What is Web 3.0?
Web3 will change the World Wide Web with blockchain and decentralization, trustful and permissionless technologies, AI and machine learning, as well as connectivity and ubiquity.
The concept of Web 3.0 (or Web3) is gaining traction. It is touted as a successor to our current Web 2.0, but to understand what Web 3.0 really means, we must first go back a little in time.
The World Wide Web enables content to be accessed over the Internet, and when web browsers started appearing in the mid-1990s, the idea of “Web 1.0” was born. Here static web pages could be retrieved from servers, but there was not much interactivity.
Thus we have arrived at the present day, where the idea of “Web 3.0” is slowly unraveling. We can see from history where the trend is going: a more connected, more decentralized, and more intelligent web. And this is where Web 3.0 assumes the mantle.
Let us try to define the concept.
Definition of Web 3.0
Web 3.0 is an evolutionary phase of the Internet identified by increased individual user empowerment through decentralization, ubiquity, and artificial intelligence.
Essential features of Web 3.0
The first two generations of the web were largely centralized, with governance and applications controlled by central authorities. In Web 2.0 these authorities come in the guise of large-scale multinational megacorporations, famously known as “FAANG”—Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google.
However, Web 3.0 centers around the idea of a decentralized platform, where applications and services are enabled in a distributed approach, without a central authority. This makes them more secure and resistant to censorship or de facto digital ostracizing. Decentralized systems also have other advantages, such as increased resilience to failure and decreased vulnerability to attacks by third-parties.
Decentralization might dethrone the massive databases currently hosted by Internet giants like Meta and Alphabet, and would hand greater control to the users themselves. The user-generated data from separate and powerful units like smartphones, home computers, IoT, vehicles, and sensors can furthermore be sold by the end users themselves via decentralized data networks, enabling them to maintain control over their data ownership from start to finish.
Decentralization also refers to the idea that information would be found based on its content, rather than its location. This would make it possible for data to be stored (and found) in multiple locations simultaneously, thus decentralizing information storage.
Connectivity & ubiquity
With Web 3.0, connectivity and ubiquity are more pronounced than ever, with information and content accessed by multiple applications and devices connected to the web all the time.
This means that information and content are more accessible, including in cars, appliances, and even medical devices. Users will get opportunities to interact with content in new ways, increasing the connectivity between users and information—and spearheading even better analytics and use of “big data”.
Trustlessness, permissionlessness & blockchain
Being based on blockchain technology, Web 3.0 will bring about a so-called trustless and permissionless Internet. This new wave of the Internet will be based on decentralized applications, or dApps, which will run on blockchains or decentralized peer-to-peer networks. As a result, Web 3.0 will be a more secure and egalitarian platform than its predecessors.
Blockchain is the enabler for the creation of decentralized applications and services. With blockchain, the data and connection across services are distributed in an approach that is different from centralized database infrastructure. Blockchains enable an immutable ledger of transactions and activity, helping to provide verifiable authenticity in a decentralized world.
The security and trustlessness of Web 3.0 are thus two of its most important features. By eliminating the need for trust between participants, blockchains make it possible for people to interact directly with one another without going through a trusted intermediary.
Trustlessness opens up a wide range of possibilities for online interactions that were not possible before. For example, it could enable peer-to-peer payments without the need for a third party like PayPal or Visa. It could also allow people to exchange goods and services without having to go through an online marketplace like eBay or Amazon.
Another important feature of Web 3.0 is its permissionlessness. This means that anyone can participate in the network without needing authorization from a governing body like Facebook or Google. This allows for greater freedom and creativity—as well as responsibility.
Artificial intelligence & machine learning
Web 3.0 is based on semantic web concepts and natural language processing, which allows computers to process information similarly to humans—as well as enabling increased automation and better user experiences. This increased level of automation will have a number of benefits in a variety of industries.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a field of computer science that deals with the simulation of intelligent behavior in machines. In recent years, there has been an increasing focus on artificial intelligence and machine learning for web applications—which will aid the user experience tremendously.
Machine learning (ML) is a branch of artificial intelligence that uses data and algorithms to imitate how humans learn, gradually improving its accuracy. In the context of Web 3.0, ML will be used to improve the accuracy of computer-based decision making over time.
Web 3.0 applications
The unique nature of Web 3.0 allows for the introduction or continued development of different types of applications and services, like:
- Computational knowledge engine: A system that computes answers from scratch, rather than relying on a pre-existing database. Wolfram Alpha is a well-known example.
- Crypto browser: A privacy-minded web browser that encrypts all traffic between the user's computer and the websites they visit. It can also be used to bypass censorship and access blocked websites, as well as block ads and malware. Examples include Brave Browser and Opera’s Crypto Browser, both of which use Basic Attention Token (BAT) as their currency for paying publishers and content creators.
- Cryptocurrency: A digital currency that uses cryptography to secure transactions and to control the creation of new units. Cryptocurrency is decentralized, meaning that it does not belong to any government or financial institution. Cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, are often traded on decentralized exchanges and can also be used to purchase goods and services.
- Cross-chain bridge: A mechanism for blockchain interoperability, which allows different blockchains to communicate and transfer assets between each other, thus creating a more decentralized and interconnected ecosystem.
- DAO: A decentralized autonomous organization runs through rules encoded in a computer program called a smart contract. They may remove the need for a central authority to make decisions, instead relying on the collective input of its members.
- dApp: A decentralized application runs on a decentralized network of computers instead of a single computer. This makes them more secure and less vulnerable to attack, as well as faster and more efficient. dApps can be used for a variety of purposes, including gaming, finance, voting, and more.
- DeFi: Decentralized finance is blockchain-based financial products and services, allowing users to interact with each other directly without the need for a third party. DeFi products include decentralized exchanges, stablecoins, peer-to-peer lending platforms, and more.
- NFT: Nonfungible tokens represent unique assets. Unlike other cryptocurrencies, NFTs cannot be replicated or divided. This makes them ideal for representing rare or one-of-a-kind objects, such as works of art, digital media, and even physical property.
- Voice-controlled AI assistants: A computer program that can understand natural human language and respond in a way that helps the user achieve tasks. Some of the most well-known voice assistants are Siri, Cortana, and Bixby.
“What’s in it for me?”
What benefits will the features of Web 3.0 have for business and corporations?
Decentralization advantages for business
One of the key advantages of the decentralization of Web 3.0 is that it enables companies to become more agile. With centralized systems, decisions often have to be made by committee, which can slow down the decision-making process. By decentralizing, businesses can speed up their response time to market changes and other challenges. This agility is becoming increasingly important in the current business environment, where change is happening at an ever-accelerating pace.
Decentralization also allows businesses to tap into a wider range of talent. In a centralized system, all decision-making authority rests with a few people at the top. By decentralizing, businesses can distribute power among many people, giving them access to a wealth of knowledge and experience that would otherwise be unavailable. This can help businesses come up with better ideas and solutions.
Connectivity & ubiquity advantages for business
Web 3.0 connectivity and ubiquity provide several advantages for businesses. One of the main advantages is that it allows businesses to connect and interact with their customers in new and more effective ways. With the increased connectivity and availability of information provided by Web 3.0, businesses can use data and analytics to better understand their customers' needs and preferences, and tailor their products and services accordingly. This can help businesses to provide a more personalized and engaging experience for their customers, which can increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Another advantage of Web 3.0 connectivity and ubiquity for businesses is that it allows them to operate more efficiently and effectively. For example, the ability to access information and data from any location can enable businesses to make faster and more informed decisions. It can also facilitate collaboration and communication among employees, regardless of their physical location. This can help businesses to streamline their operations and reduce costs, while also improving their competitiveness in the market. Additionally, the increased connectivity and availability provided by Web 3.0 can also help businesses to reach new customers and expand their market.
Trustlessness advantages for business
One of the most promising features of web 3.0 is trustlessness, which will remove many of the barriers that have held businesses back in the past. Here are a few examples of how trustlessness will benefit businesses and corporations:
- Fraud prevention: With trustlessness, it will be much harder for criminals to commit fraud or theft online. This will not only protect businesses from losing money, but also from damaging their reputation.
- Improved security: Trustlessness will also lead to improved security for businesses, as it will be much harder for hackers to gain access to sensitive data or systems.
- Greater efficiency: By removing the need for third parties and middlemen, trustlessness can lead to greater efficiency and reduced costs for businesses.
AI & ML advantages for business
Artificial intelligence and machine learning have a number of advantages for businesses. First, they can help with data analysis. By analyzing large data sets, AI can find patterns and correlations that humans would never be able to see. This can help businesses make better decisions about pricing, marketing, and product development.
Second, AI can help automate tasks that are currently done by humans. For example, AI can be used to automatically respond to customer emails or to process orders. This can free up employees for more important tasks and improve efficiency in the workplace.
Imagine that you are a bank customer service representative. You can use ML algorithms to automate the process of resolving customer complaints by recognizing patterns in past complaints and providing recommended solutions. This would free up your time so that you could spend more time helping customers who actually need more personal and bespoke follow-up.