The rise of Web3: What’s this new Internet era about?

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Discover more about a trendy topic that has everyone around the tech world talking. We’ll discuss its core ideas, differences with Web 2.0, and the opportunities it brings to users. 

Metaverse, NFT marketplaces, crypto, and social networks. Yes, those are all types of Web3, but Web3 is more than that. At the foundation of this new chapter of the internet, there’s ownership, identity, freedom, and safety. In this article, we’re going to define what Web3 really is and dive deep into its main characteristics and the benefits it will offer to users.

What is and what isn’t Web3?

First of all: How did we get to Web3? Before navigating the waters of this new Internet era, we should delve into its recent history. In the early 90s, it was all about Web 1.0. Maybe if you’re that old, you’ll remember websites such as Yahoo, but just in case you didn’t have the chance to live that internet moment here’s its key: static websites. 

In the 2000s, Web 2.0 was born, mainly to leave static websites behind and say hello to reading and writing in a more interactive way. An important advancement is that mobile apps and websites can “talk between them” and that we can interact with them too. 

That’s a brief introduction to the star that gathers us in this article: Web3. Web3 proposes a more open, decentralized, and secure internet guaranteed by relying on technologies like blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and NFTs. Those technologies are the fuel to one of its main characteristics: with Web3 the ownership goes back to users. 

Therefore, we can say that Web3 proposes some quite interesting improvements to Web 2.0: 

  • Decentralization: big players like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft won’t have full control of data and large swathes of the internet, the power will be divided amongst builders and users, who will have the ownership. But don’t be confused: everything will be in the cloud, with no more complex operating system or large hard disks. Plus, since the ownership will be distributed, the experience will be faster and tailored. 
  • Permissionless participation: not one single person will be excluded from participating in Web3. It works with open protocols.
  • Native payments: users will be able to use cryptocurrency instead of relying on old payment processors or banks’ websites and apps.
  • Trustless operations: changing third-parties for incentive and economic mechanisms. 

Decentralization seems to be in people’s minds. For instance, 37% of U.S. adults truly believe that the internet can stop relying on cloud services from big companies such as Google. Belief gets stronger if they know about Web3 (67% vs. 34%). There’s more: 41% of those who know about Web3, think it will become mainstream.

But let’s dig into it a little more so you can stand for one position too. We did talk about how technologies like blockchain will boost Web3. Actually, Web3 is kinda about services created on blockchains that utilize tokens for decentralization, tokens that allow user contribution to the protocol and can be traded on cryptocurrency exchanges.

It’s not a coincidence that the name “Web3” was created by Gavin Wood, the Ethereum co-founder, the second largest blockchain protocol in the world. With all these being said: all Web3 is crypto but not all crypto is Web3. 

Web3 is not about stablecoins, meme tokens, exchange tokens, or payment tokens. Web3 is connected to: technical layers (the first one that’s the blockchain network, like Ethereum, and the second one that allows scalability); metaverse; play-to-earn; De-Fi; NFT marketplaces; file storage; and social networks. 

The not-so-secret ingredients of Web3

There’re at least five characteristics that clearly differentiate Web 2.0 from Web3. Let’s delve into each one.

1. No vetoes allowed

Now in times of Web 2.0 users must trust that platforms won’t suddenly change the rules. But Web3 brings the opposite. This new Internet era promises to be censorship resistance: when you feel like leaving the platform since your data will live on the blockchain, you will be able to move your “digital life” and reputation from one interface to another you’re more comfortable with. This will certainly balance the nowadays imbalanced relationship between platforms and content creators.

2. One identity for all

No more multiple accounts for logging into, for example, the different social media platforms. No more relying on platforms not to cut you out from your account, erasing all your data. No more trusting platforms’ sensitive information.

Web3 proposes one single identification for everything online. This identification will be safe, resist censorship, and let you stay anonymous. How? You’ll use an Ethereum address and ENS profile to control your digital identity.

3. Your digital assets are yours no matter what

Web3 will give you full ownership of what you buy online, for example, in a game, thanks to NFTs. If you decide that you don’t want your stuff anymore, you will be able to sell them on open markets.

4. You’re empowered to own platforms

Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) allow you to own the platform utilizing tokens that work like owning shares in a company. We truly mean that: users who own tokens (imagine tokens as shares) can decide by voting on how resources should be spent. Everything is decided by voting, there’re no CEOs, and the organization is collectively owned.

5. No more outdated payment processors

As we said before, Web3 will change Web2’s payment system, which depends on banks and payment processors. Web3 will let you use tokens, and no third parties are involved. 

Benefits users can get from Web3

The key benefits of Web3 are more related to safety due to its equality and ownership. For example, users will be able to decide who saves their data and how instead of being forced to rely on big players like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft. Plus, Web3 will pave the way for verifying data, and solving problems like fake news and maybe even scams. 

Web3’s technology regarding protocols will be peer-to-peer, changing the HTTP protocol that Web2 uses. This means that users are going to be empowered to exchange resources between them directly instead of relying on a third party. 

Web3 is more than crypto, is more than a new era of the Internet. Web3 is about empowering people to truly own what’s theirs online, to truly build the digital world by themselves.

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