Web 3.0: Is it a giant leap or a passing internet fad?

Web 3.0

At a Glance

Web 3.0 is the latest buzzword in tech taking over world by storm. Especially after Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement of the Metaverse, Web3 or Web 3.0 is the next big evolution of the internet. But, is it really?


Opinions on this matter differ somewhat. Web3 is currently a work-in-progress that is not fully defined. However, the main principle is that it will be decentralized – rather than controlled by governments and various corporations as is the case with today’s internet – and, to some extent, linked to the concept of the “Metaverse.”

To avoid confusion, it’s worth noting that, until recently, the term “web 3.0” commonly used for describing what is now known as the “semantic web.” The original “father of the internet,” Sir Tim Berners-Lee, proposed this concept for a machine-to-machine internet. The use of language defines it, and the term is now more commonly used to describe something else. Berners concepts however, is considered to be a part of what we now call web3, albeit not the entirety of it.


Web 3.0 Conceptual Understanding

The Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) is a web3 concept that describes a group, company, or collective bound by rules and regulations coded into a blockchain. For example, in a DAO-based shop, the price of all items and details on who would receive pay-outs from the business would be stored on a blockchain. 

However, no one could change the rules unless they permit. Also, no one who owned the physical infrastructure. Such as the server owners or the owners of the facilities where the profits were kept, could interfere in any way, including stealing the profits! Importantly, DAOs, in theory, eliminate the need for many of the “men-in-the-middle” required to run a business as bankers, lawyers, accountants, and landlords.

Relationship between Web 3.0 and AI

Most people believe that AI will play a significant role in web3. This is because many web3 applications will require a high level of machine-to-machine communication and decision-making.

How is the Metaverse reacting to the introduction of Web 3.0?

The Metaverse is the final important web3 concept that we must discuss. The term “metaverse” refers to the next iteration of the internet’s front-end – the user interface by which we interact with the online world, communicate with other users, and manipulate data – in relation to the web3. Just in case, the Metaverse is intended for a much more immersive, persistent, and social version of the internet that we all know about.

 It will entice us with technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) that allow us to interact with various digital domains in more immersive ways. For example, using virtual hands for picking up and manipulating objects and our voices to give instructions to machines or converse with other people. The Metaverse can be viewed as the interface through which humans will interact with web3 tools and applications in many ways.

Web 3.0 Possibilities Without Metaverse 

It is also possible to create web3 applications without involving the Metaverse. Bitcoin is one example – but expected that metaverse technology and experiences will play a significant role in how many of these applications interact with our lives.

All of this sounds fantastic, and everyone must adore it, right? No, it does not!

Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has expressed doubts that it will be as free and open as many anticipate. “You don’t own web3,” he said. It will never escape their grasp. It is, in the end, a centralized entity with a different label.”

Others are opposed to many of the current web3 proposals. Because they are built on blockchain, which can be very energy-intensive at times, contributing to carbon emissions and climate change. For example, the Bitcoin blockchain is estimated to consume roughly the same amount of energy as Finland. Other blockchains, such as those based on proof-of-stake algorithms rather than proof-of-work, require less power.

Some fantastic web 3.0 application examples

Let’s look at some real-world web3 examples:

  • Bitcoin – The general cryptocurrency has been around for over ten years. The protocol itself is decentralized, though not the entire ecosystem.
  • Diaspora – A non-profit and decentralized social network.
  • Steemit is blockchain-based blogging and social networking platform.
  • Augur is a decentralized exchange trading platform.

What exactly is the decentralized web?

Let’s start with decentralization. Today, all of the famous sites and hangouts we spend our time online are typically owned by corporations. To some extent, governed by government regulations. This is because it was the simplest way to build network infrastructure – someone pays to install servers and set up software that people want to access online and then charges us or lets us use it without paying until we follow their rules.

Today, we have other options, most notably blockchain technology. Blockchain is a relatively new online data storage method based on the two core concepts of encryption and distributed computing.

Because the data on a blockchain is encrypted, it can only be accessed by those who have permission to do so – even if it is stored on a computer owned by someone else, such as a government or a corporation.

Furthermore, distributed computing implies that the file is shared across multiple computers or servers. However, if one of the copies does not match all of the other copies, the data in that file is invalid. This adds up to form an additional layer of security, ensuring that no one person other than the person in control of the data can access or change it without the permission of the person who owns it or even the whole network.

When these concepts are combined, they mean that data can be stored so that it is always under the control of the person who owns it. Even if it is stored on a server that a corporation may own or under the supervision of a local government. The owner or government will never access or change the data unless they have the keys to the encryption that proves they own it. Even if they shut down their server, the information is still available on one of the hundreds of computers where it is stored. Isn’t that clever? Probably!.

Behind the Scenes of The Transaction Cycle

Interactions and transactions can also take place between two parties without the involvement of a trusted third party. This was not always the case on web2 or lower because you had to be sure that whoever owned the medium you were using to interact or transact wasn’t tampering with your communications.

Sending Bitcoin directly to another person – rather than through an online exchange or wallet stored on a centralized server – is an example of a web3 trustless transaction. The blockchain algorithm and encryption control the entire transaction process. There is almost no chance that anyone can intervene and disrupt it.

Similarly, “permissionless” implies that neither party to a transaction or interaction needs to seek permission from a third party before proceeding.

By the way, if all this talk about avoiding government interference sounds anarchist or libertarian to you, you’re not alone! Governments have already attempted to enact legislation that will allow them to maintain some level of control over web communications and interactions3.

Conclusion

First, there was web1, also known as the internet we all know and love. Then came web2 – the user-generated web, heralded by the advent of social media. People are now talking about web3 (or sometimes, web 3.0) – the internet’s supposed next giant evolutionary leap forward. But what exactly is it? You should have received your answers by now. If not, please leave your queries in the comments section. We would be delighted to answer it for you!

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