What is Web 3.0?
What is wrong with the internet we currently use and what benefits will Web 3.0 bring
THINK how the web has changed society and how much it has impacted our daily lives. Considering the dramatic impact the internet has had on our world, it makes sense that we’d be curious about where the web is headed next.
To understand this, we need to understand the evolution of the web: what it looked like and how it got to where it is today.
The evolution of the Web is often separated into three stages: Web 1.0, Web 2.0 and Web 3.0.
Web 1.0 is characterized by one-way communication, which allowed users to consume only content, while creators were usually developers who built the websites. Websites were mostly static pages served as text or images, and the internet was set up that way from around 1991 to 2004.
The sites didn’t allow for much interactivity, and the web was essentially a read-only web.
Web 2.0 refers to the current iteration of the modern web that most of us are familiar with today, which empowers web users to become content creators. It’s interactive and social, and you don’t have to be a developer to create content for the web.
When companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter began developing Web 2.0 software to facilitate interactions between Internet users, they saw an opportunity to monetize their user bases through advertisements in the sale of personal data.
Thus, data collection and targeted advertising have become central to the Web 2.0 experience and how it is designed to work. However, public frustration with some of these big tech companies has grown as reports have been released about the exploitation of user data they have collected.
This is where Web 3.0 comes in. You might think of Web 3.0 in terms of web users as owners, because the most fundamental difference between Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 is decentralization.
In Web 2.0, developers create applications that run on a single server where data is held and the application is operated by a central authority. Meanwhile, in Web 3.0, applications run on decentralized networks of numerous peer-to-peer (P2P) servers and use a distributed ledger technology known as Blockchain, which is essentially a database of decentralized data.
This way, users can host any of these P2P servers or nodes, or create, govern, improve, and otherwise contribute to the network and be rewarded with cryptocurrency tokens. This allows users to be owners with a vested interest in the web and directly benefit from its success.
In Web 2.0, a developer can pay a cloud service provider like Amazon Web Services to host and provide access to their application on the web, but with Web 3.0, instead of going to Amazon, that money goes directly network participants.
In Web 2.0, companies can pay YouTube or Facebook to display their advertisements in a stream of targeted users, while in Web 3.0, this payment goes directly to participants. In other words, you could earn revenue from the advertisements you watch online.
In addition to this, Web 3.0 also introduces the possibility of native payments via cryptocurrency tokens. It is easy to integrate software wallets into decentralized applications (DApps), allowing instant anonymous and secure payments (even internationally) without the user having to provide any personal data.
Projects are also underway to apply the same principle to identity on the web. Rather than requiring an email and password to log in, users will be able to link their identity to a wallet address in a way that is seamlessly transferable between apps with OAuth (Open Authentication). It is an open-standard authorization protocol or framework that provides applications with the ability for “secure designated access”.
Additionally, tokenization allows anyone to participate in building or investing in the software they have been using from the start.
Many Web 2.0 software companies sell percentages of their software company in exchange for venture capital in order to succeed, which binds them to the interests of their wealthy shareholders as they grow.
A Web 3.0 project might instead announce a token release with a percentage reserved for early builders and a percentage for sale to the public. People who believe in the project can join and even use their tokens to vote on changes to the project. Because all data recorded on the blockchain is immutable and transparent, everyone will be able to see exactly what is happening with the funds.
So when will Web 3.0 be in place? Well, that is already happening right now. The internet is going through another paradigm shift right now, which is why it’s important to keep an eye on what’s happening with Web 3.0 projects if we want to stay on top of the future of the web.