Highlights –

  • With Web 3.0 being able to recognize preferences, online browsing experiences can be personalized.
  • Whatever its current course, the internet is developing, and decentralized applications backed by blockchain have the potential to wrestle authority from a few centralized gatekeepers.

For over three decades, the internet has been developing, gradually carrying us from the early days of Web1 – with static text and graphics – all the way to the advent of Web2, ushering us into a new internet era as we know it today – one controlled by centralized platforms. Moving forward, we are currently in the early stages of Web3, which envisions the seamless transfer of value and data across decentralized platforms with shared ownership and governance. For the concept of this new web to materialize, however, a few obstacles still need to be overcome.

A brief peek into the advances

The internet of the 1990s and the beginning of the 2000s was Web1. The internet at the time was a read-only collection of static HTML pages. There was only a little user-to-user interaction.

The Web2 era, often known as the read-write web, started in about 2004 and is still the most relevant generation of the internet. It consisted of social media platforms, blogs, and online communities that let people communicate and work together in real time.

When compared with Web2, Web3 is more challenging to define. This is because the Web3 era is still in its early stages. The leading Web3 blockchain network, Ethereum, only debuted in 2015. In 2019, numerous technologies that contribute to making of the Web3 experience practical for end users are still being developed. However, a few essential characteristics are frequently seen to belong to this new internet era.

Advantages of Web 3.0

Here are some of the crucial advantages of Web3 –

  • Web 3.0 promises to give end users full data ownership and encryption protection. When necessary, information will only be provided with consent or case-by-case basis.
  • Cloud and mobile apps will allow users to view their data from anywhere.
  • Blockchains like Ethereum offer trusted platforms where one can access fully encrypted data. This helps eliminate intermediaries.
  • Communication with the blockchain network can be done by creating an address. Digital assets and wealth can be moved quickly, effectively, and globally. There will be no discrimination based on income, sexual orientation, geography, gender, or other social or demographic factors.
  • Account suspensions and denial of distributed services have declined drastically. Because there’s no failure point, there won’t be uninterrupted services.
  • With Web 3.0 being able to recognize preferences, online browsing experiences can be personalized.
  • Decentralized networks will ensure people always control their internet data.

Drawbacks of Web 3.0

  • Some experts say that decentralization could make Web 3.0 hard to monitor and administer, increasing online abuse and crimes.
  • It will be too advanced for simpler tech.
  • Beginners can struggle to understand Web 3.0.
  • A user’s private and public information can be easily accessible.
  • Web 3.0 will call the need for faster CPUs and will not be compatible with older ones.
  • As websites and apps that use this web platform gain popularity, existing website owners will have to modernize, and businesses will have to improve their digital services to acquire market share.
  • A vast network makes it easier to access political and personal data.
  • Lack of integration makes this phase less accessible to consumers.
  • Web3 apps will call for additional software, techniques, and understanding.
  • Due to the blockchain cost, many dapps prefer putting small amounts of code.

Possibilities of Web3

Whatever its current course, the internet is developing, and decentralized applications (dapps) backed by blockchain have the potential to wrestle authority from a few centralized gatekeepers. An “internet of money” is starting to take shape, along with distributed data hosting and user-controlled platforms.

Decentralized finance, often known as DeFi, is already providing millions of people with the tools to exchange assets, generate passive income, obtain loans, and do much more without the need for an intermediary making a cut. Because of this, the cryptocurrency ideology of banking the unbanked is now becoming a reality.

It goes beyond just personal financial management. This new phase opens up more possibilities for things like SocialFi, a portmanteau of social media and finance that provides precisely what you’d expect. Without blockchain, the options to transmit money via social apps are more burdensome and less secure. They will call upon the need for a third party to infuse trust instead of an automated, irreversible payment layer. But with that layer, users may conduct transactions without the fear of fraud, cutting out the need for expensive middlemen and facilitating faster payments.

There is also the developing field of GameFi, which is closely related to ideas of the future metaverse. Thanks to crypto assets and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), in-game economies will be powered. A play-to-earn approach will be used, wherein players will receive real-world rewards for the time spent playing that they will own.

In addition, besides providing trustless transactions and eliminating the need for central intermediary entities, decentralized technology offers an entirely new business model to replace the prevailing business model on the internet. This takes the form of Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs), which hand over authority to a group of users and give them a voice in the platform’s development while rewarding usage with material ownership and governance benefits.

As a result, startups may now face off against established services on an equal footing, using incentives to draw users and leveraging network effects to broaden their reach.

While this new form of the internet offers great potential to alter how consumers, developers, and brands connect fundamentally, much work needs to be done.

Limitations of existing systems that are preventing Web3

Despite the wide variety of practicable use cases, several significant problems still impede this Web3 goal. For starters, many so-called decentralized applications are not genuinely decentralized. The front end of these services frequently runs on cloud servers, which means that access to them still depends on traditional infrastructure, and the blockchain is only infrequently used to send or receive data.

Even blockchain networks – intended to be decentralized – lose that distinction when a majority of them are run on Amazon Web Services or other centralized corporate clouds. Even in the case of Ethereum, this is a popular case. Blockchain was created to prevent a single point of failure like this. Hence, the current position is neither ideal nor sustainable.

Yet another issue acting as a barrier to the progress of Web3 is the fact that many Web3 applications are now running on Ethereum, a platform with high transaction fees, low throughput, and an inability to scale without external infrastructure. These inherent limitations from Web 3’s touted backbone will limit its development. If the metaverse has to really work for everyone, barriers to admission like these must be removed quickly.

How will we get there?

Considering all factors, it would be premature to declare that we have reached Web3 just yet. However, that doesn’t imply that the foundation isn’t being built. For instance, new platforms are surfacing that aim to totally free themselves from Web2 standards. This includes the internet computer, a blockchain that operates at web speed, delivers web, and offers a framework for smart contracts that is infinitely scalable. The internet computer has already conquered scaling, performance, and price problems, paving the way for DeFi experiences that are neither expensive nor slow, enabling dapps to use decentralized architecture fully.

Every online service component – from the front to the back end – must be hosted on-chain for the Web3 vision to become a reality. Legacy infrastructure is not required, meaning there’s no need for gatekeepers and minimal downtime. This will result in entirely realistic Web3 experiences and significantly improved performance.

One of the most crucial elements of this technological epoch is that it must be constructed appropriately from the base level. There’s an opportunity to reinvent the internet, and it’s essential to ensure it’s done keeping in mind end-users interests rather than big corporates.