The Whiteboard

Thinking Far Beyond the Cloud

VMware Explore was interesting in many unexpected ways. We had a goal to create an event that explored “all things multi-cloud.” So, of course, I was prepared to talk about the cloud/multi-cloud technologies and projects underway at VMware, as well as VMware Blockchain and the cool post-quantum cryptography and crypto agility research we’re doing.

What I didn’t necessarily anticipate was having conversations that brought all of these things together – thinking through combinations that could potentially change our digital worlds forever. But you never know what’s going to happen when you get a bunch of geeky (and creative) people together in a room, right?

This is precisely what happened when I found myself in a forward-looking, technical Web 3.0 discussion with Pratima Arora, Chief Product Officer at Chainalysis, and CBS Sunday Morning tech correspondent David Pogue.

Me on the left with Pratima Arora, Chief Product Officer at Chainalysis, and CBS Sunday Morning tech correspondent David Pogue during our VMware Explore 2022 Session, “Why Enterprises Haven’t Yet Scratched the Surface of Web3’s Potnetial.”

“Web 3.0” describes a next-generation vision of the Internet – one defined by decentralization of data, privacy, and post-quantum resiliency. The term was coined (no pun intended) in 2014 by Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood and has gained traction with cryptocurrency supporters (and some venture capitalists).

Today’s Internet (Web 2.0) is characterized by the change from the original HTML-based static pages of the original World Wide Web (around 1990) to dynamic/user-generated content. User-generated content (think Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and so on) has, so far, been hosted and aggregated by large companies who sell ads against your data, retarget you (drop cookies on your machine and follow you around the Internet, showing you ads from the sites you’ve visited), and study your behavior to understand how you search, what you buy, what you listen to, etc.

In contrast, Web 3.0 is projected to be the incarnation that puts you back in control of your own data. Chances are, it will be built on blockchain, which allows parties to securely share encrypted data without exposing it, preserving privacy and stripping out the middleman. It will definitely span multiple clouds and be quantum-safe. In other words, Web 3.0 will be based upon many of the technologies that VMware is investing in today.

Imagine applying for a mortgage via algorithm – providing the bank with only the information that your finances meet their criteria, without actually revealing your highly sensitive details (like your actual income). Imagine using a digital assistant without the feeling that Big Brother (or Big Sister… Alexa, are you paying attention?) is listening. Imagine a world in which your data will be safe, even after quantum computers go mainstream.

Pretty incredible stuff.

Stay tuned to hear about some of the other cool, futuristic topics that came up at VMware Explore. In the meantime, I invite you to share your thoughts about Web 3.0 in the comments.




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