Web 3.0 or Web3 has gained much popularity in recent times due to its growing adoption and the numerous solutions it provides to companies, institutions, governments, and even individuals.
Linked to the “future”, Web3 promises intelligent connectivity, greater compatibility, and a more democratic and decentralized ecosystem.
It’s not just a new way to build Web sites, it provides a whole new way to experience and navigate the Internet. But how did we get here?
Brief history of the web
It all started in the 1990s with the first web developments in Web 1.0 or World Wide Web (WWW), created by Tim Berners-Lee.
At that time, we were faced with static HTML pages, little or no interaction and little user-generated content. Features that, of course, amazed society at the time.
By 2004, with the collapse of the “dotcom” web, Web 2.0 arrived. This is where it would begin to take shape as we know it today (or as we are more familiar with it). Known as the social web, Web 2 is best known for sites like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Tik Tok, Youtube, Netflix, Amazon, and other large companies that offer highly interactive websites. As we said, Web 2.0 is a social web, where it’s all about commenting, sharing, liking, sharing, commenting, interacting, and so on.
The arrival of the web3
With the arrival of Web 3.0, we are beginning to look to the future. The goal of many users of this web is to model the Internet using blockchains as a base, with utilities such as those developed by cryptocurrencies.
In short, what Web 3.0 seeks is that it can be even more interactive and more decentralized, taking the monopoly of power and data away from large corporations (such as those named as referents of Web 2.0).
Web 3.0 is expected to generate more shared value among Internet users. Users will be able to earn tokens to prove that they own their content, which can even be used as a form of currency.
But let’s try to define Web3 more concretely: we could say it is an approach to the future of the web centered on greater compatibility, decentralized user-generated content, and tokenization based on blockchain technology. What is expected as a result of this is that it will result in a dynamic web (as opposed to the static Web 1.0), and that it will not depend on or belong almost exclusively to large technology corporations (as is the case in Web 2.0).
How does Web3 work?
Web 3.0 has not yet been officially implemented, so the details of how it works are a matter of debate, but there has been a lot of talk about a web that relies heavily on artificial intelligence and other features to create a semantic web with the goal of making it possible for computers to read and use the Web in a human-like way. The big idea behind this is to add metadata to web pages so that the WWW becomes a machine-understandable world.
Web 3.0 as a decentralized web
Although the current Web (Web 2.0) is highly interactive and offers many opportunities for content generation and monetization, most of these opportunities are managed by large companies that own the data and have the power to make decisions. This is why Web 3.0 projects in its approach greater decentralization to eliminate these intermediaries and gain more autonomy. It is a Web centered on the user in his or her business and personal use of the Web.
As we have already said, Web 3.0 is based on Artificial Intelligence. This technology is very important in the adoption and implementation of the same, because thanks to AI, it is possible to track data and use natural language processing. And thanks to this then, Web 3.0 promises to be a semantic web (as we said before). AI makes it possible to interact with websites using natural language, not keywords, which is a big change from Web 2.0.
What about Web3 and cryptocurrencies? You probably heard a lot about Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies, and tokenization.
Based on blockchain technology, the technology behind Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies, tokenization allows users to receive network tokens (btc, eth, and others) for adding value to the network. This reward system could help give users the retribution they deserve for adding value to the network, instead of leaving monetization in the hands of corporations.
As we have already said, while Web 2.0 is known as the social web, the most widely used websites are owned by large technology corporations. Web 3.0 is a movement that attempts to decentralize the World Wide Web to achieve a more democratic and decentralized experience.
So far so good, but how was Web 3.0 born?
As it is still a “concept” or an “idea” of where the W3C wants the web to go, nothing can yet be created on it concretely. But, thanks to this feature of greater compatibility that Web3 seeks to incorporate, no one will need permissions or intermediaries to publish content on the Web, which means a more democratic space for both professional and personal use.
As the rules and applications of Web3 are not yet defined, the definition and use of this technology continue to change and evolve as technology advances and industry professionals consider new applications of semantic and decentralized web technology.
But let’s finally answer the question about “what is the origin of Web 3.0?”
Well, to answer this we have to go back to the 90’s, where Tim Berners-Lee first envisioned a semantic web. But, although he was very visionary, the technology was not yet ready for it.
It was only in the early 2000’s, that the emergence of concepts such as the aforementioned AI, machine learning, and blockchain technology, have made possible the implementation or advancement of Web 3.0.
What are the main applications of Web 3.0?
- The Web 3.0 concept has some serious applications and possibilities for your business and personal use of the web. Not only can you share comments, videos and images on the social network as in Web 2.0, but you can also receive tokens for the user-generated content that you can redeem.
- Moreover, thanks to the concept of Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI), there are more and more solutions aimed at giving back to users the power and possession of their private and personal data, thus eliminating the intermediary barrier, centralized databases, and the dependence on a third party to be able to operate with our data.
- Linked to the previous point, we can speak of greater security of our personal and navigation data. With this concept of decentralized web, everything is public and there are no large owners of the information that could be a focus for hackers seeking to obtain rewards for large data banks as we are used to from the technological giants. But to understand more about the management of our data and the management of decentralized identities, we invite you to read more in this article on SSI.
- Semantic search for greater compatibility: Instead of you and a search engine trying to decipher keywords to find the most appropriate pages through syntax, by implementing this method, on Web3, you could find pages based on the semantics of your search query.
- Metaverse and 3D Graphics: Another implementation that is becoming increasingly popular and is linked to Web3 is 3D graphics. The concept of Metaverse is named by many lately. In this way, the user could communicate, shop, interact, play, and explore the world in a virtual environment. This not only has possibilities in the social media and gaming industries, but is also being explored in other industries and sectors. Many companies have already purchased their plot in one of the existing Metaverses to install their company, business or industry version.
Real-world examples of Web 3.0
Although not fully developed or in use, some existing technologies are being modeled after Web 3.0 concepts. Here are some examples of this decentralized, semantic version of the Web in the real world.
- Voice-controlled AI assistants: Although not perfectly semantic, voice-controlled AI assistants, such as Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, and Samsung’s Bixby, are capable of recognizing complex questions and providing answers. The answers provided by these assistants still rely on Web 2.0 keyword-based searches, but they are moving toward more complex questions and natural language responses.
- Connected smart homes: A key feature of Web 3.0 is the ability to have absolute presence. This means that we can access our online data and services across multiple devices. Systems that control your home’s heating, air conditioning and other utilities can now do so in a smart, connected way. Your smart home can know when you leave, when you arrive, and what temperature you like your home to be. It can use this information, and more, to create a personalized experience. You can access this service from your phone or other online devices, no matter where you are.
- Cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens: Cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFT) are applications of user-generated content as a form of currency. Using peer-to-peer programming, cryptocurrencies are encrypted to verify transactions. Cryptocurrencies run on a blockchain, which is a distributed public ledger that uses a process called mining to create coins. The blockchain has many applications for currencies and other uses in Web 3.0. NFTs are similar to cryptocurrencies in that they are assets on a blockchain. Although similar at the programming level, NFTs differ in that they are non-fungible. This means that they are completely unique and cannot be exchanged for others.
Could we say that Web 3.0 is a perfect evolution of the web?
There are many supporters of Web 3.0 who consider it to be Web 3.0. But, as we have seen throughout history, the evolution of the Internet has been very changeable, and great changes have taken place. That is why we have no doubt that the web will continue to move towards new iterations and changes as society moves forward, as it is society itself that demands new applications, functionalities, and rules.
It is clear that we are on a straight path towards an increasingly immersive and decentralized web experience. While there is still no concrete definition for Web 3.0, the innovations are already underway and do not seem to have a ceiling. What we do know is that blockchain will surely play a fundamental role in this evolution, and that those who resist these changes will be left out.
The goal of Web 3.0 is to create an Internet experience that is even more decentralized, in constant movement, and democratic for all users.