Blockchain, Technology

The Next Evolution of the Internet: From Web 2.0 to Web 3.0

Sahil Anand
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The internet has evolved in phases ever since its inception. Web 1.0 included static web pages that served static content from servers and file systems. Web 1.0 is a content delivery network (CDN) where information is showcased on websites. 

While 1.0 allowed users to access data from any corner of the world, it made little room for interaction with the content. 

Fast-forward to today: We already have infrastructural efforts toward Web 3.0. As we witness the creation of the yet next phase of the internet, let’s see the factors that drove change from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 and now from the latter to Web 3.0.

Characteristics of Web 2.0

Web 2.0, dubbed as the participative social web built on the lack of interactivity in Web 1.0. It consists of websites that highlight user-generated content, usability and interoperability for users.

Web 2.0 is the internet as we know it today with blogs, social media platforms, news sites, e-commerce and more. While at the outset, Web 2.0 looks like a great leap from Web 1.0, little has changed in the core definition of the two versions.

Web 2.0 heavily relies on changing the front-end specifications of web pages and how they are used. Here are the key traits to identify Web 2.0 with-

  • Web 2.0 enables creating and using APIs for interoperability across software solutions.
  • It ensures dynamic content that’s highly responsive to user input.
  • Web 2.0 allows free sorting of information, allowing users to retrieve and classify information.
  • The second version of the internet allows for information flow and interactivity between site owners and users by way of evaluation and commenting.
  • It enables users to access web content from diverse devices- mobile phones, televisions, multimedia consoles and any ‘thing’ connected to the internet.
  • Web 2.0 allows users to participate in creating and sharing content, building strong virtual communities around shared content.

We can see that the pillars of Web 2.0 are mobile technology, social networks and the cloud. Why then did we feel the need for a newer evolution of the internet? Primarily because Web 2.0 and its technologies don’t inherently create trust among participating entities because of the lack of built-in security and authorization mechanisms.

As users and technologies mature, there is a need for an internet that offers greater trust, privacy, security and control. This brings us to the ripe revolution of Web 3.0.

Characteristics of Web 3.0

Web 3.0 represents the next version of the internet with the rise in edge computing, decentralized networks and artificial intelligence. Networks based on Web 3.0 allow building open, trustless and permissionless environments.

Key technologies engaged in building Web 3.0 are- virtual reality, blockchain, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, biometrics and data analytics. 

Critical elements and building blocks of Web 3.0 include- 

  • Semantic web – These systems allow information to be read and understood by machines.
  • Artificial intelligence – AI refers to the intelligence and decision-making demonstrated by machines.
  • 3D graphics – In Web 3.0, three-dimensional design is popularly used by events companies, educational institutions, museum guides, e-commerce companies, etc.
  • Connectivity – Improved internet access and speed. In other words, information is also hyper-connected in Web 3.0 with semantic metadata.
  • Ubiquity – Refers to the presence of the internet everywhere at all times through smart devices.

Here are the key benefits of Web 3.0-

  • Value in commodities and content remains in the hands of users and suppliers as all intermediaries are eliminated.
  • Decentralization allows global villages to address issues that are uncommon on a local scale.
  • Users own their data and retain rights to digital assets.
  • Web 3.0 future-proofs web activity without the need for a specific platform.
  • The metaverse (or the cyberspace in Web 3.0) will merge real and virtual lives like never before and create newer realities to support all industries.

Web 3.0 offers inclusivity, empowerment, expanded and accelerated learning, immersive interactivity, decentralization and democratization of ownership and financial concepts and more.

Related Reading: How has the COVID-19 Pandemic Accelerated Blockchain?

How Blockchain is Helping Build Web 3.0

Blockchain brings much-needed privacy and trust to Web 3.0, which is a significant drawback of Web 2.0.

By default, blockchain is a decentralized technology that gives no particular person or institution complete control over an ecosystem. Instead, all users collectively retain control. There is a lack of governing entities in blockchain, although a database holds transactional information algorithmically, ensuring transparency and security.

Leading blockchain frameworks have considered laying down economic incentives to ensure that all actors and participants in a blockchain- those who maintain the ledger, power the network and run businesses on top of it- operate fairly. 

In Web 3.0, users still share their data but have full control over when, how and how long it’s shared. Users also should know exactly how a company uses and shares their data. If they are not comfortable at any point, users can also revoke access to their data.

98.2 million individuals were affected by the ten biggest data breaches in the first half of 2021. As the race against cyberattacks ramps up, blockchain offers additional security.

Are Web3 Startups Getting Funded?

Over 65% of active developers and over 45% of full-time developers in Web3 joined in 2021. As Web3.0 is accelerating, so is investor interest around it. Earlier in Feb this year, two companies that help developers build decentralized apps announced funding rounds. First was India-based Polygon Technology, which closed a $450 million round led by Sequoia Capital India at a $13 billion valuation. 

And the second was San Francisco-based Alchemy which raised $200 million Series C-1 led by Lightspeed and Silver Lake for a valuation of $10.2 billion.

As per Crunchbase, 2021 saw $17.9 billion invested in 1,312 deals with blockchain-related startups. And this year, investors have poured over $3.8 billion into Web3 startups already in 196 deals- surpassing last year’s pace.

Platforms that contribute to building Web 3.0 may continue to witness such high interest from investors.

Related Reading: Your Guide to Investor Outreach for Startup Fundraising

Web 2.0 has driven incredible tech progress. Web 3.0 is a natural progression to address privacy and security loopholes and will be strongly constructed by blockchain technology at scale.

Talk to KiwiTech’s trusted blockchain consultants today.

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