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You might have heard about Web 3.0 and how it will revolutionize the internet. You might have scrolled over an infographic explaining how Web 3.0 works and its mind-blowing innovations. At least, you should have seen a short video explaining how Web 3.0 will change the world as we know it forever.
If you haven’t done any of the above and don’t know what Web 3.0 is, you miss out.
If you want to get a better grasp of how Web 3.0 will impact our future, try this short exercise:
Imagine how your life would have been like today if you had bought Google stocks during the company’s early days when people were still using Yahoo! and AskJeeves for search engines. Or, how about if you had bought Bitcoins when a token was trading for merely a few US dollars?
Like all these revolutionary landmarks in the internet’s timeline, Web 3.0 is a cornerstone that you must be aware of from the very beginning. Otherwise, you will miss out on remarkable opportunities in the future.
With Web 3.0, the difference is that we are not talking about search engines, social media platforms, or cryptocurrencies. We are talking about an omnipresent, trustless, peer-to-peer network that will include all of these features along with technological innovations that we cannot even fathom at the moment.
Welcome to the Ultimate Guide on Web 3.0!
Before we start peeking into what the future may have on hold for us, let’s take a look back over our shoulder to the early dawn of the internet.
Web 1.0 – where it all began
It is difficult for today’s younger generations to imagine the internet without Google, Facebook, or Instagram Stories. However, a Classical Age of the Internet existed, and it lasted from the mid-90s to the early 2000s.
Back then, people would refer to the internet by its original monikers, “The World Wide Web” or “the Net.” Users could not yet share photos of their lunch or blog about flat Earth conspiracies. Instead, most of the content was published by businesses, newspapers, and institutions.
As we later called it, it was the Web 1.0 era, and instead of Google, people used AltaVista, Netscape, or “asked Jeeves” for funny cat pictures. Most websites were in the “read-only” format since users could not upload content or leave comments.
The concept of video streaming did not exist. People would cram up in AOL chat rooms to “talk online.” It took a full day to download a single song. Hooking up to the internet through dial-up meant that you had to unplug your landline phone. And no, mobile phones didn’t exist either. You had to talk to others in person and without emojis. It was dreadful, kids, I tell you!
Web 2.0 – when sharing became caring, and also privacy breaching
In the early 2000s, the internet was at a make-it-or-break-it point in its history. It could remain a one-way, boring library or choose to become an epic invention that would connect people from every corner of the world. Fortunately, it picked the second path.
With the advent of social media, people could finally have an immersive experience on “the Net.” Now, you could upload and stream video content on YouTube, and Google became a go-to resource for anything. Yes, kids, ANYTHING!
As the first decade of the 3rd millennium came to an end, we had already forgotten about chirping dial-up connections. “Sharing” became a global trend. Online gaming allowed for multiplayer interactions between worldwide users. Facebook helped you stalk your crush, and Instagram enabled you to post funny pictures of your cat, but from your smartphone. It was the bee’s knees, kids!
So, do we really need a Web 3.0?
Short answer: Yes, ASAP!
Slightly longer answer: Yes, but we need more than a new way of navigating the Net, which Web 2.0 seems to repackage regularly.
There is an impending demand for decentralizing the internet into a distributed system of computers communicating with each other directly, safely, and equally responsible, just like its inventor, Tim Berners-Lee, intended it to be.
In the mid-2010s, we had the unpleasant surprise to find out that while we were mindlessly sharing content on the Internet, big businesses and political entities used social media to trade our personal data for big money. Before the Cambridge Analytica scandal even hit the news, a gigantic industry had already formed around collecting and trading users’ personal information.
Internet users realized that they had traded their valuable information in exchange for easy access to a behemoth network of social media channels, online retailers, and entertainment services.
Giant corporations like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon can now use our identification data, engine searches, browsing habits, and shopping information to influence our behavior online and offline. It has become a real-life episode of Black Mirror!
Web 3.0 in a Nutshell
The degeneration of the Web 2.0 democracy has ushered in the Web 3.0 revolution.
Web 3.0 is the new step in internet evolution that returns the web’s control pad into the users’ hands. The difference is made by the new technologies like blockchain, enabling the net’s functioning as a peer-to-peer (P2P), trustless system.
The advances made in consensus protocols thanks mainly to Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other blockchain-based applications have shown that users can engage in P2P transactions, develop global scale projects and build entire industries while keeping complete control of individual privacy.
In web 3.0, big data companies and giant corporations should no longer trade personal data or monopolize power and information sources.
Sounds Exciting! How will Web 3.0 work?
If you have made a recent online purchase, you must have received suggestions about similar products to those you paid for, which other consumers also bought. In this situation, the website learns from consumer behavior and then makes suggestions back to the users.
The transition to Web 3.0 will incorporate similar learning mechanisms for websites and applications in a more refined manner. Simply put, the internet will understand from your online behavior who you are, and it will reward you with content suggestions that best apply to your interests, searches, and activities.
The large-scale use of trustless P2P frameworks will be one of the main features differentiating Web 3.0 and its older, less-secure sibling, Web 2.0. This aspect will expand to include almost every use we have for the internet at the moment. For example:
We may use platforms like Status instead of communicating through Whatsapp, Zoom, or Skype.
Even Google Chrome may lose its global superiority to browsers like Brave, which has a higher degree of security when storing cookies and allowing ads.
All of these future alternatives to present-day services will enhance the control that users have over their data. They will also increase security protocols, anonymity and prevent giant IT corporations from having complete control over the availability of particular information or services.
The Benefits and Properties of Web 3.0
To better understand how Web 3.0 will work and how you will benefit from it, here is a list of its ground-breaking properties!
Web 3.0 will be decentralized.
On Web 3.0, there won’t be any central authorities that control the internet. Governments or other political entities will not have the ability to switch off access to the World Wide Web. This network model is the Ethereum blockchain, which functions as a trustless system where user data benefits from unbreakable encryption.
Once Web 3.0 becomes a reality, large corporations like Amazon, Facebook, and Google will have no use for their factory-size servers to store the users’ data. Instead, internet users will have complete control over their information, including financial details, login details, and even their preferences for funny cat pictures.
One of the most important elements of Web 3.0 will be semantic metadata. This mechanism will enable the web to understand symbols, keywords, and texts and their meaning.
For example, the network will recognize the traditional “smiley” emoji formed by two dots, followed by an arc. Still, it will also understand that it stands for a human smile, a sign of happiness and approval.
This is just a minor example, but the web will facilitate communication, transactions, and information exchange easily between entities through semantic data. The concept actually goes back to Berners-Lee’s original idea of the internet. He imagined the future as a bureaucracy-free world where intelligent machines automatically do the most time-consuming tasks and chores from people’s lives.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is not a concept that will surface on Web 3.0 for the first time. We are already aware of its presence in Web 2.0 applications.
However, on Web 3.0, AI will have such a quick learning mechanism that denying its existence will be impossible. Artificial intelligence will differentiate quickly between good and bad data, between real people and bots, and most importantly, it will separate fake news from real reports almost instantly.
On Web 3.0, all the data will be decentralized and spread across the network. It means that internet providers will no longer share the users’ data with the countries they activate.
Hackers will have to shut the entire network down to perform an attack. The users’ data will be encrypted and protected by high-security protocols. Again, the concept has its roots in cryptocurrency blockchains, where traders can engage in financial transactions while having complete control over their data.
At the moment, most apps are OS-pegged. Some applications work only on Android, while others only function on Apple devices. The same goes for Microsoft Windows programs, MAC software, and the list goes on.
On Web 3.0, applications will be agnostic when it comes to devices and operating systems. The same app should work just as well on an iPhone, on a smart TV as it would do on any device with smart sensors, including automobile computers.
Right now, the internet seems like a fairly free and accessible commodity. However, Web 2.0 is limited in various places on the planet for political reasons and other criteria regarding income, gender, and even ethnicity.
Web 3.0 will be available for everyone, everywhere, thanks to the permissionless blockchains that the network will use. Cross-border transactions and transfers of wealth will be possible regardless of the users’ geographical positioning involved in the trade.
On Web 3.0, the data will be stored on multiple distributed nodes. This system will guarantee that there will always be enough backup nodes to supply the chain and prevent server freezing or failure. Simply put, the internet will never be down as a result of catastrophic server destruction.
Virtual 3D Identities
Web 3.0 will open the door to new ways of communication and virtual interaction. Chatting, emailing, and video calls may still be available. However, users may also have access to 3D identities that represent them on the web. These virtual avatars will be our representatives in business transactions, work collaborations, and dating apps like online game characters.
When Web 1.0 was released, you could only access the internet from remote locations like your home computer or on a machine at an internet cafe.
With Web 2.0, the internet became available on smartphones, tablets, and other smart, portable devices.
Once it becomes available, Web 3.0 will be everywhere. Its implementation will invade all aspects of your daily life. It will be available on many more devices than today. It will become what it was intended in the first place: an invisible web of information, communication protocols, and transaction mechanisms that will co-exist with us everywhere on the planet.
What are the Challenges of Web 3.0 Development
Like every new technology, Web 3.0 is not as easy to implement as it stands, or at least initially. Some of the challenges and downsides of Web 3.0 include:
Web 3.0 sounds like a revolutionary step in technological evolution. Its release will most probably mark a “before and after” mark in our relationship with the internet.
However, we must not forget that people with ill intentions will still be around. Malevolent users may flood the web with intentionally false or misleading information to create the perfect ground for online crimes. Cryptography and artificial intelligence learning mechanisms will have to evolve and update rapidly to diminish the number of hack attacks.
The immensity of Web 2.0
The promise of a fully semantic web may take a while before it becomes a reality. At the moment, Web 2.0 is home to more than 1.5 billion websites. It might take a long period before the AI rummages through all this information and connects its meaning with user intentions, interactions, and behaviors.
Lastly, Web 3.0 will not be an overnight sensation for everyone. More seasoned internet users will remember that Web 1.0 took almost a decade before it reached global popularity. Web 2.0 came along, bringing smart technology and social media, but users were still trying to figure out how chat rooms and email worked.
Many companies will take their time before making the transition from a centralized network to a trustless chain. Many devices will become obsolete, but their users will not afford to switch to Web 3.0 right away. So, Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 will co-exist for a while.
Conclusion – When will Web 3.0 be released?
Just as Web 2.0 took over from Web 1.0 through a series of interconnected innovations, so will Web 3.0 take the reins of the internet in a gradual process.
There won’t be an exact release date for the new evolutionary step in internet technology. That transformation has already started with the advent of Bitcoin and blockchain technology, trustless P2P networks, DApps, AI technology, and the list can go on. Web 3.0 is a revolution in the making!