Web3 is the latest version of the Internet. Here’s what it means, what to expect and when it will happen.
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What is Web3? Web3 is the latest version of the Internet. It sounds huge, and it is, but the Internet is not uninstalled and replaced with a new version. Rather, it is to add to what we are already using. And don’t worry if you’re confused between Augmented Reality and VR, if you love VR or hate them both, there’s something for everyone. Web3 will eventually shape what the metaverse is and how we shop (the AI can choose the best VR headsets for us, for example) and keep our data more secure.
How the internet has changed
So far, there are two versions of the Internet. The first version was called Web 1.0, or Read-Only Web, which lasted from the beginning of the Internet in 1989 to the early 2000s. Its intention was to share information; there was no interaction between the visitor and what was online. You can create your own pages online or read other people’s pages. That’s it. Other than email, communication was zero. All information was stored on a server and accessible only by a computer.
Slowly, the Internet evolved into Web 2.0, or read-write Web. It became official around 2004, and it’s what we use today. This release allows users to interact with what they see online through comment sections, social media, and more. Instead of being stored only on personal servers and accessible by computers, 2.0 information can also be stored in cloud storage (hosted servers) and viewed on tablets, mobile phones and even your refrigerator, in addition to your computer.
What is Web3?
So, when you ask what is Web3 (Web 3.0), the answer is that it is just the next evolution of the Internet, coming from Web 2.0. We already have a glimpse of what it will eventually be, although there is no precise definition of what this progression will entail.
Like earlier versions of the Internet, Web3 builds on and complements past generations. It is considered the read-write-clean or read-write-execute version of the Internet. Decentralization, privacy, machine learning, and security are some of the trends we are already seeing that will shape the Web 3.0 environment.
Equity through decentralization
The essence of the meaning of Web3 is decentralization, that is, online communities belong to everyone, with transparent information sharing.
Instead of storing information through database giants such as Google, information will be freely shared and stored in many places (this is called distributed computing). Everything will be shared by the DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Bodies). DAOs are purpose-built, community-run groups, relying on each DAO member to work in the best interest of achieving a common goal.
“DAOs have really emerged among cryptocurrency enthusiasts and are widely used to make decisions in a bottom-up, ideally fair, management approach,” says Sharad Varshney, CEO of OvalEdge, a data governance consultancy.
Confidentiality via blockchain
Blockchain is considered a central element of decentralization. Ownership of things on the internet will be recorded on the blockchain, which is a transparent, publicly available data system that allows anyone to see what’s going on there, says Billy Huang, co-founder of Luna Market.
An example of people using blockchain includes digital asset registration (NFT) and tokens (crypto), which allow people to transfer digital assets seamlessly without needing to know the other party. Personal identity is not revealed unless users choose to share their true identity by linking their blockchain wallets (think of it as your Web 3.0 ID) to their personal information.
There is one major difference between blockchain technology and older infrastructure: databases. “In the past, databases were controlled by a single person or organization, and they had full control over that system,” Huang explains. “They could control how data is stored and changed, leading to errors and fraud. Blockchains, on the other hand, allow anyone to create systems that can be audited by anyone. Because it is open to everyone, it allows everyone to understand the systems it interfaces with and to develop trust with the users who use its applications.
Security by encryption
Another part of Web3 is encryption. It basically ensures that no one can access the data except the intended parties. Although we already use encryption to protect our data online, as the Internet evolves, we will use it to ensure that data can be both publicly transparent and private.
For example, encryption will keep your information private when transferring properties and assets on the blockchain, Huang said.
Yuichiro Chino/Getty Images
Machine learning via AI
Another piece of the Web 3.0 puzzle was dreamed up in the 1990s. The idea was that computers would be able to contextualize information much like the human brain. Beyond just knowing information, AI (artificial intelligence) would understand the meaning and emotion behind information, conveying it to humans in a smarter way than search engines do today. today.
The AI could, for example, find you the pair of shoes at the best price for you using your personal preferences and style, just like a human personal shopper. They may also be able to shop for a car or a vacation for you and then provide you with highly personalized options.
AI could also be used to create valuable items using this advanced learning method, such as creating new drugs or making new products.
“There are already a few use cases for artificial intelligence in Web 3.0 applications,” Huang said. “For example, there’s AI-generated art, which is then sold as NFTs.”
How could all of this one day fit into the metaverse?
“Although it’s hard to pin down, I expect the metaverse to use blockchains to track the storage of digital assets,” Huang says. One potential use is that metaverse creators may be able to save their digital assets, such as sound, music, immersive experiences, and games, in a safe and transparent way.
Web 3.0 AI may also be able to create custom metaverse games or environments based on your personality and preferences.
Examples of Web3 companies, platforms and networks
There are already many Web3 examples created and thriving. Popular Web3 networks include Ethereum, Solana, Polygon, and Cosmos. Some popular Web3 platforms include OpenSea, Coinbase, Ledger, and MetaMask. Many of these networks and platforms sell NFTs or cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
Disadvantages of Web3
Are there any downsides to Web 3.0? It’s really too early to tell. We are still in the infancy of this new version of the internet. There are theories, however.
Some think that DAOs, in particular, could be chaotic. Without someone or something in control, hate speech and misinformation, for example, could get worse because there will be no one to control it. Policies can eventually help to fix things.
“Even if DAOs reject the constraints of centralized control, they still need to adopt governance policies, including data governance,” says Varshney. “As DAO organizations operate entirely online, effective data governance is essential for security, access, collaboration and more. DAOs are built on and run on digital information. that this data is well managed using a dedicated tool should be at the top of the list when choosing governance protocols.
How Web3 Could Affect Your Life
In the future, your data will be yours and you can use it to create a better life. Companies that collect your personal data every time you buy or search for something online could be a thing of the past.
AI could function as your own personal butler, creating personalized experiences for you using the data you control. You will also be able to create custom games and environments using AI.
While there’s a lot that can come with Web3, there are some general themes that are already emerging. The move away from “big data” with a focus on giving the user more freedom and security is already underway.
Although Web 3.0 may seem exciting and a little daunting, it’s important to remember that there won’t be a big change right away. Over time, the Internet as we know it will slowly evolve into the new version, just as 1.0 evolved into 2.0. It will be easy for most to adapt, as the earlier functionality of the web will remain, and we may not even realize this is happening. As for when that will happen, some experts predict it will take at least 5-10 years.