The internet, which has been our go-to entertainment and social interaction spot, has undergone significant changes over the years. Over the years, there has been a shift from static content to dynamic, user-generated content. This transition began in the 1990s with the rise of the information age, where people started accessing virtual content instead of physical materials. This marked the beginning of Web 1.0. Later, with the advent of Web 2.0, the internet became more interactive and allowed for two-way communication through platforms such as search engines and social media.
While the newer internet generation — Web 3.0, offers fresh possibilities for our spectrum of understanding. Web 3.0 is primarily based on losing any company or internet giant’s regulatory monopoly on the hosted content. Moreover, it opens doors to a pathbreaking world of user liberty, immense usability, and a plethora of new-world applications. Let’s take a look at how Web 3.0 unfurls:
The essence of remarkable freedom in Web 3.0
Web 3.0 promises pure decentralisation and offers users a chance to own their content with valid rights and enhanced personalisation. This is well seen in cryptocurrencies, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Non-Fungible Tokens, Blockchains and Smart Contracts. In a world governed by Web 2.0, where big corporate groups host and control user-generated content and regulate its consumption, Web 3.0 is electrified freedom of content ownership, which will be trustless and permissionless. In simple terms, it is the advent of open-source software and a zero-trust phenomenon where users own their decentralised hardware infrastructure. For the first time, user interaction is enhanced with devices and services without centralised ownership of any single stakeholder party.
Decentralised finance on blockchains
With crypto assets making early adopters billionaires, blockchain technology in finance is a new protocol amid traditional monetary methods that challenge the established economic order. In 2021, the global investment in blockchain solutions was projected at 6.6 billion USD, estimated to go up by 19 billion USD by 2024. Blockchain is a distributed ledger technology that involves a secure connection of several records pertaining to every member computing system part of that chain. Such records, or in financial jargon known as ledgers, are verified by each participant to make them tamper-proof.
Non-fungible tokens and digital assets
There is only one original painting of the Mona Lisa in the world, Leonardo Da Vinci being its original artist. Wouldn’t it be thrilling if you owned it? With Web 3.0, it is possible today in the virtual world. Imagine being the unique and the only owner of an image, video, music, or any digital collectible. In a world of copies, graphic art you’d own in the form of, known in Web 3.0 terms as, Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) would be the only original copy ever made, and you could be its rightful owner.
These work on blockchain technology in the same way where records once created by chain members are checked by others without manipulation. So a piece of art or memorabilia that exists in the virtual world could wholly and solely be yours, just like that Mona Lisa artwork, unless you choose to sell it off using cryptocurrencies at a profit. That’s the disruptive promise of Web 3.0 in the digital collectibles space.
Smart contracts do away with business complexities
When physical and digital records run the risk of being forged or misplaced, people in the United States have been reported to have suffered a loss of over 3.3 billion USD in 2020. This is where smart contracts do away with physical or digital record-keeping and initiate a digitally coded contractual outcome between the sellers and buyers without manual effort.
Smart contracts in Web 3.0 work when pre-set conditions are met to execute a desired outcome by a backend computer code. For instance, in e-commerce, when users meet a sales target, they are instantly offered a discount incentive. At the backend, a computer program smartly runs and keeps track of users’ buying patterns before releasing this incentive. That’s the beauty of automated smart contracts on blockchains functioning without human bias.
Bottomline outlook on Web 3.0
From Artificial intelligence (AI) to 3D graphics, blockchains, semantic web applications, and even immersive connectivity, Web 3.0 is the next phase of the internet. With Web 3.0 offering novel applications to agitate the pre-existing ownerships of user-generated content, internet 2.0 is gradually treading to become giant internet 3.0.
While regulators are still preparing for this shift, much of it is currently self-regulated, and it will be gripping to look at how the internet of the future unfolds.