The terms Web3 (or Web 3.0), DeFi, Metaverse are the latest buzzwords in the tech industry. We hear these terms in our daily lives. The internet has been around for more than four decades. To say that it has changed the way the world works is an understatement. From the era of static pages to social media and cloud computing, the evolution of the World Wide Web has benefited societies beyond imagination. As the next phase of web version 3.0 is approaching, some of the industry’s biggest figures are divided on the subject.
In this blog post, let’s look at how the World Wide Web has evolved over the years and what Web 3.0 has in store for the future.
Let’s dive in.
Web 1.0 was invented in 1989 and gained popularity in the mid 90’s. The original version of the internet was mostly made up of static web pages connected by hyperlinks. And even though ecommerce websites existed back then, it was a closed environment. Users could only access the static page and could not even post reviews.
Currently, we are in the Web 2.0 era. The term Web 2.0 was coined by O’Reilly and focuses on giving interactive experiences to the users. Unlike web 1.0, user-generated content and uninterrupted access to the internet is the driving force behind web 2.0. The rise of Web 2.0 is attributed to three core innovations: mobile, social and cloud.
Mobile internet connectivity significantly increased both the number of users and the frequency at which they used the Internet. People could create their own material on social media and smartphones and cloud computing were the major driving forces in this market. Tech giants such as Google, Microsoft, or Amazon required users to give away personal information to access these services. This has led to tech giants monopolizing data with targeted advertising and other marketing practices.
Web3 (Web 3.0) is a decentralized Internet technology that would run on blockchain technology leveraging machine learning and artificial intelligence. What makes web 3.0 different from the versions web 1.0 and web 2.0 is the lack of monopoly. Data privacy and data security are huge concerns in web 2.0. In web3, users will own their data unlike the tech giants who control the platforms in today’s internet. In 2014, Gavin Wood who owns Etherum, a block chain technology company, came up with the idea of using blockchain to decentralize the internet. According to Gavin Wood, the adoption of web 3.0 principles would lead to bottom-up innovations.
The Web3 revolution is all about user-centric, decentralized systems built on open standards and protocols. The technological innovations that power web3 are:
Blockchain is the foundation on which web3 is built. It is a decentralized system that deploys smart contracts to define the logic of an application and a secure digital ledger. Blockchain is used to redefine the data structures in the backend. Blockchains have no central governing bodies or groups controlling them. All users have visibility and control in a blockchain environment.
Unlike in web 2.0 where data centers and cloud computing play a major role, the shift to web 3.0 is focused on edge computing. As blockchain is the core of web3, edge computing provides the supporting infrastructure to enable quick and reliable transactions. The data centers of web 2.0 are replaced by advanced edge computing resources distributed among phones, laptops, appliances, sensors and cars in web3.
From making life-saving predictions to solving transforming businesses with data, artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms are being deployed in all walks of life. In web3, AI and ML serve in learning how to discriminate between genuine and fraudulent data. The AI & ML algorithms imitate the ways human beings learn; this can enable computers to generate faster and more relevant results.
According to Bernard Marr from Forbes Web3 is an open, trustless, and permissionless network. Open meaning they are largely built on open source software by an accessible community of developers. Trustless because two parties can interact and transact without the need for a trusted third party. Permissionless because both parties can transact or interact without authorisation from a governing body or a third-party service provider.
Web3 is based on the concept of Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO). The DAO is a group, company or collective that establishes the business rules or governing rules in blockchain. With DAO, there is no central authority or middlemen (like bankers, lawyers, accountants, and landlords) to authenticate or validate a transaction. This is because the governing rules are transparent and available for anyone to see.
We see that investors are betting big on web3 and money has been pouring in on web3 startups and celebrities and musical artists are crypto curious about decentralized networks. But according to U.K.-based Dan Hughes, founder of Web3 startup Radix DLT and a reputable cryptographer, Web3 could take up to a decade to go mainstream. In Hughes’ opinion, the biggest challenge in adopting Web3 would be people finding it “difficult or risky to use”.
Web3 is definitely in the initial days and there is no consensus on when it will take off in the mainstream like its predecessors did. There is so much skepticism about the theory among industry leaders and the academic communities. Whether the concept of Web3 actually solves the problem of monopoly or purports to solve is still in question. Adopting Web3 will require a huge shift from the existing architecture. While the idea of a third version of the internet has been brewing for sometime, it remains to be seen whether or not it will become a reality.
SolutionChamps Technologies is a software development company based in India that offers end-to-end blockchain application development services to empower startups and enterprises to take advantage of the decentralized network. Contact us today to discuss your project.
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