What Is Web3? - An Introductory Guide


By Damian David Nov 23, 2022




What Is Web 3.0?


Web 3.0 is an abstract term used to describe the next-generation utopian internet that will be an evolutionary product of the present internet (Web 2.0) and will likely have most of its infrastructure laced up with blockchain technology, decentralization, cryptocurrency, and metaverse technology


Web 3.0 is a predicted successor of Web 2.0 which makes up the present Internet we know today. Web 3.0 will potentially offer more possibilities in the world wide web and its sub-technologies, this will also potentially provide a more immersing global interconnectivity via better responsive AIs and an enhanced Machine Learning (ML) module.


Web 3.0 as a term was coined by Ethereum Co-founder and Polkadot's creator Gavin Wood in 2014. It was further popularized in 2021 during one of the big waves of cryptocurrency and it has since then garnered a massive hype around its concept.


At Glance


● Web 3.0 is the predicted and ideological successor of Web 2.0 just like Web 2.0 succeeded Web 1.0.


● Web 3.0 is also known as the "Semantic Web" because it'll initiate in-depth data analytics that will be completely applicable and relatable to the real world.


● Web 3.0 is an idea of a remodelled internet, made up of blockchain technology, the cryptocurrency market, decentralization, and metaverse technology.


● Web 3.0 is envisioned to be completely open-source, permissionless, decentralized, and non-custodial.


● Web 3.0 is expected to achieve more security and privacy for users alongside increased control of their data.


● Web 3.0 and the Metaverse technology are somewhat similar in their concept thus the actualization of any would complement the other immensely.


● While Web 1.0. is a "Read-Only" internet, and Web 2.0 issued out a "Read/Write" era, Web 3.0 will allow for a "Read/Write/Own" internet.


● Elon Musk and Jack Dorsey described Web 3.0 as a buzzword for marketing purposes, one of the many criticisms that suggest Web 3.0 is possibly a myth — but is it? 


How Does Web 3.0 Work?


An arguably best way to get started on comprehending the whole idea behind the concept surrounding Web 3.0 is to learn about its predecessors which are Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 respectively. 


Almost everyone uses the internet, the world wide web (www), a virtual landscape that is almost as relevant as the real world landscape as well over more than half of human-related interactions are being done online.


It all started in 1989 when Berners-Lee created the first virtual intermediary known today as Web 1.0 and made it public in 1991. Web 1.0 is called the static web because it only allowed for one-way consumer-based informational content that was provided on static pages that were non-interactive and rigid. 


Informational content on Web 1.0 was made and uploaded by a few selected people. Even worse, fewer people could access it as very few had the privilege to use a computer at that time and the few that did found it hard to find information using Web 1.0


Web 1.0 Lasted Thirteen Years From 1991 - 2004.


On October 5-7 2004, the first Web 2.0 conference was held at the Hotel Nikko in San Francisco by Tim O'Reilly. Tim O'Relly founder of O'Reilly Media is credited with popularizing the term "Web 2.0", a term that was coined in 1999 by Darcy DiNucci. At the conference, they explained the dynamic nature of Web 2.0 because it allowed for a two-way interface which is the consumer-based content and the producer-based content which were provided on pages that were interactive and adequately immersive.


The idea of a dynamic web was popularized when YouTube launched in February 2005, followed by the invention of smartphones and then subsequently social media platforms. This era pioneered and facilitated the existence of a global virtual landscape where content is shared and consumed simultaneously.


You have gotten a peak at what Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 is. So what more could Web 3.0 possibly offer? The answer isn't a direct one yet and there isn't an agreed foundational ground the Web 3.0 is standing on but the present general consensus suggests a few of these grounds and that is what will be explained further.


Web 1.0 worked by allowing the contents of only a few selected people to provide information to everyone. Web 2.0 changed that by allowing everyone to provide information to everyone. However, there was one thing that didn't change with the progression and that is ownership and control. 


Both Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 didn't confer total authority to its users. Everything was governed by a central authority. YouTube has its terms and conditions which if violated might confer detrimental outcomes to the contents of the user involved, same with all the social media platforms.  


There is also the issue of privacy, your personal data can be used or tapped from by sources with or without your permission and this triggers a domino effect all the way down to the issue of security because this data can be used for ulterior motives against you.


So the general concept around Web 3.0 revolves around totally shifting ownership from the few centralized giants on Web 2.0 to everyone on Web 2.0 instead, thus allowing for a decentralized world wide web where there are no terms and conditions of any sort and your personal data is managed by you alone.


The Web 3.0 era will be mostly dominated by the concept of decentralization, powerful advanced machine learning (ML), blockchain technology, the cryptocurrency market, hyper-responsive artificial intelligence (AI) and metaverse technology. 


This type of internet is predicted to be hyper-immersive and super advanced in its functionalities, it will also allow for a no-censorship ecosystem of internet users that are controlled by democratic processes void of a central authority. 


Possible Features Of The Web 3.0


Decentralization: For Web 3.0. to confer all authority to the users of the internet it inevitably has to make use of a decentralized mode of operation and governance. Web 3.0 will provide a virtual landscape owned by everyone, there won't be third parties or intermediaries, and all operations will be custodial only to its users.


Censorship-free digital ecosystem: Web 3.0 will allow ultimate virtual freedom, a decentralized digital environment means there isn't a central authority to pull the strings, everyone is in charge and so in essence, nobody has rights to another's persons content and this ultimately means no content regulation and censorship.


Cryptocurrency-integrated: Cryptocurrency is taking authority from centralized banks just like Web 3.0 is taking authority from giant Web 2.0 platforms. This makes cryptocurrency a very facilitating factor in the development and growth of Web 3.0 as where decentralized internet exists is only right for decentralized finance to exist as well.


Open Source: Web 3.0 will be a web that will facilitate modifications, developments, and innovations that are not restricted to the terms of its architectural design. As such, it'll be transparent and ultimately scalable. Users of the Web 3.0 will be able to build on its architecture freely and flexibly as their creative minds can make it possible.


Enhanced Privacy: A user's data and personal information will be protected in Web 3.0 because there isn't any central authority in charge of storing and managing them. Web 3.0 is decentralized, hence non-custodial so it won't have any type of permission to a user's personal data and this will ultimately enhance the privacy of the web in general.


Who Coined the Term Web 3.0?


Gavin Wood, co-author, former CEO of Ethereum and Creator and founder of Polkadot coined the term Web 3.0 while describing a decentralized and blockchain-incorporated Internet.


What Are The Examples Of Web 3.0 Technology?


Blockchain Technology: A blockchain is built and maintained and owned by a group of nodes that shares data about the blockchain in the form of a distributed ledger. This is kind of what Web 3.0 will eventually become so blockchain technology has also been cited as an example of Web 3.0 technology.


Cryptocurrency: Cryptocurrencies are cited as examples of Web 3.0 technology because ownership is conferred to its users alone and there isn't any greater authority than its users.


Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs): Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) are digital assets that are bought and owned without a third-party involvement and as such, it has been cited as an example of the web 3.0 technology.


Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs): DAOs are community-led smart contract-maintained identities in the cryptocurrency market. There is no central authority in a DAO, the consensus is always reached by the involvement of every participant and that is why it has been cited as an example of Web 3.0.


Metaverse: The Metaverse is an abstract version of the internet that is envisioned to improve immersive and hyper-interactivity between members of the internet by replacing the real world with a virtual one. Kind of what Web 3.0 is loosely about.


Artificial Intelligence (AI):  Apple's Siri, Samsung's Bixby, Microsoft's Cortana, and OpenAI's CHAT-GPT have been described as an example of Web 3.0 applications. Their enhanced machine learning (ML) modules have made them an example of what Web 3.0 will possess.


Will Web 3.0 Be Safe?


It is honestly hard to say it'll be safe and there are tangible reasons for it. For example, it is assumed that Web 3.0 will be controlled more by its users and it'll even be a no-censorship virtual landscape. 


This means that all and every content will be allowed, and this will be dangerous per-say because now all types of content regardless of its intent will get all the airing and audience it needs.


But then taking into consideration the issue of privacy and protecting your personal data. Web 3.0 is the safest web in that regard because now no big company or corporation will be able to buy and use your data without your direct permission.


What Is A Semantic Web?


Another terminology that is less popularly used to describe Web 3.0 is the "Semantic Web". A Semantic Web is a term coined by the father of the Internet Tim Berners-Lee, when he was describing a utopian version of the internet where machines will "become capable of analyzing all the data on the Web – the content, links, and transactions between people and computers."


Is Web 3.0 Something To Look Up To?


Evolution is inevitable and there has been no recorded case of an evolved technology that wasn't generally accepted and adopted and it's for a reason; evolution always comes with better quality, better experiences and bigger opportunities so Web 3.0 is definitely something to look up to.





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