NFTs, blockchain, the metaverse, tokens, and decentralised are just a few words that have been thrown around in discussion of the next generation of the internet – Web 3.0.
So, what is Web 3.0?
Experts say to understand Web 3.0, you need to understand the previous two iterations of the internet.
In the early 90s Web 1.0 was born. Dial-up internet featuring websites that were essentially ‘read-only’, basic magazine-styled, static page sites, made up of only information, hyperlinks and pictures.
From the early 2000s to where we are today is what is considered to be Web 2.0. A ‘read-write’ environment encouraging user interaction, where users can supply their own information and content and share with others.
The downside, it’s argued, is that large companies such as Google, Amazon and Facebook have the monopoly over that supplied data and have profited from it through targeted advertising. This information, which we users gave freely, is centralised, meaning it’s stored on servers they own.
The concept behind Web 3.0 is ‘read-write-own’.
Now, minus the jargon and very simply put, instead of data being stored on say Google’s servers, the data is encrypted and stored across multiple machines worldwide known as ‘nodes’.
Those who have purchased or supplied the data will maintain its ownership through a ledger that anyone can access.
For example, if you choose to one day leave or delete your Facebook account, you will also be leaving the photos, messages and posts you have provided to that account.
In Web 3.0, there’s a separation between the data you’ve provided and the platform that displays it. Meaning if you wish to leave that platform, you can deactivate your account and take your data with you.
Because the data is stored throughout the world and not in one corporate server, the ownership will always remain with the person who’s assigned on the ledger.
Another benefit to Web 3.0 is that if one system goes down, another will be there to back it up. And because that information is encrypted and stored across multiple machines, the data is immutable, meaning it’s nearly impossible to hack or be manipulated.
Experts say Web 3.0 is still very much at a ‘dial-up’ stage of its infancy, there is certainly more work to be done. Some predict it will be a series of ideas that will grow together over time.