Updated: Mar 21
As a 90's kid I remember the ping ping sounds that the modem made when you used your home dial-up connection to access the internet. The hours it took to download a song. The painful and slow internet searches, the ICQ chats. Fast-forward 20 years, and the internet is indispensable. It just took the last 10 years for the world to become addicted to their smartphones. Now that our lives have essentially moved online, humanity as a collective is approaching the next era of the internet.
The internet is moving from Web 2.0 apps to Web 3.0 dapps (decentralized apps). What is the difference you ask?
In Web 1.0, which was the first internet the world ever witnessed, we saw the client-server architecture largely dominate where most of the data on the internet was provided by single parties like MSN, Yahoo etc. Users were the “clients” of these single “serving” parties. There was little to no interaction with the user other than one-way data-flow. The content didn't reflect the mood of the people, information was linear.
Web 2.0 brought about the social revolution with the rise of platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter etc. as users gained equal opportunities to participate in internet-based ecosystems and produce content themselves that can be consumed by other users in the ecosystem. Essentially, in Web 2.0, users provide the data, corporations own the platform, and the source code is closed. Web 2.0 introduced video streaming and online gaming. Slowly, our lives moved online. Online stores began ruling the global economy.
Web 3.0 focuses on peer-to-peer technology. This means the middle-man will be removed. Giga-servers controlled by large corporations will be made redundant. Web 3.0 puts the user in control of what data is shared, enhancing online user-privacy. Blockchain-based decentralized platforms are those where users own their own data, contributors own the platform, and the code is free and open source. The greatest innovation of Web 3.0 however, is the changing monetary aspect of the internet, as blockchain steps in.
The following figure showcases some of the prime Web 3.0 alternatives of traditional Web 2.0 apps.
While its interoperability aspect is the star feature of Web 3.0 dapps, this new paradigm brings more user benefits:
Anti monopoly and pro-privacy
No interruption in service
While Web 1.0 is being referred to as "the Original Web," Web 2.0 as "Social Web," Web 3.0 is being labelled the "Semantic Web."
As whatis.com describes it:
“Web 3.0 is the third generation of internet services for websites and applications that will focus on using a machine-based understanding of data to provide a data-driven and Semantic Web. The ultimate goal of Web 3.0 is to create more intelligent, connected and open websites.”
As you may have guessed, Bitcoin is the first live demo of Web 3.0 financial systems.