From digital tokens and NFTs to the metaverse, advances in web development never cease to surprise us. And here comes another buzzword — Web 3.0. What actually stands behind Web 3.0 and what changes might it bring to your business?
Web 3.0 represents the next generation of the internet, which aims to shift power from large corporations to individual users. Its focus is on decentralization, transparency, and security. As for the stats, each month more than 18k active developers commit code in open-source crypto and Web 3.0 applications.
Web 3.0’s ambitious goal is not only to interpret what you input but actually understand what you’re conveying and provide you with personalized recommendations by leveraging the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).
But what else should you know about Web 3.0 and how it differs from its predecessor? Read this article to find out. We will also help you identify key features and pitfalls of Web 3.0 so that you can decide whether or not it is worth investing in.
What is Web 3.0 and what makes it different?
Web 3.0, also known as web3, operates on a decentralized platform and processes information in a smart human-like way. Web 3.0 relies on technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, semantic web, and blockchain, using them to help deliver greater transparency and a faster, more personalized user experience.
Originally, Web 3.0 was called the Semantic Web by Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web. The focus was on building the next internet — more intelligent, open, and autonomous than its predecessor.
Now, the major goal that Web 3.0 pursues is to give control of the data back to users. Thus, instead of just using tech platforms in exchange for their data, users will be able to participate in the governance of these platforms. For instance, you can sell your own data to advertisers on the web while still retaining its ownership and data privacy.
Brian Brooks, CEO of the BitFury blockchain services company, pins great hopes on the development of Web 3.0. According to Brooks:
“That’s what the project of crypto is all about: allowing people to directly own the networks … you can vote on what happens in the future of a proof-of-stake network. What happens on the decentralized internet is decided by the investors, versus what happens on the main internet is decided by Twitter, Facebook, Google and a small number of other companies.”
What can you actually do on Web 3.0?
Web 3.0 will allow you to control products that were previously centralized. With Web 3.0 technology powered by blockchain anything can be tokenized, whether it’s a piece of art or a ticket to a concert.
Another example that clearly demonstrates the Web 3.0 meaning for end users is gaming. With Web 3.0, gamers will be able to invest in games and have control over them by voting on how things should run, what changes should be made in the next updates, and more.
What are the key Web 3.0 features and components?
The core features and properties distinguishing Web 3.0 comprise decentralization, connectivity, the semantic web, 3D graphics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and a permissionless environment.
One of the most distinctive Web 3.0 features will be its trustless nature. It means that the network will enable end users to interact directly without going through a trusted intermediary. Moreover, Web 3.0 will be permissionless, which presupposes that anyone can participate without the need to be authorized by a governing body. That is why Web 3.0 applications will run on blockchains or decentralized networks.
Let’s take a closer look now at other key properties of Web 3.0.
In Web 3.0, information will be stored in multiple locations simultaneously. This will eliminate the use of massive databases that are currently held by tech giants like Google and Facebook.
Web 3.0 will be accessible from any location and device with the data being generated by a multitude of powerful computing resources, including desktops, mobile phones, appliances, and sensors. The information will be sold by users through decentralized data networks, thus granting them data ownership control.
With Web 3.0, information will become more connected and ubiquitous as, like we’ve said before, internet-connected devices will no longer be restricted to just computers and smartphones. Moreover, advances in the technology of the Internet of Things (IoT) will pave the way to a plethora of new types of smart device for Web 3.0.
Before defining the semantic web, let’s step back and identify the semantics itself.
Semantics is generally known as a study of the relationship between words. The semantic web is the capability of computers to analyze large quantities of data from the Web, including content, syntax, transactions, and links between persons.
So, if take for example two phrases like “I love Web 3.0” and “I <3 Web 3.0”, we would see that their meaning is pretty much the same although the syntax is different. Applying web semantics in Web 3.0 websites will empower machines to decode meaning and emotions while analyzing data. As a result, it will facilitate data communication, and ensure a much better experience for end users.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning
Web 3.0 involves the use of AI and ML algorithms to help machines filter and offer the best facts to end users based on their search. By applying these algorithms, computers will be able to imitate how humans learn, gradually increasing their accuracy. As a result, they will produce more relevant results as opposed to the straightforward targeted advertising of Web 2.0.
AI algorithms will empower Web 3.0 websites to tailor data to each user’s preferences and liking, remove such issues as rating manipulation (for example on movie rating websites like IMDb), and provide users with the best unbiased information.
3D graphics on Web 3.0 will ensure a more realistic, three-dimensional cyberworld compared to the simple, two-dimensional web. 3D graphics will bring a new level of immersion not only to online games but also Web 3.0 websites and services like ecommerce, real estate, tourism, and other sectors.
Web 3.0 and blockchain
Web 3.0 applications and websites will rely heavily on blockchain and blockchain entities like non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and cryptocurrencies. In particular, Web 3.0 tokens are most often associated with the vision of creating a decentralized internet.
By using Web 3.0 tokens, users will be able to create, control, and contribute to different projects. For example, Reddit is creating a mechanism that will make cryptocurrency tokens available to users to control elements of the on-site communities in which they participate.
Blockchain will therefore be the key driver of Web 3.0 and it will contribute to the creation of multiple Web 3.0 blockchain applications. It will also ensure an encrypted, secure, and user-centric network that will provide users with absolute control and ownership over their data.
Evolution of Web 3.0
The history of the web goes back to the 90s and the first HTML-based websites, where people could only read the information presented there. This was the era of static web pages and content creation was still in its infancy.
Web 2.0 represented a significant shift that allowed users to not only receive information, but also interact with it. Web 2.0 gave birth to the world’s biggest tech corporations like Apple, Amazon, Google, and Facebook. Moreover, this era is associated with the creation of smartphones, which resulted in the launch of mobile computing.
Now, we’re all at the next stage of web evolution. Web 3.0 adds decentralization and artificial intelligence so that computers will be able to analyze data the same way as humans do, thus providing users with valuable content tailored to their specific needs.
Web 2.0 vs Web 3.0: what are the differences?
The main differences between Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 lie in such aspects as their focus, technologies, and application types.
Web 2.0 is mainly focused on helping individuals to interact with web content. Its major goal is to ensure community development. It’s no surprise that the development of Web 2.0 contributed to the appearance of platforms like Instagram that allow users to share their content with each other. Web 3.0 shifts its focus towards user empowerment. It wants users to become active contributors to the web. Meanwhile, it will provide increased security, privacy, and trust.
So, whereas Web 2.0 is the era of large corporations that leverage exploitation and centralization of user data, which often results in data breaches, Web 3.0 wants to give power back to individuals by means of a decentralized network.
Web 3.0 in its turn is mainly associated with such technologies as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and decentralized protocols. Other important tools that will underpin the growth of Web 3.0 are the semantic web and multiple knowledge bases.
As we’ve already mentioned, Web 2.0 relies heavily on interaction and interactive advertising. It introduced us to a wide range of two-way web applications and web pages, personal blogs, podcasts, video websites, and more.
Web 3.0 features are particularly focused on smart functionality. Hence, Web 3.0 will empower the growth of smart applications leveraging AI and ML technologies. Examples of such applications would be multi-user virtual environments and integrated games.
Are there any pitfalls of Web 3.0?
The answer is yes. As Albert Einstein said, “There is nothing known as Perfect”. And even though the idea of Web 3.0 has been brewing for a long time, it still has potential risks and threats, including but not limited to:
- legal and regulatory risks
- hatred and offensive speech
- cybercrime and misinformation
There’s also skepticism about the Web 3.0 idea itself. At the heart of the criticism are the concepts of decentralization and data ownership. Skeptics believe that ownership over decentralized networks will not be equally distributed. In contrast, it is likely to be concentrated in the hands of early adopters and venture capitalists.
Web 3.0 skeptics claim that blockchain projects are decentralized only in name but not in substance. They often rely on a centralized infrastructure while the barrier to entry in creating such projects is still high.
For example, Twitter’s co-founder, Jack Dorsey, questioned the ownership of Web 3.0. Dorsey pointed to the fact that Web 3.0 projects are often funded by venture capital firms. Owning a controlling stake, they will be able to pressure blockchain founders to comply with centralized regulations.
Despite some criticism, Web 3.0 still has a lot of potential. Even though some of its ideas and concepts sound too idealistic, it may still find applications over the next decade. And the rapid development of blockchain and dApps only proves that.
Web 3.0 projects and examples
Now let’s take a look at some of the most prominent Web 3.0 examples that demonstrate how Web 3.0 can potentially function.
Siri, Wolfram Alpha, and Ocean Protocol are currently the most popular examples of Web 3.0 usage.
Apple’s Siri leverages speech recognition and artificial intelligence to perform personalized commands. In fact, voice recognition software will be one of the key components of Web 3.0.
Initially, Siri could help its users only with basic commands like reminders or directions to the nearest grocery store thanks to the pre-programmed algorithms in the iPhone. And this could only be possible if the grocery had a website showing directions. Otherwise, the search results were misleading.
Now, it can assist you with much more complex commands like booking an appointment or recommending the nearest pizzeria to your place.
Wolfram Alpha is an intelligence platform that provides computing answers. It is most often used by students and professionals from fields such as mathematics and science.
The platform leverages Web 3.0 by collecting information from databases on the web and streaming it for end users.
In contrast to Google, which we’re all used to and which processes our queries by providing a list of webpages, Wolfram Alpha answers your questions directly by computation. Just try to search “England vs Scotland” on both browsers and you will see the difference.
For more specific questions like “Where is England”, Wolfram Alpha will give very specific answers and then provide correlated data, which the user could then apply to find additional information based on their query.
Ocean Protocol, also known as OCEAN, is developing tools for Web 3.0 applications. Its major focus lies in unlocking data for AI.
Ocean Protocol leverages blockchain and emphasizes transparency and scalability while bringing decentralization to data sharing. This Web 3.0 crypto project has its own app, which provides for secure publishing of data. There are also Ocean Libraries, which are used for developing marketplaces.
Web 3.0 vs metaverse: how do these concepts relate to each other?
Just like Web 3.0, the metaverse is now one of the hottest buzzwords in Silicon Valley. The metaverse is an extensive virtual world which allows people to interact with each other through their digital avatars. By leveraging innovative technologies like blockchain, AI, AR/VR, and IoT, the metaverse will offer an immersive digital experience combining both virtual and digital spaces.
One of the most common questions you’ve probably heard is likely to be “Is the metaverse Web 3.0?”. Not exactly: although they are interconnected, these are two different concepts. Whereas Web 3.0 concentrates on who will own and control the internet and how the information there will be processed, the metaverse is focused on how people will experience and interact in the next internet.
The metaverse will consist of multiple virtual worlds connected through networks and servers. And Web 3.0 will help ensure a more immersive experience there, helping users easily interact with each other.
Moreover, interoperability, which means that users can easily take their avatars from site to site or service to service without logging into accounts that are controlled by specific companies, is one of the key principles of the metaverse. It is also one of the ideals of Web 3.0.
Should your business invest in Web 3.0?
The concept of Web 3.0 is still in its infancy, which makes businesses question whether or not it is worth investing in at this time.
One thing is clear: businesses should not ignore Web 3.0 as it will have a tremendous impact on multiple spheres from banking and finance to asset management. For example, rather than joining a centralized bank, users can access a global suite of financial products by enabling those services to interact directly with their digital wallets.
It is also clear that Web 3.0 will make use of NFTs and digital assets, which allow users to monetize their skills in new ways and which present businesses with multiple investment opportunities.
Another effective strategy to contribute to Web 3.0 development is to invest in the development of the infrastructure from which it will be constituted: blockchain protocols, AI or ML-based solutions, and more.
Even though the Web 2.0 wave is still bearing fruit we cannot ignore all the new opportunities that Web 3.0 promises to bring us. With Web 3.0, you will be able not only to ensure the privacy of your data, but also to contribute to and control content produced on the web.
The next internet will ensure a more personalized and customized user experience thanks to intelligent algorithms, thus basically becoming your human-like search assistant. There will be no further need to spend hours searching for flights, accommodation, etc., as the intelligent algorithms or bots will be able to collate all this data and generate recommendations tailored to your needs.
Whether you are taking your first steps towards the development of Web 3.0 or need advice on how to invest in it, consult our PixelPlex tech specialists. With 15+ years of experience in software development and almost a decade of expertise in delivering blockchain-based solutions, we can assist you with even the most ambitious tasks.