What is Web3?
In recent months, the term Web3 seems to be popping up everywhere. When asking what it means, you might get a response like, Web3 is a fundamental shift in the way that we are using the internet. While we like the idealism behind the answer, what does that mean exactly?
Before we start, let’s take a moment to briefly define Web1 and Web2.
Web1: The Read-Only Web
Web1 refers to the first generation of the World Wide Web. It introduced the world to the notion of a global network by providing static content created by a few, usually in the form of information, on websites.
Web2: The Read-Write Web
Web2 refers to the second generation of the World Wide Web. It is referred to as the dynamic web as it added elements of social interaction, convenience, and the ability for the masses, not just a select few, to create on the internet. It introduced ease of use which led to mass adoption. It can be described as the “social web” and is the phase that we are currently in.
Web3: The Read-Write-Own Web
Web3 is the next evolution of the internet where users are not only active participants in creating content but also in shaping the web itself. It is important to note that Web3 isn’t fully defined yet. It is a response to what worked about Web1 and Web2 while addressing what didn’t work.
A main reaction of Web3 is towards the big tech companies that serve as gatekeepers for information and experiences in Web2. To access a platform, the consumer must agree to the terms set forth by a company. These terms are often one-sided leaving the user with little to no choice. Users must either accept the terms or be left out.
One of the primary goals of Web3 is to create an internet where users have more control over not only their data, but also their finances, their intellectual property, and their identities without the need for intermediaries. Companies will no longer serve as gatekeepers and the internet will be defined by the users. Transactions and information will be verifiable. Security will improve. Thanks to blockchain, this is now a possibility.
Web3 is unfolding before our eyes. As companies in this space get funded, people from all over are switching over to this new space to help grow the existing ecosystem that is looking to define the future of the internet.