What is Web 3.0? Is it the same as Web3? What does it even look like? Is it a part of the Metaverse? Does it already exist?
This article will answer all of your questions so that you may understand the difference between Web 3.0 the Semantic Web and the decentralized Web3.
What is Web 3.0?
Web 3.0 is a relatively new iteration of the web following Web 1.0 and Web 2.0.
- Web 1.0 is a read-only web.
- Web 2.0 is a read-and-write social web.
Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, describes Web 3.0 as the semantic web. The goal of the Semantic Web is to make internet data machine-readable. Thus, the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is made necessary to improve and build upon content on the Internet.
Is Web 3.0 The Same as Web3?
On the surface, it may seem that “Web 3.0” and “Web 3” are the same but just spelled differently. After all, the terms “Web 2.0” and “Web2” have been used interchangeably.
However, there is a stark difference between Web 3.0 and Web3.
The sole aim of Web 3.0 is to make the Internet smarter using AI. It does not concern itself with how the web is governed.
On the other hand, Web3 aims to decentralize the Internet. It seeks to evolve the centralized model of Web 2.0 whereby a majority of its data and services are in the hands of a select few companies known as the “Tech Giants”.
Supporters of Web3 envision an internet that is owned by users, is censorship-free, and eliminates intermediaries to promote a fairer digital economy.
This is different than Tim Berners-Lee’s vision of Web 3.0 and that’s why there is the differentiation of the terms.
Does Web3 Already Exist?
In short, yes.
If you had played a game on Axie Infinity during the pandemic lockdowns or invested in cryptocurrency, you would have already interacted with the Web3 space.
In fact, it can be argued that Web3 has already been in existence since 2006 when blockchain technology was in its infancy. Indeed, without the peer-to-peer blockchain network, Decentralized Applications (DApps) that populate the world of Web3 may not have existed.
The reason Web3 is talked about more than Web 3.0 is that Tim Berners-Lee’s vision of an intelligent Internet has not yet been fully materialized. It may take some time before AI truly facilitates machine-to-machine communication.
In the meantime, all eyes are on Web3 — the decentralized Internet — whereby governance and transactions are automatically executed via lines of code in the blockchain.
This, therefore, eliminates the need for centralized entities and gives power to the people.
Is Web3 a Part of The Metaverse?
Another big word that’s been going around is the “Metaverse”.
Simply put, it is a shorthand for virtual worlds.
Think The Matrix and Ready Player One.
Using technologies like Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, you interact with the applications and the users in an immersive way.
The Metaverse may overlap with Web 3.0 if it uses AI technology to improve interaction within virtual worlds.
However, a crossover with Web3 i.e., a decentralized Metaverse, may be more viable and practical.
This is because elements of the blockchain such as DApps and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have the potential to encourage interoperability, thereby easing interaction within the Metaverse.
While Web3 elements will be used in the Metaverse, they are not interchangeable ideas. Fundamentally, the Metaverse is the interface through which users can engage with Web3 applications.
Just as real-world transactions rely on fiat currency, the Metaverse relies on crypto and NFTs.
Will Web3 Fail or Succeed?
Web3 could be the next internet revolution; the keyword being could.
While decentralization may seem appealing, skeptics would argue that a trustless structure would attract more fraud and crime.
Ironically, a digitally anonymous identity, one of the biggest advantages of Web3, also becomes one of its biggest threats.
Another concern is the energy-intensive blockchain technology that may strip away natural resources of an area and reduce the quality of life. But with the upcoming technology and new mining methods, this issue may be solved.
Despite these issues, the world of Web3 seems to be attracting users, both creators and consumers alike. Web3 has provided the space for artists to reap all the rewards from the selling of their NFTs. Consumers feel confident in knowing that their money goes directly to supporting the artist.
As long as the technology is used for good instead of fraud, the decentralized Web3 could potentially be the mainstream Internet.
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