What Web3 Need Know Phase Internet

What is Web3? How the third iteration of the World Wide Web will be more DEMOCRATIC (but also more risky) and could persuade more people to adopt cryptocurrencies and NFTs

The evolution of the web

The World Wide Web could be on the brink of one of the biggest changes in its history as it enters its third ‘era’, known as ‘Web3’.

According to experts, Web3 is a new stage of evolution of the web, incorporating blockchains, digital currencies, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and user-owned content.

Some see Web3 as a fairer version of the web that’s not dominated by big tech companies, where users don’t have to hand over their personal data.

But others have concerns about the safety of Web3, due to issues around censorship, extremism, privacy and security, and a lack of governance.

Whether Web3 is has already arrived is up for debate; although cryptocurrencies, blockchain and NFTs already exist, they are yet to achieve mainstream adoption.

Here, MailOnline guides you through all you need to know about the next phrase of the web – including how it could change how you use the internet.

What Is Web3?

Web3 has become a buzzword that is flying around the tech industry, but many are not sure what it is exactly.

It’s the third phase of evolution of the World Wide Web, the information system originally invented by British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee in 1989.

Web3 has also become a catch-all term for the vision of a new ‘decentralised’ version of the web – a more democratic system where big tech giants such as Meta and Alphabet’s Google don’t hold so much power.

It is an umbrella term for contrasting ideas that all point to eliminating the big middlemen online and giving the power back to those who use it.

It’s the successor to Web2, the current form of the web, where major tech giants control online platforms.

‘Web3’ is a term to describe the third iteration of the World Wide Web, but some experts think it’s just a buzzword to generate some excitement.

‘When people throw these labels around they’re very often looking for investment rather than really trying to understand the technology they’re talking about,’ James Bore, a security consultant at Bores Group, told MailOnline. ‘It’s as much jargon as it is useful.’

It’s worth noting that the World Wide Web (or more simply ‘the web’) is different from ‘the internet’. The latter is the infrastructure on which the former is based.

Web3 the ‘metaverse’

As its name suggests, Web3 follows the first two phases of the evolution of the World Wide Web – previously termed by experts as ‘Web1’ and ‘Web2’.

Web1, lasting from roughly 1991 to 2004, was a ‘read-only’ experience, where content on webpages was static, as if written on newspaper.

According to experts, there were few content creators in Web 1.0 and so the vast majority of users simply acted as consumers of content.

Meanwhile, Web2, lasting from 2004 until the present, began with the emergence of social media platforms, mostly notably Facebook, but before this Bebo and Myspace.

At the start of Web2, the web evolved from a read-only experience to a ‘read-write’ experience – ushering in the era of logging in, messaging and commenting on posts.

While Web1 has been defined as ‘read’ and Web2 as ‘read-write’, Web3 has been defined as ‘read-write-own’, because it ushers an era of ownership – where normal people will get more control over their data and the content they post.

Web3 will also underpin the ‘metaverse’ – a collective virtual shared space accessible online that features avatars of real people, according to Jawad Ashraf, CEO and co-founder of ‘metaverse platform’ Virtua.
It’s worth noting that the World Wide Web (or more simply ‘the web’) is different from ‘the internet’. The latter is the infrastructure on which the former is based.

‘Web3 is a term used to describe the next phase of evolution for the World Wide Web whereby token-based economics, decentralisation and blockchain technology are the foundational concepts and mechanisms on which the internet will run,’ Ashraf told MailOnline.

‘The metaverse is a virtually realised manifestation of this – a network of virtual worlds focused on social connection, where you spend your digital life.

‘In this sense, the metaverse is the first example of what Web3 can bring us in terms of lived experience.’

These companies started out small

On Web2, companies like Google, Twitter and Meta currently provide platforms to share user-generated content and engage in user-to-user interactions.

These companies started out small but became bigger and bigger as the web evolved, and now control a disproportionate amount of the traffic and value generated online.

Web2 also started the advertising-driven revenue model, whereby platforms host ads to generate money. How much money they get depends on how much their web pages are viewed.

But now, content creators – such as ‘influencers’ with millions of followers on TikTok – are essentially hampered by this model.

Firstly, just like the rest of us, they have to trade off personal data to have an account, and secondly they don’t own the content that they post.