The birth of the internet can be traced down to Berners-Lee, a computer scientist at European researcher CERN. He was able to lay down the foundation of the web with three fundamental technologies and the first web page editor/browser was introduced – (“WorldWideWeb.app”):
- HTML: HyperText Markup Language, the markup or formatting language of the Web;
- URI or URL: Uniform Resource Identifier or Locator, a unique address used to identify each resource on the Web;
- HTTP: HyperText Transfer Protocol, which allows for the retrieval of linked resources from across the Web.
Over the years, there has been a shift in how the internet is used and the level of interaction has greatly improved. Web 2.0 comes with features that disrupt the internet as a whole as the bland web pages of web 1.0 have been completely replaced by Web 2.0’s interactivity, social connectivity, and user-generated content. User-generated content can be viewed by millions of people around the world virtually in an instant.
The early days of the internet weren’t as fun as today – there were static web pages, content creation was at its infancy, low interaction with applications, etc. The internet experience boom around 2006 when great improvement and development was made; during this period the rise of social media networks like Facebook (now Meta) and Twitter change how people interact with the web. Also, online banking and trading help people to know more about the web, and this increases people’s interaction with the web and applications.
With web 1.0 and web 2.0, a lot has been achieved and each phase brings about further research and improvement in order to advance and make life easy. The era of cryptocurrency cannot be overlooked, and this can be traced back to 2009 when Bitcoin came to light. This phase ushered in what we now called Web 3.0. Though, the phase hasn’t ended yet.
Blockchain has been a concept we all have been hearing, and this comes with other new technologies, though the concept itself is a new technology. Some of the other new technologies are Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Quantum Computing (QC), and Virtual Reality (VR). These are all part of what is known as web 3.0 or web 3, as they include both Blockchain and Cryptocurrency.
WHAT IS WEB 3.0
World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee originally called Web 3.0 the Semantic Web, and it will be more autonomous, intelligent, and open internet. Web 3.0 is the combination of blockchain and cryptocurrency. And it is built upon the core concepts of decentralization, openness, and greater user utility.
It follows that data will be interconnected in a decentralized form, which would be a big leap ahead of our present generation of the internet (Web 2.0), where data is mostly stored in centralized repositories.
Furthermore, users and machines will be able to interact with data. But for this to happen, programs need to understand information both conceptually and contextually. With this in mind, the two cornerstones of Web 3.0 are semantic web and artificial intelligence (AI).
FEATURES OF WEB 3.0
The following are the features of Web 3.0
a. Open: Web 3.0 is built on open-source software, this makes it open and accessible to a wide range of users.
b. Trustless: The network allows participants to interact directly without going through a trusted third party.
c. Permissionless: It allows anyone to participate without authorization from a governing body.
d. Connectivity and Ubiquity: Web 3.0 will make the internet accessible to everyone everywhere at any time. Unlike Web 2.0 where Internet-connected devices are concentrated on computers and smartphones, Web 3.0 will bring accessibility to all. We can say Web 3.0 is Omnipresent.
e. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning: One of the common requirements for Web 3.0 applications is the ability to digest large-scale information and turn it into factual knowledge and useful execution for users. Some of these applications are still at their early stage and this brings to light more room for growth and improvement on how Web 3.0 applications could potentially function. Firms are moving massively with Web 3.0 trends and the likes of Amazon, Apple, and Google are not left out as they are building products and also transforming products into Web 3.0. An example of applications that utilize Web 3.0 Technologies are Siri and Wolfram Alpha.
f. Decentralization: The main aim of web 3.0 is decentralization. Information will be made available based on its content and this will be stored in different areas simultaneously. Information held by tech giants like Facebook(now Meta) and Google will be made available to all, users will be able to have ownership of their data.
CRITICISMS OF WEB 3.0
Two of the world’s best-known tech giants Elon Musk and Jack Dorsey have been voicing their thoughts on Web 3.0. Their views are worth looking at, Elon Musk thinks Web 3.0 is more of a “marketing buzzword” than reality while Jack Dorsey argued that Web 3.0 will be owned by rich Venture Capitalists like Andreessen Horowitz instead of the “the people”.
Their views on the subject matter have raised concerns about the potential and future of Web 3.0. Dorsey is pointing out with his view that the promises or advantage of Web 3.0 is a lie. He dismisses Chris Dixton’s advocate about Web 3.0. Note: Chris Dixon is a partner at Andreessen Horowitz.
Supporters of Web 3.0 follows the Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 movements but argued that today’s online platforms are too centralized, and they are being controlled by a few large internet companies; these companies have amassed great quantities of data and contents which are been shared on the internet. These companies include Amazon, Apple, Facebook (now Meta), and Alphabet.
Furthermore, the great supporters of Web 3.0 believe that the vision and mission of Web 3.0 are too big and important for a small number of companies or investors to manage; thus, they want to see the power of the internet put in the hands of the people, not in the hands of Venture capitalists.
Elon Musk added more salt to an open wound with his tweet and the reply from Dorsey caused an uproar making reference to Andreessen Horowitz, which is also known as a16z.
On Wednesday, Dorsey tweeted: “I’m officially banned from Web3,” followed by a screenshot showing he had been blocked by Andreessen.
Dorsey still on the concept of Web 3.0 retweeted a meme that depicts how venture capitalists stand to benefit massively from Web 3.0.
However, web 3.0 has caught the eye of great individuals in the crypto space, and more than $27 billion have been invested by venture capitalists. Also, tech giants aren’t left out of these as they moved with trends and hope to be early adopters of this concept.
Cryptocurrency entrepreneurs and fans of coins like Bitcoin and Ether are eagerly pushing to decentralize finance (DeFi). As asked by Cardi B, if crypto will replace the Dollar; Dorsey replied and his response shows how bullish he is on Bitcoin. Going through his Twitter bio is simply “#bitcoin” followed by the bitcoin symbol.