What is Web.3?
Web3 is the next generation of the internet. At its core, it promotes decentralized technologies and represents one of the biggest shifts in how we interact, share, consume, and create online.
Like its name suggests, Web3 is the third iteration of the world wide web.
The first generation was developed in 1990 by Tim Berners-Lee. Berners-Lee applied hypertext concepts for linking digital text and wrote the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), which tells browsers how to display content. Web1 mostly comprised a collection of static webpages with links, and they were not particularly interactive. Content was published and was made available to be read – there was really nothing more to do than read online.
The second generation, or Web2, has commonly been referred to as the “read/write” version of the internet. It refers to the ability to use computer code to both open and edit files rather than just viewing them. This meant that in addition to consuming content, people could also create their own content and publish it on blogs and internet forums. This allowed the internet to become far more dynamic, social, and interactive. When social media boomed in the early 2000’s this catapulted content sharing into the stratosphere. As people shared more and more, tech giants like Facebook began to stockpile data. This data was then used to create tailored advertisements and marketing campaigns. Initially, people traded their data freely without realizing the ramifications but with the onset of data and privacy breaches, people are far more acutely aware and want to have more control over their data and content.
“Web3 allows individuals to have more control over their data and content.”
Web3 helps people to do just that. Rather than using tech platforms for free and exchanging personal data, users can participate in the governance and operation of the protocols themselves. Web3 is known as the “read/write/own” version of the internet. And it is the ‘own’ component of the internet which has broadened access for participants to be actively involved in the governance and operation of the protocols themselves.
Web3 uses blockchain technology. Blockchain provides the infrastructure that will decentralize most of our systems. Cryptocurrencies (and/or tokens) is what is used to incentivize participation.
The avenue for this ownership lies in tokens or cryptocurrencies, and they represent ownership of decentralized networks.
A decentralized system is one which requires multiple parties to make their own independent decisions, there is no single centralized authority that makes decisions on behalf of all the parties.
The most prominent mechanism for decentralizing our systems is blockchain technology.