Business technology

Big changes coming to the world wide web: What is Web 3.0 all about?

- March 24, 2022 5 MIN READ
Digital screen showing code and the words Web 3.0

Web 3.0 is coming and it means big changes for internet users, including businesses, writes digital strategy expert, Adam Stewart.

You might have heard that Web 3.0 is the next generation of the internet that is going to change the world.

It has been the subject of much debate and discussion among the majority of product managers, crypto investors and even content creators. Some individuals describe it as the next step in our modern way of life, since users shift from passively consuming web content, to actively participating in the creation of it and the systems where the content runs.

Essentially, Web 3.0 is viewed as a fundamental change that will enable more people to participate in the digital world.

The future of the internet is in Web 3.0, and it’s time for us to know more about it.

The transition of the World Wide Web

Web 1.0

The first generation of the internet was very different. There were no interactive and dynamic websites that users could engage with, just static pages filled with information about queries you wanted answers for.

You could imagine how this appeared to be a one-way exchange, instead of a platform where users can engage with content and fellow internet users.

Web 2.0

Things definitely changed when Web 2.0 came along. This new generation of the internet that we are using is mainly characterised by social networking and user-generated content.

Sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google and YouTube allowed users to connect with each other and share digital media on a scale never before seen.

Internet users went from simply placing queries on the world wide web (Web 1.0) to being hooked on creative content, viral opinions and going as far as engaging in conversations and topics that piqued their interests (Web 2.0).

This was a huge leap forward for internet users, and it has changed the way we interact with individuals and the world around us.

However, Web 2.0 has unravelled some concerning matters regarding data and privacy. As majority of websites and social media platforms are in fact centralised entities, our data is being distributed and monetised for targeted advertising.

Fortunately for some individuals who have such concerns, the time has come for a new generation of the internet free from such matters – Web 3.0.

What exactly is Web 3.0?

Web 3.0 – also known as Web 3 and the ‘semantic web’ – is a decentralised world wide web. Meaning there’s no single point where data can be controlled or manipulated by anyone; no centralised platform that acquires your information for advertising purposes.

In the Web 3.0 world, peer-to-peer interactions take place, and users are in control of their own data. There are no middlemen to harvest and sell user information without permission from the users. This creates a more democratic and equitable internet where we can all participate fairly.

There are many exciting developments happening in Web 3.0. Some argue that it will make our lives easier and more secure through decentralised social networks that are built on the blockchain, allowing users to share content without the fear of data theft.

Because Web 3.0 is a daunting new world with terminologies that the majority of individuals have yet to understand, the next sections of this article will shed some light on common terms you might encounter regarding Web 3.0.

Decentralisation

Web 3.0 illustration: Decentralisation

Decentralisation is one of the key features of Web 3.0, and it is what sets it apart from previous versions of the internet. With decentralisation, power comes from the people (such as token holders) and not from a central authority like a government or corporation.

Blockchain

Web 3.0 illustration: Blockchain

The blockchain is a distributed database that allows for secure, transparent and tamper-proof transactions. It is this security and transparency that makes the blockchain so valuable for businesses and individuals alike.

The blockchain can be used to store any type of data, including financial transactions, medical records and so on. Its versatility is one aspect that has made the blockchain so popular, and there is no doubt that it will play a major role in Web 3.0.

DAOs (Decentralised Autonomous Organisations)

Web 3.0 illustration: DAOs (Decentralised Autonomous Organisations)

A decentralised autonomous organisation consists of a group of individuals who are controlled by specific regulations.

Unlike traditional organisations, where power is centralised in the hands of a few people, DAOs are a contrast to this. Power comes from the token holders and not from a central authority like a CEO or board of directors.

Each token holder has an equal say in how it is run. More so, anyone can examine a DAO’s code or even finances because they are based on open-source blockchains.

Smart contracts

Web 3.0 illustration: Smart Contracts

Smart contracts are contracts that are executed automatically once pre-established conditions are triggered. These contracts do not need any third parties to oversee or approve the transactions. Additionally, they are stored on the blockchain and allow for secure and transparent exchanges between parties.

To better visualise this, ABC News states that, “… the terms of these ‘contracts’ are in code — which have been programmed to, for example, transfer money into someone’s account automatically when certain conditions are met.”

DeFi (Decentralised Finance)

Web 3.0 illustration: DeFi (Decentralised Finance)

In simple terms, decentralised finance, or DeFi for short, allow transactions without the need for a central authority like a bank to take place. For example, you decide to borrow money from a lender, you will directly pay the lender instead of a bank or middlemen to complete the transaction.

Furthermore, DeFi applications (known as DApps) have the potential to transform the way we do finance. They are secure, efficient and democratic, and they could eventually replace traditional financial institutions altogether.

NFTs (Non-fungible tokens)

Web 3.0 illustration: NFTs (Non Fungible Tokens)

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are tokens that are unique and cannot be replaced by another token or asset. They are incredibly valuable, and they can be used to represent unique items. For example, imagine being able to own an original digital copy of something as unique as Van Gogh’s Starry Night painting. That alone cannot be copied or replaced.

NFTs have grown in popularity with the advent of blockchain technology and Web 3.0, and they have the potential to revolutionise the way we think about ownership and digital assets.

There is no doubt that NFTs will play a major role in the evolution of the Web 3.0 world.

Web 3.0 is the next generation of the internet, and it represents a huge leap forward for online security, privacy and democracy.

It is a decentralised world wide web that puts users in control of their own data, and there are many exciting developments happening in this space that will make our lives easier and more secure.

So, there you have it – everything you need to know about Web 3.0 and all that it entails.


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