It all started with the world wide web (web 1.0). This was the pioneering face of the Internet that we know today, and it worked as an interconnected network of computers that allowed for very simple information sharing and the development of extremely basic websites.
Web 1.0 can be traced back approximately to the period between 1990 and 2004, where the influence of companies was very small. Advertising was banned on many websites, internet service providers hosted mainly static pages, and the public could only participate to a limited extent.
Since 2005, we talk about Web 2.0, referring to the transition to a more sophisticated Internet era. Various companies became increasingly interested in the technology, and some websites even had a revenue generation plan. Many applications were open-source from this point on, making the source code visible, analysable, and modifiable. In addition, user interaction grew significantly. Freedom of speech was also common, and users could submit reviews on listed products and isolated websites.
Services like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube appeared and became central platforms for people to interact and create new content.
Internet users play a pivotal role in creating new content in the Web2 age.
The transition from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 brought both advantages and disadvantages:
Financially strong platforms could invest in developing their ideas, but on the other hand, they also had the power to censor information based on their discretion. The hot servers of the apps were not fully reliable, and a failure could have financial consequences for the user, who were dependent on servers for their work. In summary, Web 2 was the origin of the Internet we know today, where content creation, freedom of speech and online business thrive under the umbrella of an interconnected “free” platform.
Nowadays, Web 3 is one of the most important keywords in the tech sector. It refers to the Internet of the future, created and managed by its users, eliminating the problems that occurred with Web2 and bringing ownership back from large corporations to ordinary people. Web3’s applications are based on an open, public blockchain that eliminates the need for third-party providers. It consists of numerous decentralised networks that enable storing data in open blockchains instead of traditional centralised databases. At the heart of Web3 are well-known concepts from the world of cryptocurrencies, such as DeFi, Metaverse, Smart Contracts and NFTs.
The term Web 3 was first used in 2014 by Gavin Wood, the Polkadot founder and Ethereum co-founder. He described it as a “decentralised online ecosystem based on the blockchain”. In 2021, the popularity of the term grew. The concept represents an ideal image of the future web as a usable technology stack which developers can build directly. The idea of an encrypted online space emerged when the Snowden revelations raised general privacy concerns.
Blockchain technology is used for decentralisation and is considered the connecting element between all Web3 apps. It allows all users to verify the information and add new ones. The key to decentralising Web3 is using blockchain and cryptocurrency, eliminating intermediaries and enabling direct transactions between partners. Virtual meeting points allow the spatially representation of all information.
A little reminder: the difference between Metaverse and Web
People can use Web3 to access the Metaverse. Web3 is about decentralised ownership and control and putting the web in the hands of users. The Metaverse is a shared digital reality through which users can connect to build economies and interact in real time. The Metaverse and Web3 are interconnected. Web3 serves as a process engine that leverages the advances of blockchain, and Metaverse is a new dimension that encompasses health, gaming, education and social platforms that use the technical advances of Web3 to achieve their goals.
Web3 is currently developing rapidly and has attracted a lot of capital and expertise worldwide. The usability of Web3 services and the knowledge gained from new technologies are key to whether people know how to use the possibilities of Web3 now and in the future. The possibilities of Web3 are limitless at the moment, and it will be interesting to see what we can do in distributed networks. What is certain, however, is that Web3 will change the world more than any other technological innovation since the invention of the Internet.
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