What Is Web3 and Why Does It Matter?
The Internet is an ever-evolving technology that continues to innovate. By now we have become familiar with Web 1.0 and 2.0, and there is a lot of discussion about what to expect from Web3.
Web 1.0 provided a static experience for users without the ability to create sites with rich content that we have today. Web 2.0 has united us with social networks and dynamic websites, but at the cost of centralization.
Web3 aims to give us control over our online information, as well as to create a semantic web. This means that machines will easily read and process user-generated content.
Blockchain will provide decentralization, free digital identification with crypto wallets and an open digital economy.
Ways to interact with the network will become more exciting thanks to the possibility of using 3D. User benefits also include efficient site browsing, relevant advertising, and improved customer support.
Some of the most widely used Web3 technologies can be seen in Siri and Alexa virtual assistants and connected smart homes.
Over the past twenty-odd years, the Internet has changed a lot. We have gone from Internet Relay Chat (IRC) to modern social networking platforms.
From basic digital payments to complex online banking services. We even got acquainted with completely new Internet technologies, such as cryptocurrencies and blockchain.
The Internet has become a vital part of human interaction and communication – and continues to evolve. So far we’ve seen Web 1.0 and 2.0, but what exactly should we expect from Web3? Let’s dive into the details and see what awaits us.
What is Web3?
Web 3 is the next generation of Internet technologies, which relies heavily on machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain technology.
The term was coined by Kevin Wood, founder of Polka dot and co-founder of Ethereum. While Web 2.0 focuses on user-generated content hosted on centralized websites, Web3 will give users more control over their online data.
The goal of the movement is to create open, connected, intelligent websites and web applications with improved machine understanding of data. Decentralization and the digital economy also play an important role in Web3, as they allow us to add value to the content created on the web.
It is also important to understand that Web 3 is a changing concept. There is no single definition, and its exact meaning may differ from person to person.
How does Web3 work?
Web3 aims to deliver personalized and relevant information faster through the use of artificial intelligence and advanced machine learning techniques.
Smarter search algorithms and the development of Big Data analytics will mean that machines can intuitively understand and recommend content. Web3 will also focus on user ownership of content and support for an accessible digital economy.
Modern websites usually display static information or user-generated content, such as forums or social networks. Although this makes it possible to publish data to the masses, it does not meet the specific needs of users.
The website should adapt the information provided to each user, similar to the dynamics of real human communication. In Web 2.0, as soon as information gets on the Internet, users lose ownership and control.
A brief history of the evolution of the web
To better understand Web3, let’s look at where we are now and what we have evolved from. In two decades we have already witnessed huge changes:
The original Internet provided the experience that is now known as Web 1.0. This term was coined in 1999 by author and web designer D’Arcy Dinucci when distinguishing between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0. In the early 1990s, websites were created using static HTML pages that could only display information. Users had no way to change the data or upload their own. Social interaction was limited to simple chats and forums.
In the late 1990s, the transition to a more interactive Internet began. In Web 2.0, users were able to interact with websites through databases, server-side processing, forms and social networks. These tools have transformed the work on the Internet from static to dynamic.
Web 2.0 has brought increased attention to user-generated content and interaction between different sites and applications. Web 2.0 was less about surveillance and more about participation.
By the mid-2000s, most websites had switched to Web 2.0, and large technology companies began creating social networks and cloud services.
The future and Web3
The evolution of a semantically intelligent network makes sense if you look at the history of the Internet. At first, the data was presented to users in a static form. Users could then interact with this data dynamically.
Now algorithms will use all this data to improve the user experience and make the Internet more personalized and familiar. Just look at YouTube or Netflix to see the power of algorithms and how they have already improved the user experience.
Web3, not yet fully defined, can use peer-to-peer (P2P) communication technologies such as blockchain, open source software, virtual reality, Internet of Things (IoT) and much more. Web3 also aims to make the Internet more open and decentralized. In the current system, users rely on network and cellular providers to access their personal data and information.
With the advent of distributed ledger technologies, the situation may change, and users will be able to regain ownership of their data.
Key features of Web3
Web3 is still far from being fully adopted, but its basic concepts are mostly already defined. The four topics below are usually listed as the most important aspects of the future of Web3.
Over time, machines have become better able to understand the data and content created by humans. However, there is still a long way to go before creating a seamless experience in which the semantics will be fully understood. For example, the use of the word “bad” in some cases can mean “good”. It can be incredibly difficult for a machine to understand this. However, thanks to More data and more information that can be studied, artificial intelligence begins to better understand what we write on the Internet and present it intuitively.
Blockchain and cryptocurrencies
Data ownership, online economics and decentralization are important aspects of the future of Gavin Wood’s Web3. We will look at this topic in more detail later, but blockchain is a tried and tested system for achieving many of these goals. The ability for anyone to tokenize assets, post information on the chain and create a digital identity is a huge innovation that is suitable for Web3.
Artificial intelligence is the key to turning human-created content into machine-readable data. We are already familiar with customer service bots, but this is just the beginning. And it can both provide us with data and sort them, which makes it a universal tool for Web3. The most important thing is that AI will learn and improve itself, reducing the amount of work necessary for human development in the future.
What makes Web3 superior to its predecessors?
Combining the key features of Web3 in theory will lead to many advantages. Don’t forget that they will all depend on the success of the underlying technology:
No central point of control
Since intermediaries are excluded from the equation, they will no longer control user data. Such freedom reduces the risk of censorship by governments or corporations and reduces the effectiveness of denial of service (DoS) attacks.
Increased interconnectedness of information
As more and more products connect to the Internet; large amounts of data provide algorithms with more information to analyze. This can help them provide more accurate information that meets the specific needs of the user.
More efficient browsing
When using search engines, finding the best results was sometimes a difficult task. However, over the years they have become better at finding semantically relevant results based on search context and metadata. This allows you to make browsing the web more convenient and help anyone easily find the information they need.
Improving advertising and marketing
No one likes to be bombarded with advertising on the Internet. However, if the ad meets your needs, it can be useful rather than annoying. Web3 aims to improve advertising by using smarter artificial intelligence systems and targeting a specific audience based on consumer data.
Improved Customer Support
Customer service is crucial for the smooth operation of websites and web applications. However, due to high costs, many successful web services cannot scale their customer service work. By using more intelligent chatbots that can communicate with multiple clients at the same time, users can get a higher experience of communicating with support agents.
How does crypto fit into Web3?
Blockchain and cryptocurrencies have great potential when it comes to Web3. Decentralized networks successfully create incentives for more responsible data ownership, management and content creation. Some of its most important aspects for Web3 include:
Digital crypto wallets
Anyone can create a wallet that allows transactions and acts as a digital identification. There is no need to store your data or create an account with a centralized service provider. You have full control over your wallet, and often the same wallet can be used on multiple blockchains.
Transparent dissemination of information and power among a huge number of people – it’s easy with blockchain. This contrasts with Web 2.0, where large tech giants dominate huge areas of our online lives.
The ability to own data on the blockchain and use decentralized transactions creates a new digital economy. They allow us to easily evaluate and exchange online goods, services and content without the need for banking or personal data. Such openness helps to improve access to financial services and gives users the opportunity to start earning.
dApps and data in the chain are becoming more and more compatible. Blockchains created using the Ethereum virtual machine can easily support each other’s dApps, wallets and tokens. This helps to improve the ubiquitous compatibility needed to create a connected Web3.
The evolution of the Internet has been a long road and will undoubtedly continue. With the huge growth in the amount of data available, websites and applications are moving towards a more immersive web experience.
Although there is still no specific definition of Web3, innovation is already on the move. It is obvious in which direction we are moving, and blockchain, of course, looks like a key part of the future of Web3.