Web3 meaning and why does it matter?
Web3 symbolises a fundamental reimagining for a new edition of the World Wide Web, much like its predecessors. This perspective is both broad and, as we will see, profoundly transformational. It necessitates a fundamental shift in how we think about several key concepts in the worlds of digital data and the internet in general. The good news is that we now have a solid idea of how Web3 has progressed and whether it will be a big influence in the Web’s future.
Timeline of the Web’s progression
Web1 (approximately 1990–2005)
This was all about decentralised, community-governed open protocols. The network’s edges — users and builders — reaped the majority of the benefits.
Web2 (approximately 2005–2020)
This was all about corporate-run segregated, centralised services. A small number of corporations, such as Google, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook, reaped the majority of the benefits.
We are now entering the Web3 age, which combines Web1’s decentralised, community-governed ethos with Web2’s enhanced, modern functionality.
Decentralisation based on blockchains has the potential to improve the future of the web, particularly in terms of creating, storing, and transferring information. Deep decentralisation has shown to be a very powerful concept, resulting in a number of major and beneficial transformations. One example: Despite the ups and downs of the cryptocurrency markets, cryptocurrencies, including now NFTs, have become nothing short of a global phenomenon, spawning hundreds of digital currencies, exchanges, application ecosystems, and supporting frameworks with a combined value in the trillions of dollars.
Why do we need Web3?
Web3 is the result of mounting criticism that today’s Internet favours massive, centralised entities like Google, Amazon, or Meta (Facebook) above individual users. On the other hand, there is a belief that decentralised, more autonomous infrastructures can tip the scales in favour of a more user-controlled environment, with a variety of benefits including (but not limited to) the return of data sovereignty to individuals, improved — and truly total — transparency in our digital systems, and the inability of bad or misguided actors to disrupt or co-opt our shared digital environments that follow these rules.
Web3 is the result of first-hand knowledge of the continuous success of a few well-known radically decentralised systems, most notably Bitcoin and its now-famous underlying blockchain, in changing the status quo. To date, it has largely resisted all comers, many of whom have been rather determined. The core concepts of Bitcoin have been shown to work in practice over a long period of time (over a decade now and counting.) At the heart of this is a rising view that radical decentralisation can be applied to most, if not all, of what we do online, and that blockchains are now the greatest vehicle for doing so.
How Web3 works
Blockchain, the same technology that powers Bitcoin and NFTs, is at the heart of Web 3.0. As a result, Web3 has typically become something that you only relate to when discussing the use of cryptocurrencies. However, many Web3 projects run on Ethereum blockchain-based decentralised apps (dApps).
The idea is that data would be stored in decentralised storage, which would be distributed out across the internet rather than in a limited number of server farms as is currently the case. The movement of data would be recorded in a digital ledger called the blockchain, making it incredibly transparent which can help prevent potential misuse.
Again, we’ve had to go through a lot of trial and error to get to where we are now with Web3. Although structured groups such as the Web3 Foundation exist, it’s not an accident. It’s a distributed but primarily informal design effort in its own right to identify ways to build better networks of digital systems. The promise is that combining transparency and AI would make it much more difficult for firms like Meta or Google to gain control of the online market as they do now, and would, at least on paper, allow everyone much more equitable access to the web.
Objections to Web3
However, one significant disadvantage of Web 3.0 is the loss of anonymity. You may always be discovered under a fully transparent system, just as cryptocurrency like Bitcoin isn’t anonymous. There would be absolutely no secrecy which may be a deterrent for some people.
However, the most serious criticism of Web 3.0 is that it is, for the most part, purely theoretical. While the concept of a decentralised internet without Meta and Google is fantastic, it is heavily reliant on technologies that have yet to be implemented. Blockchain also slows down any process it is a part of due to the fact that the sufficient technology to run such sophisticated software at a large scale efficiently does not exist yet.
Web3 is part of a key new generation of technological progress that will have a long-term impact on business and IT. It has far-reaching consequences that can assist businesses in identifying important possibilities and avoiding roadblocks in the future. All organisations should begin evaluating Web3 adoption in their competitive landscape and plan for the appropriate technological adoption and evolution actions. Web3, like many other recent emergent technology breakthroughs, has substantial business ramifications that will necessitate collaboration between tech and business executives to define and validate a roadmap for the future. It’s not an easy period, but Web3 holds immense promise, reshaping a variety of sectors in the process.
Originally published on 7startup.vc