- Discussions around Web3 are increasing as it is considered as the internet for the next generation.
Evolution of Internet
- Web1.0 Read-Only (1990-2004): In the 1990s and early 2000s, the internet consisted of static pages that users would casually read, or surf. It was read-only and internet users were just consumers of information. Example: Yahoo that would show news, weather, sports, entertainment and financial information.
- Web2.0 Read-Write (2004-now): Web2 is a name for the current state of the internet, with which users can now interact with web pages. The internet no longer just displays information, but it can change based on a reader’s preferences and users can upload content onto the websites of others. Web2 transformed the internet to a read/write model from the initial read only.
- Popular examples include Meta’s Facebook and YouTube. Facebook users could interact with one another by liking or commenting on pictures and posts. On YouTube, anyone can upload their own videos.
- Web3 has the potential to change the nature of the internet from corporate-owned networks to controlled by users while maintaining the Web2 functionalities.
- It can also be described as read/write/own. Users can govern these blockchain-based networks through cryptocurrency tokens. As the network grows, value can accrue to the community through the rising price of tokens.
- It is known as the decentralised web, it allows for the creation and exchange of digital assets, decentralised applications (dApps), and smart contracts in the blockchain system.
- Decentralized applications (dapps) are not controlled by a single entity, but by cooperative governance structures.
- Decisions are not made by a CEO, manager, or a board of directors but are agreed upon by a community of token holders. Furthermore, decisions are not made behind closed doors, but in the open and are publicly documented on a blockchain.
- For instance, if every potential business decision made by Facebook and Google had to be proposed to its users before adoption. Most would likely not agree with the extent of data collection, bans and derisive content feeds you see today. Conceptually, Web3 eliminates many of the Web2 issues that derive from its centralization.
How is Web3 different from Web2?
- Centralisation vs. Decentralisation: Web2 is centralised, meaning that data is stored on centralised servers owned and controlled by large corporations. In contrast, Web3 is decentralised, meaning that data is stored on a decentralised network of computers that are owned and controlled by the users themselves.
- Intermediaries vs peer-to-peer: Web2 relies heavily on intermediaries such as banks, social media platforms, and online marketplaces to facilitate transactions and interactions. Web3 enables peer-to-peer transactions and interactions, meaning that users can transact directly with one another without the need for intermediaries like banks.
- Data ownership and control: In Web2, large corporations like Facebook and Google have significant control over user data and can monetise it in ways that users may not be comfortable with. In Web3, users can choose to share data only with those they trust. In Web2, users must trust intermediaries to keep their data and transactions secure. In Web3, users can trust the network itself to keep their data and transactions secure.