Over the years, everything evolves in order to adapt to the new demands and technologies that are available. Web 3.0 is a clear example of this.
Web technology is one of the spaces that has evolved the most in the last 30 years. When Web 1.0 appeared in the 1990s, this was at the time an innovative tool that gained great importance in the world with the first Internet portals. Then there was Web 2.0: the user-generated web, heralded by the advent of social media. Now, everywhere we look, people are talking about Web 3.0, the alleged next big evolutionary leap for the Internet. But what is it exactly?
Web 2.0 vs Web 3.0
As we can see, the Internet in its beginning was an open and decentralized protocol. It began to be centralized in the 90s with the great technology companies we know today. What is wanted with Web 3.0 is to return to the essence, to the beginning of what the Internet was. The problem of privacy on the internet is based on the fact that almost all data is controlled by very large companies, something that web 3.0 intends to change.
Web 2.0, in force until today, has among its greatest exponents social networks, electronic commerce platforms or search engines and, of course, their business models. Companies develop and provide products and services in a centralized manner. Take Instagram as an example. Do you think you own your IG content? No, the company owns everything on the platform, and they have complete control of all the content that users create there. If they want to ban you or block you, they will do it.
Another example is the popular online game Fortnite. Users have zero control over their in-game identities and assets that they “own”. In Web 2.0, users cannot control and monetize the content they create.
In Web 3.0, however, users can create content while owning, controlling and monetizing them through the implementation of blockchain and cryptocurrencies. This is what enables NFTs. So Web 3.0 is a concept for the next generation of the internet. It is the evolution of how users are able to control and own their creations and online content, digital assets and online identities.
Greater control of personal data
Those who speak of Web 3.0 affirm that it will be a more democratic, more open web, where the decentralization of services means that anyone can be the owner. It will also be more transparent, because blockchain data is completely open and public, so participants can see what’s going on.
Integrating technologies that work separately, such as artificial intelligence or machine learning to obtain a new ecosystem, is the idea behind web 3.0. Implementation would be done by rebalancing the balance of power on the internet in favor of users. The idea is that people don’t have to give data to every provider and can control who they give it to.
Web 3.0 proposes protocols so that the users themselves are the ones who keep the data and give as little as possible. It is something that makes it more difficult, for example, for Facebook to collect information about political opinions or consumer preferences.
What is the decentralized web?
The recent worldwide crashes of Facebook, now known as Meta, and the continuous hacking of this and other companies have shown the problem of centralizing services. This seeks to create a more equitable network and take power away from the Internet giants.
There are some like Tim Berners Lee himself, inventor of the well-known WWW that allows us to surf the Internet, who affirms that with Web 2.0 the situation was getting out of hand and that a completely new and much more democratic paradigm was necessary, where the big companies stay apart.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and web 3.0
Based on the heavy involvement of machine-to-machine communication and decision making that will be required to run many web 3.0 applications, most people believe that AI will play a big role in Web 3.0. This is because the success of many web 3.0 applications will depend on the ability of AI to communicate and make decisions in a similar fashion to humans.
There is talk of some features, including the potential disappearance of search engines, which would be replaced by virtual assistants who would, with just one order, make for us a hotel reservation for a certain day.
How will Web 3.0 and the Metaverse complement each other in the future?
Both the technologies of Web 3.0 and the Metaverse support each other perfectly. Although the Metaverse is a digital space while Web 3.0 favors a decentralized web, it could serve as the basis for connectivity in the Metaverse. On the other hand, the creator economy in the Metaverse can nicely supplement the vision of Web 3.0. This by developing a whole new financial world with the implementation of decentralized solutions.
As we move towards decentralized Web 3.0, we need to consider what kind of internet we want to underscore in the Metaverse. The Metaverse is all about the merge between virtual and physical worlds. So, it is very important to have an interoperable and open-source public chain to ensure different virtual worlds will be able to interlink, bringing assets from one to another and able to overlap each other in a seamless way.
We’re still in a very, very early stage. This is all just starting to roll out and it’s still under construction. In 2021 we already saw a huge push with the NFTs and metaverses. And this year, we will see crucial changes, like the expansion of these technologies, which are nothing but Web3. At the end of the day, users would have to be convinced of the importance of privacy and change the model, but that is not easy at all.