What Is Web 3.0? This Explainer Guide Has All the Answers
Over the past few decades, the internet has evolved significantly. We’ve gone from IRC (Internet Relay Chat) to modern social media platforms. Basic online payments to sophisticated digital banking services. Now we’re experiencing a new era of technology in the form of cryptocurrency and blockchains.
The internet has become a vital part of our everyday lives as many people, businesses, and governments rely on the network. So far, we’ve seen Web 1.0 and 2.0, but what exactly should we expect from Web 3.0? It’s a buzzword that we often hear every day, but most of us don’t understand the significance of this next technological step.
What Is Web 3.0?
The term Web 3.0 was created by Gavin Wood, who was the co-founder of Ethereum and Polkadot. Web 3.0 is the next generation of internet technology that relies on artificial intelligence, blockchain tech, and machine learning. The predecessor, Web 2.0 focused on user-created content hosted on centralized platforms, while Web 3.0 is completely decentralized and lets users control their online data.
Web 3.0 is an important step in the evolution of the internet because it aims to create an open and connected world. Moreover, digital currencies and decentralization play an important role in Web 3.0, as they allow transparency for consumers.
How Does Web 3.0 Work?
Web 3.0 works by incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to provide personalized and relevant information faster. Big data analytics and algorithms will ensure machines can understand content much better and push relevant topics to consumers. Also, Web 3.0 allows support for accessible digital economies across the world and enables user-ownership of content. Rather than companies holding the most important assets and data, Web 3.0 provides a transparent system accessible to the masses.
Currently, websites display static information that is generic to all users. However, Web 3.0 aims to create a modern internet that is tailor-made for each user. This is done with blockchain technology because it acts as a solution for managing large quantities of data, ownership in a fair manner, and online identity.
Web 3.0 Key Features
Web 3.0 has a long way to go for widespread adoption, but its core features are most apparent. Below are the most important aspects of Web 3.0 technology.
Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain Technology
Online economies, data ownership, and decentralization are core features of Web 3.0. Blockchains allow users to take control of their funds in a secure and trustworthy manner. In addition, the power for anyone to tokenize assets, create a digital wallet, and put information on-chain are huge innovations that will progress the expansion of Web 3.0.
Semantics is the study of relationships between worlds. Therefore, the semantic web would allow computers to analyze vast amounts of data from the internet, such as transactions and content. This would allow machines to detect what users prefer when browsing the web and push specific content. Essentially, a semantic web would deliver a better experience driven by enhanced data connectivity.
Ubiquity means having the capacity to be everywhere at the same time. Web 2.0 is already somewhat ubiquitous since, for example, Instagram users can capture a picture and share it almost instantly. The image becomes available to anyone no matter their location, as long as they have access to the social media platform and an internet connection.
Web 3.0 takes this step further by making the internet accessible to all people anywhere at any time. In the future, smart devices will no longer connect to the internet via computers and phones like Web 2.0 but rather with new types of devices that are yet to be invented.
In Web 3.0, computers will understand information similarly to humans through technologies based on Semantic Web concepts. Web 3.0 will incorporate machine learning that uses data and algorithms to imitate how humans learn, gradually improving efficiency. Artificial intelligence will enable computers to produce faster and more accurate results in various sectors like drug developments, logistics, manufacturing, and more.
Moreover, Web 3.0 AI will act as a safeguard for people surfing the internet. For example, online review platforms like Trustpilot offer consumers a way to distinguish if a product or service is of high quality. Unfortunately, brands can gather a large group of people and pay for reviews. Therefore, the internet needs an AI that can spot fake reviews and provide reliable data. As AI advances, it will ultimately showcase users the best-filtered content and unbiased data.
3D Visualization and Spatial Web
Some people call Web 3.0 the Spatial Web since it aims to blur the lines between reality and the digital world. Potentially Web 3.0 will utilize revolutionary graphics in a 3D setting, making the experience seem life-like.
Unlike 2D, 3D graphics adds more depth to the virtual world and immerses users much more. We can see the start of this trend with the rise of projects like Decentraland and Genesis World. Currently, Meta Verses are viewed as video games where people spend their leisure time. However, we could potentially see real-life applications like teaching doctors surgery or flight simulators in the future.
Web 3.0 Applications
A common requirement for Web 3.0 software is turning large-scale data into useful applications for users. Below we’ll mention some of the rising Web 3.0 applications that are examples of what this next generation of internet has to offer. However, they are still in their early stages, meaning they have a lot of room for improvement.
Wolfram Alpha is one of the top Web 3.0 projects in 2022 created by Wolfram Research. It’s a computational knowledge engine that collects information from databases on the web and provides it through an elegant user interface. Anybody could type a question to the app and receive an accurate answer. Wolfram Alpha covers many topics, including science, mathematics, society, culture, and technology.
Meta, formally known as Facebook, is transitioning to Web 3.0 by developing its own Meta Verse. They aim to create a world where people can wear different avatar skins and interact socially without distance restrictions. Mark Zuckerberg claims that the platform will have a professional and casual setting to fit everyone's needs.
Most people are using Web 3.0 technologies without realizing it. Apple’s Siri is another popular app of the semantic internet that uses AI assistance and voice recognition. Siri takes terabytes of data from users who have interacted with the software to generate more accurate results. In the future, Web 3.0 will help Siri and other voice assistants by sharing data to deliver the best content to users.
Flickr is a photo-sharing platform that allows people to search, upload, and create images. It has over 17 million monthly users and consists of a public database of content with different categories. The application of Web 3.0 will allow users to search for relevant images faster and efficiently.
One of the top Web 3.0 applications is 3D graphics, where the lines of reality are blurred. Many Web 3.0 websites and software will take advantage of this major step in technology. For example, digital tours for physical locations, e-commerce, computer games, work meetings through video calls, and many more.
A Brief History of Web Evolution
Web 3.0 isn’t a new concept as Jeffery Zeldman, one of the early developers of Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 applications, had written blogs supporting the idea of Web 3.0 in 2006. However, talks of the new internet era began as early as 2001. Let’s take a look at the history of the Web.
Web 1.0 (1989 - 2005)
Web 1.0 or the Static Web was the first reliable internet in the 1990s despite offering limited applications and user interaction. Back in those times, creating websites or commenting on blog posts wasn’t possible. Web 1.0 didn’t have advanced algorithms to scan internet pages, making it challenging for users to find relevant information.
Web 2.0 (2005 - to present)
Web 3.0 (In development)
Web 3.0 is the next evolutionary step for the internet. It would make the internet more intelligent and process information with human-like intelligence through AI algorithms. Before, data was statically presented to users, and they could interact with that information dynamically. However, Web 3.0 will take advantage of AI to improve the user experience by making the internet more personalized and familiar. To compare, you can look at how YouTube recommends videos based on your preferences; Web 3.0 will create a similar environment for users.
Furthermore, Web 3.0 can leverage P2P (peer-to-peer) technologies like blockchain, virtual reality, open-source software, and more. Also, Web 3.0 aims to create a more open and decentralized internet. In theory, this would mean people could take back ownership of their data rather than relying on companies to handle their information with care.
What Makes Web 3.0 Superior?
The key elements of Web 3.0’s features will lead to various benefits for humanity. Below we’ll outline what makes Web 3.0 stand out from its predecessors. Also, take into account that these all depend on the success of the underlying technology.
When using a search engine, you may have found it tricky to receive the best results. However, these algorithms have improved at analyzing and finding the best results based on metadata and search context. Over the years, search engines will become more advanced and lead to a convenient web browsing experience.
Better Customer Support
Customer service is critical for a business to succeed. Likewise, as consumers, we expect premium help when needed. Unfortunately, due to the significant costs or scale of a business, many web services struggle to answer and contact all clients. Web 3.0 will incorporate smarter chatbots that can talk to multiple customers simultaneously. As a result, users can enjoy a great experience when dealing with support agents.
Since no 3rd party will be involved, they no longer have control of user data. This reduces the risk of censorship by corporations and governments. Also, Web 3.0 will have a more transparent system, and people can detect any fraudulent activities regarding their data.
When Web 3.0 applications become adopted, algorithms will have more data sets to analyze. This will help them deliver a better experience for each individual and accommodate their specific needs.
Marketing and Advertising
Most people use an ad blocker when browsing the web due to the unbelievable amount of advertisements. However, if the ads are relevant to your needs, they could be useful instead of a nuisance. Web 3.0 aims to use smart AI systems to target specific audiences based on in-depth data. As a result, you’ll receive relevant advertisements focused on your hobbies and interests rather than the latter.
Web 3.0 and Cryptocurrency
Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology have amazing potential with Web 3.0. Decentralization encourages data ownership, content creation, and governance. Perhaps the most relevant characteristics of Web 3.0 are:
Blockchains allow a transparent spread of information and give governance to the community. This is a far better future in contrast to Web 2.0, where the biggest corporations own our data and dominate most areas of our digital life.
dApps and data are increasingly becoming more compatible. For example, tokens built using Ethereum can easily support each other's applications, making a ubiquity needed for a connected Web 3.0 experience. New projects like Cosmos are linking blockchains together, making the digital economy more interconnected than ever.
Cryptocurrency provides a new digital economy that a central government can’t own. Blockchain technology allows users to own information on the chain and create transactions without using a third party. Now people can trade online goods, services, and content without disclosing personal details or needing a banking service. Also, digital economies provide a safety net for people as they don’t need to rely on a bank to protect their funds.
Nowadays, anybody can create a crypto wallet to store coins and make transactions. The biggest benefit is that they don’t require creating an account or providing personal details. You have complete control over your funds and don’t rely on a centralized service. Also, the most popular cryptocurrency wallets are convenient to use since they are compatible with most blockchains.
The evolution of the internet has been a long journey, and it will always continue to improve. Web 3.0 will provide a more personal and customized browsing experience by using large data sets and advanced AI algorithms. Moreover, users will regain ownership of their data with the decentralization aspect of Web 3.0.
Although there is no definition for Web 3.0, innovations are already in motion, which we’ve mentioned. It’s easy to spot where the next evolution of the internet is going, and blockchain technology is going to play a major role in Web 3.0.