Understanding the concept of Web 3.0 and how it relates to cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology can be challenging for beginners. Our goal is to clarify the idea of Web 3.0 and help you make the connections.
Web 1.0 was about reading information. It mainly allowed us to access and consume information and very few people could actually publish content.
Initially, the internet was primarily utilized by academic and governmental institutions for sharing research. Essentially, it functioned as a massive library. During its inception in the 1990s, it was known as the "Information Web" since it allowed access to research materials and facilitated email communication. Web 1.0 enabled users to access information and send emails but didn't permit the average user to publish content. Information on the internet was governed by a select group of developers who controlled access. The main feature of Web 1.0 was sharing information and enabling communication with anyone worldwide who had internet connectivity. According to Graham Cormode and Balachander Krishnamurthy, "content creators were few in Web 1.0 with the vast majority of users simply acting as consumers of content”.
Web 2.0, the current state of the internet, enabled us to publish content and build communities.
Web 2.0, also referred to as the social web or participative web, pertains to websites that prioritize user-generated content, simple navigation, participatory culture, and interoperability - meaning they are compatible with other products, systems, and devices - for the benefit of end-users.
The year 2004 marked a significant turning point for the internet when Facebook and YouTube introduced the concept of user-generated content. This change allowed individuals with internet access to not only consume but also contribute their own content to the web. This led to the democratization of the internet and gave rise to Web 2.0. Web 2.0's framework significantly affects us as users. Nonetheless, the internet's present condition is centralized. We depend entirely on the applications we employ, be it for social media, banking, or dating. These platforms rely on a few internet servers, resulting in the entire system being centralized.
Our use of Web 2.0 is entirely reliant on central authorities granting us access to their platform. However, this access can be revoked at any moment. Consider the scenario where a social media platform denies you access to your account, resulting in the loss of all your data, content, and contacts. When someone else controls your content, it ceases to be your own.
Furthermore, as recent events have shown, the content and personal data you share online can be exploited by large corporations for profit or even to influence political processes. In essence, the current internet allows you to generate content, but it is owned and monetized by others.
In summary, while Web 2.0 allowed us to produce content, build communities, and mobilize social movements, it also centralized our essential information in the hands of large digital corporations. We possess nothing in this space, and the concept of "self-sovereignty" doesn't apply on the internet.
Web 2.0 doesn't offer us the ability to independently transfer value. Although it digitized several aspects of our daily life, we still require intermediaries or third-party providers. It failed to provide us with a way to take ownership of our content and transfer value directly from person to person.
Web 3.0 is the internet of value, where you can read information, publish your own content, “own” your digital content, and execute digital agreements.
Web 3.0 represents a concept for a new version of the World Wide Web that integrates notions like decentralization, blockchain technology, and token-based economics. The fundamental concept of blockchain is to empower individuals by allowing them to have digital sovereignty. It offers an infrastructure that enables you to be the true owner of your data and safeguard it independently.
By eliminating the existing centralized infrastructure, blockchain prevents any unauthorized use of our content or threats to our data. It is a decentralized system where every user has full authority over their assets and data.
Blockchain is a digital record-keeping system that tracks the transfer of value. It allows people to send and receive value directly, without the need for intermediaries like banks. The impact of this infrastructure on individuals and society is significant.
Web 3.0 is already underway and poised to transform every aspect of our digital interactions. Its potential to reshape our digital experiences is immense. With Web 3.0 and blockchain, control is shifted from internet giants to individuals, providing unprecedented levels of freedom over finances, data, and time in the digital realm.