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Web3

Web3 is our opportunity for a better and safer Internet - Evolution of Web

Web3 is our opportunity for a better and safer Internet - Evolution of Web | By Gourav Dhar

The Evolution of Web

The web as we use it today results from its evolution over so many years, just like “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, so was the internet. Most people tend to divide this evolution into 3 stages - Web 1.0, Web 2.0, and Web 3.0

Each of these stages is a version up from its previous stage but also comes with its own set of problems which is most likely solved in the next stage-pretty obvious right! After all, evolution without addressing previous issues is not really an upgrade. 

So how exactly do we categorize these stages -

Web 1 - (the Late 1980s to early 2000s)

This was the first iteration of the web where the users were mostly consumers of the information on the internet. Web1 comprised of just static websites which were read-only. The websites were not interactive at all and the sites were hosted using a file system.

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Web 2 - (the Mid 2000s - Present)

The Web as we use it today is Web2. It is extremely interactive and social. CRUD (which stands for Create Read Update Delete) operations are the basis of all websites. There are apps and services which make it easy for anyone to voice their opinions and share them with everyone in the world. 

Web2 is great because it has made resource sharing so easy. Obviously this “resource sharing” is made possible by intermediary services. Consumers use the platform provided by these service providers (like Twitter, Facebook, Apple, etc.) to share information. One would have to trust these services as the information is stored by these service providers. Web 2 has also seen several data breaches which happened on the stored data of consumers. Users have to give up their private information to the platform providers (like Facebook, youtube). Also, these platform providers can censor certain users if they wish to. 

As it is evident, most of the power of sharing information is controlled by a central authority which is these platform providers.

What is Web3?

Web3 is a highly decentralized version of the web. It has the potential to provide a platform that no single entity can control, yet can be trusted by everybody, since everybody will follow the same rules known as consensus protocols. It will work on the same lines as the current decentralized networks of bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains.

To know about how decentralized networks and blockchains work, refer to my previous blog on blockchains.

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The fun part of Web3 is that everything which is executed would be open source and can be accessible by anyone in the world. 

As mentioned, the Web3 apps will be built on a decentralized network of blockchains. These apps are commonly referred to as dapps- which stands for decentralized apps.

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Now coming to the main question. 

So how is Web3 going to make the Internet a better place?

Listing down the cons of Web2 and how Web3 is going to solve them

Cons of Web2 How Web3 will solve this
Platforms like Twitter can censor any user No censorship, since there is no central authority
Users have to provide their service provider with confidential data to participate in Web2 Sharing personal information is not required to participate in Web3
Payment services don’t allow payment for certain types of work Payment can be done easily using native tokens like Ether or crypto
The central platform providers can control user activity Decentralised so no one person can control any platform
All apps are not open-sourced, so we don’t really know what is going on under the hood The apps which are executed are public and open-sourced

Key Features of Web3

  • Open: All the apps will be open-sourced
  • Trustless: The Users won’t need to trust any central authority for data transmission or communication while sharing content
  • Permissionless: Since it is decentralized, no central authority like any institution or even government can ban or put checks on or manipulate the data being shared in any way.
  • Semantic Web and Artificial Intelligence: Web3 is often referred to as semantic web because apps will have the ability to understand the meaning and emotions of the content shared. This will be made possible by the rapidly advancing technology in the AI(Artificial Intelligence) space. I think we are already in a pretty good position here. Have a look at the new projects show-cased by Google at Google I/O 2022.
  • Augmented Reality: Augmented Reality which can be experienced using AR goggles and other external gears is already a work in progress and would be a key part of Web3. With the announcement of MetaVerse by Meta(formerly Facebook) it seems like augmented virtual meetups would be very common in Web3. A lot of organizations have already started creating apps for this Metaverse space.

Challenges in Web3

Despite so many benefits, Web3 has some limitations:

  • Scalability - Web3 is decentralized so transactions are slower as they need to be processed by a miner 
  • UX/Accessibility - interacting with web3 applications require extra steps, software, and education. The lack of integration in modern web browsers makes web3 less accessible to most users.
  • Expensive - Deploying dapps on web3 is a cost expensive procedure