, but the creation and application of some of them may take practice.
What do I need to learn for Web3?
The most important thing you need for Web3 is an understanding of blockchain technology and how it works. Other than that, you'll also need to be proficient in programming languages like Rust or Solidity.
What language is used for Web3?
Mostly Rust and Solidity.