The internet has advanced over the last few decades. First, there was Web 1.0 iteration followed by the present-day Web 2.0, and now Web 3.0 is imminent. Currently, this latest iteration is gaining popularity worldwide. Additionally, this new version of the internet has emerged as a way to decentralize today’s overly centralized web.
Web 1.0 began with Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web (www) in 1989. It was primitive and only offered users the basic read-only web pages. Nonetheless, many companies promising internet solutions became popular in the 90s until the dot-com bubble burst in 2000.
As the industry recovered, there was a need to improve the internet. Consequently, there was a shift from a read-only model to a platform where users could also input content, marking the beginning of the Web 2.0 era.
Introduction to Web 2.0
Web 2.0 introduced the idea of the “Web as a platform,” which incorporated features to support user-generated content. For instance, it supported the development of social media platforms like Facebook, Google, YouTube, and Tiktok. Web 2.0 features are interactive, allowing users to create content, post, and share it on the internet.
However, centralization is still an inherent issue with Web 2.0. To illustrate, just a few big tech companies control much of what we can do on the internet. In fact, these companies reap big by commercializing users’ data. For example, Facebook commercializes users’ through tailored ads. Given the excessive control they have, these corporations often misappropriate users’ personal data for malicious intents.
The Takeover – Decentralized Internet
Finally, we enter the new, decentralized version of the internet. The latest iteration will allow users to own and control their data. Moreover, there is barely any censorship. So, in this web version, the community of users is responsible for developing and implementing community guidelines.
Birth of Web 3.0
The birth of Web 3.0 is because of growth and advancement in technology. Specifically, the technology leading the revolution are Machine Learning (ML), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and distributed ledger technology (DLT). These innovations serve as the building blocks that ensure automation, decentralization, and security of Web 3.0.
The DLT introduces blockchain as the underlying framework for developing and running decentralized applications (DApps). These DApps feature high privacy and secure storage of user data. Hence, Web 3.0 limits the monetization of users’ data by large tech corporations.
Again, in Web 3.0, data is stored across multiple computer nodes (including the network’s participants). This decentralization alleviates potential breaches by cyber-attackers by ensuring no centralized point of failure and making possible attacks unviable. Therefore, Web 3.0 achieves high data security without compromising privacy or other factors.
In addition, Web 3.0 offers cheaper data processing and faster transactions at lower fees. Also, the new web version gives back users power over their data. Even at its onset, the new iteration of the internet attracted millions of users and big players across the market.
Key Features of Web 3.0
Web 3.0 is permissionless and trustless, allowing users to interact directly without seeking permission from any gatekeepers. It runs on peer-to-peer decentralized nodes and blockchains.
Additionally, users participate in data management and authorization.
In Web 2.0, central authorities are responsible for managing and storing data. Therefore, the companies often find a way to own and access user data, and use it as they want. In addition, data centralization creates a single target for hackers hence encouraging cyberattacks. Additionally, central authorities can manipulate data either unintentionally or internationally.
Decentralization is Web 3.0’s defining feature that sets it apart from its predecessor, Web 2.0. Web 3.0 apps manage and store data in decentralized networks, using various computer nodes. Consequently, it opens unrestricted and unlimited access to the web. In addition, this decentralization significantly limits vulnerabilities and exposures which would otherwise be exploited in hackings.
One significant innovation and application of Web 3.0 is in decentralizing the financial system. Anonymous founder with the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto launched Bitcoin on a blockchain network in 2009. Currently, there are nearly 20,000 cryptocurrencies. These decentralized currencies are free from a central authority. As the technology around crypto advances, cross-border transactions become instant, secure, and free.
Both AI and ML came up during the Web 2.0 era but developed more in this newer web version. These technologies play a significant role in Web 3.0 development. More than ever before, computers understand information more like human beings. AI and ML achieve this feat through natural language processing technologies and semantic web concepts.
With ML and AI, computers gradually improve their accuracy, efficiency, and proficiency in handling automated tasks as they learn. These computers learn patterns and predict outcomes more accurately hence more efficient and fast in production.
Advantages of Web 3.0
- Superior security features – Since this web version is highly decentralized, it significantly minimizes the risks of cyber-attacks.
- Transparency – Web 3.0 DApps support the public audit of certain information to ensure fairer interactions and validate transactions on such networks.
- Data privacy – Web 3.0 users control their personal data on the internet and can monetize it if they wish.
- No Downtime – Web 3.0 apps are highly decentralized and hence do not have a single point of failure. Massive databases and servers held by tech giants sometimes break down and hurt global operations.
- Lowers cost – Web 3.0 infrastructure eliminates intermediaries from many operations, especially financial systems. With DeFi, no payment processors, third-party, or facilitators must complete transactions or even implement contracts.
Web 3.0’s Major Drawback
- Regulation and legal risks – Cybercrime, and misinformation may easily spread, as there is barely any regulation in Web 3.0. Therefore, users are free to post and share content, which may be inappropriate. Further, it is challenging to execute a particular country’s law to a website used in other various countries globally.
Metaverse and Gaming
Gaming in web 3.0 is highly decentralized. Therefore, any user in the gaming community may take part in in-game management. In other cases, users participate in the game development. For example, Decentraland allows users to create their in-game assets, which they use in the game or sell.
Gaming assets in web 3.0 are tokenized (converted to NFTs), enabling users to buy and sell them. Additionally, users can play these games in virtual spaces (the metaverse), where users interact using virtual items.
The gaming experience is also a lot more fun and high tech. The experience incorporates the metaverse, massive multiplayer online games, and augmented reality (AR). Games are more accessible in Web 3.0, resulting from combining simulations, visualizations, and scientific models.
In summary, Web 3.0 is a superior and impartial web version. Here, users freely post and share their content to a broader audience with limited restrictions.
It has opened new opportunities in data monetization and data security across various platforms to individuals. To sum it up, Web 3.0 gives the ultimate power to users. This way, it ensures that they stand to benefit the most from their time and the content they share.