Web 3.0: The Next Internet Revolution

Kelly Kigan
January 30, 2022

If you keep up with trends, you’ve heard the terms, ‘Web 3’ or ‘Web 3.0’ thrown around a lot and maybe wondered what is the fuss about this new internet technology. It gets more confusing when you visit Google for answers. The different internet platforms give ambiguous definitions of Web 3.0, for a person who wants a simple straightforward answer. Curiosity gets the better of you especially if you are in the blockchain and crypto sphere. Cryptocurrency ideas majorly tie into the evolution of Web 3.0 and this could be a redefining technology for the internet user.

What is Web 3.0?

The Institute of Global Technology does not verify any strict definition of Web 3.0. To understand Web 3.0, you have to first understand its predecessors: Web 1.0 and Web 2.0. Web 1.0 marks the first stage of the World Wide Web evolution. Web 1.0 had extremely few content creators, and the majority of the users were consumers of the content. Between 1991–2004, the internet was largely made up of static pages¹. This means every time you loaded an internet page, stuff would be displayed on the screen and that was it. It was commonly referred to as read-only. Web 1.0 did not have any form of online interaction.

Web 2.0 was developed in 2004 and is in use to date. Internet in this age evolved immensely. However, the revolutionary turning point of Web 2.0 was the interactivity of the internet. Users could not only get information from web pages, but the web pages could also source information from users. The entry of Facebook and YouTube revolutionized interaction. As users logged in to consume content from Facebook and YouTube, the two social sites would in turn collect user data, to serve them more personalized content. The internet giants however realized that they could make money from this data, therefore packaged and sold it to advertisers, ushering in the age of targeted advertisements and a lack of privacy for users².

Web 3.0 is the next evolution of the internet. Web 3.0 will probably utilize blockchain technology and the tools of decentralization. The main difference between Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 is that you were the product in Web 2.0. However, in Web 3.0, there is a high possibility that you will be the owner of the network. In short, if you want a post-up on the website, it will stay up, and if you want to take down the post, you have the power to make it happen. This, therefore, means Web 3.0 is the evolution of web utilization which integrates altering the Web into a database. Web 3.0 is essentially built on the core concepts of openness, decentralization, and greater user utility³.

Web 3.0, Cryptocurrency and Blockchain

Web 3.0 will operate on decentralized protocols. The decentralized protocols are the founding blocks of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. This means there is a high possibility for a convergence of the three technologies, or at the least, a symbiotic relationship between these technologies.

These technologies are expected to be seamlessly integrated and automated through smart contracts⁴. Data from the three technologies will be connected in a decentralized way and the computers will probably be able to interpret the data as intelligently as human beings.

Web 3.0 will give internet users the ability to own a piece of the internet network. Web 2.0 was more interactive, but only controlled by a few companies, out to make money. Web 3.0 will allow users to own a piece of the network, through the ownership of digital assets, most commonly cryptocurrencies⁴. Crypto assets such as Bitcoin represent an ownership stake in an underlying network. For instance, you have heard about Layer 1 tokens. Layer 1 tokens represent a reward for providing ledger maintenance services and the computing power to the network, services that were previously provided by giants such as Google on Web 1.0 and Web 2.0.

Web 3.0 will adopt the blockchain and crypto model, where internet users will get to own the network and have control of their content on the network. Now, this is how crypto assets could integrate into Web 3.0. Take Etherium for example, the Ether token represents ownership in the network. Now on top of the ether network are applications built on the network, just like the applications on your phone are built on the network they exist on. People will therefore make judgments on the networks likely to be the best, just like people would invest in Google or Apple Stock. The difference here is that you can vote on what happens to the network of a Proof-of-Stake and you can get rewarded through a Proof-of-Work token for maintaining a ledger in an asset such as Bitcoin.

References

[1]. Web 1.0, Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 with their difference. (GeeksforGeeks, November 2021).

[2]. Web 2.0 and Web 3.0. (Investopedia, November 2021).

[3]. What Is Web 3.0 & Why It Matters. (Fabric Ventures, December 2019).

[4]. What Is Web 3.0? (Alexandria, January 2021).

*Editor’s note

Sankore 2.0 is an Africa-focused community integrating the NEAR blockchain with projects and solutions conceived and built by local developers in Kenya. As noted in the content of this blog, Sankore 2.0 seeks to promote the development of Web3 products in Nairobi — for Kenya and for Africa as a whole

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