Hello Web 3.0
I am sure you have heard about "Web 3.0", but what exactly? Is it all about digital currencies, like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Cardano? or the decentralisation of the Web? or is it something else entirely?
We cannot comprehend Web 3.0 before understanding what Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 are. So let's get to the history of the Web first.
Web 1.0 ("read-only")
Web 1.0 era lasted roughly from 1989 to 2005 and was called the "Static Web". It consists of web pages connected by hyperlinks, and you cannot do any interactions. It was one way of providing information, but you, as a user, cannot do anything with it other than read it.
Web 1.0 is like opening a Wikipedia page that you know the exact URL, and... that's it.
Think about this, say you are a plumber in the era of Web 1.0 and successfully created your website with the URL "www.awesome-plumber-robertsfors.com". How can people find you? They need to know your URL precisely; otherwise, forget about it. Now you can understand why search engine companies such as Google, Bing, or DuckDuckGo exist in the era of Web 2.0. Nowadays, it's easy to find plumbers ranging from highest to lowest rating or price in your area.
Web 1.0 era was pretty disorganised and overwhelming, but necessary to pave the way for the Web 2.0 era.
Web 2.0 ("read-write")
Web 2.0 began in 2005 and today we are transitioning to Web 3.0. It makes a lot of sense that Web 2.0 is considered the social era because it was born out of the necessity of the chaoticness of Web 1.0.
The three layers of innovation in Web 2.0 are mobile, social and cloud. During this era, the advancement of web technologies enables startups to capture these opportunities in these layers:
By building interactive web platforms where users can create profiles, add content or comments, and interact with each other. Social networks such as MySpace, Friendster, and Facebook help web users to connect and be less anonymous.
Mobile connectivity to the Internet happened in the Web 2.0 era, allowing us to be online most of the time. In September 2022, there are 10.92 Billion mobile connections worldwide and 83,4% of the earth's population own smartphones. (Source: https://www.bankmycell.com/blog/how-many-phones-are-in-the-world)
The numbers are not shocking, considering smartphones are affordable and seen as a necessity instead of a luxury item. In developing countries, such as Indonesia, it's not uncommon for a person to own at least two smartphones but no laptop.
Due to the rise of mobile connectivity and ownership, it's so easy to track our whereabouts, preferences, activities, habits and even desires.
The massive amount of sudden connections and demands to be online requires a solution, and computing in the cloud was born out of it.
In plain words, cloud computing delivers computing services—including servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and intelligence—over the Internet ("the cloud") to offer faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale.
Web 2.0 helps the internet to the mainstream; Many successful startups, such as YouTube, Facebook, Google and Instagram, enable users to upload and distribute their content between various platforms, applications and the world without writing a single line of code. The internet's easy access and smooth adoption seem like the perfect utopia, but these startups turn into giants, and the internet world becomes more centralised.
The centralisation of the internet issue, together with the advancement of technology (IoT), AI and machine learning, paved the way for the next generation of the internet, Web 3.0.
Web 3.0 is built mainly on three new layers of technological innovation:
A distributed computing paradigm brings computation and data storage closer to the data sources. This approach makes connection and data fetching faster, safer, efficient and more reliable.
Decentralised data networks
It enables you to sell or barter your data without losing ownership control, giving up privacy or reliance on third-party mediators. In short, you are in control of your data.
Artificial intelligence (AI)
Ever wonder how to double your revenue the best way possible? or to save costs efficiently? With enough data, AI & machine learning algorithms can answer this with a clear explanation of why and how to get there.
Web 3.0 is a leap forward to open, trustless and permissionless networks. It promises a more intelligent, efficient, accurate, and connected online experience for everyone.
Why should you care about Web 3.0?
There are several important points why I think you should care and contribute to Web 3.0:
Less reliance on centralised organisations
Thanks to Blockchain technology, we no longer rely on the centralised organisation to do transactions for us. We can efficiently execute a transaction using a smart contract and have confidence that it will be done to the arrangement that both parties agreed upon.
I am not entirely against centralised parties. There are pros and cons for both centralised and decentralised paradigms. I think balance is the key, and it's refreshing to see that there is finally a decentralised approach option for internet users.
Trust and privacy
We can stay anonymous and transparent at the same time. It doesn't sound very clear, but it's true. With Blockchain technology, you can be sure that a deal is a deal. Without knowing the other person, you can trust that they will deliver what they promise because the contract won't be fulfilled until the criteria are met.
There's one thing that might be undesirable for some people. Everyone can see your transactions. Understandably, sometimes you want to have your privacy
Don't worry! We have zero-knowledge proofs. A zero-knowledge proof is a way of proving the validity of a statement without revealing the statement itself. So the public can see your transactions, but that doesn't mean they can fully know the agreement.
The Internet of things (IoT) is pretty rad! It refers to the connected billions of physical devices worldwide to the Internet. These devices have sensors, processing ability, software, etc that connect and exchange data with other devices and systems over the Internet or other communications networks.
IoT is your smart-everything. It's your smart-watch, smart-refrigerator, smart-thermostat, smart-bell, smart-lamps, you name it. IoT enables your devices to talk to one another too. Your refrigerator can communicate with your digital shopping list to remind you to buy more oat milk, for example.
IoT requires a super reliable and fast network and thanks to the 5G network, which enables 100x quicker speeds than 4G, it can enhance edge computing applications significantly.
OK look, I am not a gadget nerd, and it could be scary to think of the end-of-the-world scenario where machines go wild and my refrigerator murders me. But think of another scenario of how IoT + AI could save billions of people's lives in healthcare, climate solutions, or food industries.
Web 3.0 is essential for our future. We are attempting to enable people to have complete control over their data and privacy on the Internet and less reliance on centralised organisations. On top of it, the IoT and advancement of edge computing sounds amazing.
Some people I talked with are very sceptical about Web 3.0, and I understand why. There are too many noises with cryptocurrency pump-and-dump scams, counterfeit NFTs, and getting rich (or bankrupt) super fast and easy.
However, I think Web 3.0 is more profound than those noises. It's the future of the Web. I can see how I can buy my house or car entirely using smart contracts. Or how my smart watch can send data to my doctor's software every month to monitor my health and pay them using cryptocurrency, automatically executed using smart contracts.
You can call me a dork, but I can see how people can book virtual DJs, hire a metaverse decorator, hire NFT artists to create and send NFT invitations and celebrate their events on a metaverse.
I can see all the benefits Web 3.0 can give to the event industry and creative event vendors for my startup Venopi. Even if I couldn't get funding for Venopi, I still want to work and contribute to the future of the Web. That's why I self-taught myself how to be a developer in Web 3.0.
For everyone reading this, I hope this article helps you understand more about Web 3.0 and get excited to jump into the space and help shape the Web's future. It's still so early, and we can be a part of the solution. Doesn't it sound like a lot of fun?