What is Web3 | Everything You Should Know in Simple Terms

What is Web3 | Everything You Should Know in Simple Terms

Web3 is a set of technologies that are making the web faster, cheaper, and more secure. It’s also opening up new possibilities for decentralization that could potentially transform how the web works.

So, before we dive into web3 let’s take a look at exactly what web1 is. In simple terms, web1 is where the World Wide Web started, the internet pages were very static, and data was stored centrally on a server.

Note that capturing everything you need to know about web3 in a single article is almost impossible. This is high-level stuff and further reading is recommended.

In the web1 era, users consumed more info than they created it.

Web1: How it all started

Let’s get started with the history of the web.Web1 was the original web, which we now call the “World Wide Web.” it was the first version of the web. It was developed in 1989 by Tim Berners-Lee and allowed people to access information through a browser, a program that allows users to navigate the web.

In the web1 era, users consumed more info than they created it. This is the version of the web that we’re all familiar with. Web1 gave us an email and online shopping as we know it today.

In essence, the web is nothing more than a collection of documents connected by links. When you click a link in your browser, you send an HTTP request to the server hosting that website. The server then delivers its content to your computer via an HTTP response. The browser then renders this content so you can read it on your screen listen to it with your ears or watch it with your eyes.

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Web2: Where we are 

Web2 is a term that refers to web applications such as e-commerce stores, social networks, and collaboration tools. These are designed to communicate through APIs with databases, or in some cases with other web applications.

The “software as a service” model became popular due to the emergence of cloud computing, which allows data storage and processing to be done remotely on third-party servers rather than locally on the user’s machine.

Here data is still stored centrally, however, it’s ‘managed’ differently. You see users started to create more data. You know the whole rise of Social Web/social media and stuff. But that’s not the point. Web2 gave users the ability to create and share information across the internet.

So, it was a step up from web1, but in this whole process, there is a big ‘problem’. You see a lot of parties benefitted from the user’s data, most prominently the social media companies. Which seemed odd, because the data was not theirs to ‘take’.

They were able to access and use the data because the data was stored centrally in a database owned by the social media platform. So, the information on your Facebook or Meta page is stored in the database of Facebook.

When you create a post, it’s also stored in the database of Facebook. Maybe by now, you’re asking why is this a problem. Well besides the fact that they physically own my data, they can also manipulate it.

What does that mean and what is the effect?

Let’s say one makes a super inappropriate comment, like being racist. A social media company could delete it. Not a problem, right? most people would agree that’s not a bad thing.

BUT let’s say the comment is more in a gray area or it just doesn’t support the view of the company or it puts Facebook, Meta, or Twitter in a tough space. Well, the social media platform can decide to just delete my post. Nothing I can do about it.

Last year, we have seen posts of the former President of the United States taking down and that of Nigeria. These are just mere incidents examples.

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Finally, What is Web3?

“Web3 (also known as Web 3.0) is an idea for a new iteration of the world wide web based on blockchain technology, which incorporates concepts such as decentralization and token-based economics.” According to Wikipedia.

So Web2 issues are;

  1. Other people benefitting from my data
  2. other people controlling my data, because my data is in a central place owned by other people.

Web 3.0, or the Semantic Web, is the next iteration in the evolution of the World Wide Web. With Web 3.0, we are seeing a shift from a web of documents to a web of data – in other words, a shift from an asymmetric model of information sharing to an asymmetric model that allows for both publishing and consuming information on the internet.

Web3 aims to solve through decentralization (also other ways, but I’m focusing on that part). With the web3 Your data lives on the blockchain.

Yes, in short, your data is written on the blockchain and the blockchain exists on multiple nodes instead of just one.

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How Does Web3 Work?

Here is how certain development aspects of web3 are supposed to achieve these goals:

Crypto-Assets

A distributed ledger technology that allows for the creation and trading of crypto assets. Web3 is based on the blockchain principle, which allows for secure and transparent transactions. Web3 is also able to facilitate smart contracts, which are computer protocols that enforce the terms of a contract.

Decentralized Apps (dApps)

Programs that run on top of the Ethereum blockchain and allow users to interact with each other, while also being able to run processes using smart contracts. These apps can be decentralized or not. They are normal web applications that use Ethereum smart contracts as their back-end. dApps don’t have to worry about server costs, deployment, or scaling; they can be developed using existing web technologies.

Smart Contracts

Programs that run on the Ethereum blockchain and allow users to write code that is executed automatically when certain conditions are met. Smart contracts are self-executing programs written in code, stored on a computer, and can be shared without having to trust each other’s identities or any central authority.

They are one of the most popular features of Ethereum because they allow people to do things they couldn’t do before using cryptocurrency like sending money across borders instantly, trading stocks safely from anywhere in the world, and making laws that cannot be changed by governments or other institutions.

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How is Web3 Different From Previous Web Versions?

Web1-vs-Web2-vs-Web3

Web3 is different from previous forms of the web in a few key ways.

First, web3 is decentralized, meaning that there is no central server or authority that controls the web. Instead, web3 is powered by a decentralized network of computers, known as the “blockchain.” This decentralized structure gives web3 a number of advantages over previous web technologies, including increased security, privacy, and censorship resistance.

Additionally, web3 is designed to be ” trustless,” meaning that users do not need to trust a central authority in order to use the web. Instead, users can interact directly with each other, using cryptographic tools to ensure that their interactions are secure.

Web3 vs Metaverse vs Ethereum

Web3 is a platform that allows applications to be built on the World Wide Web. Metaverse is a decentralized platform that allows users to create and manage their own digital assets.

Metaverse is also a public blockchain that allows for the development of smart contracts and decentralized applications. Metaverse differs from Ethereum in a few key ways:

Metaverse uses a Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus algorithm instead of a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) algorithm. In a PoW system, miners compete against each other to solve complex mathematical problems in order to validate transactions and add blocks to the blockchain. In a PoS system, validators stake their Ethereum tokens to validate transactions and add blocks to the blockchain.

Metaverse also uses a unique Identifier (ID) system instead of Ethereum’s account-based system. IDs are unique digital assets that can be used to represent real-world assets on the Metaverse blockchain.

The Metaverse blockchain also allows for the development of Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs). DAOs are organizations that are governed by smart contracts on the blockchain.

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Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs)

DAOs are autonomous and, therefore, can take independent actions, have self-sufficient funding, and can last indefinitely. DAOs are organizations that use a decentralized blockchain natively as a platform to run their business logic. A DAO is composed of smart contracts, with possible direct integration with the underlying blockchain.

This allows a DAO to be fully autonomous, decentralized, and unstoppable, running according to its code continuously, with no person or entity able to intervene.

What is Blockchain?

In simple terms, blockchain technology is a system of recording information. It’s also referred to as a digital ‘ledger’. Traditionally speaking, a ledger is used in accounting to keep a record of all transactions a company or entity creates and blockchain aims to do the same.

It keeps a record of all the data written on the blockchain. Let’s compare to Web2. In Web2 your data lives on one node (one server) in a database on that node (centrally). While in web3 your data lives on the blockchain.

In other words, a blockchain lives on a decentralized network of computers; a bunch of computers together form a network. And on each of these computers, a full copy of the blockchain exists.

With every transaction, each node/computer updates the blockchain. Ever heard that it’s virtually impossible to delete anything from a blockchain? Well, the emphasis is on virtually, because it’s impossible to delete data from all those nodes simultaneously.

Understand that the data is synchronized continuously. You might think that it’s quite intense to maintain such a ‘digital ledger’ or blockchain & ensure that all the nodes are up to date.

Yes, It’s one of the limitations of blockchain. Another thing you might think is where are all these computers!? Who runs the network? That’s you and me. Anyone can join the network and introduce their computer as a node.

You see this solves that a single company or entity can’t just delete your data. Data ownership is more explicit, because nothing is ever deleted from the blockchain and anyone can read it, everyone knows whose data it is.

Also, because the data is not centrally owned, it’s a lot harder to benefit from data that is publicly available. Not only that, because the data is public, transactions can be ‘validated’.

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Example:

In a financial transaction, money from account X to account Y is publicly recorded. If you’re great at money laundering, it becomes quite difficult to ‘track’ the money through 100’s bank accounts in web2, because all these databases are owned by different banks and maybe some of the data get ‘lost’. Not in web3!

Web3 you can see exactly where the data originates and track a transaction from beginning to end because it’s all stored on the blockchain. This form of decentralization, creating trust, removing third parties, etc. are huge benefits of web3.  This thread is already getting quite long and I’m just sharing here what I’m learning.

Conclusion

Web3.0 is the next generation of the internet. The Web1.0, or World Wide Web, was designed for document exchange and communication between people. In this sense, it was a huge improvement compared to the previous technologies.

It is a decentralized internet where users have control over their data, this means that you can own your data and use services without giving away your information to others.

There is no doubt that Web3.0 is the future of the internet, and it will be far more interactive and convenient than the current Web2.0.

Read Also: What are NFTs? How To Buy And Own NFTs

About Ahmad Abdullahi

Avatar photoI am Ahmad, a content writer. I write high-quality SEO articles, and blog posts that you need for your website to gain more niche authority.

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