Web3: A vision for the future

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    In Context 

    • The concept of Web3 used to describe a potential next phase of the internet, created quite a buzz in 2021

    Earlier versions 

    • Web 1.0 
      • It is the worldwide web or the internet that was invented in 1989.
      •  It became popular in 1993. The internet in the Web 1.0 days was mostly static web pages where users would go to a website and then read and interact with the static information.
      •  Even though there were e-commerce websites in the initial days it was still a closed environment and the users themselves could not create any content or post reviews on the internet. 
      • Web 1.0 lasted until 1999. 
    • Web 2.0 
      • It started in some form in the late 1990s itself though 2004 was when most of its features were fully available. 
        • It is still the age of Web 2.0 now.
      • The differentiating characteristic of Web 2.0 compared to Web1.0 is that users can create content
        • They can interact and contribute in the form of comments, registering likes, sharing and uploading their photos or videos and performing other such activities.
          • Primarily, a social media kind of interaction is the differentiating trait of Web 2.0.

    Why Web3 need was felt?

    • In Web 2.0, most of the data on the internet and the internet traffic is owned or handled by very few behemoth companies. This has created issues related to data privacy, data security and abuse of such data. 
      • Web3 offers a solution to these problems.
    • There is a sense of disappointment that the original purpose of the internet has been distorted. 
      • It is in this context that the buzz around Web3 is significant. 

    About Web3

    • It is also called Web 3.0.
    • It is a decentralised internet to be run on Blockchain technology.
      • Gavin Wood, the founder of Ethereum (a blockchain technology company) used the term Web3 first in 2014 and the past few years, many others have added to the idea of Web3. 
    • It would be different from the versions in use, Web 1.0 and Web 2.0. 
    • In web3, users will have ownership stakes in platforms and applications unlike now where tech giants control the platforms.
    • Benefits 
      •  Web3 will deliver a “decentralized and fair internet where users control their own data”. 
      • Web3 enables peer to peer (seller to buyer) transactions by eliminating the role of the intermediary.
        • Currently, if a seller has to make a business to the buyer, both the buyer and seller need to be registered on a “shop” or “platform” like Amazon or Ebay or any such e-commerce portal.
          • Platform authenticates that the buyer and seller are genuine parties for the transaction. 
          • Web3 tries to remove the role of the “platform”. 

     

    • The spirit of Web3 is Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) which is that all the business rules and governing rules in any transaction are transparently available for anyone to see and software will be written conforming to these rules.  
      • With DAO, there is no need for a central authority to authenticate or validate.

    Present status of its development 

    • Web3 is in its very initial days and there is no consensus if it will take off like Web 1.0 or Web 2.0 did.
    • There is much scepticism from top tech brains in the industry and the academic community that Web3 does not solve the problems it purports to solve.
      • For example, Elon Musk and Jack Dorsey do not foresee a future for Web3. 
    • From a technology perspective, Web3 will require deviation from the current architecture where there is a front-end, middle layer and back-end.
    •  Web3’s architecture will need backend solutions for handling blockchain, persisting and indexing data in the blockchain, peer to peer communications and so forth. 
    • Similarly, the middle layer, also called the business rules layer, will need to include handling blockchain-based backend. 
    • It is not known yet if Web3 will become the dominant mode of handling the internet but the questions it raises are relevant.

    Blockchain Technology:

    • A blockchain is a distributed database that is shared among the nodes of a computer network. 
    • As a database, a blockchain stores information electronically in digital format.
    • Blockchains are best known for their crucial role in cryptocurrency systems, such as Bitcoin, for maintaining a secure and decentralized record of transactions. 
    •  it guarantees the fidelity and security of a record of data and generates trust without the need for a trusted third party.

    Relevance: 

    • Adoption of Blockchain technology in sectors such as health, finance, agriculture and various other sectors would aid the government in implementing various programmes and provide trust and immutability to the assets.
    • The applications of Blockchain in the Governance will help in enhancing transparency, traceability and trust in e-governance systems.

    Source:TH