The Web is an interconnection of systems, hosts, and users on a network. Tim Berners-Lee invented the Web in 1989. Over the last two decades, the evolution of the Web has been gradual from the initial Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 and to now, moving towards a decentralized web also known as Web 3.0.
Though not completely rolled out, Web 3.0 was developed as a solution to the shortcomings of Web 2.0. The invention of the blockchain has seen the successful implementation of decentralization and may well completely redesign the way the Web operates. Blockchain technology has numerous attributes useful to 3.0 and is gradually becoming the backbone of the new Web.
So, what is Web 3.0?
3.0 refers to the 3rd generation of the internet where the devices are connected in a decentralized network instead of depending on server-based databases. Tim Berners-Lee coined the term Semantic referring to Web 3.0 where machines can read Web pages as much as humans read them. Web 3.0 is more of a transparent form of the Web where applications are more decentralized thanks to blockchain. This means that it is more resistant to threats of data breaches, secured and more private.
Features of Web 3.0
- Data portability
As earlier stated, blockchain is the backbone of 3.0. It is the very force driving the transition from Web 2.0 to Web 3.0. Blockchain revolutionizes the Internet by decentralizing data and allowing the user who generated the data to own it. The Web will still enable people to trade data, but owners will truly control it as their property and will have the opportunity to choose whether or not to trade it.
On top of data ownership, blockchain will allow the net to be completely user-centric and provide a highly personalized user experience. The third-party will be eliminated from transactions meaning that data will be much more secure. Blockchain will allow Web 3.0 to be more resistant to data leaks, breaches, and hacks which are common occurrences in Web 2.0.
Data will also be portable through smart contracts which will stop most forms of legal or illegal data trading, thus enhancing trust on all parties. In essence, with blockchain as the backbone of Web 3.0, computing on this Web will be decentralized through peer-to-peer information exchanges between individuals, corporations, and machines. Middlemen will be eliminated in which case there will be no implementation of ridiculous charges on the information highway. Users will genuinely own information.
Nonetheless, blockchain has several issues that hinder its usability in Web 3.0 for now. For instance, a lack of scalability, limited usability due to cryptographic complexity as well as the massive overvaluation of cryptocurrencies which could in some way centralize the Web 3.0. But still, it will offer much more benefits in terms of decentralization, anonymity, encryption technologies, privacy, data portability, among other benefits.
How will Blockchain change Web 3.0?
Blockchain is going to completely transform the Internet under the following different categories.
1. Social Media
Social media under Web 2.0 has faced several issues including centralization, data leaks, censorship, as well as internet limitations. However, with blockchain powerint the web, the social media landscape will undergo an enormous transformation such that there will be no limitations or centralization. The privacy of millions of users will be secured as data leaks will have been prevented. Examples of blockchain-based social networks on Web 3.0 include Sapien, Steemit, and Sola.
Messaging platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Telegram are susceptible to data leaks and also lack privacy which is attributed to centralization. Web 3.0 messaging apps such as e-Chat, ySign, Obsidian, etc. have implemented the blockchain to maintain users’ privacy.
3. Cloud Storage
Current cloud storage is centralized meaning that data can be accessed and manipulated or sold to third parties for advertising purposes. In the recent past, there have been serious data breaches on several platforms with cloud storage such as LinkedIn and Uber, which left usernames and passwords exposed. Blockchain on Web 3.0 will solve such issues by ensuring that data storage is decentralized. Example of storage solutions on Web 3.0 includes Filecoin, Storj, MaidSAFE, among others.
4. Streaming Video and Music
Current streaming platforms such as YouTube, Twitch, and Netflix, Spotify are all centralized and hence utilize user data for advertising purposes, in turn, breaking user privacy. Additionally, they have unclear policies and have been criticized for paying content creators low payments. In Web 3.0, of course through the blockchain, users will be able to enjoy decentralized streaming services, which will give equal opportunities to everyone. Examples of streaming platforms include Livepeer, Viuly, Flixxo, Videocoin, among others.
Although Web 3.0 is not fully implemented as the initial stages are still in development, it promises a complete transformation of how we will use the Web under the blockchain technology. In addition to blockchain being the underlying technology, 3.0 will also encompass emerging technologies such as AI, IoT, augmented, and virtual reality (AR/VR) as part of its core technology stack. For the full adoption of Web 3.0, developers need to start developing core applications that will run on the Web to ensure a smooth transition from the existing Web to decentralized Web which promises a better digital experience.