Web3 Episode 4 - A New Hope for the Internet

"An elegant internet for a more civilized age."

The internet went through a paradigm shift from Web1 to Web2 and is undergoing another one from Web2 to Web3 at the moment. In this article, I will talk about how the web has evolved over the years, and why Web3 is the new hope for the internet.

Web1: 1990 to 2004

Web1 marked the start of the World Wide Web (www).

Websites during this time used to serve merely static text and image contents with no support for dynamic contents and user interactions. Most of the people using the internet were consumers, and there were only a few content creators.

Also called as read-only web.

Web2: 2004 onwards

Web2 is the version of the internet most of us know today.

Today’s websites have more user-generated content and interactions for the end-users. This has enabled more people to become creators rather than merely being a consumer.

Social media apps fall into this category.

Web3: The Future

Web3 is the version of the internet that is under development with no playbook for how Web3 will function.

Web3 at its core uses decentralized apps that run on blockchain and promises to make the internet a more decentralized place with no single entity having control over it.

Cryptocurrencies, decentralized applications (also known as dApps), smart devices also known as IOT’s are integral parts of the Web3 framework.

Limitations of Today’s Web and What’s so special about Web3?

Security and Privacy

Companies own the user’s data and users have no control over it. Since the vast majority of our data is owned, controlled, and stored in silos by third parties, we are constantly faced with data breaches and security threats. The companies can also choose how to monetize the data.

Web3 uses decentralized networks, so there is no single entity that owns and controls the data. The users are the owners of their data and they can choose how they would want to monetize it.

Native Authentication

The version of the web today lacks the support for native authentication of users. This forces users to create an account, and authenticate themselves with every service provider that they want to use. This results in data being controlled and monetized by the companies you sign up with.

With distributed technology, we now have a way to store user authentication data in a decentralized and cryptographically secured manner.

Support for native authentication with a single sign-in would also mean you can create an account once, and authenticate yourself with all the decentralized apps which are running on top of the web3 framework.

Native Payments

Similar to authentication, users have to add payment details for every service they want to use.

Digital currencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc have made the transfer of money instant and seamless across borders. Crypto wallets allow easy integration of such tokens into the web3 application which will enable the users to transact b/w the web3 application more seamlessly.

This also means cryptocurrencies and tokens can be used to design new economies and businesses, a field popularly known as tokenomics.

Fake News

Since the current monetization framework mostly runs on users’ data and their activities on the internet, this has led to the creation of fake news/information since it drives more user engagement than original content.

Since no single entity controls the data, occurrences of fake news would be fewer. But with the vision of Web3 which is to bring the physical and virtual worlds together, the fake reality is something we could be dealing with (A separate topic of discussion)

What’s next?

In this article, I have merely scratched the surface of Web3 and how it will shape the future of the internet. But rest assured, the new internet will provide a more customized and personised user experience with smart devices becoming an integral part of the web. And with the power of decentralization, users will finally have ownership over their data leading to a more private and secure web.

In the next set of articles, I will talk more in detail about the features and systems of Web3, how tokenomics will play a role in creating an alternate digital economy, and more.

May the force be with you!