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Web 3.0 and the future of the Internet

Decentralization in the finance and gaming industry makes people wonder what else can be decentralized? Where else can the public get their share of the pie?

One of the possibilities is the World Wide Web. Developers are now coming up with their ideas on Web 3.0, the third generation of the Internet.

Before exploring its possible features, let’s take a quick look at its precursors for comparison.

Web 1.0 (1989–2005)

It was Tim Berners-Lee, the World Wide Web inventor, himself who called Web 1.0 the “read-only web” or Static Web.

This first version of the information highway offered access to data without user interaction, which makes this a one-way street. Content comes from a small number of creators.

Web 2.0 (2005-present)

The big difference between the first and second generations of the Internet is its interactivity.

Web 2.0, the Social Web, made data more accessible and shareable. Websites are users’ sources of information, interaction, and entertainment.

Users are now involved in content creation published on different internet platforms and communities like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Wikipedia. These platforms are owned by the tech giants who make money from the content we freely (sometimes unknowingly) provide. User preferences such as likes and reactions are sold to companies to help their products target the right audience.

Web 3.0 (the future of the Internet)

What makes Web 3.0 attractive is its possibility of being decentralized. Instead of content going through the Silicon Valley kings, individuals will be able to own and govern the landscape.

The main characteristics of Web 3.0 are the same traits that describe Decentralized Finance (DeFi) as we see today.

  1. Open. Users have a say in how it is developed and innovated.

  2. Trustless. Users will not need to disclose their identities to interact with each other. Built on Blockchain technology, the movements will be recorded and verified on the technology. No single company will control users’ data.

  3. Permissionless. The usual gatekeepers such as the government the social media platforms themselves won’t have control in blocking services or websites. For example, media outlets can no longer be blocked for citizens of certain countries.

The architecture of Web 3.0

Semantic Web. Instead of relying on numbers and keywords, the Internet’s ability to search and analyze will be based on how it understands the meaning of words. This means the web will understand the meaning or the context of the information provided by the user and not just take it on a surface level.

Use case:

Some people compare Web 2.0 to Web 3.0 as they would compare Google to Wolfram Alpha. A generic statement such as “one cup of rice” will generate a search on its calorie content instead of just random information related to the keywords entered in the search engine. It clearly understands that the user is looking for nutritional content without explicitly asking.

Artificial Intelligence (AI). With its understanding of the context of the information, AI technology will be able to provide solutions to users’ problems.

Use case:

Voice recognition software such as Siri and Alexa will be able to respond to and address users’ queries accurately. Instead of just showing your directions to a bakeshop, Siri will give you step-by-step instructions on how to build and manage a bakeshop.

Visual Immersion. There’s still a clear line drawn between reality and virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR). Also called the Metaverse, three-dimensional designs will be used more extensively. Web 3.0 builds a bridge between the real world and virtual reality, making a seamless integration of the two worlds.

Use case:

Having a virtual identity is one possibility in Web 3.0. Imagine communicating with your friends using your avatar and theirs.

Ubiquitous and Secure Data. Content created in one application can be used or accessed in another application. These applications are also device-agnostic, which means any kind of hardware can interact with one another seamlessly.

Use case:

Web 3.0 will not be reliant on computers and smartphones. Other devices such as appliances can access the same interface or data in your smartphone’s browser.

Closing thoughts:

Blockchain technology is the backbone of Web 3.0. The absence of a middleman and large corporations on the Internet’s third generation will likely lead to more active use of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and other cryptocurrencies. Users will have and would want to contribute to the governance and development of projects. In turn, there’s a high possibility of users getting incentives for content creation.

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