With the uprising of the new concepts related to Metaverse, NFT and decentralization and other similar terms, there are many new buzzwords that might sound confusing to the audience. One of the many questions we have been asked is: “Is web3 the future?”. Our short answer to this question is No… the Web3 is the PRESENT, and of course, the future.
I think the reason why this question is asked is mainly that most people don’t have a sound understanding of what Web3 is. Therefore, in this article, I have tried to explain what this concept is and how it differs from the previous kinds of Web.
- Table of contents:
- What is web3 and how does it differ from Web 1.0 and Web 2.0
- Problems associated with Web 2.0: is Web3 the future?
- What is Web3 and is it the future of the internet?
- What benefits will Web3 have for the public?
- How serious is Web3? What are the drawbacks?
What is Web3 and how does it differ from Web 1.0 and Web 2.0
Let’s go back in time a bit! The first version of the internet that was available to the public, the World Wide Web, is referred to as Web 1.0. which dates back to the early 1990s, it was mostly made up of static web pages connected by hyperlinks.
After some years, Web 2.0 arrived. This coincided with the age of the internet as a platform to which people could contribute. In this era, we witnessed the rise of e-commerce and, especially, social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and most importantly Facebook.
In these years, people gained the ability to interact with online platforms and publish content of their own. Smartphones were major drivers of growth.
Problems associated with Web 2.0: is Web3 the future?
It can be deduced that the current problem is that internet users are asked to give away their own personal data to use the services provided by major websites such as Amazon. Social media and other tech giants collect information about our preferences and the way we use these services, which are then sold to third parties and used to serve up targeted commercials.
This is the most essential concern with Web 2.0 which Web 3.0 attempts to overcome. But is Web3 the future?
What is Web3 and is it the future of the internet?
The term ‘Web3’ was coined by one of the co-founders of Ethereum in 2014. Since then it’s become a catch-all term for anything that has to do with the next generation of the internet being a decentralized digital infrastructure.
Proponents of Web3 picture it as a type of internet that does not require us to hand over personal information to companies like Facebook in order to use their services. The web would be powered by blockchain technology and AI, with all information published on the public ledger of the blockchain.
Similar to how cryptocurrency operates, everything would have to be verified by the network before being accepted. Online apps would theoretically let people exchange information or currency without a middleman. A Web3 internet would also be permissionless, meaning anyone could use it without having to generate access credentials or get permission from a provider.
Instead of being stored on servers as it is now, the data that makes up the internet would be stored on the network. Any changes to, or movement of, that data would be recorded on the blockchain, establishing a record that would be verified by the entire network. In theory, this prevents bad actors from misusing data while establishing a clear record of where it’s going.
Just as cryptocurrency blockchains are built to prevent “double spending,” a blockchain-centric internet would, in theory, make it harder to manipulate and control data. Since data would be decentralized, no gatekeeper would have control of it, meaning they couldn’t bar anyone’s access to the internet.
What benefits will Web3 have for the public?
On paper, that would give more people access to the internet than before, and AI would be utilized to curtail bots and click-farm websites.
Before a transaction is finalized, it would have to be verified by the supporting network and then coded into the digital ledger of the blockchain. A payment system like this could benefit people who can’t open bank accounts or don’t have access to them.
How serious is Web3? What are the drawbacks?
Web3 is still largely theoretical and has a pretty steep learning curve. Currently, anyone who wants to educate themselves on blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies. That’s a step not everyone wants to take just to use another version of what they already have, especially if they can use apps like private browsers to get around privacy concerns.
There are also the issues of anonymity and censorship. If the entire internet ran on Web3 blockchain architecture, and everything was indelibly written into the blockchain, nothing would be anonymous. That would be fine for some, but not those who need to remain anonymous for their safety.
If no one could be blocked from the internet, that would be egalitarian in theory, but the spread of harmful misinformation and hate speech would need to be controlled in some way. Since the internet we have now is already so bad at controlling these issues, it’s hard to say if Web3 would be better or worse.