What is Web 3.0?
We are living through the most significant technological transition of our generation. It’s called Web 3.0.
It can be hard for beginners to comprehend what Web 3.0 is and its connection with cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. We are here to explain Web 3.0 and connect the dots for you in this course.
Are you ready for the ultimate crash course on the future of digital ownership? Let’s start from the beginning.
Web 1.0 – Internet of Information
It is hard to remember a time before the internet, but it’s actually only 30 years old. Originally, the internet allowed us to share research among academics and governments. It basically functioned as a huge library. At its genesis in the 90s, the internet was also referred to as the “Information Web” because it allowed users to access research materials. It even enabled us to contact anyone through email.
Web 1.0 allowed users to browse information and send emails, but did not support publishing content for the average user. A group of developers acted as the gatekeepers to the information on the internet. The key offering of Web 1.0 was to share information and contact anyone throughout the world with an internet connection. But how can we create or publish content with browsing tools and emails?
Web 2.0 – Internet of Interaction
In 2004, Facebook and YouTube revolutionized the web with the concept of user-generated content. Now everyone with an internet connection could not only just consume, but also actively publish their own web content. The internet became democratized, and Web 2.0 was born.
Cat videos and influencers aside, this iteration of the web brought significant consequences. It enabled users to form communities around a central idea, and then mobilize themselves en masse.
For instance, the Arab Spring movement is the ultimate example of this scenario. Social media played a significant role in facilitating communication among the participants of this movement and allowed them to form a large community. Small individuals created something big enough to challenge large power structures. All because of social media. Isn’t that amazing?
So in a sense, Web 2.0 has given human beings a level of organizational power we’ve never had before. But it has cost us dearly too.
Problems With Web 2.0
The structure of Web 2.0 has a defining impact on us, as users. However, the current state of the internet is centralized. We are completely reliant on the applications that we use, from social media to banking and dating. And these platforms rely on a handful of internet servers, which makes the whole system centralized.
You can imagine the internet as a few huge suns (the servers), with thousands of smaller planets orbiting around them (our day-to-day apps). The complete authority or control over the applications and data is centralized at one point (the server).
But, why is that a problem?
Let’s understand the flip side of Web 2.0 in detail.
You Don’t Own Anything
Our entire experience on Web 2.0 depends on central entities giving us access to their platform. And that access can be cut off at any time. Imagine trying to access your social media account, but the platform decides to cut you off. All your photos, content, and network are suddenly gone. If the control of your content is defined by someone else, it’s not really your own content anymore.
Moreover, as we know from recent events, the content and personal data you post online can be used by big companies to make money. It can even be used to influence democratic processes. In short, the current internet allows you to publish but owns and monetizes everything you create.
Your Data Is a Commodity
And that leads to the next point. When you sign up for a service, you trust that service with your personal data. Online banking is a perfect example because those accounts have all your information, like identity cards and addresses, along with the data of your finances.
With so much personal information stored in central databases, there’s a huge incentive for hackers to target those storage servers. This proves that your security is at risk each time you sign up for a new platform. Centralized databases are vulnerable to digital crimes, and this structure ultimately puts the security of all of us at risk.
Servers Rule the World
And finally, all of this relies on the omniscient internet server. Servers are among the most powerful entities of this era because we all rely on the service providers of the internet. So no matter how you’re using the web – whether it’s for social media, dating, business, or banking, the whole system relies on just a handful of huge entities who gather our information, and have absolute control over our data sets. This is a dangerous amount of power, no matter whose hands it’s in.
So, in short, although Web 2.0 allowed us to publish content, form communities, and build social movements, it also concentrated our integral information in the hands of big digital entities. We don’t own anything here. And on the internet, there is no such thing as “self-sovereignty.”
Additionally, Web 2.0 doesn’t allow us to transfer value autonomously. Even though it has digitalized various aspects of our daily life, such as online banking, we still need to depend on intermediaries or third-party providers. It failed to provide us a way to own our content and transfer value directly from one person to another. However, there are no barriers to technological developments.
Enter Web 3.0.
Web 3.0 – Internet of Ownership
What if you could access all of the services above without sharing any of your data, and without handing over the ownership of the content you create? In other words, what if you could own your digital life and manage your assets autonomously? If Web 3.0 is the name of this idea, blockchain is the infrastructure that enables it to happen.
Blockchain is all about giving the power back to individuals, by enabling us to be digitally sovereign. Let’s understand how blockchain makes it happen.
You can think of blockchain as an infinite digital storage space that’s open to everyone without compromising on security – similar to a locker for your digital assets, where only you hold the key. Blockchain provides an infrastructure where you can truly “own” your data, and secure it yourself.
Blockchain eliminates the current centralized infrastructure. There will be no threats to our data or use of our content without permission. Blockchain is a decentralized system, where each individual user has complete control over their data and assets.
Autonomous Value Transfers
Blockchain is a digital ledger that keeps track of value. For the first time, it enables individuals to send and receive value digitally – without an intermediary like a bank. This infrastructure has enormous implications for us and society as a whole.
Blockchain allows the web to break out of its current centralized structure, and become a safer, fairer, and more efficient space. It is a huge step towards providing true financial freedom to users. We will expand more on this in the next section.
Web 3.0 – Welcome to the Next Chapter
Web 3.0 is set to change every aspect of the way we interact, and it’s already underway. It holds immense potential to change the way we experience the digital world. This new era takes away the control from internet giants and places it back in your hands. Web 3.0 and blockchain allow us to experience new levels of freedom over our finances, data, and time in the digital landscape.
In the next article, we’ll explain exactly what that means and how it enables you to transfer value safely, without a bank or a financial institution. Are you ready?