For several years now, the crypto industry has been talking about something called Web 3.0, and how much it would affect the Internet, the way we communicate and share content, and even the entire world. However, if you are new to the industry, you may be confused about what this is and why it is important to the crypto world much.
If that’s the case, then you’re in the right place, as we’re about to share everything you need to know about Web 3.0.
the history of the network
To properly understand Web 3.0, we must first review previous versions of the web, so you have an idea of what is changing and how it will affect the Internet. That said, let’s start from the beginning, and go to the first version of the web, known as Web 1.0.
Web 1.0 first emerged in 1989 and lasted for several decades, finally ending in around 2005. Known as the static web, it was the first version of the Internet and, according to some, the most reliable.
Make no mistake, Web 1.0 was not overflowing with information like what we know today on the Internet. In fact, the information has been quite limited, with little to no user interaction. Back then, creating user pages, commenting on articles, and the like weren’t a thing.
There were no algorithms to sift through Internet pages, so locating relevant information was not easy. The best way to describe it would be like a one-way highway, with a very narrow lane where even content creation was possible. Even that was done by only a handful of people, and most of the information available on the Internet came from directories.
In other words, it wasn’t the best version of the internet, but that was to be expected from the original web.
This, in turn, enabled the creation of social networking and interactive web platforms, many of which emerged in 2005. These include Facebook, YouTube, Wikipedia, and many others. Then over the years, social media flooded the internet and today, in 2022, we have more than we can count.
Web 2.0 also paved the way for the production of user-generated content. Anything from photos and memes to videos, art, indie games, and all other forms of content that users could create began to emerge, and dedicated platforms began to appear. All this data can now even be distributed and shared between different platforms. Just think of sharing the news on Facebook with one click, or posting your favorite song from YouTube to any other social network without leaving YouTube, and you’ll get an idea of what we’re talking about.
However, despite all its advantages, the current web still has many major flaws. Security, privacy, centralization, invasive advertising and more are just some of the issues we currently have to deal with. But, after Web 2.0 pointed out the flaws, Web 3.0 developers came up with concepts on how to fix them in the next version of the Internet.
What is Web 3.0?
Finally, we come to the big question: what exactly is Web 3.0?
Simply put, Web 3.0 is the next step in the evolution of the web and its goal is to make the Internet smarter. According to some people, the Internet will be able to process information with near-human intelligence through the use of emerging technologies, such as blockchain, cryptocurrencies, AI and others. As such, it should be able to easily run smart programs to help users.
Web 3.0, or simply Web3, will not simply allow users to use free technology platforms and pay for them with their data. Instead, users will be able to participate in the governance and operation of the protocols themselves. We will not be customers who use products, but participants and shareholders as well.
Web3 will empower the user and put them much closer to where all the action is, instead of having them as a passive observer while centralized companies run the show. This obviously means that Web 3.0 will have a strong focus on decentralization.
Users will be able to decide who can see their data and for how long. Not only that, but users will also be able to monetize their data, and have companies work for it if they want to get it.
Additionally, anything from physical to digital goods will be able to be tokenized, including art, in-game items, physical goods, and more. The tokenization of physical goods and the storage of that data on the blockchain, for example, can have great applications. This method is already transforming supply chains, eliminating smuggling and theft, proving ownership of items, and more.
New models, such as P2E, will allow users to earn money from games, allowing them to benefit from their favorite hobbies. More than that, Web 3.0 will also ensure that gamers can forever remain in possession of their game items, unless they decide to sell them. Players will no longer see their team become terribly unbalanced due to a new patch introduced to the game, without players having a say in whether they want the patch or not.
Web 3.0 will also bring the metaverse, forever changing the way people communicate with each other. Metaverses are already available right now, allowing users to purchase digital land, host virtual events and meetups, use those land to build entire businesses, and more.
It will connect IoT devices more directly than ever before, allowing them to communicate with each other and send data at extreme speeds, enabling much more efficient smart homes and even entire smart cities to exist and operate on their own. Thanks to blockchain, AI and other emerging technologies, information will be much more secure and security systems will be much more resistant to hacking attacks.
Blockchain also provides immutability and transparency, so data censorship will no longer be an issue. The information stored on the blockchain cannot be deleted or tampered with by an individual or a small group. Instead, the majority of the community must agree to do so for the changes to take effect.
Your personal data will also be under your control and will be invisible to others, unless you grant them access to it. This means that sensitive information such as your ID, medical records, and the like can be uploaded to the blockchain and given to you for safekeeping.
All of this is just a small part of what Web 3.0 has the potential to bring to the world, so there is indeed a lot to look forward to.
Criticism of Web 3.0
Of course, there are some criticisms of the next version of the Internet that some people have already pointed out, the main one being the fact that it doesn’t live up to its ideals. For example, ownership of blockchain networks is not and likely will not be distributed equally. Instead, it will be in the hands of early adopters, venture capitalists, and others who finance this technology and had enough money to get involved with it before most of the world’s population.
Another critic says that blockchain projects are decentralized in name but not in substance. There are many private chains and venture capital backed investments that support this. Even DeFior decentralized finance, which is supposed to be a way to decentralize banking services and offer them to everyone in the world equally, does not meet their own ideas.
There are hundreds of millions of dollars locked up inside every protocol right now, but only a handful of people hold the keys to that money. It is the popularly called theater of decentralization, where things are not exactly as they seem to be.
Also, there are many figureheads in the crypto industry, even though it is supposed to be leaderless. One example is Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, who continues to get his way on Ethereum-related matters, despite the fact that he has publicly said that he is no longer involved in development.
Web 3.0 has the potential to bring massive changes to the world, but it also has many flaws, as some things seem impossible to achieve, such as full decentralization. Whether it is because we as a people need a figurehead to lead, or because those who lead cannot leave the leadership position, remains to be decided.
However, the potential for changes (positive changes) that Web3 can bring cannot be denied. There are those who believe that Web 3.0 will never completely replace Web 2.0, and that the two will work in parallel, which could also be true. For now, though, it’s all still too vague, and it will be some time before Web 3.0 solidifies and begins to take its real shape. Then, and only then, will we know for sure what really is within the realm of possibility.