While logging onto what now seems like the dark ages of the computer hardware era, tying up our phone lines, and waiting patiently for search results that may or may not have contained any useful answers to our queries, most of us couldn’t have predicted the kind of ubiquity that technology would have today.
The internet has ingrained itself so deeply into our businesses and finances that most of us don’t even think about. On a relative scale, blockchain technology has reshaped the way we exchange and transfer value in a shockingly short span of time. At the heart of that shift, Web 3.0 has bridged the world into budding technologies and markets like decentralized finance, crowdloans, dApps (decentralized apps), NFTs—the list goes on.
And the list will keep growing as we move forward into the increasingly digitized, interconnected future. As such, it’s equally important that we ensure our networks, processes, transactions, and integrations are efficient, secure, and reliable. That’s where Web 3.0 plays a pivotal role.
Web 3.0 is marked by an internet which is not controlled by a centralized infrastructure, in which decentralization prevents single points of network failure, and in which the network ecosystem is both transparent and secure thanks to cryptography, data immutability, and distributed ledger technologies (DLTs).
Transparency is one of the key elements for understanding what differentiates Web 3.0 from other eras of the web. Through blockchain, transactions remain accountable, traceable, immutable, and loggable. Web 3.0 deploys machine intelligence to enable a far more dynamic network infrastructure by harnessing the potential of artificial intelligence through algorithms and automated analysis, creating heightened functionality and user experience by tracking usage patterns and automatically predicting solutions for inefficiencies. In Web 3.0, we have a responsive internet that is able to cater to user habits, semantic choices, locations, and more and become both more predictive and more user-friendly, not to mention developer-friendly.
From a day-to-day user standpoint, one common example of the Web 3.0 reality is that, when you run a web search for “bayside events,” your search results will look different from someone else’s in another location who engages with different types of content. Your results could prioritize tour dates from the indie rock band Bayside, special events at Miami’s Bayside MarketPlace, programs at Bayside Church in Santa Rosa, specials at Newport Beach’s Bayside Restaurant, or public activities in the Bayside neighborhood of Queens. That’s because we may semantically refer to some of these places just as “Bayside” if you talk about them often, and your web searches are likely to reflect your particular linguistic habits (not to mention location and past searches).
Additionally, Web 3.0 represents a move to an internet that is open, trustless, and permissionless. What this means is that:
Picture a piece of paper tacked to a board. It’s practically two-dimensional, and what you see in front of you is essentially what you get. Someone can record information on it, and you can read it, but there’s not a whole lot else you can do with it.
Now picture a notebook. There’s an added dimension, with a stack of pages available. You can see both sides, you can flip through, you can doodle and write letters and messages and pass it around to other people to read what you wrote and then write back to you. It’s much more dynamic than the piece of paper on the wall, with more opportunities for interaction, sharing ,and creation.
Lastly, picture a library full of filing cabinets, all of them packed with books and notebooks. You have all the same opportunities the single notebook afforded, but now there’s a highly organized, scaled repository where information can be shared, deposited, or checked out. There’s even a receptionist at the front who can help you find what you’re looking for or make suggestions based on your past interactions and a community of people who come there for the same reasons you do, all working to maintain the facility together.
In the analogy above, we moved through three distinctly different approaches to the same basic concept.
The sheet of paper tacked to the board represents Web 1.0. There were a few big providers giving many users basic access to information and content. This was a static era of the web ,and it was basically a one-way street delivering content to the user. Just like the early internet days mentioned at the top of this article, users pretty much had to settle for the content that was there and tended to not spend a whole lot of time exploring or engaging. Most users didn’t contribute anything, but they also didn’t think of that as a limitation. They just logged in to find, learn, or ship for something specific and that was mostly it.
The notebook represents the next era of the internet: Web 2.0. This era is characterized by participation, interactivity, the cloud, mobile web, social media, blogging, integrated advertising, and user tracking. The same users who were consuming content had become readily able to produce content. At the same time, we became able to easily share content, files, software, and more between users and both upload and download quickly and easily from anywhere. This led to some shifting ethics, as user data became a commodity and turned virtually everyone with a mobile device or browser access into an advertising target.
The library of notebooks represents the current and future Web 3.0 era. Not only is there the remaining interactivity and interconnectivity of Web 2.0, there are added elements of customization, prediction, personalization, transparency, reliability, and accountability. Just like with the library and its receptionist, in the Web 3.0 reality, AI is continually calibrating to individual users. The blockchain provides that level of tracking and visibility, and the ethics are far less suspect because the user ultimately retains agency over their data.
From a technical standpoint, Web 3.0 further differentiates from the earlier iterations of the internet in that it is built, essentially, on edge computing, decentralized data networks, artificial intelligence, and 3D graphics.
The value of Web 3.0 can be distilled to privacy, security, transparency, and reliability. Web 3.0 enables users to take ownership of their data and privacy and to be ethically compensated for their data and usage. As we continue to integrate networks into our daily lives, our businesses, and our finances, the ability to cut out inefficiencies, maintain privacy, ensure uptime, and reduce the prevalence of data profiteering concentrated into a handful of giant corporations becomes increasingly vital.
Other advances represented by Web 3.0 are widespread 3D implementation, virtual reality, cross-platform and universally accessible applications, cryptocurrency utilization, tokenization of assets, and much more. Web 3.0 represents a whole new era as we head into an uncertain future. And this goes beyond the basic user level.
Industries, enterprises, and governments across the world will benefit from widespread Web 3.0 adoption. Industries ranging from healthcare, agriculture, finance, and food distribution will benefit from the enhanced network functionality represented by Web 3.0. Web 3.0 solutions will provide equitable access to resources, businesses of all sizes will have their data needs met, and information and transactions will flow securely, efficiently, and reliably, whether that’s publicly or privately.
Web 3.0 will level the playing field and democratize knowledge, wealth, and resources. It is already shifting power away from the few and redistributing to the many on a global scale.
When it comes to Web 3.0 technology, anything is possible. A key element of Web 3.0implementation is that the more widely it is adopted, the more effective it becomes. And the more effective it becomes, the more it will be adopted. Therefore exponential growth is entirely within the realm of possibilities. The goal is for Web 3.0 to become the network standard worldwide. At this point in the still young lifecycle of the Web 3.0 era, there is still significant ground to make up in replacing Web2.0 applications. Increasing adoption will require complex problem solving to prove that, in comparison to the less sophisticated but more readily deployable Web 2.0 solutions, Web 3.0can ultimately be:
Web 3.0 is both the present and the future of not only the internet and commerce, but the world at large. It will shape everything about our businesses, finances, governments, and lives in the years to come.
Mass adoption of reliable Web 3.0 will lead to nearly instantaneous payment processing with superior security for individual users and enterprises alike; more stable networks across the world, including in remote areas and developing nations; enhanced machine learning to continue to improve our networks and develop further innovation; transparent action tracking as the Internet of Things advances; high-speed, high-volume trading at scale; and much more.
As such, it is vital that Web 3.0 innovators lead the way on adoption by creating products and solutions that meet all the needs of our users, enterprises, and entities across the globe—and that’s exactly what they’re doing.