The term third generation blockchain or the ‘3.0’ generation is a phrase that keeps coming up in the vocabulary of the crypto space, but what does it mean exactly and how can we use it to frame our understanding of the current state of play.
If we look back at what has come before, blockchain can generally be divided into the frameworks of 1.0/2.0/3.0. Blockchain 1.0 was the original players such as Bitcoin and Litecoin which were cryptocurrencies. This began in 2009 and lasted for roughly five years.
Around 2014, onto the scene we had the emergence of Blockchain 2.0 which was characterised by pivacy and smart contracts. Non-native asset blockchains emanated from the sector such as Ethereum. 2.0 began circa 2014 and has continued until the present.
Why was there a shift from blockchain 1.0 to 2.0?
1.0 didn’t allow the growth of applications on top of the blockchain. 2.0 has paved the way for Dapps, ICOs and DAOs. 2.0 thus became a forum of creation and a new pathway of utility has been born. This can clearly be seen, and we have no problem charting the evolution of this technology.
The problem with Blockchain 3.0
The issue with 3.0 is that in reality it does not yet exist. 2.0 emerged and we can see it in action, but 3.0 is still speculative. Yes, we can guess what it might be, but equally it may be something that has yet to be conceived. Perhaps it could be services which will rest on top of 2.0 such as Bitcoin’s lightening network or services for Ethereum such as Raiden or sharding. Perhaps it could be the Internet of Things for example IOTA’s tangle. or the genesis of DAOs.
The fact is blockchain 3.0 doesn’t exist…yet!
So when the next ICO hits the market place and it claims to be a third generation play, then with the full knowledge of the yet uncharted geography of the space, perhaps we should take this with a pinch of salt.