What is Web 3.0? Everything you need to know about the next generation of internet

12/03/2021, 05:06 PM

What is Web 3.0? Everything you need to know about the next generation of internet
What is Web 3.0? Everything you need to know about the next generation of internet

Web 3.0 is a next-gen concept that intends to revolutionize the way we are using the internet today. Decentralization and blockchain technology will have a huge impact on doing so. What exactly is Web 3.0? How does it work and what will it change?

The term Web 3.0 has been flowing through the articles and forums for quite some time.

Table of contents:

  • What is Web 3.0 and how it works?
  • Is Web 3.0 the same as the Semantic Web?
  • 4 main elements of Web 3.0
  • Top 4 benefits of Web 3.0
  • How will blockchain and cryptocurrencies be related to Web 3.0?

It is currently the most popular buzzword of many technology experts, crypto enthusiasts and investors. Many of them use Web 3.0 as a term to cover all the innovations that will soon improve the Internet we currently use (Web 2.0).

The next phase of Internet development will include features like decentralization, artificial intelligence (AI) and an economy driven by blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.

But why is there a sudden need to improve the internet? In short, the need for a new version of the Web appeared after many users realized that they had no control over their own data, and that they depended too much on rules imposed by third parties.

The graph showing the evolution of web and web companies through time.

Centralization is the feature of the Internet we use today, better known as Web 2.0. To make it easier to understand what Web 3.0 is trying to improve, we will have to go back to the very beginnings of the Internet.

The first generation of the Internet, or Web 1.0, was used from the 1990s to the early 2000s, when the Internet was seen as a means to democratize access to information. In terms of user experience, the pages were mostly static, with no possibility for content creation.

The image of a monitor showing the Web 1.0 website.
The example of Web 1.0 website.

The next generation - Web 2.0 improved that. Static websites have been replaced by interactive content that millions of people could access in a quick and easy way. Web 2.0 has experienced exponential growth thanks to innovations such as mobile internet access and social networks.

Web 2.0 and the problem of centralization

With the Web 2.0, billions of people have gained access to amazing technologies that have made life easier, and many of them have been free to use.

But web 2.0 also had its downsides, most notably the centralization of large companies such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, etc. The initial idea of tech giants was to create some sort of order on the Internet.

Critics say they have gained too much power over time. Centralization has negatively affected startups, creators and many other groups.

Since everyone is present on the channels of centralized companies, all actions, and ultimately the success depend on the rules dictated by centralized companies.

The simplest example of these negative impacts on (business) users is when Google or Facebook change the algorithm.

Here is a simple example. In recent years every new update came with posting rule changes. In short, with every new update the organic visibility of the post would be smaller, which consequently meant that creators, companies and other users had to spend more money on advertising.

Centralization has also indirectly affected many social tensions that we can often see in social networks discussion sections, the explosion of fake news and the emergence of bots whose comments affect public opinion.

These are all problems that will be discussed in the coming years. This is why many experts believe the internet has to be improved.

Web 3.0 and blockchain technology have emerged as a possible solution.

What is Web 3.0 and how it works?

It should be noted that Web 3.0 is still in early stages of development. This means that there are plenty of concepts and definitions of what Web 3.0 should be and how it should work.

But, everyone agrees on this definition.

Web 3.0 is a term used to describe a new generation of Internet that will use peer-to-peer (P2P) technologies such as blockchain, open source software, virtual reality (metaverse), and the Internet of Things.

Web 3.0 will rely on Web 1.0 and Web 2.0, combining their best features.

How will the user benefit from the next-gen internet? Web 3.0 will make the Internet more decentralized and open to users. Today, users still rely on network service providers but they monitor all information that passes through their systems.

With Web 3.0, people will be able to control their own data and use all applications and services from a single account, while all activities will be stored on the blockchain.

Is Web 3.0 a Semantic Web?

The Semantic Web is a term coined by Tim Berners Lee, the man who invented the concept of the World Wide Web, which is why he was nicknamed the "father of the Internet".

With this term, Berners Lee wanted to describe a new and more efficient way through which users will get more realistic data - accurately related to real-life situations.

In the Semantic Web, the browser should serve as a personal assistant to users. What would it look like in practice?

Let’s say you want to see a movie, and grab something to eat afterwards. Your first step would be to search for the nearest movie theater, possibly with a restaurant nearby.

The search for the movie, theatre, restaurant and its menu would take probably an hour. On the semantic web browser the search would be different.

As your “personal assistant” it would use all your data - physical location, personal preferences, budget, and many other factors in order to create a perfect combination.

This is just a simplified example that explains the idea behind the Semantic Web. Many of these features are similar to what Web 3.0 should have, which is why experts identify them as the same thing.

However web 3.0 should be more advanced than the semantic web. In addition to the previously mentioned peer-to-peer technology, blockchain, artificial intelligence, Web 3.0 will use elements of the Semantic Web, and its web predecessors to provide the most advanced experience.

4 main elements of Web 3.0

Web 3.0 should have the following features:

1. Decentralization

Big tech and internet companies today are deciding how each piece of information will be ranked, filtered, which content creators will be promoted and which will be banned. Web 3.0 should shift the decision-making on such issues to users (community) through open and transparent mechanisms.

Instead of storing information in one database everything will be stored in multiple locations to ensure decentralization, and the user will decide how his data will be used.

2. Permissionless and Trustless web

Every time you interact with a website you will probably have to register with one of your emails. The process goes on with every new website.

"Permissionless" and "Trustless" means that you will be able to access everything with one single account, without going through a trusted intermediary. A good example of this practice are digital wallets which enable you to connect with the website instantly.

3. Artificial intelligence

Some features of artificial intelligence are already in use. You’ve probably noticed that when writing emails or messages, an app or service shows you several message templates, based on what you wrote at the moment.

Web 3.0 is expected to be able to understand information like humans with the help of powerful and more advanced computers. Web 3.0 will also implement Machine learning, a branch of artificial intelligence that uses data and algorithms to mimic the way people learn. Machine learning will gradually improve data accuracy.

4. Connectivity to all devices

The number of devices that could connect to the Internet has increased. The Internet of things (IoT) will also have a huge role in Web 3.0. As new devices emerge, there will be more information available, which will also improve data accuracy.

Currently, one of the leading projects in the crypto industry that develops the Internet of Things solutions is IOTA with innovative "Tangle" technology.

The comparison of Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 apps and operating systems.

4 main elements of Web 3.0

Web 3.0 should have the following features:

Decentralization

Big tech and internet companies today are deciding how each piece of information will be ranked, filtered, which content creators will be promoted and which will be banned. Web 3.0 should shift the decision-making on such issues to users (community) through open and transparent mechanisms.

Instead of storing information in one database everything will be stored in multiple locations to ensure decentralization, and the user will decide how his data will be used.

Top 4 Benefits of Web 3.0

1. It has no central governing body

Since intermediaries will be removed from the equation, they will no longer control user data. This reduces the risk of censorship by governments or corporations.

2. Improved flow of information

As more devices connect to the Internet in the future, there will be more data available and analyzed. This will ultimately provide accurate information that will eventually build a better tailor-made experience for every user.

3. More efficient internet search

Finding the best results through a web browser can sometimes take a long time. With Web 3.0, the results of what we search will become more accurate thanks to metadata and understanding the context of what we search.

4. Improved advertising

Today, few people like to be bombarded with ads at every corner. However, ads can be useful if they meet someone's exact needs. Web 3.0 will use artificial intelligence systems to improve and customize advertising to appear according to user needs.

Blockchain as well as Web 3.0 share similar principles, the most important of which is decentralization. But blockchain contributes to the concept of Web 3.0 in many ways.

One of them is a unique digital identity that gives every user a sense of complete security, but also transparency while executing transactions.

But perhaps the greatest contribution that blockchain technology would give to Web 3.0 is the ability to create cryptocurrencies, and using cryptocurrencies for payments.

The reason why cryptocurrencies are most often mentioned in the context of payments (along with transparency and security) is low transaction prices and speed.

The cost of online payments will be much simpler and cheaper than paying by credit card or online banking. This will also be convenient for sellers as it will initially eliminate additional fees to payment service providers.

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