The emergence of blockchain-based technologies, such as cryptocurrency, NFT, metaverse, blockchain and distributed book technology, etc., is seen as a harbinger of a new era of the Internet – a more transparent and open version of the network that will be collectively controlled by users instead of technology giants like Google and Facebook.
some experts believe this decentralized network, also called Web 3.0, will bring more transparency and democratization to the digital world. Web 3.0 can create a decentralized digital ecosystem where users will be able to own and control every aspect of their digital presence. Some hope that this will put an end to existing centralized systems that promote data exploitation and privacy breaches.
The ideas and conflicts that led to Web 3.0
In 1999 Tim Berners-Lee introduced the term Semantic network, an improved version of the existing Internet that will be operated primarily by “smart agents” or machines that can process content in a human way. Berners-Lee and others described this vision in May 2001 Scientific American the article “The Semantic Network”, as “an extension of the current network in which information is given a well-defined meaning that allows computers and people to work better together”.
Recent developments suggest that Web 3.0 may not be exactly like the Semantic Web proposed by Tim Berners-Lee, but is described as a leap forward, without trust and without permission. networks.
When Berners-Lee founded the World Wide Web, he imagined the network as an open information center; a universal space that is not controlled by a central authority so that everyone can access it without any permission. Some experts suggest that Web 3.0 is a return to the original internet an idea that was conceived by Tim Berners-Lee.
More than 30 years have passed since the creation of the World Wide Web for the first time, and during this period the world of the Internet has gone through various stages of development. There is no definition of Web 3.0 in a textbook, but going through these stages, you can have an idea of how Web 3.0 can shape the future of the Internet experience.
Web 1.0 – the read-only era
This is the earliest version of the Internet, which was developed in 1989. This early Internet is made up mostly of interconnected web pages hyperlinks. It was also called a “read-only web” – it was not interactive in any significant sense and much of the user input was done offline. Individual web pages are static pages that are hosted on web servers managed by internet service providers. People used this Web 1.0 mostly to read about things, get updates, or use linear text chat. Surprisingly, ads were banned.
Web 2.0 appeared around 1999 as a result of the emergence of social media platforms, digital advertising, blogs and various other services that allow users to interact with the Internet. Web 2.0 does not refer to any specific technical improvements to the Internet, but to a change in the way the Internet is used. From a read – only platform, the Internet has become a place to create content and interactive experiences.
The launch of the iPhone in 2007 promoted the mobile Internet access that allowed us to stay connected at all times. However, Web 2.0 also means that in addition to allowing us to add information to the network, the network also collects information from us. It can track our location, shopping preferences, financial transactions, etc.
There is no doubt that during this era the Internet has become more useful, interactive and an essential part of our lives, but it has also led to the centralization of the network.
He created new ways to organize and connect with other people and encouraged greater cooperation. But it also opened up new opportunities for online harassment, cyberbullying, doxing,, dissemination of misinformation, identity theft, and more.
Some blame this on the fact that most of the Internet services we use today are such controlled by technology giants such as Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook. Users have little control over how their data is used and has been many accusations against these billion-dollar companies (as well as the much smaller companies that spread online), which suggests that they manipulate consumers, exploit their profit data and pose a serious threat to democracy and freedom of speech.
Recently, Francis Haugen, a data engineer and scientist and former product manager at Facebook, became a whistleblower, blame the company deliberately not to take action against the spread of hatred and misinformation on its social media platforms. In an interview with CBS, Haugen said: “The thing I saw on Facebook over and over again was that there were conflicts of interest between what was good for the public and what was good for Facebook. And Facebook, over and over again, has chosen to optimize for its own interests, such as making more money. “
Although Facebook disputed Haugen argues that this is not the only time that big technologies face responsibility for their actions. There have been numerous reports of Amazon is too aggressive business strategy,, Facebook privacy violations, and Google uof artificial intelligence which raise major security concerns related to Web 2.0.
This is also the reason why many blockchain technology experts consider Web 3.0 to be a safer and much needed version of the Internet.
Web 3.0: The Internet of Tomorrow
John Marcoff, a reporter for New York Times introduced the term Web 3.0 in 2006. Web 3.0 is in many ways a return to Berners-Lee’s original idea of the Semantic Network, where no permission from a central authority is required and there is no central control node.
Where Web 2.0 is driven by the development of mobile internet, social networking and cloud computing, Web 3.0 will be built on new types of technological innovation, including peripheral computing, decentralized data networks, blockchain and artificial intelligence.
Although we are not yet witnessing a complete transformation to Web 3.0, technology experts and blockchain enthusiasts are making some promising forecasts about what the Internet might look like in the future. Here are some of these interesting assumptions:
- Web 3.0 can serve as an extension to various elements of Web 2.0. For example, the way developers create a combination of two or more applications now, in Web 3.0, users will be able to combine different programs and services for themselves to customize the way they use the network.
- The user currently receives information on the Internet from various servers and databases located in different parts of the world. Not surprisingly, more than 50 percent of these data centers are collectively owned by Amazon, Google and Microsoft. In Web 3.0, the data will be stored on decentralized cloud networks and autonomous storage units. Therefore, Web 3.0 will not depend on any centralized data centers to provide information to users. However, creating such a powerful decentralized storage system is in itself a very big challenge.
- Internet search will also work differently in Web 3.0. Like the personalized ads and feeds you experience on Facebook and YouTube. By using advanced AI, the search engine in Web 3.0 will offer custom results for each user based on his preferences and needs. For example, if a carnivore and vegan type “Best Restaurants Nearby” in the search bar, each will get different results based on their preferences. Of course, this also means that algorithms will know even more about us.
- As a user, you will have a unique identity in Web 3.0 that will allow you to access and control all your assets, data and services without logging into a platform or seeking permission from a specific service provider. You will have access to the Internet from anywhere for free and will be the sole owner of your digital assets.
- In addition to experiencing the Internet on screen in 2D, users will get to participate in a greater variety of 3D environments. Everywhere you can visit the 3D VR version of any historical place you are looking for, play games while in the game as a 3D player, try on clothes of your virtual self before you buy. In Web 3.0 you will also be able to spend time diving 3D metaverse where you can collect or buy virtual assets. In short, with the use of VR, AR, Semantic Web and AI in general, Web 3.0 can offer you better opportunities to interact with the virtual world than Web 2.0.
No one can confirm when exactly we will be able to see a full-fledged Web 3.0, but there are some online communities such as Web3 Foundation, Ethereum Network, Polkadot, etc., which are currently working on various projects aimed at reviving Web 3.0.
However, experts suggest that the Web 3.0 architecture will require a lot of additional resources and infrastructure and it will not be an easy task to create an ecosystem that could end the monopoly of big technology, or expect Big Tech to just let that happen. Recent Facebook posts in terms of the transition of our business to the metaverse, it shows that we can get to Web 3.0 and find that it is also controlled by the same players as Web 2.0.