Tech Updates

What the hell is a Web3 browser? And what does it do?

It’s hard to take a few breaths on the internet without hearing about Web3 lately.

However, it’s not as accessible or ubiquitous as it might sound. Some Web3 properties and services require you to understand the moving parts involved, such as your cryptocurrency wallet, dApps (decentralized apps like the OpenSea NFT marketplace), and the blockchain they operate on.

While this may sound complex (and some of it is), large chunks of Web3 experiences are still built on open-web technologies, and you can access them through a good ol’ browser.

In today’s world (the not-quite-Web3 world), when we type out a website’s address, we rely on our browsers to handle all the complex back-end stuff and take us to our destination in cyberspace.

While we still use the same apps to access Web3, we have to do a fair bit of legwork (from having a wallet to access the right protocol) to experience the decentralized world. Ideally, all of that should be handled by those browsers, but that’s not the case just yet.

To get an insider’s perspective about integrating these technologies, we spoke to people at various companies building Web3 browsers and standards — from the challenges of building for a new paradigm of connected technology, to what the future of browsing the web looks like.

Before we explore all that in detail, we will use some terms repeatedly in this story. You’ll want to spend a minute familiarizing yourself with them, so I’ve included brief (and possibly oversimplified) explanations for some of them here. Let’s go.

A few essential Web3 concepts

Wallet: Your cryptocurrency wallet where you store different tokens such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Matic.