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Do You Wonder What is Web3? This Is A Simple Overview For “Newbies”

Written by: Lotta Spjut, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

After this article, You will know more about:

  • The history of the internet and the technical development from Web1 into Web2 into Web3

  • The basics and definition of Web3

  • Examples of Web3 applications

  • Some of the possible future effects within Web3

You have probably already heard or seen the term "Web 3.0", or short, Web3. Today it is seen and spoken about a lot. When you google the phrase "Web3, "you will find many different explanations. Most of it is with technical words and not that simple to understand for the average Internet user. Still, it is good to understand the basics of trends and concepts in the market, especially if You are thinking of making any interactions and “investments.” Web3 will probably offer many opportunities for the average person in the years ahead.

Let's start from the beginning and how it all started.


Web1, Web2, and Web3 ‒ The background, simple explanation, and definition


In the early 1990s, Web1 applications started. That was the time the internet consisted of static web pages. It was a "read-only”; those users could only consume information. Currently, platforms like Facebook or Netflix don't exist; the “big ones” are websites like Cern, Britannica Online, or Yahoo. The technological infrastructure was provided by IP, HTTP, URI, and HTML.


In 2000, many internet companies disappeared from the market because .com was knocked out. Regardless, the tech world focused on further developing innovations such as JavaScript, HTML5, and CSS3. The result was the start of Web2.


While Web1 was mainly about transmitting information, Web2 focused on interaction. Users (You and me) make our data available to different service providers such as social media, e-commerce, and payments providers, enabling these apps to function. Most often with creating a Log-in with a username and password. Web2 users are no longer just consumers; we have also become “the product.”


Let's take Amazon and Facebook as examples. Unlike Web1 websites, two Amazon or Facebook users can access the same website but see completely different content. For instance, have You thought about how You might have been googling shoes? And next time You are on Your Facebook account, these shoes show up in Your FB feed, though they will not show up in mine unless I googled the same shoes. That is because Amazon and Facebook receive additional data from the users and then show them different feeds with other advertising content or posts depending on the user’s activity online.


Web2 has changed the way we communicate and interact with each other, and a technical shift does not characterize it. Instead, it is a change in how we use the internet. Web2 is a version of the internet that enables everyday users to create, share, and publish content. The average user is not a passive observer anymore. Instead, we play an active role in creating the internet.


We are going from Web1 with direct mobile calls using the mobile supplier into Web2, where we make phone calls via applications such as WhatsApp. In Web2, we can shop on Amazon, listen to music through Spotify, and pay via online banking and platforms. Web2 has undoubtedly increased our benefits and ease, though it has also created new challenges. Web2 is major characterized and defined by these intermediaries=platforms/applications.


To find a company or brand, we rely on a Google search; to find interesting artists, we rely on Spotify; and to find products, we rely on Amazon. Platforms like Google, Spotify, Amazon, Facebook, and other big brands in Web2serve as centralized data aggregators. As intermediaries between suppliers and consumers, they capture nearly all the value in the form of data and money in this process. Many of these platforms rose in popularity with Web2, and they are some of the world’s most profitable companies and now dominate the global economy.

Picture: Think Big/Business


Web2 is about centralization, and what could be the challenge with that?


With time it became profitable for these platforms to make it more difficult for groups and individuals to interact directly, so intermediaries became more of a roadblock than a passage. Web2 is based on a server-client structure. Centralized private corporations control and own our data. That means these corporations also have enormous monopoly power and create barriers to entry for potential competitors.


Centralized corporations control all Web2 applications, including the banking and financial systems. Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Twitter began storing this data in their servers to make better content using algorithms. In the best world, that would use this to keep people's experiences of the highest quality. In reality, advertisers could buy our data. That is where Web 3.0 comes in.


So, What is Web3?


In short, Web 3.0 is often described as "read-write-execute.” The idea of Web3 is a web that is not controlled by a small number of central authorities. It is irrelevant if it is governments or corporations. In theory, in Web3, the users are in charge of their data and web content. Also, that allows web users to profit directly from their data and all that money moving around the web daily. It involves a space where people operate on decentralized, almost anonymous platforms. That means moving away from the big, guiding hands of tech giants like Google, Facebook, and Twitter.


That leads to a Web3 where users interact decentralized, though with security. From money to information, all exchanges are conducted without needing tech companies, banks, or any other middlemen. So, if Web2 makes the user the product, Web3 makes the user the content owner. This next generation of the internet focuses on shifting power away from big tech companies and platforms and towards individual users. Web3 is based on an ecosystem of technology “products” that are decentralized, trustless, permissionless, and interoperable.


The Web3 is breaking up the market power of these centralized players when the centralized server-client infrastructure is replaced with distributed ledgers; the most common type is the blockchain. Instead of a centralized server where all data is being stored, it will be outspread across a decentralized computer network. As a result, centralized entities, which previously acted as intermediaries, will instead become more or less outdated.

Picture: skiplevel.co


Summary What are Web 1.0, Web 2.0, and Web 3.0


Web 1.0 Reading and getting information.


Web 2.0 Reading, writing, and creating. As a result, users joined social platforms, which got big because of this created content.


Web 1.0 content was "read-only," and static web pages were not interactive. You visited a website to get information, though You would not give it any data back. That is the defining difference between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0.


Web 3.0 Reading, writing, and ownership. Creators and builders can now own a piece of their community through NFTs, tokens, etc. With Web 3.0, many traditional loyalty programs will become token driven. Users will get some value and ownership through these tokens, which they can trade, use for perks, or keep for access. Loyalty becomes valuable, and it is all about ownership.


Short about Web3 applications


Netscape web browser was probably the starting point of Web1. The start of Web3 could have been the Bitcoin network launch. The decentralized cryptocurrency needs neither central banks nor banks. It is based on blockchain technology and represents a peer-to-peer network. The Ethereum blockchain was launched five years after and used the same technology to develop. Ethereum makes it possible for the automation of token-based transactions using smart contracts.


These replace centralized intermediaries, such as banks, creating a "trustless" network. The value chain becomes both more efficient and cheaper by eliminating intermediaries. The Ethereum Blockchain has a variety of applications that run on their blockchain and other blockchains. These include Decentralized Financial applications (Defi).


Short about NFT (Non-Fungible Token) and Web3


Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are another Web3 application. NFTs represent ownership of a uniquely identifiable digital asset, such as ownership of a graphic, artwork, document, music file, domain, and other digital assets. Non-fungible means that NFTs are unique and cannot be replaced. A token is documented in the blockchain. NFTs enable the transparent documentation of digital property rights and their automated transfer without centralized intermediaries. That is crucial for many Web3 applications. For example, it is irrelevant which Bitcoin a Bitcoin owner owns, though originality matters in, for example, the case of a digital property right to a piece of land.


A banknote is also a non-fungible because each banknote has its serial number. No two banknotes are the same; they are unique, unlike Bitcoin. However, the reality is that it does not matter which banknote one pays for, though it does matter when it comes to, for example, artwork or other property rights. A banknote is not an NFT because it is not registered in the blockchain. In my article “Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT)- The Next Business Opportunity”? You can learn more about NFTs.


Short about DAOs and Web3


DAOs could also replace established companies with new forms of decision-making in Web3. Entirely new economic organizations have been birthed with Web3. One core function of interacting across the Web3 space is Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs). The primary advantage of a DAO is that, unlike traditional companies, the blockchain provides DAOs with complete transparency through the blockchain. As a result, anyone can see and analyze all the actions and funding of the DAO. The risk of corruption significantly reduces with this transparency, preventing essential information from being censored and ensuring that the DAO upholds its promise.


And unlike traditional top-down organizations, like most corporations or non-profits, DAOs operate with a flat hierarchical structure. All members are allowed a say in crucial decisions that affect the broader group instead of the primary shareholders.


DAOs could replace traditional corporate hierarchies by replacing centralized ownership with a token governance mechanism. With DAOs, decisions are made democratically through voting, voting rights based on the number of tokens one owns. The “workers” of a DAO are also compensated for their work in passes. Instead of receiving a salary set by any “management," they are paid according to their contribution to the DAO's joint mission with ownership rights in the DAO. The goal is to create additional incentives.


Picture: Daily Techno News


Short about the Metaverse and Web3


The so-called metaverse is a virtual reality that could eventually bring all these use cases within Web3 together. In the metaverse, people could communicate, trade, play, learn or otherwise interact with each other outside of the real world. That is not possible in Web2, where the user is the product; in Web3, the user is also the owner. If You are interested to learn more about the Metaverse, You can read my article “What Is The Metaverse, And What Can It Mean For The Future Of Business”?


Are there any challenges with Web3?


Web3 is in its early stages, and many questions remain. For full mainstream acceptance and adoption of Web3, the challenges must be addressed currently spread with the next generation of the internet.


Many existing Web3 projects do not make it easy for Web2 users to transit to their platforms. Depending on location or device, many may or may not be able to interact with some Web3 projects, tokens, or Dapps. The barrier to entry is still high, going directly from, for example, fiat to a crypto-wallet.


That brings us to usability. Consider how most people can use Twitter for the first time without direct assistance. Compare that to how many people need help to use a MetaMask wallet (crypto-wallet) for the first time. The user interaction will be an essential part of decreasing the barrier. Interoperability (the possibility to interact with other systems) is about how blockchains interact. Operability thinking on multiple blockchains from projects is needed to simplify for the users.


Technological scalability is another critical challenge, as it once was in Web1, as the data processing speed of a decentralized network is slower than the centralized Web2. For example, Bitcoin transactions are much slower than transactions over the Visa or Mastercard network. The experience for the user of Web3 applications also cannot currently keep up with Web2 applications.


Another question is, how decentralized is Web3 so far? Today, the functionality of Web3 still depends a lot on Web2 infrastructure.


Is Web3 the future?


The vision of the decentralized Web3 still has much innovation work to be done. That said, the Web2 did not happen overnight either. In 30 years information economy has evolved into a platform economy. The next logical evolutionary step is the token economy. We also know that technology’s speed moves faster today than 30 years ago.


Web2 came with its challenges also. With these challenges solved, the more considerable adoption. The same will be for Web3 as developers and communities begin to fix the challenges associated with their use. It is too early to say how this evolution will end up. The transition will be a gradual innovation process moving from Web2 to Web3. Which technologies and business models are the best long-term will become apparent with time.


Future will tell


There are for sure opportunities for early adaptors. Compared to Web1 and Web2, where mainly founders and venture capitalists were among the big winners, more or less everyone can benefit more directly from Web3. Web3 is a critical tool toward greater financial possibilities for everyone. Ultimately, we live in a world where technology is already a big part and where we probably need to apply it sooner

or later, as with the internet.


Learn more about Web3


Hopefully, You got an overview of what web3 is. The writer (me) is NOT a financial advisor nor calls me a Web3 expert. It is always essential to Do Your Own Research (DYOR). In my upcoming articles, I will go through some of the projects and applications in Web3, what a crypto-wallet is, and how You can get Your own, the most asked questions from “newbies” connected to Web3, and other related information that You can have used for to keep up with the speed of internet innovations. If You have any questions or suggestions for upcoming articles, feel free to contact me on my homepage.


To learn more from Lotta, you can visit her website and connect with her social media accounts; Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Linkedin. Read more from Lotta!

 

Lotta Spjut, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine Lotta Spjut has a passion and drive to inspire and empower people, especially women around the Globe. To use the skills they have, learn new skills and knowledge to grow themself, and become successful individuals and/or entrepreneurs.

She has made hundreds of lectures, speeches, and individual and group training for private and public companies, built on empiric knowledge. Sharing what she has learned and experienced herself to inspire and empower people. Not to compare with her or anyone else but to get inspired. The amount of listeners is not important for her; it is what each person gets out of it.

Lotta is a TEDx speaker, and she was one of 20 Global Women Leaders to Look up to 2021 by Passion Vista & Unified Brainz. She was also selected for Brainz 500 Global Awards 2021” by Brainz Magazine as one of the "500 Global Companies and Influential Leaders recognized for their entrepreneurial success, achievements, and dedication to helping others”. 2022 she got selected for "Who´s Who of the world" and got her own Coffee Table Book.

Lotta’s main business over the last decades has been as a Business Developer, Global Speaker, and Trainer. She has thousands of people all over the world whom she has mentored and educated in leadership, personal development, technology, and entrepreneurship.

Her background is as an Experienced Chief Executive Officer with a demonstrated history of working with leadership. She was an employee for 10 years before she resigned and became her own boss. Master's Degree in Didactic, Bachelor of Education, and many years of experience as a teacher in elementary school and at University. Certified Business Pro Executive Coach, coaching CEOs in different businesses. Bachelor's degree as a health and nutrition developer. Educated people in the health, nutrition, and fitness industry.

Lotta is skilled in Leadership, Coaching, Entrepreneurship, Team Building, Education, and Management. Strong business development and 2015 she started to educate herself about cryptocurrency and blockchain technology and the latest area she is developing her knowledge in is the NFT ‒ and Web3 markets. Lotta’s mission is to help more people understand and get educated about the opportunities within the innovations in technology and web3. She especially wants to inspire and empower more women to learn more about web3.

Her favorite quote is from Arthur Ashe: "Start where You are, use what You have, and Do what You can"! And "You don´t need to be great to start, but You need to start to be great".

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