In the last 20 years, the web has grown from something used only by academics and computer geeks to a utility we can’t live without. That growth has come at a cost, with some tech giants dominating the platforms we rely on.
Blockchain enthusiasts say Web3 changes that. But what is Web3, and will it truly revolutionize the internet as we realize it?
What Is Web3?
In 1993, Tim Berners-Lee publicly released the first-ever browser. It was Web 1.0. It offered a new way for individuals across the world to access information, but navigation and design proved an issue.
Then sites like Google, Yahoo and Facebook arrived. They aggregated data and made searching very simple. This is Web 2.0.
Today, though, many fear these internet giants hold too much power. Because of this, Web3 was born. Web3, touted as the next iteration of the web, focuses on decentralization, that will ultimately give control back to the end-user. With Web3, services are available in the form of dapps (decentralized apps) that operate on the blockchain network. Probably the most well-known of these networks is Ethereum.
What is Web3?
So, web3 is an upcoming third generation of the internet, where websites and apps can process information in a smart, human-like manner through technologies like machine learning, big data, and decentralized ledger technology. Essentially, it’s the internet owned by builders and users, orchestrated with tokens.
When considering the web3 definition, it can be even further expanded to add that data will be interconnected in a decentralized way, which would be a huge leap from Web 2 . 0 2.0, where data is stored in a centralized manner. Moreover, both users and machines can interact with the details, making AI a cornerstone of web3.
Key Features of Web3
There are four key features of web3 that are essential to comprehend: ownership, decentralization, fun, and incentives.
Ownership is particularly important in web3 as it allows users, for the first time, to have a say. How web3 will do this is by relying heavily on NFTs or non-fungible tokens, digital currencies, and other blockchain entities.
An idea for a corporate version of web3 is known as Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs), that will use tokens to distribute ownership and decision-making authority more evenly. Because these tokens will be stored on the blockchain, their owners have significantly more control over them and they cannot be taken away or tracked. This is merely an example of how the interactions between web3 and cryptocurrency technologies can be integrated in the future.
Decentralization is another feature of web3. Considering that they are the founding blocks of blockchain and cryptocurrency technology, there is without a doubt a solid link between these technologies. Applications on web3 will run on blockchains, which are decentralized networks, and offer a variety of services like compute, storage, bandwidth, identity, hosting, as well as others that have commonly been provided by cloud providers in the past. Therefore, unnecessary and inefficient intermediaries are cut out, because they are with other forms of decentralization.
Essentially, with web3, the blockchain and cryptocurrencies will be seamlessly integrated and automated through smart contracts. Which means that it can be used to power anything from micro-transactions to censorship-resistant data file storage and can change how every company conducts and operates their business.
Finally, web3 is fun and will be offering incentives. Unlike web2, in web3 3D graphics will enable greater immersion in futuristic gaming applications. Moreover, however, web3 is fun mainly because of incentive-based approach. Users can receive tokens in substitution for various activities, from building applications to rising in rank at their company, and use these tokens to say their ownership. Ultimately, these features all come full circle and work seamlessly together to create a platform unlike every other.
A few companies have already begun building products and applications that they are transforming into web3. The most effective example of this that already exists is blockchain technology like NFTs, DApps, and DAOs. While NFTs already are quite popular today, DApps, or decentralized applications, are gaining traction eventually. These are applications that can operate autonomously on the blockchain through smart contract, as you may use in Ethereum.
And DAOs, or decentralized autonomous organizations, take those one step further. Within a DAO, rules encoded into a computer program are transparent and handled by organization members versus a central government entity. An example of this is Snapshot, a decentralized voting system that delivers flexibility about how voting power is calculated for a vote.
Snapshot offers multiple voting systems as well as flexible voting mechanisms in order to appeal to multiple organizations. In web3, users can write smart contracts to execute their ideas on the blockchain, which means that web servers like traditional databases will not be needed.
Web3 is developing quickly and its applications already exist within our day-to-day life, like Siri and other AI technologies. While it may seem to several that they’re only just figuring out how to work with web2 like a pro, web3 is just around the corner – sooner than you think!