Web 3.0, aka Web3 or web3, is the upcoming version of the World Wide Web which incorporates innovative technologies like tokenization and decentralization. Multi-billion dollar companies dominate the internet as we know it today. These companies have an incredible amount of power over the kind of data that goes on their platform. Web3 breaks this monopoly and gives its users the power of privacy and content ownership. Before we go any further, let’s understand how we got here.
The History Of World Wide Web
Back in 1989, a computer scientist named Tim Berners-Lee was busy working on a radical idea at CERN, Geneva. He planned to create an open place where all people had access to any and all information at all times. This was the foundation on which the internet was built.
The internet as we know it today has gone through several critical stages. Let’s take a closer look.
Stage #1: Web 1.0
This was the first iteration of the internet and lasted from 1990-2004. The websites here were static, with zero interaction between users and minimal user-generated content (UGC). The main thing about web 1.0 was that it was read-only. Digital notice boards are an example of web 1.0.
Stage #2: Web 2.0
This is the internet as we know it today. Web 2.0 has both read-and-write properties, which encourages user interaction and UGC. This, in turn, birthed the multi-trillion dollar social media industry. However, as more people flocked in, some tech companies started getting a disproportionately higher share of the overall traffic.
Now, before we go any further, let’s get one thing straight – centralization was definitely crucial in the early phase of web 2.0. Companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter built beautiful interfaces that helped onboard billions of users. Centralization was also vital for the widespread adoption of the internet in every facet of our lives.
Unfortunately, this centralization has inevitably led to issues inherent in this model. For example, social media websites have become infamous for their biased censorship. Plus, companies like Facebook have sold off their user data to third parties like Cambridge Analytica, which was used to influence political elections.
There is also a small matter of user ownership. Remember we were talking about UGC a little while back? Even if the user was responsible for creating that content, the platform they were using still owned it at the end of the day. This has raised some serious questions about revenue sharing.
Let’s give you an example.
Yup, that’s Luis Fonsi’s Despacito, and no, that’s not a typo. It really has a mindboggling 7.8 billion views! For reference’s sake, that’s the same number of people on earth! Can you guess how much money Luis Fonsi made from Youtube for this song?
Web3 can solve this major problem organically via its “read, write, and own” model.
Stage #3: Web 3.0
Packy McCormick, the Founder of Not Boring, popularized the term “Web 3.0.” The idea is to create an intelligent, connected, and open internet. It does so by combining machine learning and semantics. Let’s understand what these terms mean.
- Machine learning: Using algorithms to help websites learn and process data as humans do. It combines tech such as AI (artificial intelligence) and NLP (natural language processing).
- Semantics: Structuring web pages to make them easily readable by computers. Simply put, websites will be ranked as per the quality of their articles instead of keyword stuffing.
However, this is just the tip of the iceberg. web3 will always include the following:
- Decentralization: The web 3.0 ecosystem will be built on blockchain technology. Blockchain’s decentralization ensures that content creators are directly connected to their users without going to third-party platforms.
- Tokenization: Content creators can issue fungible and non-fungible tokens to monetize their services.
All these innovations will be the pillars that build the web 3.0 ecosystem.
Web 1.0 vs Web 2.0 vs Web 3.0: The Comparison
|Web 1.0||Web 2.0||Web 3.0|
|Years Active||1990-2004||2004-Present||Not active yet|
|Defining Innovation||Hypertext, notice board types websites||Social media||User-owned applications|
The Role Of Cryptocurrencies In Web 3.0
In a decentralized, blockchain-based internet, websites will be replaced by smart contract-based decentralized applications. Ethereum, Solana, Avalanche, Polygon, Cardano, etc., are examples of web3 platforms that have already fostered multi-billion dollar applications. All centralized organizations will become DAOs (decentralized autonomous organizations), aka organizations without any centralized leadership. Governance of such platforms will be done via governance tokens issued on these platforms. Ethereum’s DeFi (decentralized finance) sector already boasts several DAOs such as Maker, Curve, Convex, etc. These will become more widespread in the future. All in all, cryptocurrencies will be the heart and soul of the web 3.0 ecosystem.
Web3 is no longer a figment of one’s imagination. Websites with human-like intelligence and creator-based economies are here to stay. We have already seen a glimpse of Ethereum’s ecosystem as to what this decentralized application landscape would look like in the future. Furthermore, by removing the centralization problem of web 2.0, web 3.0 paves the way for a fairer and more democratic internet.