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  • Writer's pictureAkeju Abiola

Web3, the next phase of internet evolution.

Web3, the fast-developing blockchain technology, has many excited for good reasons. Often, you hear terms like "Web3 is the future" and "Web3 is taking over!" If Web3 is "taking over," then it's time you got familiar with it.

What is Web3

Web3 is a proposed version of the internet, still in its formative stages. It is a futuristic internet built with the principles of the blockchain. As you know, the blockchain is a decentralised ledger system for recording information maintained across several computers, and linked in a peer-to-peer network. To understand how Web3 will work, we need to examine how the internet has evolved from the 1990s till today. Say hello to Web1 and Web2.

What is Web1?

Web1, also called the read-only web, was the first version of the Internet. Berners-Lee, a British computer scientist, created the internet (the wide web). Web1 companies used simple programming languages like HTML to create static web pages, which were then interlinked, allowing users to move from one page to another. Information sharing was done only one way. Users could only get information from the websites, but the websites couldn't collect information from their sers. There was little user interaction, as people could not leave comments, drop contacts, or give information to the computers. These changed with the introduction of new programming languages.

Get Started with Web2

Web 2.0 is an upgrade to what the internet was like in the late 1900s and early 2000s. The major upgrade Web2 brought was the ability to gather information from users. Unlike Web1, Web2 is a two-way transfer of information between the website and the user. This progress became possible with the introduction of a new generation of computer programming languages, including CSS, XHTML, Javascript, and many more. Web2 is the version of the internet you are using right now.

The emergence of Web2 has made many new web applications possible. Sending pictures, videos, and documents over the internet has become possible thanks to Web2. One Web2 application that packs all this into one service is social media, which you will agree has made the world more interconnected.

Web2 brought all the benefits of the internet you see today. Online education platforms, fintech applications, information-sharing platforms, CRM platforms, and any other web utility you can think of, are possible because of Web2.

Has Web2 not done enough? What more could it do? What would a futuristic blockchain internet do that Web2 is not already doing?

Increased Data Control! How is this the answer?

We live in a capitalist world where the ultimate goal of every business owner is to make profits for their shareholders. Businesses will do anything to achieve this. Have you wondered how unsolicited emails end up in your inbox? Or why you see specific display ads after searching for an item on the internet? That is because when you enter the keyword to search for the item, the website records your interests and converts them to advertising data. The next time you surf the web, you are targeted with these advertisements.

There is a saying in the Web2 space, that "when the service is free, you are most likely the product." This implies that some websites operate without charging subscriptions but, in turn, sell it to third parties. Many will rather pay for whatever service these websites offer rather than have their data mined and sold.

Data privacy is a big concern with Web2. This is why the main idea behind the push for Web3 is data control. Will you ditch your present internet setup for one that gives you greater control over what information you share with websites you visit, how it's stored, and how it's used? What about earning royalties if you choose to sell it for marketing purposes? Yes, that's all possible with Web3.

Web3, the new boy on the block.

Enough talk about Web1 and Web2. Web3 is an attempt to move away from the conventional internet as we know it today. It is a move to develop an internet hosted on decentralised servers. Web3 is a proposed world wide web arrangement that operates on a decentralised infrastructure, eliminating a single central authority.

In Web2, websites are hosted on a single server, centralizing power to one entity. Once the website is pulled from this server, it goes offline. With the introduction of blockchain in web building, website servers will be hosted on hundreds, thousands, or even millions of servers, Just as data is stored on multiple nodes on the blockchain.

Web3 will make it difficult for governments and regulators to police the internet. But that's not the icing on the cake. The icing is that website visitors now get "greater privacy and control" over their data.

The details are still sketchy, but Web3 will enhance greater privacy by allowing anonymity and increased data control. Users will be able to use the internet without divulging their personal information.

Web3 will also power the next phase of growth in the crypto industry, as websites may use crypto as a reward for growth. Smart contracts will also play a great role in its development. Smart contracts are sets of instructions programmed into executable codes that deploy when preset conditions are met. Some of the immediate applications web3 will power are Decentralized finance (DeFi), Decentralized social media, Decentralized marketplaces and many more. The list of Web3 possibilities is endless.

It is fair to note that Web3 development faces many challenges. Chief among them is interoperability, which is the ability of different blockchains to communicate with each other. There are over 20 major blockchain networks in the world today. Will a universal blockchain be built? or would we create a way to get all blockchains to communicate with each other?

The pros of a decentralised internet is promising. Web3 will give users more say over their data and internet footprint. Despite these advantages, experts fear criminals may use Web3 for criminal activities. Sex offenders, hackers, and fraudsters may use web3 infrastructures to mask their online identities to perpetrate crimes and get away with them.

While these fears are valid, governments and regulators have proven they can deploy other means to unravel the identities of such bad actors, just like they did in 2013 with the Silk Road arrests and Bitcoin seizure.

Are you prepared for a world with Web3?

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