This article will talk about the development of the different stages of the Web, why Web 3.0 will matter for us, and which role it will play in crypto.
The history of the internet
The World Wide Web has been adopted as a crucial tool for people to communicate, share information, and exchange with others over the web. Over the years, the web has constantly been updated as more advanced technologies are developed and this evolution is often divided into three stages: Web 1.0, Web 2.0, and Web 3.0.
What is Web 1.0?
The first implementation of the internet was known as Web 1.0 and was a "read-only" network. At this stage, there was no opportunity to interact with the web page, so the role of the network was thus very passive, mainly just providing information to the user. Like the advertising brochures sent to you in the past, it shows you the products but you cannot place the orders online. Web 1.0 lasted from 1989 to roughly 2005
What is Web 2.0?
The term "Web 2.0" was used firstly in 2003, when Internet participants began creating original content and taking greater ownership of their online presence. Thanks to the rise of Web 2.0 that made it possible to create web applications, social media platforms and self-publishing channels, global groups with common interest could be gathered and acted as a medium for social interactions. This might been seen as the start of social collaboration as any user can create thoughts, ideas, photos and videos and share them with anyone. In this era, web developments and coding has advanced and fueled the growth of applications on the phone. Some examples of Web 2.0 applications are our daily social media apps like Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
However, as internet become a more important part of users daily life, large technology companies also see opportunities to build monopolies and try to gain control over the data shared by users for financial advantages. This exploitation and centralization of user data are one of the biggest problems in Web 2.0, which is often criticised for issues related to privacy, data misuse and moderation. These flaws will be addressed with Web 3.0 which will reconstruct the whole internet.
What is Web 3.0?
Web 3.0, which is also called the Semantic web or read-write-execute, is a new era reliant on Machine learning (ML), Artificial intelligence (AI), and blockchain technology. These technologies enable computers to analyze data in a similar way to how we are analyzing and recommend content and information that are fitted to our needs. By looking at social media today, we can already see that many platforms such as Youtube and Instagram already are implementing this technology through their recommendations. If in Web 2.0, we say that users were the content generators, then in Web 3.0 it is the users that generate the platform, creates the content and derives value from it.
Another key difference between Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 is that applications on the Web 3.0 run on decentralized network of peer-to-peer servers, using a distributed ledger technology called blockchain. Users of the Web 3.0 hope that this new structure of the web will rebuilt the internet's infrastructure around storage, data exchange and financial transactions so that true ownership and verifiability can be brought back to the daylight.
Main features of the Web 3.0
1. Decentralization: Currently, all users that want to use the internet has to browse, upload or download content and exchange personal data through intermediaries such as Google. With the decentralized feature Web 3.0 provide, information is decentralized, meaning that it will be stored in many different locations, which gives the users more control over their own data and privacy,
2. Trustless: The Web 3.0 is trustless because it eliminates any actions performed on the Internet by third parties/ or intermediaries. Without the intervention of an intermediary or governing body, users' privacy can be better protected.
3. Permissionless: Anyone, including users and providers, can participate without the need for permission from a central authority.
4. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning: With the development of technology, users in the Web 3.0 network will be able to see computers using natural language processing, semantic web and machine learning concepts to process data similar to the human brain. This huge improvement in technology will make internet browsing more accurate and relevant. Especially in the field of marketing, companies can directly target the customers that are interested in their products.
Web 3.0 Crypto: The role of blockchain
There is no doubt that Web 3.0 and crypto are closely related since blockchain is the building block of them both. Still, the idea of removing the intermediaries is dominating as the aim is to disrupt data and financial monopolies.
As explained in the previous paragraph, Web 3.0 is dependent on the decentralized data, using smart contracts and decentralized protocols to execute transactions. This is also some of the underlying technologies of cryptocurrencies and decentralized finance(DeFi). Participants that want to build or contribute to the new digital infrastructures of Web 3.0 might be offered tokens as a form of payments.
Overall, just as Web 3.0 walks toward giving users the power to operate, the same can be said of crypto-based projects whose goal is to democratize money and financial services.