The internet has morphed and evolved since its introduction in the early 1990’s.
So now, once again, we find ourselves on the precipice of the latest generation of the internet, Web 3.0.
What is Web 3.0?
Web 3.0 is the general name for the upcoming third generation of the internet. The generation was originally referred to as ‘Semantic Web’, coined by Tim Berners-Lee, the man widely credited with the invention of the World Wide Web.
The calling-card of this latest generation is an internet where websites and applications gather and process information in a ‘smart’ way, utilising technologies like big data, Machine Learning (ML) and the blockchain.
With 3.0, data will be interconnected in a ‘decentralised‘ fashion. This means rather than data being centralised in different repositories, as is common in Web 2.0, data in Web 3.0 will be more transient and governed in a more community style fashion. For these types of platforms, large corporations and government regulators will be less influential, which may lead to a more democratised internet.
When will Web 3.0 launch?
- There isn’t a defined individual launch date for Web 3.0.
- As was the case with Web 2.0, we would expect to see a gradual transition to Web 3.0 technologies.
- We don’t yet know all of the ways Web 3.0 technologies will be utilised and what kind of experiences will be created.
What are some examples of Web 3.0?
Web 3.0 is still in its relative infancy, but there are some examples of platforms built on these principles;
- Diaspora – A decentralised, non-profit social network, where all users own their own data. This is a distinct contrast to platforms like Facebook, where user data is effectively signed over to a corporation to use.
- OpenSea – Already quite a famous platforn, OpenSea allows users to browse, buy and sell NFTs (Non Fungible Tokens) using the Ethereum blockchain.
- Everledger – A ‘digital transparency company’ aimed at providing solutions to facilitate greater transparency of global supply chains.
How does the Metaverse factor into Web 3.0?
The metaverse is one of the important concepts making up on of the core pillars of Web 3.0. We can perhaps think of it at the new ‘front-end’ for this decentralised web. We can expect that over time, the metaverse will grow into the interface that humans use to engage with web3 platforms & applications.
Of course, Web 3.0 itself isn’t dependant on the metaverse, and Web 3.0 applications, like Bitcoin for examples, can be created outside of it. However, as metaverse platforms continue to develop, we can export to see more and more integration.
The journey from Web 1.0 to 3.0, and beyond…
Web 1.0 was the first generation of the WWW and can be considered to be a ‘read-only’ web. It began as a place for entities to broadcast their information to people. Users were treated to fairly limited user interactions, generally restricted to searching for information and reading it.
Web 2.0 was coined by Darcy DiNucci in 1999, before being popularised in 2004 by ‘Dale Dougherty’ as a ‘read-write’ web. Fundamentally, the advancements in Web 2.0 allowed for the growth and management of large global audiences with common interests, with a focus on user-generated content for the first time. It would be reasonable to think the term ‘2.0’ denotes a completely new ‘version’ of the web, akin to software development. In fact, it really describes a more general change occurring during this time, with the proliferation of interactive websites coming to overshadow their older, simpler 1.0 website cousins.
Web 3.0 As described above
Web 4.0 is still to be defined, but will probably develop as a ‘read-write-execution-concurrency’ web with highly intelligent interactions. Web 4.0 is also known as symbiotic web; human minds and machines interacting with each other in symbiosis.