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Web 3.0: Important Things You Need to Know

by | Jul 29, 2022 | Technology




Over the last couple of decades, the internet has been a predominant force, bringing a huge wave of innovation and opportunities. Today communication technology is omnipresent in our lives. It is even fair to say that we cannot spend a whole day without being connected.

This ubiquitous technology allows humans to convene, communicate and share information no matter where they are. Everybody on the internet can access the same level of information and services.

Since its inception in 1989, the internet has never stop to evolve. It went from a communication and information platform to an essential part of our daily lives. Today our lives are being controlled and dictated by the online world.

The internet is a default in our life as we are always connected. And each time we are connected, we are sharing more and more data about ourselves. This technology is allowing us to achieve a lot of things while also improving our ease of living.

People have started to set up businesses on and around the internet thus reaching more people. It also enables people to entertain, find relationships, transact, work, trade, communicate, create wealth, and even find a sense of self without any geographical constrain.

All this has given the rise to a surge of creativity, innovation, and development. But despite all the massive progress, the internet is not without its disadvantages. It is a centralized entity where its power is concentrated in the hands of a few big corporations.

Why do we need Web 3.0

The Internet as we know it today is a godsend technology. Around 5.07 billion people across the globe use it regularly. This represents 63.5% of the global population that is connected to the global network.

And there are around 4.70 billion social media users around the world sharing their life. Globally, around 207 million digital content creator are sharing their creativity, and knowledge while entertaining us.

On top of all that, as of 2022, there were around 1.7 billion websites along with 600 million blogs sharing information. Around 6.9 million blog posts are uploaded daily on the internet.

We generate 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every single day by interacting with the internet. All this demonstrate the power and influence connected technology has on our life. But the internet has many flaws starting with the data we upload itself.

What the internet does is create an infinite replication of the data uploaded. Everything that travels the net is interchangeable copies of the uploaded information, files, media, etc… All these things travel the globe without much security.

For instance, if I’m sending someone a file or message, the receiver will only get a copy of the data in his recipient. Because the original file or message is still in my possession. Like if I send you a PDF file, you will only receive a copy of it.

But the problem is much broader than that since data can be easily duplicated and downloaded, the internet is creating a bogus environment. Moreover, people’s work and creations can easily be duplicated, downloaded, and shared freely.

With people’s work traveling the online world freely, it loses its authenticity and the creator can’t get paid. Because people won’t pay for something that they can get for free on the internet. Once you upload a piece of data online you lose its ownership.

It is not just by uploading data but also when interacting with the internet we are leaving pieces of information about ourselves. Once on the net, it became the property of a few big tech companies. They control and process our data and decide what is best for us.

With our processed data, these companies can better understand our behavior. With the data, they can design better algorithms to hook us to their platforms and thus show us what they want us to see.

As mentioned earlier, when two computers exchange information, every time a copy of the information is created and sent to the other computer. The internet is built on stand-alone computer logic where data is stored and processed through centralized servers.

And since our data is being managed on some else server, there is no transparency and we cannot see what is happening with the information. Big tech companies are monopolizing our data and making huge profits with it. This is why a change is needed.

The world is becoming hyper-connected and highly digitalize. Access to information and communication technology is becoming so important that even the United Nations has envisaged declaring internet access a basic human right.

The world is evolving and innovating so fast that everything is facing exponential growth. And now this ubiquitous technology called the internet must evolve for the third time to allow more transparency and become more decentralized.

The second generation of internet or web 2.0, which is the one you are using right now will change to web 3.0. And the technology behind it is the blockchain. With blockchain, we are moving away from a world of data monarchy to a world of data democracy.

What is web 3.0?

Web 3.0 is the third generation of Internet services. The expression Web 3.0 is used by certain specialists to evoke the future of the current Web 2.0. To better understand the concept you must first know how all of this started.

Web 1.0

The first internet came from the work of a British computer scientist named Tim Berners-Lee who created the World Wide Web in 1989. In 1989 for the first time, people were able to communicate over the internet.

Web 1.0 was a global computer network accessible to the general public but it was mostly an advisory medium with no major user interactions. The system allows the distribution of information in one direction only from the creator to the reader.

The main use made of it is to adapt real content virtually so that Internet users have the possibility of consulting it. Web 1.0 extends over a period from 1990 to 2004. Then, Web 2.0 began to take shape around the 2000s.

Web 2.0

We sometimes speak of it as a participatory Web as opposed to its predecessor. With Web 2.0, people can create interactive content and user can engage with them. This change mostly began around 2004 when the first social networks emerged.

Web 2.0 became a large person-to-person content creation platform. Users started to create communities, forums, recommendation platforms, blogs, streaming networks, and social networks.

The idea was no longer to use the Web to answer questions but to bring ideas so that people can interact. But here the internet is being controlled by big tech companies called GAFAM (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft). This is where some people believe there is a need for web 3.0.

Web 3.0 definition

The creation of Web3 is a balancing act. It is about creating a decentralized alternative to the World Wide Web. The technology behind it is called the blockchain. Blockchain is considered a utopian technology that might resolve a lot of problems the world is facing.

Blockchain is a distributed database that enables secure, transparent, and tamper-proof transactions. Transactions are verified by network nodes through cryptography and recorded in a public distributed ledger.

Rather than having a central authority that maintains the database, blockchain is maintained by a network of nodes and everybody can see what’s happening within the network.  

The decentralized and transparent nature of the blockchain provides a secure way to transfer data without the need for a middleman. It allows peer-to-peer connection and everyone can decide what happens to their data.

Thus blockchain is paving the way for the next generation of the internet which is more decentralized and transparent. This communication network does not have a centralized entity controlling everything and people’s data is not stored on a centralized server.

Web 3.0 operates on decentralized technology that no entity can control while still allowing pretty much anyone around the world with a smart device to connect and interact with users and applications on the internet.

Web 3.0 is a set of best practices for development that aim to make the web faster, more reliable, more responsive, immersive, and easier to use. But more importantly, it is decentralized and nobody controls your data.

Ethereum is currently the most popular platform on which Web3 services are built. But there are others, including Algorand and Polkadot. The term Web3 is thought to have been first coined in 2014 by Gavin Wood, Polkadot’s creator and co-founder of Ethereum.

Importance of Web 3.0

It is fair to say that the Internet is an essential part of modern life. In fact, it would be hard to imagine our lives without it. And the global pandemic has forced everyone and everything to turn to the online world with more urgency than ever.

While people are turning to digital infrastructure to keep everything moving, it also live all our data and information to big corporations as you need their platforms to operate. Hence, the peer-to-peer nature of blockchain is creating a digital democracy.

Web 3.0 is the next evolution of the internet. The aim is to create a new internet infrastructure that is less centralized. The idea is to use the power of blockchain to decentralize data.

Blockchain is the technology behind bitcoin which is a digital currency that is not owned by any country, government, organization, or a central authority like the bank. Blockchain decentralizes the need for a middleman and allows direct peer-to-peer transactions.

With this characteristic in mind, web3 powered by blockchain will be a new internet where not a single organization will have full control of your data. This way you can have more freedom because you don’t need to trust a single organization.

The centralized nature of the internet makes it difficult to hold any of these companies accountable for bad behavior. Even when controversial issues emerge, little is done on the company’s end to resolve them.

The core principle of web 3.0 is to slowly undo this centralized structure by creating a decentralized internet. Instead of using a group of servers for data transmission, blockchain relies on a peer-to-peer network called nodes.

Nodes collectively store and share files without any central administration or server. This way every node has equal power and performs the same tasks. This also means that no singular entity will be able to stake control over data.

With Web 2.0, everything is monopolized and your data and content are managed by centralized platforms. With web 3, users retain ownership of their data while commerce is driven by different projects’ native tokens.

Web 3 will also provide a governance layer for the internet, something that is lacking with the current one. It will enable us to have true peer-to-peer transactions without middlemen while revolutionizing the way value is created.

The main value of this decentralization is to create a fairer network while segregating the power of giant tech companies. Web 3 will allow machines to interpret a much larger volume of data and also to interact much more deeply with other users from any platform.

The internet we use today is an oligopolistic market, where big companies are making huge profits by monopolizing users’ identities and social data. And these big organizations are processing your data to provide services based on the information they extract from it.

The services that you use over the internet are not free, you are the product. The more those organizations hook you on their platform, the more data they can gather. And this provides a lot of insight into you and your life.

With the use of artificial intelligence, they can precisely model a profile of what kind of person you are. And because these organizations have a profile, their algorithms know you and can better sell you ads or hook you longer on their platform.

Their algorithms are designed to bring more engagement and show you content that will trigger your emotions. But with Web3 all these may come to an end. It will be more about ownership, security, privacy, community empowerment, and complete transparency.

Web 3.0 aims at returning power to Internet users where they can transport their data from one service to another. It will also create a digital global economy.

Currently, global economies are mostly physical and regional for example the United States and the US dollar. The underlying foundation of this economy uses a banking system and other intermediaries to transact.

Now each economy around the world has its own monetary, fiscal, and taxation policies that citizens have to abide by without any choice. Even if they have to abide by these, they cannot participate in decision making, bring changes to them, and have no role in how they operate.

Decisions that concern millions are taken behind closed doors by a few out-of-reach privileged people. There is no transparency in their work and since they have the power they can easily lie and get through with it.

Moreover, corruption and scandal can take months if not years to surface after the facts occur. Hence, with the decentralized, open, accessible, and ever-advancing web 3.0, we are starting to see digital economies forming on the blockchain.

The digital economy is open and creates more fairness and equality. All people can interact with each other regardless of physical location.

The digital economy will have its financial system called DeFi (Decentralized Financed). People can create their own organization called DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization). And protect ownership of their asset with NFT (Non-Fungible Tokens).

Future of web 3.0

The web3 is considered to be the solution to the many problems we faced with the way the internet handles the exchange of data. The web 3.0 infrastructures will give users more control over their data, and create digital economies where everybody can participate.

It is estimated that globally more than 1.7 billion people don’t have access to banking facilities. Since they can’t access these basic facilities, they are excluded from the global economy.

However, even if these people can’t access a bank, they do have a mobile phone. And since web 3.0 creates a fair, open, permissionless, and transparent way for people to access online and basic services. These 1.7 billion people can easily enter a digital economy.

Now there are a lot of creative, talented, and skillful people around the world, but opportunities are not distributed evenly.  Thus, they don’t have the chance to express themselves. But with web 3 this is about to change.

With web 3.0, if you have knowledge, skills, or talent, you can easily contribute to the global digital economy. This way the economy will benefit from you and your benefits from the economy.

Also, today with the internet, it is very easy to start an online business but it is very difficult to receive a loan from traditional banking systems. But with Decentralized Fiance (DeFi) this is about to change.

With DeFi, people can easily access, borrow or lend cryptocurrency. This way you can easily reach out to people that are interested in your project and ready to lend you money to start your business.

And if you have some money apart, you can easily lend it to the needy for some interest. Furthermore, new ways of creating business are also underway with web 3.0.

In these communities, people with common goals can join together to create a DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization). DAO is an organization that is run autonomously with smart contracts on the blockchain.

Transaction and trade are automated and made easier with smart contracts. Smart contracts contain a set of rules and terms that parties dealing with each other have agreed upon. Each time a term is met, the smart contract applies the necessary action.

DAO is giving rise to a new way of doing and creating business and the way they prosper. This alternative business concept is gradually gaining popularity. Today even venture capitalists are interested in it.

With a Decentralized Autonomous Organization, anyone can decide from the first day of the creation of a business if they want to participate in its construction or invest money in it. And asset ownership can be secured by NFT.

Non-Fungible Token (NFT), a word that’s being heard quite frequently nowadays is another native concept of Web 3.0. They are in themselves building blocks of the Internet of the future.

For instance, art or music can be turned into Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) so that they can’t be easily duplicated. And with NFT everybody will know who the truthful owner of the asset is. And every time the asset exchanges hand the creator receives royalties.

An NFT is the title of ownership of a file on the Internet. However, unlike the physical world, owning an NFT does not prevent others from enjoying it. Even better, the more the NFT is viewed and appreciated, the more its value can increase.

However, there is still some issue that needs to be solved with web 3. If we don’t design and define the blockchains properly, we might end up with a machine that acts against us.

Since everything is governed by codes, governance and ethic will be of the utmost importance when writing them. The code will not just automatically enforce the technological aspect but also the aspect of governance, ethical, economic, organizational, and many more.

The person who will write the governance rules and terms of these blockchains and smart contracts will need to act in the best interest of the user. The person will need to have a high ethical and moral code of conduct.

While many smart engineers are working on this cutting-edge technology, they may not be governance experts. So engineers need to work with governance experts to decide how to write this code. This way we ensure that we don’t run into the same problems we ran on the web. We also avoid creating an algorithmic bias on the web.

Final Words

At the beginning of the 90s when the internet started to see light, it was hard to figure out what to do with websites and how to incentivize the flow while giving users better experiences.

It took around 10 years until web 2.0 came to remediate these problems. Now with web 3.0, it would probably take another few years to figure out what users can meaningfully do on this platform and how this new token economy will work.

Blockchain technology is a very powerful tool. And technology is just a tool, it is neither inherently good nor inherently bad, it is up to us to decide how we want to use that tool.

The decentralized means of investment created by the blockchain are already taking the financial world by storm with cryptocurrency, DeFi, and DAO. And now decentralization could fundamentally change how we use the internet also.

With web 3.0, experts are projecting a future where users can freely access the internet without relying on an internet service provider. People will have the ability to control how their assets, data, and information are being used and monetized. And once web 3.0 is properly implemented, the online world will be truly and fully democratized.