Home → Magazine Archive → September 2022 (Vol. 65, No. 9) → September 2022 (Vol. 65, No. 9) → Abstract

These Are Not the Apes You Are Looking For

By Andres Guadamuz

Communications of the ACM, Vol. 65 No. 9, Pages 20-22

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Imagine you want to stream some music. On today's Web, you would sign up for a service such as Spotify or Apple Music. These platforms have obtained copyright licenses from record companies and artists, and they offer you that music for a monthly subscription. The music streaming services are centralized intermediaries. They exist to connect musicians and fans, and in exchange they take a substantial cut of the money.

But a growing number of technology enthusiasts have a different vision, which they call Web3. To them, it "represents the next phase of the Internet and, perhaps, of organizing society.'a One of the pillars of the Web3 vision is tokenization: using representing ownership of different assets using cryptographic tokens that can be exchanged on a blockchain or other decentralized system. Only the person who knows the private key associated with a token can use or transfer it. A token can be used to represent anything, from frequent-flyer miles to hotel reservations. By transferring a token from user to user, it can record who owns an associated asset.


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