Today, almost every industry is on the verge to adopt blockchain technology. The internet is growing at an exponential rate from its inception since 1989. It was started for academic purposes with the intent to share research and data. However, it has grown into a massive global phenomenon with continuous changes.
Web 3.0 is the next stage of the internet’s growth. It aims to make the internet a smart place with a serverless and decentralized environment. In the age of cybercrimes and privacy invasion, Web3 will help users to gain control of their data, identity, and destiny. It follows decentralized and cryptographic approaches to ensure security and make the ecosystem more reliable.
The future internet won’t be relying on centralized servers because the data will be stored in copies and multiple locations via a peer-to-peer connection. Distributed protocols such as IPFS are used to ensure diversely resilient networks and enable constant availability. Whereas in Web 2.0, the entire service goes down if a server goes offline.
Blockchain is going to be another backbone of Web3.0 with its ability to verifiability, the economic profits to the right owner of the content. Blockchain technology uses smart contracts to save ownership and transaction data. This makes it a very secure and reliable technology. All of this is not possible in Web2.
The concept of Linked Data could enable the creation of global information with linked documents. We are already very dependent on data and the web in our daily lives. Thus, there’s a huge desire to directly access raw data which is not present on Web2. Linked Data would enable global data space with open standards.
The internet has evolved massively over the years with iterations in the web version. Now, we are finally ready for another evolution and adoption to Web3.
Web 1.0 (1989)
Web 1.0 was created during the inception of the internet with the intent to provide read-only content to the users. It had applications such as news portals, search engines, informative sites, etc.
Web 2.0 (2004)
Web 2.0 enabled users to start interacting with the content on the internet. Now, the users could also input their data to the web. It has applications such as social networks, communication apps, etc.
Web 3.0 (Yet to be Implemented)
The term Web 3.0 was coined to signify trust and verifiability on the internet. In theory, it allows the users to take full control over their privacy, verify data and content to earn incentives. The integration becomes more open, private, and secure with this iteration of the web.
Let’s Have a Detailed Comparison Between Web 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0 to understand better
|Web 1.0||Web 2.0||Web 3.0|
|Function||Earliest form of the internet. Ready-only web||Evolving with demands. Read-write web||Decentralized approach on the internet. Read-write-execute internet|
|Stages||First iteration of the internet||Second iteration of the internet |
|Third iteration of the internet |
|Use Case||Sharing data and research||Enabling interaction between internet users||Evoling the internet for full immersion|
|Ownership||The content was owned by organizations||Regular users could also share content on the internet||The content can have shared ownership|
|Utility||A simple and passive form of the web||A socially interactive form of the web||A semantic form of web that can be processed by machines|
|Prime Focus||Focuses on providing information around the world||It focuses on socially connecting people in the world||Focuses on decentralizing and connecting knowledge|
|Access Through||Only static websites could be used||Fully-interactive web applications||Intelligence web-based and application functionalities|
|Interaction Levels||Almost negligible interaction between the websites and users||Improved interaction between the users and the server||Completely personalized web experience and interaction for users|
|Target Audience||It was company focused||It is driven by community focused ideology||It will be individual-focused|
|Type of Advertising||Banner advertising was used.||Interactive advertising is common in web2||Behavioral advertising will be used in web3|
The origins and features of the Web3 can be found on a paper written by Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the Web back in 1991. In the paper, he had imagined an idea of the web which was very different from today’s iteration of the internet. These are some of the key features of the web:
Web 2.0 is known for storing huge piles of data in centralized repositories. This approach has many drawbacks, it gives the power of market control to a few powerful and influential owners. Thus, anything could be manipulated on the internet by these few powerful individuals. Plus, the user data is also at a high risk of getting stolen or misused. The web3.0 stores data by using blockchain technology, “blocks” and “nodes” are created to spread the data across a huge number of linked computers. The decentralized access is given by not storing the data on a single computer or a server. This makes the data decentralized and creates multiple failure points.
You might that global services like Instagram, WhatsApp, Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, and other internet services are completely free for users. However, the global giants have created an illusion of free services by taking our personal sensitive information. Web3.0 would be a major revolution for online privacy and security. Users would be able to join any network without requesting permission. In fact, they won’t need to share their personal details or location data.
The centralized characteristic of Web2 makes it an unsafe place with lots of cybercriminals and imposters. Web3’s decentralized infrastructure will make it harder to conduct malicious activities and gain unauthorized access to data. Thus, greater control over data is given back to the users and they can now decide to share information about themselves or remain completely anonymous.
So far, we have learned that Web3.0 will be powered by blockchain technology. It is also the primary technology behind cryptocurrencies (ex-Bitcoin), NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens), decentralized applications, smart contracts, and more. Here’s how businesses will employ these technologies and take advantage of Web3.0;
There are so many applications that are natively developed for a particular OS (operating system). For example; some of Apple’s native applications cannot function on Google’s Android OS. Similarly, Windows desktop applications cannot run on Macintosh devices. This slows down the development process and increases the cost since businesses have to develop dedicated applications for each platform. This problem will be solved with the introduction of Web3.0 as it enables decentralized apps (Dapps) that run on the blockchain. These applications will be dependent on the power of peer-to-peer nodes (servers). Thus, saving development costs and enhancing overall scalability.
Today, people are concerned about their data security and privacy. After tons of data and privacy breaches over the past decade, people demand businesses have safer data storage. Web3.0 will introduce a new level of security for businesses with blockchain technology, which stores data across a huge network of computers. Thus, cybercriminals would need to access all of the connected computers to access user data, which is very challenging and impractical.
A smart contract is a digital agreement between two or more parties. It gets enabled once specific conditions are fulfilled. Such contracts were first implemented when Ethereum was introduced by Vitalik Buterin. There could be incredible use cases of smart contracts especially in the banking, finance, and insurance industries.
NFTs or Non-Fungible Tokens are bits of digital content or assets present on the blockchain. It is like intellectual property and could be present in the form of audio, photo, video, or any digital format. NFTs are already hugely popular in the gaming industry. However, other businesses are also taking advantage of such digital assets.
The introduction of Web3.0 is also bringing Semantic Web. It is an intelligent web, where artificial intelligence plays a key role in understanding web pages and providing tailored recommendations (content) to the users. Moreover, the scope of digital marketing will change with the introduction of Semantic web.
easier for users to discover information. Instead of stuffing keywords to rank higher on Google, you can publish relevant content that meets your target audience’s intent.
Although, businesses could operate internationally, they haven’t reached their full potential due to restrictions on cross-border commercial trade. The introduction of Web3.0 truly connects the world together with borderless and frictionless methodology. The tokenized payment system enables the users to move more quickly and pay for services without any delays. In fact, this could bring a day and night difference to traditional banks.
Web3.0 might be a reality in the near future. It has the aim to empower real users and protect their data & privacy on the web. It could be the real equal internet for everyone. These are some real-world benefits of Web3.0:
Every technology has some disadvantages or hurdles to overcome to become more effective. The main problem will come in the form of a decentralization process for Web3. Thus, it is very hard to moderate and filter content without the involvement of a central authority on the network.
Although, Web3.0 is not in implementation yet, we could say that it is the future of business. It would become a major driving force for entrepreneurs, companies, and corporations around the world. Businesses would be able to scale faster, operate more freely, and provide a top-notch experience to users. AI, ML, Blockchain, Crypto-assets, and metaverse would be significant factors in shaping the future of the digital world.