Most things in computing are divided into generations. You might have heard of the first-generation Apple or IBM computer, and you likely have heard of the fifth generation of phone connectivity (5G). This same division applies to the internet where we have had the first generation (1.0), second generation (2.0, current generation), and now we have the potential third generation of the internet (web 3.0). It aims to revolutionize how the internet works, make it more intelligent, and give content creators and users more control over their content and data. We have put together this guide to help you understand web 3.0 and everything you need to know about it.
An Overview of Web 3.0: The Supposed Future
Web 3.0 (also called web3) is the next iteration of the internet and its supposed future. What makes it different from the generation we have now is how it is being built.
Web 2.0 relies on companies to create the platforms that we use today. Think about how much we use Google, Twitter, Meta, and other services that encompass social media.
Web3 is based on giving people ownership over their information and data. In this next iteration, users are responsible for creating, governing, and owning a part of the internet. It is based on blockchain technology, which is used to facilitate digital cryptocurrency transactions.
Web3 gives you all the benefits of the decentralized blockchain system, with few to none of the downsides that come with using the internet as we know it today. Because individuals are in total control of what they create, there is no central power, institution, or government that can dictate what you do with online services.
The Role of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence
A discussion about web3.0 is not complete without mentioning machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI). Both of these technologies are being used to make the internet more intelligent, what many call a semantic web.
The semantic web uses both of these technologies in addition to other technologies such as the Internet of Things, automation, and personal assistants to collect data and make it available to us. This data informs the information we receive from the internet, making it more accurate and relevant according to our queries.
By combining all these technologies, we can end up with a more intelligent, safe, secure, and open internet, one that is not plagued by many of the issues we see today.
Characteristics of Web3.0
The three main characteristics of web3.0 are being decentralized, trustless, and transparent or open. We are already seeing a push for a more open internet with companies like Google and Microsoft supporting various open-source projects.
An open and transparent internet means everyone has access to the code that makes up the software we use. Developers have access to this code. The thinking is that this software becomes a virtual resource once it is released on the internet and thus should be available to everyone.
A trustless network is born of the thinking that we have given too much power to different companies and organizations. These parties can do whatever they want with our data, in many cases without our knowledge. Data security and theft are also common concerns, especially when talking about sensitive data like personal and banking information.
Trustless transactions ensure there are no intermediaries during transactions. This means no one holds your data so it cannot be sold or stolen. Every transaction is conducted in a peer-to-peer manner. Because it is based on the blockchain system, there is no need for any individual to grant permissions or create the trust that is necessary for transactions as we do currently.
A decentralized system based on the blockchain means we do not have to give data to anyone as discussed above. This opens up opportunities for new networks and platforms to thrive as it removes power and control from a few companies and organizations
What are the Benefits of Web3.0?
Many of the benefits of web3 are based on and tied to its characteristics. For example, when people have total ownership of everything they create on the internet, they do not have to share their revenue with platforms as they do now.
Earning directly from their communities and audiences will allow creators to have more available funds to create even more content. This is very different from how we view making money using content right now.
Privacy is a big issue online right now, but total control over personal information, data, and online identity should help solve this. Web3 will give you total control of what data you have online and who has access to it. Users will also get ways to verify their identities and information online, reducing identity theft.
Blockchain is so secure because all interactions within the system are recorded in ledgers that cannot be changed. This means that if data is stolen, there are ways to know what has happened, whereas it would take full audits to know things in the current internet dispensation.
Lastly, web3 presents unparalleled opportunities. All its projects are open source meaning anyone can participate by using other projects as building blocks. We have already seen novel uses such as NFTs taking advantage of existing technologies, and we can expect to see more in the future.
Impact on the Digital World
Web3 will radically change the way we think about the digital world. The foundations for trustless transactions have already been laid, and we have seen companies like Meta create whole worlds based on the technologies that are building the internet of the future.
Marketers have to also pay close attention to these changes because they will affect them too. For example, there are numerous marketing opportunities when you take advantage of advancements like NFTs and metaverses.
Web 3.0 is an interesting development that has a lot of potential if we can learn to take advantage of it. It will make for a better web, giving you all the benefits of technologies like artificial intelligence, blockchain, and machine learning without the downsides of the current internet.