The term Web3, also written out as web 3.0, was in 2014 conceived originally by the co-founder of Ethereum, Gavin Wood in a post on his blog titled “Insights into a Modern World”.
Simply put, Web3 is an idea for a new iteration of the World Wide Web based on blockchain technology, which incorporates concepts such as decentralization and token-based economics.
For Wood, Web3 is truly decentralized and a more democratic version of the current internet as it is a new and open web that runs on blockchain technology.
While explaining what Web3 is, Wood said “Web3 is really sort of an alternative vision of the web, where the services that we use are not hosted by a single service provider company, but rather they’re sort of purely algorithmic things that are, in some sense, hosted by everybody. The idea being that all participants sort of contribute a small slice of the ultimate service”.
“And thus, no one really has any advantage over anyone else … not in the same sense, at least as, as you know, when you, for example, go to Amazon or you go to eBay or Facebook, where the company behind the service really has absolute power over what it is that they do in providing the service.”
Web1 and Web2
Web1 is the first iteration of the internet. The internet of the 1990s and early 2000s is also baby bend over 0 known as the “Read” internet. This is used to refer to static web pages where people could see and download information slowly, but do little else.
It is the time when pages had no interactivity as they were just meant to be read. Users were purely consumers and people could not create their own webpage or jump on the internet without a viable amount of technology know-how.
Then came the Web2. Web2 is the “read/write” internet that kicked off around 2004. “Read/write” refers to option of people to upload information as well as download it.
It is also known as the social media era. Web2 was when the internet evolved from a computerized form of existing media and transformed into its own thing, with a rise to increase of platforms that dominated the internet.
Web 2.0, the version of the web we’re currently using, added functionality for users to “write” as well as read. Web page owners can see metrics on how popular their posts are through clicks and comments. It also gave rise to social media and made content creation accessible to people who wouldn’t have the technical know-how in web 1.0.
We are now at the beginning of the Web3 era, which combines the decentralized, community-based values of web1 with the advanced, modern functionalities of Web2.
How does Web3 work?
Web3 is supposed to make using the internet easier and more user-oriented. It seeks to take powers away from corporate organizations, big companies and governments and distribute it among the users.
Ownership of data: When you use a platform like Facebook or Youtube, your data is collected, owned, and monetized by these companies. In web3, your data is stored on your crypto wallet. You’ll engage with apps and communities on web3 through your wallet, and you’ll take your data with you when you log off. Theoretically, since you own this data, you’ll also be able to decide if you want to monetize it.
Pseudonymity: Like data ownership, privacy is built into your wallet. On web3, your wallet is your identity, which isn’t easily linked to your real identity. So while someone might be able to see the activity of someone’s wallet, they won’t know that it’s your wallet.
There are services out there that work to link users to their crypto wallets used in criminal activity. However, for day-to-day uses, your identity remains obscured.
Democracy: In web3, apps will be run by decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs). This means that instead of a central administration that makes all the decisions, decisions are made by users who possess governance tokens, which can be obtained by participating in these decentralized apps’ upkeep or by purchasing them.
How does the metaverse fit with web3?
The last important concept of Web3 that we have to cover is the metaverse. In relation to Web3, the term “metaverse” covers the next iteration of the internet’s front-end through which we interact with the online world, communicate with other users, and manipulate data.
It’s possible to create Web3 applications without the metaverse being involved – Bitcoin is one example – but we can’t deny the fact that right now, it is believed that metaverse technology and experiences will play a big part in the way many of these applications will interact with our lives.