One of the biggest buzzwords in the tech arena at the moment is web 3.0, but this term is surprisingly hard to define. This is in part down to the fact that it’s not one simple concept, rather an evolution in how the web works and is used, and its development is still not complete. However, there are some clear directions it will take. As the web has evolved from web 1.0 to 2.0 the ways that computers and humans interact with and on the web have changed and web 3.0 is the next step in that progression.
Like most entities that evolve over time, web 3.0 has certain defining features that differentiate it from its predecessors. And to truly understand them it’s important to understand how web 1.0 and web 2.0 evolved and differ from each other.
The Evolution of the Web
Before we can understand how is web 3.0 different from web 2.0 it’s important to understand what preceded web 3.0.
The first version of the internet, web 1.0, was a fairly static place with people using the web to search for information, most of which was provided by businesses, organizations, and governments with a few individuals actually contributing content. Web sites were primarily repositories of information and users would read and rarely write.
What is the Difference between Web 2.0 and Web 3.0?
With the advent of new technologies, the web began to change, becoming more interactive and social. Many people refer to web 2.0 as the social web, with the birth of social media, where people interact with each other and create user-generated content. With vast reams of user-generated content, web 2.0 also challenges traditional media organizations and disrupts other industries, for example, through the gig economy.
Many people wonder how is web 3.0 different from web 2.0, and with web 3.0 development, once again new technologies are changing how the web works, and other industries are being challenged. Using AI and machine learning, machines are able to better understand content and give users what they want. With the internet of things and ubiquitous computing, the web is no longer just on our computers and smartphones but all around us. Blockchain technology and distributed ledgers are changing how data is distributed and even owned.
What is Web 3.0?
Now let’s go into a bit more detail about web 3.0 technologies and definitions.
Web 3.0 Definition
While it is tricky to pin down, we can safely say that a web 3.0 definition involves a smarter web that you can find everywhere, with more decentralized data, individual ownership of data, and better security through blockchain technology.
As you can see web 3.0 is not a single piece of technology so when people ask ‘when does web 3.0 come out?’ or ‘when will web 3.0 be released?’ it’s important to explain to them that it’s not as simple as that. There are already a few web 3.0 applications available in the wild, like Apple’s Siri, and Filecoin’s decentralized storage app, but they are isolated islands of web 3.0 in a primarily web 2.0 ecosystem.
Key Features of Web 3.0
Some of the key features of web 3.0:
- AI and Machine Learning hark back to Tim Berners-Lee’s semantic web, which basically means that computers have a greater understanding of language and even emotion. This will allow machines to understand and group data more accurately and give more tailored and nuanced information to users, and even make predictions and decisions based on data.
- Blockchain Technology is not just about cryptocurrency but about decentralizing and distributing data across nodes, putting both the data and its security in the hands of the end-users. With data distributed across the network, this means that no one entity has control over it, so governments won’t be able to shut down access to information so easily and trust will be shared across huge networks of users.
- Ubiquitous Computing and the Internet of Things (IoT) sound complicated but basically mean that computers will be everywhere and we’ll not only connect to the web through our computers and smartphones. Whether you’re using a smart fridge, a doorbell, a car with internet-connected sensors, or Amazon’s Alexa, these are all examples of the web moving beyond traditional devices.
Web 3.0 and Blockchain
While one of the most prominent examples of blockchain is cryptocurrency, which is what most people think of when they hear the term, blockchain is likely to become a major element of web 3.0 for more than just money.
Blockchain and technology like distributed ledgers allow for the decentralization of data and a more secure environment where individuals will have more ownership and control over their own data, and secure and transparent peer to peer communications will take some control back from the major players in web 2.0 like Facebook, Google, and Amazon.
Another area that is rapidly growing is that of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), which are unique digital tokens that represent real-world or digital assets like artwork or even real estate. They are incredibly secure and efficient ways of conveying ownership of a unique asset and while the current popularity of digital artwork sales through NFTs may be a passing fad (although many who invest heavily in it would disagree), the concept of NFTs has many real-world, practical applications, meaning that it is likely to be here to stay. At present, most NFTs use the Ethereum blockchain.
Using blockchain to create smart contracts is also a growing field with many players developing technology for specific industries. Smart contracts can be used in industries from banking and insurance to logistics and pharmaceuticals. These smart contracts only run when specified conditions are met and are fully transparent and secure. For example, IBM is using them to track temperature-controlled medications through the supply chain so everyone in the supply chain has clear visibility of the packages as they progress.
The Impact of Web 3.0 on Mobile and Web App Development
As web 3.0 evolves it will be more important than ever to work with developers who understand technologies like blockchain, distributed ledgers, and machine learning. At present many of these fields are still in their infancy and devices capable of fully taking advantage of these paradigm shifts are not readily available so it’s important to work with someone who understands this rapidly changing field.
We predict that these trends will affect mobile and web app development over the coming years:
- Decentralization – developers will have to adapt to building on top of decentralised networks or blockchains, instead of the current situation where they build and deploy on centralised networks.
- Edge Computing – with more powerful devices in the hands of the users some processing that used to be carried out in data centres can be carried out on the devices themselves. This allows developers to worry less about bandwidth constraints when creating new apps.
- Many protocols – with many different blockchains and cryptocurrencies come many different protocols for developers to deal with.
- Identity Validation – with some users taking back ownership of their digital identities and keeping them in their digital wallets, rather than creating a separate social profile for every site, developers will need to adapt how they carry out authentication and identity verification.
At Manao Software we have experience in developing tokenization apps and are ready to discuss your web 3.0 questions and projects today. Contact us now for a free consultation.