Getting In Early: What Is Web3 (Web 3.0) and How Can Business Benefit from It?


by Mladen Maksic | Jun 13, 2022

Fasten your seatbelts because Web 3.0 is coming to take the world by storm. Also known as the third-generation internet, Web3 is the next evolution step in the World Wide Web. As Mike Loukides, the editor of O’Reilly Radar, said: “We are seeing the beginning of things. Web 2.0 is broadband. Web 3.0 is a web of data.”
No doubt that we are at the tipping point of a new phase in the web’s evolution. But what is Web3 exactly, how will it change the digital world, and how can businesses benefit from it? Learn all about Web 3.0 – the decentralized internet of the future to stay ahead of the curve and use this new and exciting technology to your advantage when it comes to life.

Let’s dive right in!

The Evolution of the Web: Internet History Crash Course

The web has dramatically evolved over the years, and current internet applications are almost unrecognizable from their early days. The web’s evolution can be divided into three stages – Web 1.0, Web 2.0, and the latest Web 3.0.

However, the digital age comes with an array of buzz words and acronyms that have found their way into our vocabularies, although their meanings often get blurred and confused. So, let’s shed some light on the basics of Web 3.0 and its predecessors before we dive deeper into the fascinating world of the web of our future.

What Is Web 1.0?

The first stage of the World Wide Web evolution- Web 1.0, presented data and information in a predominantly static way and was characterized by low user interaction with the content. There were only a few content creators in Web 1.0, with most users being content consumers.

On Web 1.0, the users had a predominantly passive role in the browsing process as it was designed for users searching for data. It is sometimes called “the read-only Web” because it lacks the visuals, controls, and interactivity we enjoy in today’s Internet era.

What Is Web 2.0?

Web 2.0 is an enhanced version of Web 1.0. While Web 1.0 mainly focused on reading – Web 2.0 focused on participating and contributing. Unlike Web 1.0, Web 2.0 highlighted user-generated content, usability, and interoperability for end users. In the world of Web 2.0, users were no longer just content consumers – they become creators, producers, or co-producers of content on the web.

Some examples of user-generated content platforms are blogs, social networks, YouTube, and Wikipedia.

And, Finally… What Is Web 3.0?

You now know how the web developed throughout the years. However, the internet is currently going through another paradigm shift. Imagine a new type of internet that not only accurately interprets what users input but actually understands everything they convey through text, voice, or other media – one where all content users consume is more tailored to them than ever before. Enter Web 3.0!

The term “Web 3.0” or “Web3” was coined by Ethereum co-creator Gavin Wood in 2014. Originally called the “Semantic Web” by the World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee, Web 3.0 is the upcoming third generation of the internet. Websites and apps will be able to process information in a human-like way through technologies like machine learning (ML), Big Data, decentralized ledger technology (DLT), etc. to develop a more intelligent and connected web experience for end-users.

Web3: The Actionable Intelligent Web of the Future

Web3: The Actionable Intelligent Web of the Future
What is the buzz all about? World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee envisioned Web 3.0 as an intelligent, autonomous, and open Internet that uses Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to act as a “global brain” and process content conceptually and contextually. With the addition of semantics and machine learning, Web 3.0 makes it possible for computers to truly understand the meaning behind information.

Web 3.0 combines the virtues of Web 1.0 and 2.0 by adding machine intelligence to the mix. You could say that Web 1.0 is the static, “read-only Web,” Web 2.0 is the “participative, interactive social Web,” and Web 3.0 is the “read, write, execute Web.” The Semantic Web promises to establish “the world’s information” more reasonably and offer a fair and transparent network.

Diving In: The Main Features of Web 3.0

There’s no doubt that Web 3.0 will take the world by storm. Here are some of its most prominent features, explained:

  1.  Semantic Web
    Web 3.0 is a semantic web – a web technology that lets users create, share, and connect content via search and analysis based on comprehension of words instead of numbers and keywords.
  2.  Artificial Intelligence (AI)
    Web 3.0 incorporates Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. When these concepts are combined with Natural Language Processing (NLP), the result is a computer that uses Web 3.0 to become more intelligent and more responsive to user needs and can distinguish information like humans to provide faster and more relevant results.
  3.  3D Graphics and Spatial Web
    A large part of Web 3.0 is moving into digital realities – using geospatial worlds to bring more people into virtual spaces. In fact, we already see this in video games, virtual tours, and e-commerce. Web 3.0 is sometimes called the “Spatial Web” as it aims to blur the line between the physical and the digital reality by revolutionizing graphics technology and bringing a new level of immersion.
  4.  Decentralized Systems and Ubiquity
    One of the main features of Web3 is decentralization and ubiquity. Ubiquity means being everywhere at the same time. In other words, being “omnipresent”. Web 2.0 is already ubiquitous in many ways, but the growth of IoT devices will take it to new levels.
    With Web 3.0, semantic metadata allows people to connect to the Internet anytime, anywhere, without needing a computer or smart device. It presents the connectivity of multiple devices and applications through the Internet of Things (IoT).
  5.  Blockchain
    Web 3.0 apps are built on blockchains – a decentralized network of numerous peer-to-peer nodes (servers) or a hybrid of the two responsible for facilitating trust in a trustless virtual environment. With blockchain technology, user data is protected and encrypted, preventing large companies from controlling and/or using users’ data for their gain.
    This way, internet users maintain ownership over their data and digital assets and can log in anywhere securely without being tracked. Without a central body that governs Web 3.0, it will become a “permissionless space,” where users can do whatever they like without being impeded by governments, banks, or businesses.

Web 3.0 and Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency is frequently mentioned when it comes to Web 3.0 because many of the Web 3.0 protocols rely heavily on cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrency is directly tied to the blockchain as it is a decentralized currency.

Crypto payments will likely become the digital payment of Web 3.0, as they offer cheaper and almost instant transactions in real-time, eliminate middlemen, and allow for direct transactions between parties. Web 3.0 crypto is also anonymous. Blockchain helps make Web 3.0 more transparent and safe, while cryptocurrency eliminates intermediaries, such as financial institutions.
Web 3.0 will rely heavily on nonfungible tokens (NFTs), digital currencies, and other blockchain entities. Using non-fungible tokens will enable content creators to truly own their digital content. Web 3.0 crypto tokens and coins have been gaining considerable traction since their launch, and some of the most popular ones are Chainlink, Filecoin, THETA, Helium, Bit Torrent, and so on.

Web 3.0 and the Metaverse

Even though most people associate metaverse with gaming and augmented reality, this industry actually taps into a wide range of different industries. The metaverse is all about immersing people in the virtual world. Web 3.0’s blockchain technology, particularly NFTs, can enable users to participate in virtual reality like the metaverse.

Metaverses are basically digital 3D universes that operate on the blockchain and offer anyone the freedom to create assets, socialize, game, invest, and more. Thanks to blockchain, these platforms are interoperable and scalable. One example is Axie Infinity – a complex gaming metaverse that bridges gaming and decentralized finance (DeFi).

Web 3.0 and dApps

Ethereum is currently the leader in founding many emerging Web3 applications, called decentralized applications or dApps for short. Instead of centralized servers, Ethereum hosts these dApps on user-operated nodes on the blockchain, allowing anyone to use them without having their data monetized. No central entity can control or block one’s access to the dApps.

Powered by blockchain technology, these apps will end the monopoly of the tech giants and bring the power of data back to the end-users.

How Can Businesses Benefit from Web 3.0?

The web is constantly evolving, and new opportunities for businesses come with each iteration. Web 3.0 is the next level of technology, allowing companies to get more out of their websites than ever before by moving towards a more dynamic and faster-changing environment. So, all businesses need to be prepared for this new horizon of possibilities and keep an eye on its progress to capitalize on any arising opportunities.
Web 3.0’s impact on businesses will be transparent and a user/customer-centered approach. Many industries will be able to utilize Web 3.0 to make their processes more efficient and become more self-sufficient, ranging from retail to medicine, from micro-businesses to large corporations.
Here are some potential business benefits of Web 3.0:

·    Cost-Saving: Blockchain networks, smart contracts, and decentralized applications eliminate the need for third-party service providers, which will help businesses reduce costs and be more competitive. The infrastructure required to run a Web 3.0 application is also much cheaper than the traditional web infrastructure, thanks to Web 3.0 applications being decentralized, which makes Web 3.0 applications much more affordable to develop and maintain.

·    Higher Transparency: Blockchain is an unchangeable record of transactions visible to everyone on the chain. This makes it easy for companies to comply with their governance requirements by maintaining transparency.

·    Greater accountability & Improved Customer Relations: Thanks to blockchain, every transaction can be tracked to make companies accountable for their actions. This makes it easier for people to buy products from businesses with authority, credibility, and a positive reputation. Businesses can leverage this transparency to build trust and long-lasting customer relationships.

·    Greater Security: Web 3.0 reduces the risk of hacking or cyber-attacks by making it much harder to access sensitive information. Blockchain data cannot be altered or manipulated, so businesses won’t have to worry as much about data theft and data breaches.

·    Improved Supply Chain Management: Due to blockchain’s transparency, businesses can easily monitor and track their supply chains on Web 3.0. It will help them create more streamlined processes and quickly identify any problems in manufacturing or delivering services, thus improving time management and reducing cost. With a real-time view of the supply chain, customers can also see where their products are at each stage of the production process.

·    Opportunities for Innovation: Some savvy businesses are already using NFTs as a new digital marketing method to create buzz. For example, they’re using NFTs associated with a virtual product to help boost the product’s sales before it’s launched on the market. Consumers can buy virtual versions of products within the cyber universe before their real-life, physical counterparts are available in the market.

A Sneak Peek Into the Future of The Web

Today’s Web is primarily static and unable to adjust to the individual needs of each user. Web 3.0 promises to be more dynamic and interactive. It can potentially drive a consumer-centric future web that is open-source and focused on privacy and security. By being decentralized and driven by artificial intelligence, machine learning, and blockchain technology, Web 3.0 will redefine the web experience. The result? Real-world human communication.

Remember that Web 3.0 isn’t entirely in place. Although some elements of Web 3.0 are already available, it still has a way to go before it reaches full realization and the IT world is busy trying to implement it fully. However, businesses across the globe can benefit by getting on the train of its evolution and tapping into its potential.

So, make sure you’re in the loop for when Web 3.0 inevitably arrives, ready to ride the new revolutionary wave the moment it appears on the horizon.

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