Over the years, the way we consume data and information has evolved drastically. Today’s web 2.0 is vastly different from web 1.0, thanks to new technologies developed every day.
Web3 is the next evolution of the web, and it’s going to be much different than what we use today. No longer will there be a handful of prominent, central authorities managing our data and online identities, as this will all be controlled by us through peer-to-peer networks.
The term Web3 was first used by Polkadot creator and Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood back in 2014. This article will describe what Web3 technology is, how it works, and why you should care about it. Let’s get started!
What is Web3?
It’s three things.
First, Web3 is an entire stack of technologies – a combination of new applications, infrastructures, and protocols that work together in exciting ways.
Second, it’s a set of values: openness, interoperability, and decentralization.
Third, Web3 is simply another word for Internet 3.0 or whatever you want to call it: An ecosystem where end-users have control over their own data (and all other aspects of their digital lives) rather than ceding all power to centralized corporations as we do today with ICANN, Amazon, and Facebook.
Web3, like its more popular iteration, refers to a more fully developed vision of what we mean when we say the web or the internet today. It represents an ecosystem of decentralized applications, with peer-to-peer protocols linked together in one network, providing transparency and interoperability between applications (and eventually people) regardless of language or location.
This approach stands in contrast to platforms like Facebook, where apps depend on centralized APIs and service offerings which create silos of information. Web3 isn’t here yet, but it will be soon, once blockchain technologies mature sufficiently and begin crossing over into mainstream awareness.
When they do, there will be no turning back—this technology has disruptive implications for every industry imaginable because it enables peer-to-peer transactions without intermediaries. In other words: users can trust each other instead of trusting corporations.
Web 2.0 vs Web 3.0
The fundamental difference between each web protocol comes down to a basic Internet principle: controlling your own data vs. letting someone else control your data for you.
The World Wide Web has existed for more than 20 years. So most of us are familiar with what we used to think of as the web, i.e., web pages that contain images, text, links, and maybe even some video embedded from YouTube or Vimeo or some other site (aka Web 2.0).
The most prominent feature of web 3.0 over 2.0 is its decentralization, everything else about it will be more polished for a better experience, but at its core, that’s what makes up a Dapp (decentralized application).
Another key difference between web 2.0 and 3.0 is that instead of using your internet browser (Chrome/Firefox/Safari) to navigate web 2.0, you can use a stand-alone application or, even better, use a DAPP browser!
A great example would be IPFS; if you want to view content stored on IPFS, all you need to do is visit their website, no messing with downloading a chrome extension like Metamask.
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The Advantages of Web3
The core value of blockchain technology is that it provides a ledger that can be trusted because no one entity controls all of its information (like other ledgers).
Thus, a user can verify or make changes without trusting a third party, such as Facebook or Google. Other advantages:
Immutability: With blockchains, there’s no longer a need for trust, as all information is stored on a shared ledger that’s distributed across all parties. This allows people to make transactions without fear of being ripped off or hacked, as all transactions are forever recorded and cannot be changed or removed retroactively by one party.
Incentive System: Similar to how we used a gold rush in 1849 to incentivize growth in California, we can now use tokens (cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin [BTC], Ethereum [ETH], Monero [XMR], etc.) as an incentive system for the development of new blockchain applications and platforms.
Freedom from Restriction: Blockchain technology breaks down barriers between financial institutions, which means consumers don’t have to go through third-party exchanges to complete their purchases. Moreover, transaction fees are kept low because services aren’t charged any third-party service fees; miners who power these systems through proof-of-work keep things running smoothly.
Trustless Transactions: Wherever money changes hands, fraud has always been just around the corner. With smart contracts implemented via blockchain technology, however, there’s no longer a need for intermediary agreements between banks and clients when conducting business online—this reduces overhead costs tremendously while increasing security at its core.
Pseudonymity: While public addresses are needed for receiving payments with cryptocurrencies, personal identities remain hidden behind anonymous IDs. Due to cryptocurrency’s nature as a pseudonymous currency, users need not worry about others tracking them back to their real identity upon making payments online via crypto.
Ethereum is a blockchain-based, general-purpose distributed computing platform featuring smart contract functionality. It provides a decentralized Turing-complete virtual machine, called Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), that can execute scripts using an international network of public nodes.
This enables developers to create markets, store registries of debts or promises, move funds following instructions given long in the past (like a will or futures contract), and many other things that have not been invented yet, all without a middle man or counterparty risk.
Its native token is called ether, which fuels computation within Ethereum’s distributed applications.
How Web 3.0 will impact digital marketing
The future will be defined by those who can harness emerging technologies, such as blockchain and decentralized web 3.0 networks, for their digital marketing use.
These tools present significant opportunities for marketers because they’re driven by a new way of thinking about value exchange: giving instead of taking. In these scenarios, brands will benefit from increased trust and transparency.
How does blockchain fit into all of this? It plays a vital role in verifying identity information online. Think about it—blockchain technology allows us to record any type of transaction in a safe, secure environment without having to worry about an intermediary (e.g., bank) taking advantage of our personal data and selling it off for profit.
There are some fascinating developments in how blockchain applies to digital marketing.
Take FOAM Protocol, for example; it’s been called decentralized GPS for location-based services and enables users to confirm location claims on various platforms (ex: Lyft & Uber) through a trusted third party. This concept paves the way for users to collect rewards simply by providing accurate location information for businesses using geolocation services around town.
How Web3 will affect us all
Web3 is about creating new mechanisms for establishing trust, transparency, and accountability between people (or peers) without relying on centralized institutions like banks, governments, or corporations.
The ultimate goal: to foster a more open global society.
That said, don’t mistake web3 as being synonymous with web 2.0—it’s a continuation of its predecessor.
Web3 is advanced by foundational technologies like:
- Better encryption
- Peer-to-peer protocols
- Distributed ledgers (such as blockchains),
- Identity management systems
- Smart contracts
Conclusion: Web 3.0 in a nutshell
You can think of Web3 as decentralized software running on top of a global computer that you and everyone else accesses through their browsers (and other software). Anyone will be able to develop apps for it—even people who are not professional programmers. Welcome to the future!