The evolution of the internet over the years has never gone unnoticed. A few years ago, the only virtual world that people could imagine was “upside down” from Netflix’s famous series, “Stranger Things”. Yet, today the entire world is advancing technologically and preparing itself to cope with the revolution of web2.0 to web3.0. When talking about web3.0, it is considered to be a term that consists of a unique yet multiple set of ideas that concerns the elimination of the presiding intercessors of the internet. It is a new era of the internet, where you can enter the world of the web without logging into any intermediaries or platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, or Google. Before we delve into web3.0, and its role in the future of the internet, it is important to understand how we reached here.
The Evolution of Web 1.0 to Web 2.0
The internet we have been utilizing today can be assessed on two levels. Tim Berners Lee our internet daddy invented web 1.0 and is also considered the original WWW (World Wide Web). During the early days of the internet, in the 90s, the web was observed as the process to standardize access to information. Since it was disorganized it could be pretty overwhelming for anyone who is accustomed to the way we access information today.
Followed by web 2.0, which was developed in the early 2000s, after the crash of Dot-com, it was first termed by Darcy DiNucci in an article of 1999 written by her name, “Fragmented Future”, and was later popularised in 2004 by Dale Dougherty, and Tim O’Reilly. Several users might recognize web 2.0 as the era that gave all of us the powerful “social media”.
Web 2.0 has managed to develop huge changes in digital connectivity, and provided us with a vast range of content that was available for the soaring audience and users. The content was centralized to some of the popular and major social media platforms such as Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Amazon, and Google. These platforms organize the internet, inviting several users to connect to each other and conduct crucial activities such as wireless transactions.
Web 2.0: Inaccurate Data Manipulation and Collection
There are several implications to our present dependency on the social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc. The first and foremost issue is that when the server of any of the companies goes down, the users are left helpless and powerless. They are unable to access any information available on the internet, but also are unable to contact and communicate with each other. Another issue that has popped up over the years is the data leak of users and their information. This includes the lack of regulation, transparency, and online privacy securities.
Some of the major incidents of Facebook such as whistleblower revelations, and Cambridge Analytica show us how these insouciant companies can be regarding data privacy. In the initial days of web 1.0, the motto was to bring in the concept of decentralization. However, web 2.0 failed and centralized by providing more power to small tech companies. Web 3.0 is the hope to get back to the primary concept of the internet and take the power back.
What is the Concept Behind Web 3.0?
The conceptual third repetition of the world wide web is “WEB 3.0”. The main motto of the concept is the decentralization of the digital world. Web 3.0 is the next generation of the internet that shows the ability of users worldwide to own and control their digital assets and other digital content. The main movement of web 3.0 is the motive to organize the internet economy surrounding virtual assets and providing ownership to both the searchers and builders. The aim of web3 is to provide privacy and data security with the motto to defeat the power of huge companies that are dominating the market at present.
What are the Components of Web3?
There are a series of components that compromises web3, with each of them with the power to change the structure of the internet and how we interact with it.
One of the important features of web3 is decentralization. At present, with web2, the computers utilize unique HTTP addresses to localize the information. The information is usually situated in a permanent location and on a single server, however, with web3, things will work differently. To locate certain information it is important to focus on its content, this ensures the capacity of the information to be stored in any location simultaneously. This is how information gets decentralized. This can be a great addition for large businesses and tech companies that will help to break down huge databases and offer control to the users.
Web3 allows users to directly interact with one another without the requirement of any intermediary or permissions. Moreover, any user can participate without requiring permission from authorities. The web3 applications also known as decentralized applications will work on blockchain networks or decentralized peer-to-peer networks.
Machine Learning & AI
Natural language processing and Semantic web concepts technology allow your computer to recognize information same way the humans do with different success degrees. Web3 is planning to utilize technologies with machine learning and several branches of Artificial Learning that copy the way humans learn, and optimize, which will improve its accuracy.
The internet of things or IoT includes products such as unique biometric devices “Oura Ring”, and Alexa of Amazon. This means that businesses can slowly adapt access to personal information.
What Changes Will Web3 Bring in the Future of the Internet?
To understand if web3 is truly the future of the internet, it is important to understand how it is changing the way the world works today. The solutions provided by web3 are working as the center of transition in some of the major business areas such as social networks, storage, finance, browsers, and operating systems. Web3 is gradually shifting towards the “internet of assets”. Here are some of the major changes noticed on the internet are-
- Earlier AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure were used as storage which is gradually shifting towards IPFS.
- The popular web2 browser like Google Chrome is slowly shifting towards Braze, a new browser that is decentralized.
- Web3 is also planning to create a major revolution in the finance industry, such as crypto wallets instead of traditional banks.
- The centralized operating system such as iOS, Windows, and Android are incapable of several features that the web3 operating systems such as Ethereum, and EOS can operate.
The popularity of DAOs is another great example of the growth of web3. It is one of the decentralized alternatives for traditional operating models such as LLCs.
The Impact of Web3 and Blockchain Technology in Real-Life?
The autocratic countries where the people lack freedom of speech, and rights to human protection, web3 has managed to make a difference. Web2.0 provides users with no control over how their information is stored, and is often tracked, and saved without the permission o the user. This makes the users vulnerable to unknown consequences especially when the governed authorities refuse to honor their views.
Donations in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have proven to be beneficial in times of crisis. A support group who were protesting against the violence of the police in Minsk, Belarus received donations in bitcoins in 2021. The country often known as “Europe’s last dictatorship” has an oppressive government and has been living under the same situation for over two decades.
In 2020 similar situation was observed in Nigeria, when protests against the government started taking place across the country. The illicit and brutal activities of the “Special Anti-robbery squad” forced the citizens to come down to the streets. Within a few days, the government froze the bank accounts of the protestors. Funds were raised in bitcoin to help the investors sustain the movement.
Even in 2022, the Russia-Ukraine war left many citizens on the streets. Several organizations collected funds in crypto to help fund the families. Huge donations were received from across the world to help the refugees. Web3 not only managed to solve issues but also provided a platform for people around the world to support each other against the oppression of centralized authorities.
Web3: A Promising Wave of Technology
The concept of web3 can revolutionize the future of the internet, especially with its most important component “decentralization”. Web3 brings back the original concept of the internet with a new and promising wave of technology that will take the internet forward. Web3 has been hyped recently, and many might easily dismiss it. However, tech companies and experts might take advantage of the new technology, and enrich their business.
The idea of the internet being replaced, and reinvented might be a far-away virtual utopia, however, the innovations it brings along are brewing crucial new conversations on what the internet should be and how to achieve it. Blockchain technology is already creating a buzz around the world by disrupting every other industry. Although the unforeseeable future refrains us to assure web3 is the future, the fact that it has a lot of potentials is undeniable.