A bit of history
Over the past few years, there has been active talk about the fact that the modern form of the Internet is outdated. There are more and more rumors about the third generation of the Internet. Increasingly, you can hear that the era of Web 3.0 is coming. What is it, and what changes does Web 3.0 bring with it? Let’s try to cover it in this article.
To understand what Web 3.0 is, it seems logical to start by talking about what Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 are.
The period from 1991 to 2004 is called the period of the Internet Web 1.0. But this name appeared only after the concept of Web 2.0 arose, and before that, the Internet was called the World Wide Web.
What was Web 1.0
It is also called the Read Only Internet (“read-only”).
In the 1990s, most of the Internet was “read-only.” The average consumer could search and read information using a browser such as Netscape or Internet Explorer.
This early commercial Internet, or Web 1.0, was to present content and products to consumers, as in a catalog.
It was a collection of static sites with much information and no interactive content. The site owners created, stored, and published the report.
Users read news and articles; in a word, they consume the information offered but cannot interact with it and create it. There was no authorization, no logins, and no editing options.
The advent of Web 2.0 – social network (“read-write”)
In September 2005, Tim O’Reilly’s article “What is Web 2.0” was published, where for the first time, there was talk of a new Internet Web 2.0 as opposed to the old Web 1.0.
The second iteration of the Internet, or Web 2.0, gave birth to the ability to read, write, and publish. Blogger and LiveJournal ushered in an era of platforms where consumers could upload content (including video and audio), sell products, and build communities. Social networking sites soon followed, with Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube becoming the dominant players. Thus, Web 2.0 brought us more interesting interfaces and opened the way to interactive content.
A significant difference between Web 2.0 and its predecessor, Web 1.0, was the emergence of social networks, thanks to which web admins, site developers, and users could create content. It became possible to create, and publish posts, photos, and videos, write comments, quickly find an audience, make valuable contacts, and much more.
Web 2.0 problems
However, in addition to the benefits that users received with the advent of Web 2.0, the problems and disadvantages of such an Internet gradually began to appear:
- All content that a user publishes on a particular server (posts, photos, videos, etc.) ultimately belongs to the author and the server’s owner. The owner can do anything with the content, including removing or blocking it at any time, because it does not comply or no longer complies with the company’s editorial policy.
- In exchange for the opportunity to use Web 2.0 resources, users began to create accounts on websites, leaving their data there. This data began to be massively accumulated on the servers of various IT giants.
Users’ personal information:
- Phone numbers
- Bank card numbers
- Search queries
Everything that users say or do ends up in the hands of companies that make a lot of money selling this data to various advertising agencies.
- Various hacks
- Transfer of confidential information to third parties
- Use of user data for personal gain
Many people believe that the use of various services is free. Owner companies say this without hesitation.
But this is not true. Users pay not with their usual currency but with their data and the content they publish.
Consolidated market share in this era was distributed among a few large tech giants who now wield tremendous power.
At some point, it became apparent that Web 2.0 needed an upgrade and that the Internet required to become more private and human.
And so, in 2014, Gavin Wood, co-founder of Ethereum and founder of Polkadot, in his article, outlined Web 3.0 as a decentralized network that will be built based on the blockchain.
Indeed, the fundamental difference between Web 3.0 and Web 2.0 is decentralization at all levels.
Web 3.0 – Semantic Web (Read-Write-Execute)
Since 2020, it has become apparent that the “Web 3.0” locomotive has begun its movement and cannot be stopped.
Web 3.0 tools such as:
- Blockchain technologies. Blockchain is a ledger of decentralized data that can be exchanged securely. Blockchain technology allows a collective group of selected participants to exchange data.
- Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are tokens stored on a blockchain with a cryptographic hash that makes the token unique.
- Decentralized Finance (DeFi) is a new Web 3.0 use case that uses a decentralized blockchain as the basis for providing financial services outside of the traditional centralized banking infrastructure.
- Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are Web 3.0 applications creating a new world of currency that seeks to be separate from the historical world of fiat currency.
- Decentralized application. Decentralized applications (dApps) are blockchain-based applications that use smart contracts to provide services in a programmatic manner registered in an immutable ledger.
- Cross-chain bridges. There are many blockchains in the Web 3.0 world, and providing some degree of interoperability between them is the realm of blockchain bridging.
- DAOs have the potential to become Web 3.0 service providers, providing some structure and governance in a decentralized approach.
- The Metaverse (derived from the Greek prefix μετά- – “between, after, though,” and the word “universe”) is a permanent virtual space in which people can interact with each other and with digital objects through their avatars, using virtual technologies—reality (Wikipedia).
There are already:
- Decentralized organizations
- Decentralized applications
- Decentralized services that store and process data
In 2021, over a hundred million dollars were invested by various companies in Web 3.0. More than 34 thousand developers have joined his projects.
At the heart of the development of the new Internet are:
- Artificial intelligence
- Machine learning
- Semantic Web
The ultimate goal of the Semantic Web is to create more knowledgeable, connected, and accessible websites.
Intelligent home systems using cellular networks and the Internet of Things (IoT) are examples of how Web 3.0 is currently driving innovation. When creating Web 3.0, artificial intelligence (AI), the semantic web, and universal characteristics will be considered.
Web 3.0 is still being developed and defined, so no canonical, generally accepted definition exists. However, Web 3.0 will emphasize decentralized applications and extensively use blockchain-based technologies. Web 3.0 will also use machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to help empower more innovative and responsive applications.
Another aspect of the emerging definition of Web 3.0 is the semantic web concept. Among those who advocated the integration of semantic technology into the Web was the Web’s creator, Tim Berners-Lee.
It has taken over ten years to move from the original Web, Web 1.0, to Web 2.0, and it is expected to take the same amount of time, if not longer, to implement and change the Web with Web 3.0 fully.
What is next for Web 3.0?
The Internet, which no longer belongs to large corporations but is the property of users
It will be a distributed database stored on particular nodes (nodes) and the users’ devices. At the same time, everyone can own and manage nodes.
Users are the primary content owners.
No one else can block or delete any site, service, or content because a copy will be stored by thousands of users on thousands of devices.
Internet without restrictions
Users will no longer be blocked on some basis, for example, civil, when citizens of a particular country are prohibited from services of any servers. And also, with Web 3.0, each user will have the opportunity to publish absolutely any content, including introducing various innovations that are often not allowed in Web 2.0 by dominant forces due to fear of competition.
The DAO will take over the role of moderation.
Decentralized autonomous organizations do not have a governing body or board of directors. There are users with the right to vote. It is the DAO that, by voting, will decide on issues of editorial policy and determine the tariff scale, rewards, punishments, etc.
Anonymity and confidentiality
Users will have complete control over their data, which will be encrypted, and information will only be transferred with permission (in the form of a signature in the wallet, like Ethereum). IT giants will no longer be able to receive and dispose of user data uncontrollably. Thanks to the updated Identity, the user can surf the pages, download something, buy or sell something, and no one can trace his real Identity.
Few people are pleased when they go on the Internet, and various kinds of advertising begin to fall on you, as if from a cornucopia. In Web 3.0, the information will be adapted to a specific user, which means that the user will be offered only those advertisements that correspond to his interests and needs, and only after his permission. The modern Brave browser, for example, blocks website ads by default. And if the user agrees to view it, he receives BAT tokens, which can then be exchanged for real money.
Web 3.0 applications will be able to adapt to each user individually
They will work on smartphones, cars, TVs, and sensors. Web 3.0 will go far beyond the Internet and completely penetrate our natural world.
Tokenization of all data and content
All user data and content will be unique and have proven ownership. Imagine that even in blockchain games, it is the user who owns their game items on their wallets, not the creator of the game, and can move them to any other games or even sell them on any marketplace.
Web 3.0 will revolutionize the financial system, how companies work and how people interact.
This is the transfer of power into the hands of people, not banks and centralized platforms. Users will be able to transfer their assets anywhere in the world without intermediaries, and with the consent of third-party organizations, they will receive more financial freedom. If Web 2.0 earns mainly large corporations at the expense of users, then Web 3.0 provides excellent opportunities for users to make money, opening up alternatives to traditional financial services.
It is unclear whether Web 3.0 will be a separate blockchain or several blockchains and how they interact. But there are already companies dealing with this issue, for example, Polkadot and Cosmos.
In a sense, Web 3.0 is a return to its original Web, where “publishing something does not require permission from a central authority.” There is no central control node, which means there is no single point of failure and “automatic destruction”!
Web 4.0 – Mobile Internet
Augmented reality and big data will undoubtedly play a significant role in the next stage of web technology development. This is supposed to be an era in which every person will have a digital alter ego and talk more and more through new interfaces such as intelligent machines. There is also a somewhat dystopian vision of the Internet in the future, with more control over information that will affect the digital world and the reality around us.
Mobile Internet is already under development, and there is no clear understanding of what this will entail. Platform 4.0 is often referred to as the symbiotic network. The symbiotic web fantasy is the contact between humans and computers in symbiosis.
The next step is not a different but an alternative version of what we already have. We wanted to match its mobile environment. Mobile Internet connects all systems in the physical and virtual worlds in real-time.
The Web would be analogous to the human brain, implying a vast network of brilliant communications. Although there is no exact information about Web 4.0 and its technologies, it is clear that the Internet is moving towards using artificial intelligence to become an intelligent network.
The Web is a mobile world in which people, natural structures, and abstract objects coexist harmoniously, creating meaning. Weber and Rech link Web 4.0 to the theory of virtual reality, arguing that the development of this technology will enrich the physical world with digital knowledge and media content.
Web 5.0 – intellectual/emotional (symbiotic) web
In short, the Internet of Things (IoT) means that everything in your life means everything around you can talk to each other about you, in front of you, behind your back, and without care or empathy. With a focus on selling, buying, and influencing you.
It would be fun to wake up to a kitten-shaped robot, but Web 5.0 has gone beyond that.
The advent of intelligent devices that predict your needs based on your habits without including many clues portends what is to come with the smart grid. Symbiotic web programs can interpret evidence at a more complex level, both emotionally and intellectually.
This is the Internet – in full coexistence with everyday life, working without thinking and interacting seamlessly with what we do.
Using digital realities, computers can be turned into assistant robots. The Internet of Things will be able to connect all household appliances to the Internet. Thanks to the implantation of chips in the human brain, it is assumed that brilliant interaction can occur between machines and people. Web 4.0 advertising and misinformation will tell us that only you can “see it” and make it happen.
Why talk to your partner when you can think about him? People can connect to the Internet, their homes, their cars, their children, their careers, and so on, using their thoughts and feelings. There will be no need for joysticks or game consoles. Just relax and mentally immerse yourself in the video game.
We are at the beginning of the birth of something significant and extensive. Now is the time to get involved in the Web 3.0 decentralization process and understand this to transition into the Web 5.0 future smoothly.