oday’s internet is vastly different from that of ten years ago. What has happened to the internet, and more importantly, where is it headed? What is more, why should any of this matter?
These changes will have a significant impact, if history is any guide.
Consider how you use the internet on a daily basis; take a look at how the internet has impacted society; created platforms for social media Apps for mobile. And now, as we speak, the internet is undergoing a new paradigm shift.
The Internet’s Evolution
The web has changed dramatically over the years, and its current applications are almost unrecognizable from its infancy. Web 1.0, Web 2.0, and Web 3.0 are commonly used to divide the web’s evolution into three stages.
Web 1.0 is a term used to describe the first version of the World Wide Web.
The web’s first version, Web 1.0, was coined by Tim Berners-Lee in 1989; it is treated as the first generation of the World Wide Web. The majority of those who took part were content consumers, while the creators were usually web developers who built websites with mostly text or image-based information. From roughly 1990 through 2004, Web 1.0 was in use.
Instead of dynamic HTML, sites on the Web 1.0 served static content. Data and content were supplied from a static file system rather than a database, and there was no interaction on the web pages.
Web 1.0 is the read-only version of the internet.
Web 1.0 was dubbed the “read-only web” because that was all you could do: read stuff that had been published by others.
What is Web 2.0, and what is its significance?
By contrast, Web 2.0 refers to the internet as we know it today. It is the social media web, rapid website construction, and platforms that make it simple to upload material that can be searched and viewed by everyone. It is also the portal to a plethora of apps, ranging from banking to grocery shopping to ridesharing. Consider Facebook, YouTube, Wikipedia, online banking, e-health, Yelp! Review sites, and retail sites that allow customer reviews… Web 2.0 encompasses almost any site that allows you to submit, publish, or log in. The material is rarely static and is frequently delivered from a database, and the site is built using dynamic HTML.
The “social web” is how Web 2.0 is referred to.
The majority of us have only seen the web in its present incarnation, dubbed web2. Web2 is the interactive and social version of the internet.
To participate in the creation process in the web2 universe, you do not have to be a developer. Many apps are designed in such a way that anyone can create them.
You have the ability to create and share a thought with the rest of the world. You may also post a video and make it available to millions of people to view, connect with, and comment on.
Web2 is actually quite simple, and as a result of this, an increasing number of people all around the world are becoming developers.
In many ways, the web is fantastic as it is, but there are a few areas where we might improve significantly.
Security and Web 2.0 Monetization
Many successful web2 programs have a similar life cycle structure. Consider how the following examples might relate to some of the apps you use on a regular basis.
Apps are being monetized.
Consider how Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube were in their early days compared to how they are now. This is how the procedure normally works:
- A new app is released by the business.
- As many users as possible are enrolled.
- The user base is then monetized.
When a developer or corporation releases a popular app, the user experience is frequently highly polished as the app’s popularity grows. This is why they have been able to gain traction so swiftly.
Many software firms ignore monetization at first. They are solely focused on expanding their user base and retaining them, but they must eventually begin to make a profit.
Outside investors must also be considered. Many of the programs we use today have a short life cycle and, as a result, a poor user experience due to the constraints of taking on venture money.
When a firm raises venture capital to develop an application, its investors typically expect a return on investment in the tens or hundreds of times their initial investment.
This implies that, rather than pursuing a more organic growth model, the company is frequently driven down one of two paths: advertising or data sales.
More data means more targeted ads for numerous web2 companies such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, and others. This results in a higher number of clicks and, as a result, a higher ad revenue. The web as we know and utilize it now is built around the exploitation and centralization of user data.
Breach of personal information and security
Data breaches are commonplace in Web2 apps. There are even websites dedicated to keeping track of security breaches and informing you when your personal information has been exposed.
You have no control over your data or how it is saved on web2. In truth, firms frequently track and save user data without the agreement of their customers. The firms in charge of these platforms then own and control all of this information.
Users in countries where the negative effects of free expression must be considered are likewise at danger.
When governments believe a person is voicing an opinion that contradicts their propaganda, they frequently shut down servers or seize bank accounts. Governments can easily interfere, control, or shut down applications using centralized servers if they so choose.
Governments frequently intervene in banks since they are digital and subject to centralized management. During periods of high volatility, excessive inflation, or other political instability, they can shut down bank accounts or restrict access to funds.
Web3 attempts to address many of these issues by starting from the ground up and re-imagining how we design and interact with applications.
Note to readers: While web 1.0 and 2.0 are spelled with decimals, web3 is not. Apart from convenience, there’s no justification for this. While some people use the term “web 3.0,” the “web3” designation is simply another way of indicating that things are different on the decentralized web.
What is Web3, and how does it differ from previous versions of the internet?
Between web2 and web3, there are a few key differences, but decentralization lies at the heart of both.
Web3 adds a few additional features to the internet as we know it today. Web3 stands for the following:
Verifiable, Trustless, Self-governing, Permissionless, Diverse and dependable, Stateful, and Payments that are already built in, among others.
Web3 developers rarely create and deploy apps that run on a single server or use a single database (usually hosted on and managed by a single cloud provider).
Web3 apps instead use blockchains, decentralized networks of numerous peer-to-peer nodes (servers), or a hybrid of the two to construct a cryptoeconomic protocol. These programs are known as dapps (decentralized apps), and you will hear the term a lot in the web3 world.
Network members (developers) are incentivized to provide the highest quality services to anyone using the service in order to establish a stable and secure decentralized network.
When it comes to web3, it is common to hear about cryptocurrency. This is due to the fact that many of these protocols include cryptocurrencies. Anyone who wishes to help create, govern, contribute to, or improve one of the projects will receive a financial reward (tokens).
These protocols may provide a wide range of services, including computation, storage, bandwidth, identification, hosting, and other online services that were formerly provided by cloud providers.
People can earn money by engaging in the protocol in a variety of ways, both technically and non-technically.
Consumers of the service typically pay to use the protocol, just like they would today with Google Cloud or AWS (Amazon Web Services). With the exception of web3, all funds are distributed to network participants directly.
You will see that superfluous and frequently wasteful intermediates are eliminated in this, as with many forms of decentralization.
Web3 is also known as the “Decentralized Web,” and it refers to both decentralized apps (or DApps) and decentralized finance (or DeFi) such as cryptocurrencies, assets, or tokens.
Both rely on two emerging technologies: decentralized networks and blockchain, respectively.
The code that runs an application is dispersed over hundreds of machines in a decentralized network. In decentralized networks, individual users can volunteer their machine to be part of the network and in some cases be rewarded for their efforts.
DApps and blockchain are frequently associated, and they share a common mindset. Because each new record is added atop the row below it, in a potentially unending chain, a blockchain is similar to a database, or what is commonly called a distributed ledger.
A blockchain can store records of things, just like traditional databases (like financial transactions). Unlike traditional databases, however, the blockchain ledger is decentralized and has no single authority or host. It can reside on thousands of computers and servers at the same time, and it may be utilized and shared by everyone in this big, distributed community. It is a distributed ledger that may record transactions between two parties and is open, publicly available.
Every computer in the chain must agree on the ledger’s history. This is particularly important for transaction verification, such as in the case of a crypto asset trade. If one party wants to sell Bitcoin to another on the blockchain, the seller’s ownership must match the information in the same ledger that is housed on thousands of other computers. As a result, it is far more hacker-resistant.
Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies are built on blockchain technology. DApp infrastructure is commonly used for online gaming, DeFi lending protocols, and bitcoin utilities, but it could theoretically be used for any application.
Web3 is trustless and self-governing, which means it does not require you to have blind faith in the goodness of a benevolent central authority to safely manage your data (or that you read – or, more likely, ignore – obscure privacy notices written in legalese). It is more secure by default.
Web3 is not the “dark web,” a sanctuary for hackers, data leakers, or anything else sinister, despite what you may have heard. It is just a different kind of infrastructure, a different way of constructing the things you are used to.
Web3 isn’t without flaws, to be sure. The previous analogies (your data is like files, a database is like a file cabinet) no longer apply, making it incredibly difficult to understand, especially for newbies. It has the potential to be resource intensive and energy intensive. Because there is no centralized authority, it is vulnerable to fraud: if all of the entries in a ledger are purposefully fraudulent, the blockchain’s accuracy will be ruined.
However, the advantages exceed the hazards in the long run. Web3 is still in the early stages of development. Every day, new ideas emerge, and the more developers that convert to web3, the more these early-stage issues will be addressed.