The tech industry is racing towards what is tipped to be the third stage of the internet's development – Web 3. In Silicon Valley, it is all the rage right now. Tech heirs are locking horns over it on social media. In 2021, around $30 billion was invested into startups based on it. And engineers are leaving cushy jobs from high-profile companies such as Facebook to get in on the competition.But what is Web 3, and why is it important for your business?
The Evolution of the Web: Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 Explained
To better understand what Web 3 is, let's first look at how the web has evolved over the years.The web came into its own in the mid-90s. This is what is referred to as Web 1.0. In those early days, websites were hosted in several places, including company servers and home computers. Web content was not yet centralized into the large data centers that we know today. Web 1.0 constituted static web pages that weren't interactive. In short, you would visit a website to obtain information, but would not give it any data back—this is the major difference between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0.With Web 2.0, information flows both ways. Web 2.0 ushered in the age of social media platforms and user-generated content. On Web 2.0, end-users put their personal information, photos, and more onto social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn, where everyone can view it. Data became more centralized and hosted by a few tech giants. User data is the most valuable resource for these organizations –they either sell it to third parties or use it to boost eCommerce.
What Is Web 3?
They thought that the Semantic Web would be the next generation of the internet seven years ago. The Semantic Web (a term coined by Berners-Lee) describes a web in which machines would process information in a human-like way.Semantic Web didn't materialize due to various reasons, including the fact that the real AI Technology (Resource Description Framework) was almost impossible to implement.That said, while Web 3 isn't the same as Semantic Web envisioned by Berners-Lee, it's in many ways a return to his original web, where there is no central controlling node. As such, no permission is required from a central authority to post anything.The emergence of technologies like blockchain storage and distributed ledgers will make data decentralization possible and create a secure and transparent environment, which will overtake Web 2.0's centralized and exploitative advertising. Decentralized infrastructure will displace centralized tech giants, thereby enabling individuals to rightly own their data. As we move towards Web 3 and the technologies that support it, the chronic disruption that has become common in Web 2.0 will disappear –decentralization will make possible transparent, opt-in, peer-to-peer communication that allows individuals to make the most of their time.To sum up, Web 3 is a new version of the internet that will make the internet fairer by allowing individuals to be sovereign. This means that individuals will own and control who profits from their time and content. Web 3's decentralized blockchain protocol will enable individuals to connect to the internet and receive proper compensation for their time and data. It will be better than the previous internet versions where tech giants with centralized repositories are the only ones who benefited from the web.
Technologies That Qualify as Web 3
Here is an outline of the technologies that qualify as Web 3:
1. Blockchain Technology
Blockchain technology is the foundational technology to Web 3. Many other technologies rely on blockchain to function. It is basically a ledger or a record of transactions. It can exist in its entirety or in several computers spread across the internet. While most people associate blockchain with cryptocurrency, it can be used for any application.
Cryptocurrency, a decentralized digital cash, that is free from control by any government or a central authority like a bank. It uses blockchain technology to record how much currency there is and who holds what amount. There are different types of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Ethereum.
3. Decentralized Apps
By using cloud-based apps like Google Docs, you'll be using a centralized app. Google will be able to access all the information in your documents, read it, and control it. On the other hand, you will be able to store your information in the cloud and easily collaborate with others.But what if you could benefit from the cloud services without having to use a centralized authority? This is where decentralized apps come in. Decentralized apps allow users to control their data and who can use it while benefiting from cloud-based computing.[caption id="attachment_14240" align="aligncenter" width="1360"]
Web 3 technology[/caption]
4. Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT)
NFTs are basically a form of crypto. Even so, each NFT is unique and, therefore, can't be exchanged for another. NFTs linked to physical and digital assets in a similar way that a paper title deed represents ownership.One downside of NFTs is that legal authorities don't necessarily recognize them. As such, all you'll be holding when you buy an NFT is a string of letters and numbers. This could change in the coming years as NFT technology evolves and maybe benefits from the legislation.
5. Initial Coin Offerings
Initial coin offerings (ICOs) are related to cryptocurrencies since the "coin" on offer is crypto. People who invest in an ICO purchase your crypto while it isn't worth anything, hoping that its value will rise overnight. ICOs are sometimes sold more like shares of a company, although they don't confer any ownership to the buyers.
6. Edge Computing
Edge computing involves delivering online data and services as close as possible to where it's requested or generated. With billions of IoT devices gathering data in factories, retail stores, and smart homes, having sufficient power to process the data can prove to be a challenge. With edge computing, you get a way to meet those demands and deliver data faster on request while at the same time saving on bandwidth.
7. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Over the past few years, we have seen the rapid rise of artificial intelligence and machine learning. AI and Machine learning can be used to process large volumes of data in real-time to predict a user's behavior and needs. IoT has ensured that intelligent devices are connected everywhere, thereby creating opportunities to gather data and make something valuable from it.
Why Is Web 3 Important for Your Business?
Web 3 offers a wide range of benefits for businesses. Here is a look at some of the ways your business can benefit from this new web technology:
1. Better Security
Nothing's more important to a business than the security of its data. In a centralized system, a central location stores all your data, making it vulnerable to attacks. Web 3.0 technologies can help enhance the security of your data by decentralizing it. They do this by spreading data across a secure ledger. Therefore, it is much more difficult for threat actors to access and manipulate your data.
2. Enhanced Transparency and Trust
Web 3 technologies can enhance the transparency and trust between a business and its customers. The use of blockchain technology helps create a secure record of transactions. This allows businesses to foster trust with their customers by giving them a transparent view of their business dealings. Because of this, customers can see where their products are at each stage of the production process.
3. Improved User Experience
With Web 3 technologies, you can enhance the user experience by offering a more personalized web experience. The use of machine learning and AI can help give each user a unique experience. This leads to a web that is easy to use and more user-friendly. This can increase customer loyalty and satisfaction.
4. Affordable Infrastructure
The infrastructure needed to run Web 3.0 applications is much more affordable than traditional web infrastructure since they are more decentralized. You don't need to install expensive servers and data centers. This makes Web 3 applications much more cost-friendly to develop and maintain.
5. Better Searchability
Businesses can also leverage Web 3 technologies to make their data more searchable. Machines can easily search a web of data created by these technologies. This enables businesses to easily find the information they need, thereby eliminating the need to carry out manual searches. It also ensures that you don't waste money and resources.
6. More Customer Insight
Web 3 technologies also enable businesses to gain more insights into customers. It does this by providing businesses with more data about their customers without violating their privacy. They do this by anonymizing data. That means that businesses can collect data about their customers without them having to provide their personal information.
Choose Brightscout for Your Business's Web Development
Brightscout brings a team of experienced designers, developers, and strategists to your web development project. Besides drawing up a requirements analysis and a site map for the web development project, we will also prepare all the necessary documentation to ensure that everything from milestones and deadlines to intellectual property ownership and terms of payment is clear. Additionally, we will also assemble the types of software, data files, and media resources we may need to implement your vision. Contact us to learn more about our web development services.