What is Web 3.0?

With the fervor around the next generation of the World Wide Web (WWW), the countless discussions about jumping from Web 2.0 to Web 3.0 can be found everywhere. But even though you can find various proponents of this future iteration of the internet, learning exactly what is Web 3.0 and what it does can be tricky.

While the task of learning about Web 3.0 is challenging, it is not impossible at all. A little information here, a few answers there, and you can know all the key details you need to use Web 3.0 to your advantage.

To help you through this process, here’s an overview of Web 3.0 and all the benefits that it brings to the table.

What is Web 3.0?

Since the invention of the internet, the World Wide Web has been categorized by the use of unofficial versions. Each iteration refers to a distinct foundational structure of the internet. These labels include Web 1.0, Web 2.0, and Web 3.0.

Web 1.0 refers to the earliest iteration of the internet, Web 2.0 outlines the emergence of the current era of the World Wide Web, and Web 3.0 paints a picture of the internet of the future.

Ok, great now that you know that we are on Web 3.0, we are all good to go. Of course, we are simply kidding. For us to understand Web 3.0, we must first understand the other two iterations and what they present to us. It is only then that we can understand the progress or the distinctions between the first iteration to the third iteration.

To help you get acquainted with them all, here’s a brief overview of what each iteration means for the internet that it represents.

Web 1.0

When the internet first debuted for public usage in the early-to-mid 1990s, it performed the basic version of sharing information from one computer to the other. The websites that it used to relay this information also remained static and simple. The information that was placed on websites was also text-based and remained void of interactive applications. This era roughly lasted from the early 1990s to the early 2000s.

Web 1.0 was also the first-ever instance of using the HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP), which brought forth the internet as we know it and gave the world its very first website in 1991. But given that Web 1.0 was quite simple, the limitations that it carried along with it remained unmistakably evident. That is where the need to develop more engaging content came to the forefront.

Web 2.0

Once the users of Web 1.0 started seeing the drawbacks in the earliest iteration of the web, it opened doors to Web 2.0 and its many advantages. One of the biggest benefits here was the availability of dynamic content, which could range from interactive websites to interconnected pages. Even those who had not used Web 1.0 before were compelled to give Web 2.0 a shot. The fact that the internet became more widely available during this time also helped in Web 2.0’s adoption.

This era started in the early 2000s and it is still going strong at the time of writing. It is through Web 2.0 that you are able to explore dynamic content over the web, run online applications through cloud computing, and benefit from utility apps such as Uber and DoorDash. In fact, you are viewing this information on Web 2.0 itself.

Web 3.0

Now comes the question of what is Web 3.0 and how it is supposed to work. Simply put, Web 3.0 refers to the next iteration of the World Wide Web. As the successor to Web 2.0, this version of the internet focuses on going beyond the norm of interactive websites or apps. Instead, it vows to turn the concept of internet presence upside down. To describe it in a simple sentence, this means the creation of decentralized platforms and self-sufficient applications.

Decentralized and self-sufficient web properties refer to websites and apps that are not controlled by a central authority such as Google or Apple. Instead, these online platforms are to create, run, and distribute user generated content. At the same time, they are perceived to be self-sustainable and survive on user interest. An amazing example of such a use case is cryptocurrency, where digital wallets and decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges could act as standalone platforms purely from user support.

Web 2.0 vs 3.0

Since Web 2.0 is the current iteration of the World Wide Web, it can be difficult to envision a Web 3.0 that could surpass the internet of the present. This especially holds true when you consider that Web 2.0 comes with the distinct and advanced characteristics of social media content, widespread connectivity, and powerful online apps.

With that being said, it is crucial to understand that while user generated media, viral content, and dynamic apps may seem like the pinnacle of the internet as we know it, that is not actually the case. Due to what is Web 3.0 equipped to do, we could go above and beyond the current usability, flexibility, and interconnectivity with ease.

This is similar to how developers envisioned a future beyond Web 1.0, which had been the most advanced connectivity network at the time. If there had been no push to create a better internet with enhanced functionality, we may never be able to do a comparison of Web 2.0 vs 3.0.

To help you make the distinction between Web 2.0 and 3.0 in an easier manner, here’s a list of quick references that will tell you how to tell these iterations apart.

Decentralization

Whenever you are about to execute a transaction over Web 2.0, it has to go through centralized measures. This includes eCommerce websites, software as a service (SaaS) platforms, and utility apps such as Airbnb and Lyft. In turn, this creates a highly accessible environment for you as a user of a conventional network and currency alike.

But when you utilize a Web 3.0 platform, you may easily benefit from a decentralized solution that doesn’t have to perform its transactions through a central authority. Instead, it can process and execute any transactions via a decentralized platform. Examples may comprise decentralized apps (DApps) and cryptocurrency wallets.

This means that you do not have to rely upon commercial entities to complete your actions. Besides creating a more self-sufficient environment, it also leads towards lower transaction costs. This is one of the most significant reasons why everyone is interested in learning what is Web 3.0 and how it can benefit those who start utilizing it for their day-to-day needs.

Transparency

Web 2.0 applications have started to come across as highly anticipated, stylized and secure options for many. From online banking to online dating, this encourages you to conduct your operations over the web even when you are a few inches away from your desk phone or tablet.

But as open as the execution might seem, the fact of the matter is that Web 2.0 operates under quite a few layers of secrecy. While this creates a highly controlled product, it also makes it less transparent for users. Only the developers or select operators of the respective network know what is happening with transactions at the backend. Even when users are briefed about their actions, the information is quite controlled.

With Web 3.0, this concept gets turned over its own head and opens doors to a highly transparent application process with more open-source projects, protocols, and irrevocable registries. For instance, those who transfer cryptocurrency funds over Web 3.0 could see an irrevocable roster of transactions in front of them.

Accessibility

It is not difficult to expect that a newer iteration of the same technology would be technically superior to its predecessor. But if you are interested to learn more about this, you may be delighted to know that the improvements in Web 3.0 aren’t there just for the sake of it. They serve a purpose for the advancement of the medium and the internet.

Once you start knowing more about what is Web 3.0, it becomes evident that its technological capabilities far surpass the ones that are available or supported by Web 2.0-based properties. This is especially evident in terms of security, accessibility, and innovative use cases.

This also includes the use of machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI), which comes at great benefit to simplify processes, cut down costs, and improve efficiency. For instance, Web 3.0 could completely adopt the usage of semantic phrases to let go of keyword-centric results. This could make information easier to find and use. How this quality is utilized depends on the applications and websites that will be fully available after Web 3.0 gains more momentum.

Utility

While comparing Web 2.0 vs 3.0, it can be argued that the former is already giving as much attention to utility as possible. With that being said, that is not the case. Web 2.0 may certainly help utility-based applications such as vacation rentals, on-demand transportation, and digital wallets. But it still falls behind on a true peer-to-peer approach due to a central third-party between these transactions.

With Web 3.0, the focus is on utility and accessibility, where decentralized applications could be accessed with direct connections between interested parties. This could make such transactions and connections more convenient and affordable for everyone involved, while still paying attention to their security.

For instance, once you learn about what is Web 3.0, it also becomes evident that peer-to-peer (P2P) connections are the heart and soul of this new iteration of the internet. When you may have easy-to-access applications to make this possible through blockchain networks, this benefit may sing further in favor of Web 3.0.

Privacy

Web 2.0 has many advantages. But data privacy is not one of them. With almost every application mining the data of its users or even purchasing it through third-party platforms, the accessibility of your data is neither safe nor private. Many platforms make it mandatory for you to share information just so you could have a better user experience.

With Web 3.0 and the use of blockchain-based apps, you could potentially decide which parties to share your personal data with. Through specialized applications, you may also choose to be compensated for the data that you are sharing. This could boost Web 3.0’s popularity even among those segments that don’t currently use personalized online applications due to privacy concerns.

This makes Web 3.0 especially lucrative for a variety of individuals, especially those who want to protect their privacy at all costs. This could also interest those who are not too wary of sharing their data if it happens at their own terms and with sufficient compensation. That is where learning what is Web 3.0 could benefit you in terms of financial benefits.

Scalability

Due to the mix of cloud computing and shared resources across some platforms, Web 3.0 could bring more powerful systems to the forefront. In addition to allowing people to access their personal data, required information, and specific solutions in a faster manner, it could also give developers the opportunity to create more advanced applications over the web.

As outlined above, this could also make the use of ML and AI-based applications more accessible, while also giving way to shared storage and computing solutions across the web. This could also make way for new applications from budding developers, especially those who may otherwise not have the resources to bring their vision to life.

In this regard, already-established examples of potential Web 3.0 use come in the form of cryptocurrency platforms and decentralized exchanges. While these solutions remain powerful in their operations, the availability of Web 3.0 makes their execution almost seamless on many systems. This makes Web 3.0 a highly capable iteration of the internet that is even more capable than its predecessor.

What Key Possibilities Does Web 3.0 Bring to the World?

With the power of decentralized networks front and center, the key possibilities for Web 3.0 form around self-sufficiency. From financial transactions to service-based solutions, this quality sings through various parts of this iteration of the internet.

To help you get a firm grasp over what is Web 3.0 capable of doing, here are some of its most sought-after potential characteristics.

Blockchain Technology

Blockchain technology is a big part of the vision that Web 3.0 brings to the table. Through this cryptographically-secure medium, you can unlock never seen before decentralized applications. This could bring various innovative solutions to life that include but are not limited to financial protection, data security, and information monitoring.

The vision of Web 3.0 is to make seamless connections to these blockchain-based solutions and make them a part of the typical internet network. This would allow everyday internet users to benefit from the power of blockchain technology and harness it for their own benefit.

Self-Sufficient Systems

With Web 3.0’s focus on using AI and ML throughout the internet, you can expect to interact with more self-sufficient systems. This may include search engines that rely on semantic information instead of keyword matches; websites that interact with visitors through AI-powered chat and suggestions; and applications that optimize the user experience through ethically sourced data.

A portion of these types of solutions is already being seen in Web 2.0. But in Web 3.0, all of this is supposed to go to the next level. This would also make it easier for the ever-expanding World Wide Web to be more easily accessible and its information to be readily available.

User Operated Platforms

When learning what is Web 3.0 and what sets it apart from its predecessor, the characteristic of decentralization immediately comes to mind. This decentralization is not just there to make cryptocurrency transactions possible. But it is also present to support initiatives such as community-run social media platforms and user-controlled data exchange platforms.

In some iterations, these platforms might not be completely user-operated but still compensate their audience for utilizing their solutions. Some of these offerings are already live in Web 2.0, which makes it possible to project that they could become a major part of Web 3.0. Perhaps one of the most popular examples here is Brave Browser, which pays its users for viewing ads on participating websites.

Practical Use Cases of Web3

While that showcases the applications of Web3 in the grand scheme of things, you might still be wondering what are some practical implementations of the technology. Blockchain allows us to do away with centralization on a wide range of use cases. This means that every participant in Web3 is an autonomous decision-maker and is not bound by centralized services. As such, the advent of smart contracts has allowed us to put into practice some revolutionary concepts:

  • NFTs – non-fungible tokens are unique digital assets that can represent anything of value. They benefit from all of blockchain’s characteristics such as immutability, transparency, and ease of transfer. While currently, they are mainly used as digital collectibles, their utility is incredibly vast. They can act as tokens to access smart contract functionality, such as voting power in a DAO.
  • Cryptocurrencies – a new form of digital money that veers away from the dysfunctional centralized financial system we have been stuck in for centuries.
  • DeFi – a decentralized financial system independent from financial institutions which relies on NFTs, cryptocurrencies, and decentralized applications that run on blockchain tech.
  • DAOs – decentralized autonomous organizations with a flat hierarchy, which coordinate with the help of tokens and smart contracts.
  • Decentralized credentials – wallet-based sign-ins that allow users to interface with internet apps without KYC procedures that impede their privacy.

This is just a small sample of what the Web3 can actually do. More importantly, through the deployment of these concepts, we can now collaborate openly and freely, in a decentralized manner. This allows a pivotal shift from the established mindset of centralized internet services and apps governed by a single, biased entity.

Web3 as a Tool for the Greater Good

One of the biggest advantages of Web3 is the enhanced collaboration tools it provides us. While it’s true that we could previously freely collaborate on the internet, Web3 brings it on a whole another level. As we mentioned earlier, the DAO is an essential element in the Web3 revolution.

In these decentralized organizations, individuals can collaborate without the need for a central supervising entity. Instead of relying on arbitrary decisions from a central authority, the rules of the organization are predefined within the smart contract. Moreover, as every interaction is recorded on the public ledger, the DAO to remains transparent on all of its activities. Members can use blockchain tokens to gain access to voting rights and democratically participate in the organizational procedures.

While this method hasn’t yet proven its efficiency for for-profit organizations, DAOs have become a boon for non-profits. They provided charities and social good platforms with global collaboration tools that were previously unattainable. Consequently, we have seen a proliferation of ethical DAOs that attempt to improve our general wellbeing on this planet in a number of ways.

Some DAO platforms like Toucan protocol have enabled the trading of carbon credits and brought carbon offsetting to the masses. Through decentralization, Toucan enabled mainstream individuals to access a previously opaque and impenetrable niche.

Others like Nouns DAO have amassed millions of dollars through the sale of NFTs and are using these funds to empower artists and give to charities. And we are seeing more and more climate activists using the decentralized model to achieve their goals in a meaningful way.

To sum up, Web3 is decidedly becoming a powerful tool that allows mindful individuals from all over the world to participate in collaborative projects for the greater good.

Web 3.0 is an Abstract Topic, But It Is Not Difficult to Envision It

Since Web 3.0 is more of a concept than a set product, it is quite abstract to define it in terms that concretely set it apart from Web 2.0. With that being said, keeping the key characteristics in mind for this version of the web can go a long way towards identifying key developments. If you are one to feel enthralled by new technologies such as cryptocurrency or data protection solutions, it could also give you something to look forward to in the near future.

By keeping an eye on the updates and developments in this segment, you can see Web 3.0 develop in front of your own eyes. This could also give you more confidence in using new technologies and investing in new products that directly or indirectly relate to this segment.

The key is to remain vigilant about authentic players in the industry, so you could make smart decisions about associating yourself with fresh offerings that are potentially a part of Web 3.0.

The vision for Web 3.0 is huge. It will require the combination of a variety of technologies, more investment on the application layer and the infrastructure layer, and the coordination of contributions from a wide variety of people.

The very early stages of Web 3.0 are taking form at the present moment and as more progress takes place, the world will shift and be immersed in this new iteration of the World Wide Web.