What if I told you there was a better way to access the Internet? A way that would change how we interact with websites forever? That’s exactly what Web3 is all about, and it’s the next step in the evolution of the World Wide Web. Let’s dive into this article and find out more about Web3, including why it matters and what role it will play in our daily lives in the future.
The Problem that led to Web3
The internet we all use today is called Web 2.0, but Web 3.0 isn’t just an improved version of that; it’s a completely different type of internet. That means there are new problems to solve and new ways for us to interact with each other. This sounds exciting, but also complicated—what does it even mean for there to be a Web 3.0 anyway? So let’s break it down step by step: What we have today is called Web 2.0 – meaning our interactions are primarily through data-sharing (and consuming) platforms like Facebook, YouTube, or Amazon, which store information on centralized servers controlled by only one company.
How Does a Decentralized World Look Like?
The Internet, as we know it today, was not born decentralized. In fact, initially it was controlled by a single entity—the Department of Defense’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA). Not only did ARPANET pioneer e-mail and file transfers, but it also laid down much of what would become the bedrock of all future technologies. But during its early days, there were plans to decentralize information sharing. These plans didn’t come to fruition because they involved time-sharing computers that cost millions of dollars each in 1960s dollars. Today, such resources are plentiful and affordable, making a decentralized Internet not only possible but increasingly likely—even necessary in some contexts. And for most users, it will be indistinguishable from today’s web. So how does a decentralized world look like? When your photos aren’t stored on Facebook or Flickr; when your videos aren’t uploaded to YouTube; when your search queries don’t go through Google… Instead, these services work peer-to-peer on top of protocols like BitTorrent or Distributed Hash Tables (DHT) and function over networks using built-in incentivization schemes to reward peers for distributing content efficiently and keep them honest through cryptography. Your digital identity could be scattered across various anonymous services run by other people around the world who have nothing more than their own interest at heart—but never control anything themselves.
Who Stands to Benefit From This Shift?
In a nutshell, consumers stand to benefit. Whether or not we like it, big corporations have unprecedented control over what we see on our internet browsers. This has become especially true of mobile devices, where a little company named Google owns your search experience, a company named Apple controls what apps you can download on your iPhone (and those that you can’t) and Amazon is dictating how e-commerce will evolve. Blockchain technology could put an end to centralized platforms monopolizing our online experiences.
It’s difficult to say for sure if Web 3.0 or Ethereum will become widely adopted, but one thing is certain: blockchain technology has already changed how we conduct business, manage our finances, sign documents, invest money, and even how companies communicate with their stakeholders. While governments are still debating how to regulate cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs), both are here to stay.