The world has seen many innovations over the past two decades: incredibly powerful phones, ever-improving applications, and even virtual currencies, namely cryptocurrencies. Today we are witnessing another technological revolution that will surely change the world: Web 3 or Web 3.0. We explain more about this topic in this article. We do this by first telling more about the evolution of the internet, before going into what Web 3.0 is, what advantages it has and which crypto projects are involved with it.
- 1 The evolution of the internet
- 2 What is Web 1.0?
- 3 What is Web 2.0?
- 4 The Rise of Web 3.0
- 5 What is Web 3.0?
- 6 Characteristics of the blockchain technology
- 7 DeFi: the decentralization of financial products and services
- 8 Web 3.0 User Features
- 9 What are the benefits of Web 3.0?
- 10 Main Web 3.0 crypto projects
- 11 How important is Web 3.0 to the metaverse?
- 12 Is there also criticism of Web 3.0?
- 13 Conclusion
The evolution of the internet
Before we explain what Web 3.0 is, let’s dive deeper into the evolution that the Internet has gone through in recent years. Only this way we can better understand the principles of Web 3.0 .
What is Web 1.0?
In 1989, Tim Berners-Lee developed a protocol called “http” that made it possible to connect to a web page: the World Wide Web (www) or Web 1.0. This consisted of static web pages with little or no interaction with them.
Shortly after the invention of Web 1.0, it was never used till little. It took several years for people to start using the internet. After all, this was still completely new, and that’s why many people were reluctant to be fully involved with the internet right away.
A website that falls within Web 1.0 is actually only programmed with HTML and CSS. These are two programming languages for building simple websites. It is not possible to also interact with these programming languages. These languages were not invented until later, which marked the beginning of Web 2.0.
What is Web 2.0?
Web 2.0 is the Internet as we know it today. They are mainly websites that allow us to communicate, which also makes it possible to talk to other people. With the proliferation of new technologies and innovations, websites have become more interactive, dynamic and collaborative. It is therefore with the rise of the web giants: Facebook, Google, Twitter and Amazon that Web 2.0 was gradually born.
Web 2.0 is largely based on the idea of the “web as a platform” and is mainly focused on user-generated content that is uploaded to social networking services, blogs and wikis, among others. Web 2.0 is generally considered to have started around 2004, and continues until today.
Still, Web 2.0 doesn’t look as good when we compare it to how it was conceived. The Internet was originally conceived as an open, freely accessible and specifically decentralized space. In fact, the opposite has happened today. For example, it is the large companies such as Facebook, Google and Twitter that check our data. By selling these, they make a huge profit from it. So it’s the platforms that are in control, not the users.
The Rise of Web 3.0
The revolutionary power of blockchain technology has been noticed after much analysis, especially with the rise of Bitcoin and other altcoins. Since then, the foundations of Web 3.0 have gradually been laid.
The term “Web 3”, or “Web 3.0”, was coined in 2014 by Gavin Wood, co-founder of Ethereum. It was not until 2021 that the idea of We 3.0 gained popularity. In particular, towards the end of 2021, interest increased, largely as a result of interest from cryptocurrency enthusiasts and investments from high-profile technologists and companies.
What is Web 3.0?
Web 3.0 is simply the gradual replacement of the various functions of today’s Internet with various previously decentralized forms. Whether it’s file storage, databases, web servers, computing power or web browsers. They will probably all be replaced by much more powerful and decentralized servers. So this is the blockchain.
The blockchain consists of a network of hundreds to thousands of different devices (called nodes) that are connected to each other. Together they ensure that all data stored on these devices is accurate and kept secure.
In fact, when someone makes a transaction on the blockchain, the data in the blockchain’s database is simply changed. The computers in the network check whether these changes are allowed to be made. Suppose a user wants to transfer cryptocurrencies to a different wallet address, the nodes will first check whether the account has enough balance to make the transaction.
In the same way, a user can also store other data on the blockchain. Think of documents, images and videos. After all, a blockchain is simply a database where basically everything can be stored.
Every node has a copy of the database. In this way they can all check whether their copy is still correct, and manipulation is impossible. Should a node have a wrong copy because someone tried to manipulate the database on this node, the rest of the blockchain’s network will notice. After all, their copy is different from that of the faulty node. Since they are with a larger group, their copy will be considered valid.
Characteristics of the blockchain technology
immutable. Once data has been added to a block on the blockchain, this data can never be removed from the blockchain. It is possible to remove data, although this will have to be described in a new block. The newest block is seen as a valid block in the present.
Safe. Blockchain technology uses cryptography, which protects all data. Only the person in possession of the correct public and private key can access this data. This ensures that data is very strongly secured, and someone cannot spend cryptocurrencies of others.
In control of your own data. All data stored on the blockchain is stored on thousands of nodes. Because only the owner, who is in possession of the correct keys, can access this data, the owner is completely in control of his own data. There are no big companies that resell customer data to make a profit from it: this is simply impossible.
Low costs. When you make a transaction to send money abroad, it can cost a lot of money. It often takes several days before the money arrives at the intended recipient. With blockchain it is possible to transfer money directly and at low cost to other users, wherever they live in the world.
DeFi: the decentralization of financial products and services
DeFi (Decentralized Finance) is an important part of Web 3, as it represents the transition of financial services, products and applications. All centralized financial products can be converted to a decentralized product that runs on the blockchain.
With DeFi, the man-in-the-middle is disabled, which gives users more control. These are, for example, banks, insurance companies, mortgage lenders, etc. By moving these kinds of services and products to the blockchain, users pay much less than with the traditional variant.
Web 3.0 User Features
With Web 3.0, for example, web servers are being replaced by blockchains such as Ethereum. Similarly, for data storage, Web 3.0 will use applications such as Filecoin, Arweave or Siacoin instead of Amazon or Dropbox. This way users know that their data is stored in a safe way, and that they can only access it if they are in possession of the correct public and private keys. After all, there have been a number of hacks at large cloud services in the past. That would not be possible if the keys are only in the possession of their rightful owners.
For video streaming, Web 3.0 will no longer use classic CDNs, but preferably blockchains such as Theta or AIOZ. Here too, security is again a top priority, because cryptography is used and only the rightful persons can access their own data. In that case, the costs are often much lower than traditional services.
Or how about taking out a loan or mortgage. Now you will have to do that at a bank, but with Web 3.0 it will be possible to do this on the internet. Everything can be automated, so you don’t have to worry about the safe operation of these types of applications.
Finally, with Web 3.0, applications such as Spotify, Twitter or Facebook will be replaced by applications called dApps (decentralized applications). These will be able to operate in an automated manner without the need for trusted intermediaries.
What are the benefits of Web 3.0?
Web 3.0 represents a major revolution, given the profound changes it can bring to everyday life. It will also bring a number of benefits that are likely to be a breath of fresh air for any current Web 2.0 users. Below we take a closer look at the main benefits of Web 3.0.
Accessible to everyone
With Web 3.0, platforms will be permissive platforms. That is, they will be open and accessible to everyone, without the need for a green light from an outside entity, company or government. After all, with Web 2.0, users can be banned from the platform if they share content that does not comply with the regulations set in advance by the responsible entities.
This ensures that people are less vulnerable to censorship. After all, governments have no influence on the data that is on the blockchain, because it is controlled by the network. That is why not only will the internet become ‘freer’, but populations in countries will also have a lot more freedom.
Control over own data
All Web 3.0 users will be able to take control of their own data. Web 2.0, on the other hand, has control over users’ personal data, which is somewhat dictatorial. The companies behind these websites sell such data to other parties who want to serve ads. In this way they make a profit.
When a user wants to delete his data on the server of another party, this is often very difficult. There are laws that say that companies must offer this option, although you as a user can never be sure whether your data has really been deleted. You cannot view the servers of these companies, because they are protected from the public.
Many people are fed up with big companies being in control of their data. They would like to be in control of the data they store online. That’s why many people are happy with the arrival of Web 3.0.
Ability to Make Profits
All participants in the platform can own a portion of that platform’s value in the form of a token. Today’s internet allows entities not only to own users’ personal data, but also to make huge profits from exploiting that data.
With Web 3.0, it is precisely the users of applications who make a profit by using an application. Thus, they have the option to sell tokens for profit, also known as crypto trading. However, it doesn’t stop there.
DeFi, which stands for Decentralized Finance, is emerging within Web 3.0. This is a market for decentralizing current financial applications, products and services that still work centrally. DeFi allows users to earn interest on their tokens by staking or yielding them. This is the lending of tokens to other parties so that they can subsequently extract functionalities from them.
With Web 3.0, control of the system will not be concentrated in one entity. It will preferably be democratic and distributed by DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations).
Suppose a company like Facebook decides to remove the chat function from its website. It may well be that a large group of people disagree with this. For Facebook, however, this feature costs more money than it makes, which is why they want it gone. After all, Facebook is a company that in most cases only thinks of itself.
This would not be possible with Web 3.0. An application that runs on the blockchain will most likely hold a vote about major choices that have to be made. Users in possession of tokens can vote, and thus have a say in the future of the application.
Better findability of data
Web 3.0 provides superior and efficient navigation. With Web 2.0, finding the best result is quite difficult. As a user you are dependent on large companies such as Google, Bing or Yahoo. When they want to exclude a website from the search results, they can do so with ease. No one can say anything about this.
However, with Web 3.0 they will be further enhanced to enable finding relevant results based on the search context and metadata. The result is a more convenient browsing experience that makes it relatively easy for anyone to find the exact information they need.
This makes censorship virtually impossible, as there is no single authority that can fully determine what should be done. All users have the possibility to find everything that is on the blockchain.
More relevant ads
Web 3.0 also offers enhanced advertising and marketing. Admittedly, online ads are quite distracting, especially when they appear in bulk. However, as ads become relevant to the user’s interests and needs, they can become helpful rather than annoying. Web 3.0 aims to improve advertising by deploying smarter AI systems that target specific audiences based on consumer data.
It is also much easier for users to indicate whether they want to see advertisements at all, and which data may be used to show relevant advertisements. It is therefore no longer the large companies that determine for users what should be done with their data.
More and more we pay to use applications on the internet. Think, for example, of cloud storage, or of applications with which you can edit a photo. It is logical that you have to pay for this, because the company that developed the application would like to earn money with this.
However, these costs can be high in many cases. In most cases, applications within Web 3.0 can be used at low cost. This is because everything is decentralized and open source, giving everyone the opportunity to do something with it themselves. You do pay money to the network of the blockchain that ensures that the application can continue to run. These costs are also very low.
Main Web 3.0 crypto projects
Since this technology will be truly revolutionary, many will be inclined to invest in Web 3.0, which covers various aspects of the Internet. Web 3.0, which is quite multitasking, is likely to offer several investment opportunities.
Layer 1 blockchains
Blockchains provide platforms with which to create the dApps of the future. These blockchains are extremely important, because they form the basis for Web 3. That is why it is good to keep an eye on these types of projects when you want to invest in cryptocurrencies. In the past, these types of blockchains have increased in value incredibly fast, and people have been able to make a lot of profit on their investments. Projects like this include Ethereum, Solana, Cardano, Avalanche, Harmony, and many others.
Decentralized Cloud Storage
Since the goal of Web 3.0 is nothing less than the decentralization of today’s Internet, it would probably be profitable to invest in some decentralized cloud storage projects. This cloud storage ensures that users are back in full control of the data they store on the cloud. There are many projects active within part. These are projects like Filecoin, Siacoin or even Arweave.
Since Web 3.0 will eventually leverage multiple blockchains, it would be smart to invest in projects that allow for better interoperability between blockchains. After all, in the end, blockchains that can only work independently of each other are of no use to us. For Web 3.0 to succeed, blockchains will have to work with each other, and there are already many projects that contribute to this. Think of projects such as Polkadot, Cosmos and many others.
API data solutions
One can choose to invest in applications for exchanging information between the different Blockchains or at least between the real world and the Blockchain world. Projects that fall into this category include The Graph or ChainLink, but of course there are many others that share the same goal.
Earlier we mentioned that DeFi is an important part of Web 3. Nowadays there are also many projects that deal with this playing field. They want to decentralize various financial services and products by moving them to the blockchain. You have plenty of choice, from projects such as Tether, Aave or Chiliz.
There are several metaverses that run on a central server, although it is striking that perhaps the largest part runs on the blockchain. The metaverse is still fairly new, so there is still plenty of time to invest in these types of projects. Think of Decentraland, The Sandbox or Brocoli Network.
How important is Web 3.0 to the metaverse?
In the closing months of 2021, the metaverse began to gain a lot of fame. This was because Facebook indicated that it would fully focus on developing its own metaverse.
The metaverse is an online 3D world where you can interact and communicate with other users who are also in this world. You can enter this world by putting on special VR glasses, so that it seems as if you are really in this world.
Web 3.0 plays an important role for the metaverse. When we start making massive use of the metaverse, even more data will be collected. It is therefore important that this data is stored in the right way, and that it does not end up in the hands of the wrong companies such as Facebook.
Many metaverse projects develop themselves on the blockchain. The value of these projects has already increased considerably, mainly due to the media attention surrounding the metaverse. Another important factor that plays a role in this is that these types of projects are getting more and more users. The metaverse is getting better and better, so that more user functions can be found for it.
Is there also criticism of Web 3.0?
It goes without saying that such a revolutionary internet opportunity – the foundations of which have already been laid – are not welcomed by everyone, and inevitably give rise to criticism and comments (positive or otherwise). In-depth analyzes are being conducted and many are wondering if this revolution is not just a myth.
Many personalities are suspicious of Web 3.0. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has publicly said that Web 3.0 is just a “marketing buzzword”. Pessimistic about technology, the billionaire worries about what the future will look like in 10, 20 or 30 years with such technological advancements. To him, it’s just a trend, just like the metaverse movement.
Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, spoke about the metaverse movement, which he says will soon become part of our daily lives. “Within two or three years, I predict that most virtual meetings will shift from 2D camera grids – what I call the Hollywood Squares model – to the metaverse, a 3D space with digital avatars.
Web 3.0 is not only a technological, but also a philosophical approach that could solve the various problems of today’s Internet. It could also, with its revolutionary side, enable a return to the Internet’s true mission.
Suddenly a lot more is possible if we were to use Web 3.0. This is not only on the side of the user, but also on the side of the developers. They have more options when they develop an application on a decentralized network. Capabilities they wouldn’t have if this were done on a centralized server.
However, it remains to be seen whether Web 3.0 will really succeed. At the moment we are still at the beginning of this revolution, and therefore no one knows which way it will eventually go. However, we can say that things are going in the right direction, because more and more projects are increasing in value. You can read above which projects these are!
Thanh Lanh Tran(1989) is Chief Editor from BitcoinUSD.com