Web3, also referred to as Web 3.0 or Web 3, is the next generation of the World Wide Web. Put simply, the aim of Web3 is to reduce reliance on technology giants such as Amazon and Netflix and instead promote decentralised protocols.
Web3 follows on the heels of Web1 and Web2. You can learn more about Web1 in the PDF attachment.
Domen Zavrl has studied various forms of technology and has a professional interest in all new developments relating to the internet. Web3 takes away a lot of the power currently held by large technology companies and instead gives that power back to the users – individuals rather than corporations.
Web2: The Social Web
While Web1 was mainly a read-only internet, Web2 introduced interactions between people and websites and between individuals and groups of people online.
Social media formed a part of this, as did various sites that enabled users to upload and share their own content. Rather than content being provided solely by companies to users, Web2 allowed the users themselves to generate content and to interact with one another in a variety of ways.
However, although users could create their own content, once uploaded, that content no longer belonged to them. The users were unable to monetise their own content and instead, a handful of companies began to gain control of a disproportionate volume of web traffic. This resulted in a demand to give power back to the users of the internet in the form of ownership – a demand that Web3 seeks to address.
One of the core principles of Web3 is giving ownership of online activity to the user. Some more Web3 principles are listed in the embedded infographic.
Essentially, Web3 allows for the direct ownership of online assets, removing the power of companies to take those assets away. This is achieved through the introduction of something called non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, which can be sold or traded.
An example would be someone playing a game online involving in-game purchases. Even if the game is deleted by its creators, the is account closed down the person simply decides not to play the game anymore, those purchases are lost. However, with NFTs, players can recoup the value of their in-game purchases by selling them or trading them on an open market.
Unlike Web2, which operates using the fiat money system, Web3 operates on a decentralised finance model (DeFi) and uses cryptocurrencies. This facilitates the shift in control from governments and centralised companies to the end users.
Decentralisation applies to other areas outside of finance as well – everything from data to apps. In the beginning, this could mean Web3 will be slower than Web2, as each transaction or interaction will be processed through multiple independently operated servers, as opposed to a single server or group of centralised servers. A definition of decentralisation in technology can be seen in the short video attachment.
Controlling Online Identity
Another benefit of Web3 would be increased control of a personal online identity. With Web2, users typically sign up for individual accounts across each and every platform they use – one for YouTube, one for Facebook, one for Reddit etc. When changing a profile picture or display name, this change has to be made across each account separately. The platforms also have the option to lock users out, essentially barring them from their digital life in a single click. Web3 allows for a single login across all accounts that is anonymous, censorship-free and secure.