The internet shrank the distance between people globally, connected people and things, and unleashed a massive stream of information and communication, disrupting the world. It has reimagined and reshaped how humans interact, grow, affect change, and relate to each other and the world around them.
Web3 is the latest evolution of the internet. Even though few of us fully understand it, the metaverse is only a subset of Web3. Let’s learn about the evolution of the internet before diving further into its latest version.
Related: How the Metaverse Will Transform the Way We Work
Web1 came about in 1989. It was based on centralized technology that housed static content. Revolutionary as it was, Web1 facilitated companies such as Yahoo, Google, and Amazon to rise to success by helping people sift through online content.
Web2, termed in 2004, is based on dynamic content and user input. The most substantial gift of the second iteration of the internet was interactive and dynamic websites such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram.
Web3 is the iteration just now coming about. It stands closest to the initial vision Tim Berners-Lee held for the internet as a decentralized peer-to-peer network where information and power aren’t held by a central authority. Web3 is bringing a substantial shift by putting content creation back into the hands of creators and not platform owners, which has been the case for the last two internet versions. Web3 aims to democratize the internet.
Web3 aims for a shift in business models by introducing disintermediation concerning data, value, and functionality. Users and creators get power back and leverage open-source applications to innovate, build, test, and scale.
Related: Are Metaverses happening? The Potential for Startups
Blockchain is a technological system where transactions are recorded in a ledger shared by a peer-to-peer network. Cryptocurrency is one of the use cases of a blockchain, among many others. In web3, data is no longer stored in opaque and private databases but in open-data structures where anyone can read and write. These distributed digital ledgers are transparent and immutable. User data is secure, unfragmented, and not for sale.
Semantic technologies serve as building blocks of Web3 by making the meaning of the data as important as its structure so that artificial intelligence programs can learn, think and work on the data as humans do. What a user means or intends to do on the internet is machine-learnable with semantics.
AI takes us closer to realizing human-like intelligence in machine processing so that we can automate repetitive and complex tasks.
Web3 uses virtual reality headsets and realistic graphics to create a metaverse where websites provide an immersive 3D experience rather than two-dimensional interactiveness.
Web3 applications need constant connection facilitated by broadband, 5G technology, WiFi, and the Internet of Things to be immersive and life-like.
Smart contracts are programs stored on a blockchain that automatically execute transactions based on pre-determined and agreed parameters. These immutable programs can be executed quickly and cost-efficiently without intermediaries. Applications are governed by a decentralized autonomous organization, or DAO, a form of collective governance, instead of a centralized company with sole discretion over parameters such as pricing.
Digital assets are intangible products with ownership rights that exist on the blockchain across applications and are connected with smart contracts. Asset ownership in Web3 is no longer privatized and regulated. Instead, Web3 creates user-owned value that can be stored, verified, and transacted without third parties.
Related: Why Build in Web3
Related: Web3 and Metaverse: Key Challenges
Metaverse can be seen as an application of Web3 technologies, just as Facebook is an application of Web2 technologies. Web3 revolves around decentralized ownership and control and putting power back in the hands of users and communities.
The metaverse is an immersive, embodied, and virtual experience that enables users to connect, undertake commercial activities, and interact in real-time.
Web3 sets standards for what this next iteration of the internet should look like.The metaverse attempts to follow those standards for experiences such as gaming, social interaction, shopping, community building, and commerce.
Related: What You Should Know About Regulations in a Web 3.0 World
Businesses will benefit from understanding that the next iteration of the internet is much more than the metaverse. Here’s how you can start exploring the potential and possibilities of Web3 technologies.
Web3 will eliminate the friction between digital platforms today and change how data is used to create experiences. Start strategizing now with KiwiTech’s Web3 consultants and blockchain developers to stay ahead of the curve.