If you feel like you’re just now starting to wrap your head about the concept of cryptocurrency, get prepared to expand your syllabus. There’s a whole new internet coming the right path, and it’s based on blockchain technology – just like Bitcoin and Ethereum.
A new buzzword has taken over the internet: Web3, also called Web 3.0 or web3. People say it’s the future-but what does that really mean? Let’s look into what Web3 is and what it could have in store for us.
What Is Web 3.0?
Web3 is a pretty nebulous term which means various things to different people. It promises an internet that relies a lot less on large companies like Google or Facebook and much more on decentralized networks. The idea behind it is democratization of the internet as opposed to the corporatization that we see today, where these massive conglomerates more or less run the web.
Web 3.0 would rely on blockchain technology, as well as artificial intelligence, to break big tech companies’ stranglehold on the internet and return it to anyone else. Though it’s a lttle bit of an utopia, still, since much of the technology needed for Web3 is in its infancy, it’s an attractive vision for anybody that is concerned about the dominance of huge companies like Meta and their desire to control how people have the internet.
To understand a little better where the internet is headed, though, we have to first look at where it originated in.
Web 1.0 and Web 2.0
Web 1.0 was the first publicly available web-we’ll leave forerunners like ARPANET out of consideration-and was very basic in many ways. In this period, the internet was mostly simply a collection of read-only pages, without any real interactivity. Also, the vast majority of sites were operated by individuals or small companies. Internet giants didn’t exist yet-not really, anyway.
That changed with Web 2.0, which started from around 2004-like many large movements such as this it’s hard as of yet exactly. Not merely did sites become interactive-social media and the like-but large companies overran the internet. Sure, regular people still operate their own sites, but they’re in the minority now.
In fact, plenty of businesses, like Facebook and Google, operate purely as websites. That could have been unthinkable before 2004.
Web 2.0 vs. Web 3.0
What sets Web 3.0 apart from its ancestors is the fact it’s decentralized, more or less like Web 1.0 was, but is interactive like Web 2 2.0 is. It’s a web 2.0 where Big Tech has much less control-or maybe has been gotten reduce altogether. How that’s likely to work gets pretty complicated.
How Web3 Works
As we mentioned before, the technology at the core of Web 3.0 is blockchain, the same tech which underpins cryptocurrency and NFTs. Therefore, in a few circles, Web3 has become synonymous with everything crypto. You will occasionally see it referenced as a catch-all for anything regarding Bitcoin and so on. Many Web3 projects are decentralized programs (dApps) that run on the Ethereum blockchain.
The idea is that data would be kept in decentralized storage, so spread out online as a whole rather than in a set amount of server farms as is the case now. How this data is moved about would be registered in a digital ledger-the blockchain-making the flow of data very transparent, while also stopping misuse.
This decentralization would be a boon for many people, as you could more easily access the internet from anywhere, perhaps opening up the web to the one-third of the world population that hasn’t used the internet. Concurrently, the promise is that artificial intelligence would limit abuse of the system by bots and click farms.
The promise is that combination of transparency and AI would make it much harder for companies like Meta or Google to manage the web like they have now and would, on paper at least, give people considerably more equal access to the web.
Objections to Web3
One massive downside to Web 3.0, however, would be the losing anonymity. In a completely transparent system, you could always be identified, much the same way that cryptocurrency like Bitcoin isn’t anonymous. In fact, secrecy would be out from the window entirely, which might not exactly be something everyone wants.
How Anonymous Is Bitcoin?
How Anonymous Is Bitcoin?
However, the biggest objection to Web 3.0 is the fact, generally in most ways, it’s totally theoretical. While the idea of a decentralized internet without Meta and Google is great-wonderful even-it relies very strongly on technologies that haven’t been developed yet.
For example, blockchain is great, but it addittionally badly decelerates any process it’s a part of. Also, the kind of machine learning you’d need to create advanced networks just isn’t around yet. Still, though, the vision of an much freer internet is attractive enough that, even if Web 3.0 doesn’t turn out this way, it’ll be around in another.