You may have heard of WEB 3.0. but what is WEB 3? and what makes it different from WEB 1.0 and WEB 2.0? Is it just a fancy name for blockchain and cryptocurrencies, or is there something deeper at play here?
So, let’s dive into this WEB 3.0 beginners guide to help you get a better understanding of the future of the internet and how it might effect you.
What is Web 3.0?
Before we jump in, let me just explain that Web 3.0 does have a specific definition, instead, Web 3.0 is a concept and is seen as the next evolution of the internet.
Now, to fully understand Harry Potter and the Prisoners of Azkaban, we need to recap what happened in the first and second parts of the movie. Similarly, to understand Web 3.0, we need to take a look at Web 2.0 and Web 1.0.
WEB 3.0 Explained
What is Web 1.0?
Web 1.0 started in the 1990s when we saw the beginning of the digital era. During this time, the internet was primarily used to consume information and news, and people could communicate only via emails.
The information you would normally find in a newspaper or in a library was now available online, but there wasn’t much you could actually do with it. The pages were static, read-only versions where users simply consumed the information.
What is Web 2.0?
Web 2.0 (or the social web) arrived around 2004/2005. With Web 2, users no longer just consumed the information, but they were also contributors.
Web 2.0 brought the power of content creation and interaction to the masses making it the “Read/Write” version of the internet.
But this power came at a heavy cost: the centralization of power. As the tech companies like Facebook grew stronger, the balance of power shifted from web users to these tech giants.
Big social media companies started collecting our data in the name of personalizing and improving our experience of using the internet. Although they did improve our web experience, they also started selling our personal data to advertisers for money. For these big companies, we were the products that they sold on the market to make billions.
You must have remembered the time when you were having a chat about the best coffee place with your friend, and an ad for a coffee place showed up on your Facebook newsfeed?
Today, you are constantly being listened to and watched on, and there exists no private webspace, even if you use Incognito mode!
They can also control what you see on your social media profiles and show you what they believe is right for you.
Web 2.0 proved to be a huge leap in the development of the web, but it has consolidated control into the hands of a few major entities who make decisions on your behalf.
Web 3.0 Explained
Web 3.0 can be is known as the “Read/Write/Own” internet and signifies the decentralization of this consolidated power. It takes the power from companies like Facebook and Google and places it into the hands of the user.
Users Become Decision Makers
With Web 3.0, you are not only consumers and contributors but also decision-makers of how you choose to interact with the web. You can now decide what you want to do with your data rather than someone else imposing a decision on you.
If you want your data to be sold to advertisers for money, you will be fairly compensated for it rather than big tech giants pocketing ad revenue. You are also free to turn off ads for your web sessions, and in this case, your data will not be shared with advertisers. Brave Browser is one such example from the real world, where you get rewarded in their native crypto token BAT for the ads you choose to watch.
Web 3.0 is also permissionless. This means that you can access any decentralized application on the internet using just your wallet. And all you need to set up your wallet is a functioning email address.
No Central Authority
In Web 3, no central authority can revoke your access just because they don’t like what you are saying, or how you are saying it.
You can also have the power to decide on the governance of some of the platforms you use. By using decentralised autonomous organisations or DAOs and holding the governance token of the protocol, community members can vote on decisions of how the organization is run.
With the decentralization of power through these means, there is no one central party who calls all the shots, but rather the entire network decides what is best for themselves.
Web 3.0 Tools
NFTs, blockchain and cryptocurrencies are sometimes confused with Web 3. However, there are just some of the tools that will be used in the space to regain control of your web experience and cut out the middlemen. With NFTs, for example, you will regain greater control of your digital assets like artworks, music, tickets etc.
No Central Point of Failure
But it is not just ownership and decision making that is an impressive feature of Web 3, but instead, it is a full proof system with no central point of failure. Let me just explain with an example.
Whenever you go on YouTube to watch a video, you send a data request to a central server on YouTube, which stores all videos.
Once the central server receives your request, it will find that video from its storage and play it for you on their website.
If this central server goes down, you will not be able to access YouTube, and if it gets hacked, all the data stored on the server will get into malicious hands.
This happened in October 2021 when Facebook’s central server went down and was unavailable for 6 hours, and the world came to a standstill. With a central source, there is a greater chance of network outage or failure.
With decentralization in Web 3, data is distributed across several servers (or nodes), and there is no one single point of failure. If one node is hacked or goes down, the system keeps functioning.
Web 3 is also constantly improvable. This means that all the code written for a particular application is open source and can be viewed by anyone.
Developers and tech experts have the permission to take that code and build something better since it is publicly available.
When Did Web 3.0 Start?
Similar to how Web 1.0 and 2.0 evolved and merged into each other there is no specific date to when Web3.0 will start, instead it is seen as the next evolution of the internet essentially using blockchain technology.
As you can see, there is a lot of value to Web 3.0 which will change the way we live and interact digitally. It is just starting out, so we should see massive improvements in the tools and technologies in the coming years. All in all, helping us take back control from the world’s major companies and allows us to use the internet on our own terms.