Here we are again simply explaining some difficult themes, and in this article, we will learn about Web3. What it is, how it works, and all about its components.
Evolution From Web1 to Web3
Let’s start from the very beginning and get acquainted with the basics of the World Wide Web.
Strangely enough, Web 1.0’s description itself only became popular after the rise of Web 2.0. The comparison succeeded in emphasizing the benefits and distinctions of the earlier “edition” of the Internet while demonstrating how completely different it has become. From 1991 until 2004, the Network’s initial iteration’s whole phase was in operation. Read-Only is the best way to sum up, the Internet 1.0 era. This clarifies the fundamental ideas as well. Users were limited to page viewing and content interaction. Since there are no authorizations, trackers, or registrations required, users of the Internet are only able to consume the material that is already available on websites.
Site data was stored on servers in file systems and was often issued in the form in which it was. This feature forced web admins, when adding new pages, to re-layout those that already existed in order to add links. Tables were used to align content; sites were not adaptive and often indicated the recommended resolution at which all information would open correctly. Also, not every site was supported by all browsers, and the admins posted badges with logos of those browsers that worked correctly with the resource.
The website design was also very far from the current variety and interactivity. Many sites neglected HTML markup and gave users “raw” text. CSS styles have been unpopular with developers. The pages were dominated by bright colors and material textures that mimic wood, stone, or metal. For dynamism, GIF animations were placed on the sites, which at least somehow enlivened the content.
At the end of the Internet’s 1.0 era, forums and chat rooms began to appear that allowed users to participate in the formation of content themselves. But at the same time, Amazon, from the very opening of its website, has made it possible for customers to leave product reviews. In a way, the corporation was ahead of its time.
Main features of the first era of the Internet:
- the stage lasted from 1991 to 2004;
- read-only sites;
- lack of interactivity and automation;
- minimal participation of users in the formation of content;
- primitive design, static web pages;
- Web admins publish content, and users read.
It is believed that the era of Web 2.0 began in 2004 and continues to this day. Now big corporations and users are getting involved. The former took control of the Web and began to build online empires, while the latter were allowed to take part in content creation. Web 2.0 itself works on the principle of Read/Write Web.
The Internet has received ubiquitous authorization and the ability to create an account on almost every site. Users began to voluntarily leave their data and consent to the collection of data in exchange for convenience and the ability to use resources. Companies, on the other hand, were able to earn on data by selling it to advertising agencies, and some opened their own, which helped to concentrate profits in their own hands completely.
Social features have appeared in Web 2.0: more and more resources allow users to communicate with each other, exchange messages, and make calls. Personalization can also be attributed to socialization: users can design their own profiles in a special way, add photos and records to pages, and post videos and articles. Users publish materials and receive reactions and ratings from other users in the form of likes and comments. It is also worth noting that sites have begun to introduce rating systems – Karma or Reputation.
Changes are reflected in the design. The appearance of sites has become more pleasant; rounded shapes began to prevail, simple, well-chosen colors, and designers began to pay attention not only to appearance but also to convenience. Websites have become simpler but no less informative.
The Internet of the Web 2.0 era is “ruled” by recommender algorithms. It is in the interests of corporations to keep the user’s attention on the platform, so companies tend to recommend to the user the content that the person will be curious about. Algorithms take into account many factors and work almost everywhere, from social networks to marketplaces. That is why, if two users open, for example, the main page of YouTube, then the content on it will be drastically different. This principle shows another difference between Web 2.0 and the first “version” of the Internet is when thousands of users viewed the same page.
Given the growing popularity of social networks and the abundance of content, companies have become more attentive to published information. Strict rules and moderation appeared on the platforms. Users do not control the published content, and companies have the right to remove data that violates the rules.
In summary, Web 2.0 differs from the 1.0 version in the following ways:
- users can themselves participate in the life of the Internet and fill it with content;
- large corporations have become trendsetters and initiators of change;
- user data has become a “commodity” for advertisers; Web 2.0 can be described by the phrase “the era of targeted advertising and lack of privacy”;
- the social functions of the Web have developed and become part of the lives of users;
- users have no control over their data, and corporations can remove inappropriate content;
- information is still stored on single servers and issued on demand.
And finally, it’s time to understand what Web3 is and how it differs from previous versions.
What Is Web3? The Confusing Term Explained
The main concepts of Web 3.0 were outlined by Netscape CEO Jason Calacanis. First, it is important to note that, as before, no one has a clear idea of what the next round of Internet development will be like. Secondly, Web 3.0 is at an early stage, so only initial ideas about the technology are available so far. However, Calacanis published his vision for the future back in 2007 and believed that the 2.0 era should create a new space that solves major problems.
The leader considers the depreciation of resources and services to be the main problem: the relative ease of creating sites has influenced the emergence of monotony. Tim O’Reilly supported Calacanis’ ideas at the time and also noted that Web 3.0 should go beyond the usual understanding of the Web and begin to “interact with the physical world.”
Main characteristics of decentralized Internet:
- Decentralization: data will no longer be stored on single servers but distributed among users. The necessary computing will move from data centers to laptops, smartphones, and smart gadgets of users. Currently, there are technologies to achieve this, but there is no single decision on which one will underpin the “new Internet”;
- AI and Machine Learning: Intelligent algorithms will not disappear from the Web and will continue to help users find the content they need. Some researchers note that in the future, AI can be used to identify paid comments on marketplaces, which will help create more transparent services;
- Openness: the software will be predominantly open source, which will allow you to thoroughly understand how the tools are arranged and how they interact with the user;
- Freedom: it is expected that censorship on the Web will be abolished, and everyone will have the opportunity to publish any content; the role of moderation will be taken over by the community, not corporations;
- Omnipresence: the Internet will be almost anywhere, and IoT devices and smart gadgets will become distributors;
- Semantic Web: the machine does not understand natural language queries well and is still often wrong. To improve this process, they plan to use the technology of the semantic Web when it is possible to receive information of the type “object – type of relationship – another object” from the Web and build logical connections based on this data.
In addition to key differences, enthusiasts and experts predict other changes. Firstly, the method of authorization in services may change to a single layer, which will be the key to all resources on the Web. Something similar has been implemented now: using a Google or Facebook account, you can enter almost any site, but in the case of Web 3.0, a single account can become both a wallet and a banking application.
Secondly, the Internet will become more democratized, and the usefulness of content will be determined by Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAO), which will be large companies and services, and DAO participants will have the right to vote and make decisions important for the content and the organizations themselves. In other words, it is something like a global system of karma.
Web3 Opportunities for Investors and Beyond
One of the key advantages of Web 3.0 is the ability to make money on Internet services not only for their owners and shareholders but for everyone else. There are already many Web 3.0 projects underway, so it’s time to explore this area and find your own way to capitalize on it.
Startups and Investors
The Web 3.0 space is already attractive to entrepreneurs and venture capitalists: in 2021, investments in crypto projects amounted to more than $30 billion, and on average, blockchain-related startups raised $20 million each.
The choice of niche is huge: from the digitalization of business processes to the creation of distributed systems and multi-blockchains.
Everything related to DAO has great potential, as well as distributed networks, which ensure the interaction of a large number of different systems.
Developers will be the most in-demand job in Web 3.0. According to Electric Capital, large communities (Ethereum, Bitcoin, Polkadot, Cosmos, Solana, NEAR, etc.) attract 250+ programmers per month.
There are two key areas of programming: the actual development of network protocols and the development of communities. The latter includes the creation of decentralized applications, documentation, wallets, and everything that contributes to the growth of specific platforms.
To become a developer, you need to learn the basics of blockchain and one of the specialized programming languages, such as C ++, Rust, or Solidity.
As it develops, the new field will require more and more employees who specialize in working with technological products. And not only developers but also specialists in marketing, sales, and other areas.
Web 3.0 opens up great opportunities for content creators: images, articles, videos, etc. Now they will be able to monetize their work using tokens or NFTs. An important innovation is the ability to assign a unique mark to your content.
Those who do not create content will be able to receive rewards for reading and viewing.
Gamers have discovered a way to make money in play-to-earn games and metaverses, which make it possible to exchange virtual achievements for real material values. Matvey Voitov cites the Axie Infinity crypto game as an example, which has become an additional source of income for the population of the Philippines. On average, you can earn up to $400 a month, thereby breeding and selling Axi creatures.
Cryptocurrencies Web 3.0
Tokens of blockchain projects are one of the main trends in the cryptocurrency market. Last year, this segment grew by 244% and took 2nd place in terms of development speed.
Currently there are a lot of popular digital assets. The projects are based on automated transactions and smart contracts. Today they are implemented by Ethereum blockchain, Cardano, Solana, and many other platforms.
Technology is expanding into the decentralized Internet and increasingly includes artificial intelligence and virtual reality. Blockchain technology and digital money is also becoming more and more popular.
A decentralized Web does not need consumers but users who will participate in the creation of a new system and receive a profit for it.
The change between two generations of the Internet cannot happen at once. The transition to new realities will take more than one year, but we have already seen the first steps toward Web 3.0.