The Web refers to the World Wide Web, the internet’s core information retrieval system. Different from the internet, which is the physical network equipment and devices that keep the world connected with the internet protocols that describe how these devices interact with each other, the web is one of the services that run on the internet.
Web 3.0 is the third generation of web technology, where the Internet not only to delivers information but also enables two-way communication and collaboration. The vision for Web 3.0 is to create a more collaborative, user-centric web by leveraging the power of decentralization.
It is also sometimes called the Semantic Web. This is a more technical term that refers to the same vision of a user-centric, decentralized web. The Semantic Web is based on the idea of adding structured data to web pages so that machines can better understand the information on the page and provide more relevant results.
The Evolution Of The Web
The Web has evolved over the years in several phases. However, roughly we can segregate it into Web 1.0, Web 2.0, and Web 3.0.
Web 1.0, in the early days of the internet, only delivered information. It consisted of static, read-only websites in which content was created by someone else and users could only consume it. Web 1.0 was highly decentralized and hyperlinked together owing to the presence of web browsers, HTML, HTTP, and URL technology, and the absence of search engines,
Next, Web 2.0 enabled information to be shared and exchanged both ways. It emerged in the late 1990s and early 2000s with the advent of social media and web applications. It was marked by a move from static HTML pages to dynamic web pages, the development of web-based applications, and an increase in user-generated content. Thus, Web 2.0 was more centralized than Web 1.0 with large companies such as Google, Facebook, and Amazon leading the way.
The vision for Web 3.0 is to create a more collaborative, user-centric web by leveraging the power of decentralization. Building on the success of Web 2.0, Web 3.0 uses the Internet as a platform to not only deliver information but also enable two-way communication and collaboration. Essentially, Web 3.0 incorporates the features of its predecessors and builds on it to provide a more user-centric and fluid experience for the user.
What are its defining features?
The key to innovation in Web 3.0 is the digitization of assets via tokenization. Tokenization is the process of representing a real-world asset with a digital token. This can be done on a blockchain or other decentralized ledger. This enables the development of new applications and services that were not possible before.
Some of the defining features of Web 3.0 include:
One of the defining features of Web 3.0 is decentralization. With the rise of blockchain technology, there has been a shift from centralized applications to decentralized ones. This means that users now have more control over their data and are not as reliant on third-party intermediaries.
Another defining feature of Web 3.0 is tokenization. Tokenization enables the digitization of assets and allows for the creation of new applications and services that were not possible before. Tokenization also enables the development of new business models, such as those based on microtransactions.
Another key feature of Web 3.0 is its focus on the user. Previous generations of the web were focused on delivering content to users. In contrast, Web 3.0 creates a more user-centric experience. This includes giving users more control over their data and providing them with personalized experiences.
Another defining feature of Web 3.0 is interoperability. With the rise of blockchain technology, there has been an increase in the ability of different applications to communicate with each other. This means that users will be able to access a wider range of services and applications than ever before. Additionally, Web 3.0 makes information and content more ubiquitous—accessed by multiple applications and an increasing number of everyday devices being interconnected.
Another important feature of Web 3.0 is machine learning. With the increasing availability of data, machine learning will play an important role in powering the next generation of web applications. By combining several semantic capabilities with natural language processing, computers can proceed to understand information on a human-like level. This will enable the development of new applications that can provide users with a more personalized experience.
Websites and services in Web 3.0 will have the extensive use of three-dimensional designs and VR technology. This will give a realistic view and experience to users. It will also help in marketing products as well as providing training facilities for several industrial practices.
Permissionless and trustless:
Web 3.0 boasts of being trustless—participants will be allowed to interact directly without using a trusted intermediary—and permissionless—anyone can participate without permission from a governing body.
Web 3.0 Architecture
These are the key elements that make up a Web 3.0 architecture:
- Blockchain: The Ethereum blockchain is the main component. It comprises a globally accessible state machine maintained by a peer-to-peer network of nodes. Blockchain does not only enable access by a single person but by everyone in the network.
- Smart contracts: These are programs that run on the blockchain, enabling the exchange of value without the need for a third party. They define the logic behind the state changes happening on the blockchain.
- Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM): The EVM executes the logic defined in the smart contracts. Additionally, it also processes the various changes on the blockchain.
- Front-end: The front-end mainly defines the UI logic and communicates with the application logic defined in the various smart contracts.
This forms the basic architecture of Web 3.0. This has been simplified for a basic understanding. Every Web 3.0 application consists of this basic structure. They run on the blockchain, typically using smart contracts. All Web 3.0 applications are, therefore, called Decentralized Applications (dApps).
- User interfaces: A variety of user interfaces make it easier for users to interact with decentralized applications. These include MetaMask, Mist, and Parity.
- Decentralized storage: This distributed file system stores data on a network of nodes, rather than on a central server. This enables data to be stored more securely and efficiently.
- Decentralized computation: This is a distributed computing platform that allows applications to be run on a network of nodes, rather than on a central server. This enables applications to be more scalable and efficient.
What Are Its Applications And A Few Examples?
Let us take a look at a few of the technologies that qualify as Web 3.0:
Blockchain technology is the primary inspiration behind the concept of 3.0. Accordingly, the blockchain keeps a record of transactions for any application. It allows for trustless and permission-less interactions.
A few examples of applications that use blockchain technology are:
Bitcoin: The first and most famous application of blockchain technology. Bitcoin, a decentralized digital currency, enables peer-to-peer transactions.
Metaverse: The entire metaverse and the concept of cryptocurrency transactions hinge heavily on blockchain technology.
A DAO is a decentralized autonomous organization. Run by smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain, here, organizations constructed by rules are encoded as a computer program. The decision-making process is transparent and tamper-proof. They execute this because they do not store their funds in traditional banks and there is no central authority figure within the organization. An interesting example of DAOs is Bankless. Although the technology still has its drawbacks, it represents a big potential for change in the decision-making process of organizations.
NFTs (Non-fungible tokens)
NFTs have revolutionized the world of digital assets. With the advent of Web 3.0, NFTs provide a history of ownership for digital assets. They are used both as memberships passes for digital events, redefining digital assets and identities, and even establishing ownership in the Metaverse economy. This works in tandem with the decentralized nature of Web 3.0
As the name suggests, edge computing refers to the process of storing and processing data at the edge of a network, closer to the user. This is in contrast to the traditional model of storing and processing data in a centralized location, such as a data center.
- One of the main advantages of edge computing is that it can reduce latency, or the time it takes for data to travel from the point of origin to the point of destination. For example, data from your local PC might be processed before being sent to a remote data center, which can then be sent back to your PC. This can help improve the performance of applications that require real-time data, such as video streaming or gaming.
- Another advantage of edge computing is that it can help reduce the amount of data that needs to be sent over the network. For example, if you are only interested in the data from your local PC, there is no need to send the data to a remote data center.
- Lastly, edge computing can help improve security and privacy. This is because data is processed and stored locally.
The Metaverse is a decentralized virtual world that is built on the blockchain. It is a platform where users can create, own, and monetize their virtual assets.
The Metaverse is made up of three components:
- Avatars: Virtual representations of users.
- Identities: A user’s digital identity that is stored on the blockchain.
- Digital Assets: Virtual assets that are stored on the blockchain.
Some of the features of the Metaverse include:
- Decentralized Exchange: A decentralized exchange that allows users to trade digital assets.
- Digital Identity: A digital identity that is stored on the blockchain.
- Metaverse Smart Contracts: Smart contracts that allow users to create, own, and monetize their virtual assets.
The Metaverse is still in development, but it has the potential to become a major player in the virtual world.
The biggest example of a functioning metaverse is Hyperverse. Although it has its own skeptics, there is no doubt that it has its share of patrons.
With the express addition of semantics and machine learning, Web 3.0 allows computers to understand the behind instructions. For example, assuming you make plans for a vacation. Instead of going through the entire process of searches and comparisons, Web 3.0 gives you a consolidated report of tailor-made information based on your profile and preferences.
Web 3.0 helps you gain ownership of your data by providing equal benefits to all users. No single entity or group of people will have any undue advantage over others. Additionally, it democratizes content creation and eliminates the middlemen. For example, where Web 2.0 relies on social media to store and benefit from the content, Web 3.0 allows you to realistically benefits directly in the form of tokens. These tokens have real monetary value and allow the creators to have meaningful ownership of the projects.
The decentralized web will allow its users to track their data over various applications and look over the source code of the platforms they decide to utilize. The biggest example and consequence is the elimination of all middlemen in transactions.
Web 3.0 incentivizes users’ contributions in the form of tokens. This will create a more sustainable ecosystem where everyone is working together for the common good. For example, you are rewarded with tokens if you contribute to a project that can be used to purchase goods and services.
One of the key features of Web 3.0 is privacy. The new web will have much greater functionality while at the same time protecting user data and information. For example, a user’s browsing history will not be stored by any one party but rather it will be spread out across many different nodes. This will make it much harder for companies to collect data and sell it without the user’s consent.
Another important aspect of Web 3.0 is security. The new web will be much more secure because it will be decentralized. This means that there is no one central point of failure that can be exploited. Additionally, the use of cryptography will make it much harder for hackers to steal data.
Risks and limitations
Web 3.0 is still in its early stages of development; so, there are many risks and limitations that need to be considered.
Some of the risks include:
Because the new web will be more decentralized, it will be more difficult to secure. There could be more opportunities for hackers to exploit vulnerabilities.
- Smart contract logic hacks: There have been a few instances where hackers have been able to exploit vulnerabilities in smart contracts. This could become more of a problem as more applications are built on top of smart contracts.
- Rug pulls: This is when a project team decides to exit scam and take all of the money that has been raised. This is a big risk in the ICO space and could also happen with DAOs.
- Lack of regulation: Because the new web is still in its early stages, there is a lack of regulation. This could lead to scams and fraud.
- Cryptojacking: This is when someone uses your computer to mine cryptocurrency without your consent. This could become more of a problem as more people start using cryptocurrency.
Data spread out across many different nodes causes more risks to privacy. It could be difficult to control who has access to this data. The transparent nature of public blockchains builds trust without an intermediary but also comes with security and privacy trade-offs
Little interoperability is a major problem here, involving SSI and Cryptowallets. These require extensive onboarding processes.
Pseudoanonymity crates gaps for regulators and wide spaces for money launderers and terrorist financing. It also creates complicated existing regulations with decentralized IDs, such as GDPR. This makes it very difficult to identify personally identifiable information data controllers from the associated PII data processors.
The new web will need to be able to handle a large number of users and transactions. Accordingly, this could be a challenge for the technology to scale. The new web will need to be able to handle a large number of users and transactions. This could be a challenge for the technology to scale.
These are some of the benefits of Web 3.0. The new web will have many more features and benefits that we can’t even imagine right now. In order to be prepared for the future, one should stay abreast of the latest developments in this space.
What are its future trends?
Web 3.0 represents change. Web 2.0 centralized data ownership and control in the hands of organizations. A very blatant example is the images, videos, and posts on social networking platforms like Facebook and Instagram. You might think you own what you have on those platforms but you absolutely don’t. In fact, they belong to the company and they can remove them, block you, or ban you as they see fit. Another example is in-game assets on gaming platforms like Fortnite.
Web 3.0 represents a change and a wresting away of this control and bringing it back into the hands of the users. A few examples of this happening currently include:
IPFS (Inter Planetary File System)
This peer-to-peer protocol enables the use of decentralized file storage. It is essentially a file system that allows you to store files and track versions over time. Some companies that rely on this technology include Netflix and Opera.
SSB (Secure Scuttlebutt)
Decentralized social networking uses this protocol. Here, a device that you can carry stores a user’s data and shares it with a network you trust. This happens when you connect to a shared WiFi signal or other network channels. Another key point is that Scuttlebutt does not broadcast the content, but it instead communicates with small networks of people.
Web 3.0 redefines how we interact with the internet and could potentially have a huge impact on many different industries.
Some of the areas affected include:
- Social media
- Search engines
- Online advertising
- Content management systems
DAOs: Decentralized Autonomous Organizations
These are the potential future for most traditional companies in the near future. In this process, the company governs using smart contracts and operates using token holders, and the benefits of this system include more efficiency and removeing the need for middlemen.
DAO forms a compelling enough choice for those interested in developing solutions in consumer-centric environments.
Web 3.0 has the potential to change the way we interact with the internet. It could have a huge impact on many different industries. Although it comes with its associated concerns and risks, a new revolution always comes with its associated glitches; so, the benefits it offers brings in a new approach to interactions and the way people interact digitally, especially with their finances.
At Pixel Street, we are a web development company very keen to explore this change and all the changes it entails. All revolution begins with small changes, which is where we will start. Join us as we welcome the dawn of Web 3.0. If you interested in reading about new and emerging trends such as this, dive into more of our blogs.