Let’s take a moment to look back and rewind.
It’s the late 1990s. The world ran on dial-up modems and telephone lines, believing that the deafening noise made by our modems was the sound of the future – our main gateway to magical online lands otherwise known as the internet.
The history of the World Wide Web can be traced back to Tim Berners-Lee, who was responsible for creating and developing the first web server in 1989. Back then, Berners-Lee envisioned the internet to be collaborative, where “we could all meet and read and write.”
Fast forward to today: dial-up modems are dead, 5G environments are everywhere, Internet Service Providers offer internet with remarkable download speeds reaching up to 3,000 Mbps, the metaverse is slowly making its presence known, and Web 3.0 is dawning upon us.
Web 3.0… What is It?
As technology evolves, it’s more often than not that we are once again presented with another question. This time, we might find ourselves asking: what exactly is Web 3.0?
Tech Target observes that the term “Web 3.0” (or “Web 3” or “Web3” – they all are the same) is still being defined at an enterprise level. Yet, on paper, Web 3.0 is defined as a “new version of the world wide web based on blockchain technology, and incorporates concepts such as such as decentralization and token-based economies.” Key characteristics are as follows:
- Decentralization: implements decentralized locations of information and data, disrupting the current state where internet bigwigs Meta and Google hold all the databases. This can potentially provide greater security and control to users
- Semantic: a semantic web that utilizes AI and machine learning to better improve UX
- Blockchain: Web 3.0 applications run on peer-to-peer networks and blockchain technology
- Universal: open, global, and always available
Like most technology trends, Web 3.0 is creating a divided audience. Even Tesla’s Elon Musk seemed wary about it, tweeting “it seems more like a marketing buzzword than reality right now.” It has been previously said that Web 3.0 is mostly a marketing campaign, designed to ”reframe the public’s negative associations of crypto assets into a false narrative disruption.”
On the Other Hand… Web 3.0’s True Believers Uncover Benefits
The scope of Web 3.0 can be very broad, understandably creating detractors who are rightfully doubting Web 3.0 in its early stages. However, many are slowly uncovering its concepts and embracing its possibilities and potential.
Most of Web 3.0’s believers perceive that its decentralized nature built on public blockchains can lead to a “freer” and a more transparent internet, where social networks, search engines, and marketplaces have no company overlords. Potentially, users themselves can own and govern sections of the internet.
Businesses can eventually benefit from Web 3.0. Entrepreneur highlighted Web 3.0 and blockchain technology, stating that the latter can simplify and secure the login experience for website users.
Another Web 3.0 vision is that networks, platforms, or applications that run on decentralized infrastructure may potentially halt tech giants and companies controlling user data – meaning consumers and individuals can rightfully own their data in the future.
“A Smarter Internet”
As with all technology, it is important to acknowledge caution, to learn all angles, and to explore all possible gaps before taking a leap into Web 3.0’s waters.
Only time can tell if Web 3.0 is the start of an even smarter and more “human” internet, where every user can live in its digital utopia powered by online transparency, freedom, and fairness. Yet, one thing is for sure: the future is already here, and those who are armed with an open mind and the right knowledge are set to move forward.
Web 3.0 envisions a future that may somehow turn Berners-Lee’s original vision into reality: a grand, collaborative internet for everyone, where it is equal and just. Let’s face the future with a careful optimism that today’s roads will get us all there.