The year was 1983 when Bob Kahn and Vinton Serf founded the internet. The internet back then was simple. It enabled computers worldwide to communicate with each other.
It is mindblowing that computer scientists back then knew exactly what the internet would be like today when all they could do was create static web pages with text and images that took forever to load!
Web3, unlike its predecessors’ Web1 and Web2, will be able to provide an incredible virtual experience for its users. It is a decentralised version and the next generation of the internet after Web1 and Web2.
- Get to know the difference between the Web and the internet
- Learn about Web3 and the evolution of the internet
- Learn about the technologies that help optimise Web3
Difference between the Web and the internet
A common misunderstanding among people about the difference between the web and the internet has always existed.
The internet is a network of websites. The term web or World Wide Web (WWW) is used to define pages on the internet that collectively contain information accessed via the internet.
If the internet were a fish market, the web would be a collection of fish vendors. The internet is only the infrastructure.
What is Web3?
Web3 is the third generation or version of the internet that would be completely decentralised and autonomous.
Decentralisation is the term used to describe no ownership or control over an entity. The users themselves will own and control the internet rather than corporations owning and managing services.
So why does the world need Web3?
The plaguing issue on the internet today is data privacy. Multinational internet companies like Google and Facebook have billions of users, and their data is stored on servers across the world.
These companies provide services and permission to the users to access the internet in exchange for storing their personal information and a small subscription fee.
There have also been instances of data breaches where anonymous people on the internet hacked the data of millions of user accounts.
The users have the right to own their data, and it belongs to them. Web 3 will be able to host decentralised applications to replace the centralised apps, where all the users will possess ownership of their data.
Evolution of the Web
I’m not sure if Bob Kahn and Vinton Serf yelled out ‘Eureka!’ when they created Web 1, but they did open the doors to a whole new generation of innovation, creativity and expansion of knowledge.
Web 1 was released on the first of January 1988 when computers connected to the same network could ‘talk’ to each other.
Then came the TCP/IP protocol, which enabled computers from different networks worldwide to communicate with each other.
Web1 was limited to loading static web pages with images and text related information using basic HTML or HyperText Markup Language. Users weren’t able to interact with websites. At that moment, researchers and scientists realised more potential for the internet.
Web2 was born in 2004, defined by Dale Dougherty as the ‘business revolution in the computer industry’. It enabled the exchange of information and research through social networking.
The users could access various services offered by internet companies with less control.
By 2006, over 1 billion users had access to the internet with over 6,00,000 websites.
The significant achievement of Web2 was to create internet jobs by marketing businesses. Today there are 9.1 million online retailers in the world.
Fast forward to 2016, when Web3 was first talked about by Gavin Wood, the co-founder of Ethereum, the most widely used cryptocurrency globally.
Web3 is all about decentralisation and supporting new technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning and blockchain.
Web3 is also called the semantic web. The semantic web is an extension of the World Wide Web defined by the World Wide Web Consortium.
The main goal of the semantic web is to increase and optimise the interaction between humans and computers to work in harmony.
Web3 will be home to the latest technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, deep learning, and neural networks.
Blockchain is the infrastructure and backbone of Web3. Here the data is stored in blocks and can be accessed by anyone. Blockchain technology hosts cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Solana etc.
There are different layers in the blockchain that serve various purposes. The blockchain can handle a larger volume of secure transactions, completely disabling any hacker’s attempt to break in and steal data and money.
Metaverse is a highly immersive and interactive 3D virtual environment where people existing in their virtual avatars get to work, socialise, shop and play games together on the internet.
The Metaverse, a virtual world hosted on Web 3, will be fully functional with the help of AI and ML to provide a better user experience.
Future of Web3 (Web4)
According to researchers, Web4 will be an ultra-intelligent symbiotic web interface where machines will be able to read websites and comprehend information to carry out tasks.
WebOS will be a middleware operation system of the internet. It is predicted to be as intelligent as the human brain to carry out complex and interactive tasks.
What’s next, you ask? Soon humans will be able to transfer their conscience into robotic beings to live forever.
I know I sound like I watch too many sci-fi movies, but who knows? It might just be possible at this rate of rapid advancements in technology.
I hope this was a good read about the future of the internet. It is essential to know the advancements in technology daily because things may drastically change in a concise amount of time.
Frequently Asked Questions
How will Web3 change our lives?
Web3 is here to provide a more personalised user experience. With the help of AI and ML, websites can streamline the content across all devices according to the user’s interests more accurately.
Which are the leading Web3 companies?
The top companies leading Web3 are Bitcoin, Coinbase and Crypto.com.
Does Web3 already exist?
There are some early Web3 applications owned by Binance and other crypto-based companies.