It feels like 2021 bought with it certain terms that have now been engraved in our minds, these include, Meta, Web 3.0 and an extended craze for NFTs. While we do have some idea of what Meta or NFTs bring, Web 3.0 still remains a hazy area for many.
So, what is Web 3.0?
Web 3.0 is everywhere but no one really knows what is it. It’s more like that slang that everyone does like to use but no one really knows what it means. Did you know that all this hype about NFTs, Blockchain, and Cryptocurrencies, has Web 3.0 at its very core? It’s not just the next version of the internet, Web 3.0 brings a backend revolution. The world wide web was not always, as we know it today. The evolution of the web occurred primarily in three stages: Web 1.0, Web 2.0, and Web 3.0.
The Evolution of the Web
Web 1.0 was the first-ever iteration of the web. Back then most participants were consumers of content, and the creators were typically developers who build websites that contained information served up mainly in the format of text or images. Web 1.0 lasted approximately from 1991 to 2004. You can think of Web 1.0 as the read-only version of the web.
While, most of us have primarily experienced the web as it is today, commonly referred to as Web 2.0, one may think of Web 2.0 as the more interactive and social iteration of the web.
In Web 2.0, you don’t have any control over your data or how it’s being stored, for that matter. In fact, companies often track and save user data without the users’ consent. All of this data is then owned and controlled by the companies and used to their advantage. Hence, this makes Web 2.0 more susceptible to data breaches, many of which we’ve encountered ourselves. The exploitation and centralization of user data is core to how the web as we know it today, i.e., Web 2.0, is engineered to function.
While we’ve seen plenty of Web 2.0 rebrands, the current technology and cryptocurrency industries are ready for a more substantial change that allows people to read, write, and even own their very own versions of the internet. Behold Web 3.0!
Web 3.0 comes as the ultimate solution to put an end to many of such problems by fundamentally rethinking how we architect and interact with applications starting from the ground up.
The term Web 3.0 has been garnering much of the online world’s attention lately. It was coined back in 2014 by Gavin Wood and fundamentally refers to the next iteration of the internet that promotes decentralized concepts mainly to reduce dependency on the big tech giants like Meta, Google, Microsoft and Amazon. It is based on the idea that blockchain and digital tokens can foster a decentralized internet.
Here, people don’t use platforms like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to access the internet instead, individuals themselves own and control pieces of the internet. It sounds a little confusing initially but stick around and you’ll know what I’m talking about. You see Web 3.0 is almost entirely open source, allowing one to make tons of contributions in this space, which does ultimately leads to everyone owning a piece of the internet at the end of the day.
Furthermore, Web 3.0 is composed of elements like Decentralized Finance or DeFi, which is an emerging digital financial infrastructure that theoretically eliminates the need for a central bank and allows peer-to-peer financial services on public blockchains, primarily Ethereum. This means that it has been designed to provide a safer place for people allowing them to commit funds to a specific cause, which also means that this next generation of web is far less susceptible to cyber attacks or data breaches, as we’ve seen happening in the Web 2.0.
Transition to Web 3.0, Possible?
For all its perks of being attack-resistant and more fault-tolerant, decentralized web architectures, however, still are slower and not suited to all user cases, there are possible scalability issues too. Also, the role of central authorities cannot be completely shunned as they currently support critical components of the web like server hosting, DNS services, email, social media etc and even after a full launch of Web 3.0, centralized systems will prevail for specific use cases. This is why the transition from today’s internet to Web 3.0 if it ever happens, will be gradual instead of radical.
For now, Web 3.0 is still merely a buzzword that has yet to meet its implementation. While it may or may not prove to be as benevolent as is hoped, it is as enthusiasts claim, the future–like cryptocurrencies and the metaverse. However, only time will tell if Web 3.0 can live up to the latest hype cycle.