Do you ever think to yourself, “What is Web3?” You’re not the only one who feels this way. VC financing, lobbying blitzes, and inexplicable corporate pronouncements are all indicators that the concept is having a moment. However, it can be difficult to tell what all the fuss is about. The internet we use now is very different from what it was just ten years ago. How has the internet changed over time, and more importantly, where is it headed next? What’s more, why does any of this matter? If history has taught us anything, these shifts will have a significant impact.
In this blog, we’ll explain how the web has changed over time, where it’s headed next, and why this matters.
Short history of the web
The initial version of the internet Despite only providing access to restricted content and little to no user involvement, Web 1.0, also known as the Static Web, was the earliest and most reliable internet in the 1990s. Creating user pages or simply commenting on articles wasn’t a thing back then. The majority of the participants were content consumers, while the creators were largely web developers who built websites with material delivered primarily in text or graphic format. The Web 1.0 era ran roughly from 1991 to 2004. Web 1.0 consisted of sites serving static content instead of dynamic HTML. Data and content were supplied from a static file system rather than a database, and there was little interaction on the webpages. You can consider Web 1.0 to be the read-only web.
The internet was once considered a specialised instrument, utilised nearly exclusively by academics. With the development of browsers like Mosaic and Microsoft Internet Explorer five years later, mass adoption became a reality. You’d dial in. It takes years to download an image. The default search engine was Altavista. Nobody had considered web design yet. Anyone could publish information of any kind, to anyone in the world, without the permission of central gatekeepers. And did we mention that Web1 was decentralized.
Three major shifts in the backend shaped web2 as we know it today:
- Smartphones allow us to go from spending a few hours per day at our computers to being “always connected.” Our lives are ruled by apps and notifications.
- Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram encourage us to display our faces and come out of our shells. They simplify the process of creating, sharing, interacting, and recommending. From sharing images with friends to getting into strangers’ cars, we’ve come a long way.
- Cloud computing: Amazon, Google, and Microsoft have made it inexpensive to create on the internet. Rather than purchasing and maintaining costly hardware infrastructure, you may now rent it at a low rate from large data centres all over the world.
If Web 2 is so good then why we need Web 3?
The Internet has become centralized. It’s basically a collection of closed systems that interact with one another. Following are few loopholes with the current version of internet:
The Internet is owned
You don't own your Instagram account. Instagram Owns it
Everything you create on the internet is owned by platforms. This includes the information you provide in your profile, the data you generate through your actions, and the photographs, videos, songs, status updates, and comments you post. Platform property is everything you do on platform territory. As much as your tweets have your name on them, they’re still in Twitter’s database an Twitter can censor or delete any account or tweet whenever they want.
All platform have all of your data stored in their own databases. On web2, we’re given a personalized diet of whatever it is that makes us feel the most excited. For many web2 companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and others, more data leads to more personalized ads. This leads to more clicks and ultimately more ad revenue. The exploitation and centralization of user data is core to how the web as we know and use it today is engineered to function. There is no incentive to tell the truth when clicks equate revenue. Clickbait, disinformation, and fake news are the outcome of such methods.
Privacy !! heh what’s that
Facebook knows you well then your own spouse
You have no control over your data or how it is stored in web2. In truth, businesses frequently track and save user data without their permission. The firms in charge of these platforms then own and manage all of this data. WhatsApp said in February 2021 that it would gather additional user data for profit in a take-it-or-leave-it declaration. Millions vowed to abandon the app. But in reality, have you stopped using it? We know that we still use WhatsApp, because everyone is using it and we still want to speak with our family and friends.
Even Apple's iCloud is not safe anymore
Data breaches are a common occurrence in Web2 applications. There are even websites dedicated to keeping track of data breaches and informing you when your personal information has been hacked. Web2 is a paradise for the hackers, as all the decentralised data creation with centralised storage provides enormous rewards for hackers.
While the Web 2.0 wave continues to bear fruit, the first signs of growth from the next major paradigm change in internet applications, aptly dubbed Web 3.0, are beginning to emerge. Web 3.0 (originally termed the Semantic Web by Tim Berners-Lee, the Web’s original inventor) is an even more fundamental disruption, one that will eventually overshadow everything that has come before it. The move to open, trustless, and permission less networks is a significant step forward.
Web3 developers rarely create and deploy apps that run on a single server or store data in a single database (usually hosted on and managed by a single cloud provider). Instead, web3 apps are built on blockchains, decentralized networks of numerous peer-to-peer nodes (servers), or a hybrid of the two. These programs are known as dapps (decentralized apps), and you’ll hear that term a lot in the web3 community. In web3
- every user is a wallet.
- every file is an asset owned by a wallet.
- every exchange is a transaction from one wallet to another.
Web 3.0 is built largely on three new layers of technological innovation: , decentralised data networks and artificial intelligence.
While commoditized personal computer hardware was recently repurposed in data centres as part of Web 2.0, the change to Web 3.0 is expanding the data centre out to the edge, and often right into our hands. Large traditional data centres are being replaced by a plethora of sophisticated computing resources distributed among phones, laptops, appliances, sensors, and cars, which are expected to produce and consume 160 times more data in 2025 than in 2010.
Decentralized data networks
These data generators can sell or trade their data without losing ownership control, giving up privacy, or relying on third-party middlemen thanks to decentralized data networks. As a result, decentralized data networks have the potential to include the entire long tail of data providers in the growing ‘data economy.’
Artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms have advanced to the point that they can now make valuable, even life-saving, predictions and acts. The potential uses go far beyond targeted advertising into sectors like precision materials, medication creation, and climate modelling when stacked on top of new decentralized data structures that give access to a plethora of data that would be the envy of today’s IT giants.
Right now, Web3 has some limitations:
- Due to the decentralized nature of web3, transactions are slower. A miner must process state changes, such as a payment, and spread them throughout the network.
- Interacting with web3 apps can necessitate additional processes, software, and training. Adoption may be hampered by this.
- Web3 is less accessible to most consumers due to its lack of integration with modern web browsers.
- Because blockchain is expensive, most successful dapps only put a tiny percentage of their code on it.
The new internet will offer a more personalised and tailored surfing experience, as well as a smarter and more human-like search helper and other decentralised benefits, all of which are supposed to contribute to a more egalitarian web. This will be accomplished by allowing each individual user to take control of their data and enhancing the overall experience through a variety of innovations that will be implemented once it is in place.