What is Web 3.0 (Web3) ?

what is web 3.0
  • Web 3.0 is the next version of internet, where services will run on blockchain. It is a decentralized internet that runs on a public blockchain, which is also used for cryptocurrency transactions.
  • It will be permissionless and democratic. For instance: Twitter will not be able to censor posts and Facebook will not be able to maintain a database of billions of users that can be potentially used to influence elections.
  • In a Web 3.0 universe, people will control their own data and will be able to move around from social media to email to shopping using a single personalized account, creating a public record on blockchain of all that activity.
  • Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of World Wide Web, intended that internet would be a collaborative medium, a place where all meet and read and write. But the current situation is entirely opposite, with big tech companies acting as gatekeepers to all that’s on World Wide Web (W3).
  • All data will be interconnected in a decentralized way, unlike current generation of internet (Web 2.0), where data is mostly stored in centralized repositories. 
    • Key features of Web 3.0 are: Ubiquity, Semantic Web, Artificial Intelligence and 3D Graphics.
    • Examples of Web 3.0: Most recent example of Web 3.0 are the NFTs or non-fungible tokens.

Evolution of World Wide Web

Time period1990-20052005-till date2021 –
Where data is storedServer’s file systemOn-premises/CloudBlockchain, distributed across multiple networks
ExamplesStatic web pagesUser generated content like Social media, and web applications like e-commerce etc…NFTs, cryptocurrency transaction
Who owns dataCompanies running the webpagesCompanies that host application, cloud service providersNo one owns the data
TransactingNo transaction possiblePayment gateways for currency transactionsTransaction happens using crypto tokens
  • Web 1.0 [1990 – 2000]: It is regarded as first generation of World Wide Web. Also known as Syntactic web or read only web. Mostly, Web 1.0 was limited to searching info and reading what’s already there. There was little user interaction or content contribution. It was disorganized and overwhelming, and soon it came to be dominated by AOL, CompuServe, early Yahoo and other portals. These online service providers were gateway to Web 1.0. (HTML 1.0)
  • Web 2.0 [from mid-2000s]: This phase was characterised by enhanced user experience and made internet interactive. Also known as Social Web or read-write web. It enabled users to participate in content creation on social networks, blogs, sharing sites and more. Search engines (Google) and social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter) driven by user-generated content disrupted media, advertising and retail industries. Web 2.0’s business model relies on user participation to create fresh content and resultant data being sold to third parties for marketing. Facilitated by HTML 2.0.
  • Web 3.0 [yet to arrive]: Next stage of web evolution. It would make internet more intelligent, or process information with near-human-like intelligence through power of AI systems.

Need for Web 3.0

  • Loss of privacy: Data is stored in servers of companies that people interact with. Intermediaries become custodians of user data and profit from. For such companies, more time consumers spend creating content, more data company can collect, helping it to improve its AI algorithm and its advertising engine, a key revenue model for the company. This gives rise to issues of privacy, wherein user data is shared for profit without their consent.
  • Data ownership: Only centralized repositories are the ones that own user data and profit from it. In Web 3.0, users can own and be properly compensated for their time and data.
  • Plagiarism:  It’s very easy to copy original content and build a following around it on social media. Plagiarism makes it harder for creators to get compensated. Web3 might help address that issue as transparent nature of blockchain makes it easy for anyone to track originator of content.

Key Differences Between Web 2.0 and Web 3.0

  • Any information that users share on Web 2.0 is stored with a cloud service provider whereas in Web3, all services are built on top of a blockchain.
  • Cloud is controlled by internet giants and is centralized. In blockchain, data is distributed across networks and no single entity owns the information.

Metaverse and Web 3.0

Metaverse is about creating digital avatars and interacting with others in virtual spaces. It does not have to be on a blockchain. The whole point of Web 3.0 is decentralisation.

examples of Web 3.0

  • Indian TikTok rival Chingari recently shifted from a Web 2.0 model of incentives for content creators to a Web 3.0 model and is building its token called ‘$GARI’ on Solana blockchain.
  • A range of Indian start-ups like Biconomy, Polygon, EPNS, Persistence, and Vauldare working to put together the technological building blocks to make Web 3.0’s mass adoption a reality

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