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Web3 is the latest buzzword from Silicon Valley, dubbed the next phase of the internet. It has got the tech and cryptocurrency enthusiasts buzzing, but others, including Jack Dorsey, argue that it is already in the hands of wealthy venture capitalists.

But what is Web3 and can this future vision of a decentralized and egalitarian Internet work?

What is Web3?

Web3 is an umbrella term for an online ecosystem that eliminates the big middlemen on the Internet. The central gatekeepers on web3 do not own these platforms and you wouldn’t navigate the Internet through search engines such as Google.

It uses blockchain, the same system used by cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

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web3-decentralized-web

What’s so bad about Web 1.0 and Web 2.0?

Web 2.0 arrived around 10 years later and began with the development of easy-to-use tools that allowed anyone to download content online through tech giants like Google, Twitter, and Facebook (metaverse).

These tech companies provided free tools, which made it possible for everyone to become a publisher, also collected our personal data to be used for tailor-made advertising and marketing campaigns.

In theory,

Web3 will be a combination of the previous two versions of the Internet, but it will take power away from tech giants and businesses and put it back in the hands of the people.

And instead of exchanging our data to download content online, users can become participants and shareholders by earning tokens on the blockchain system.

How does it work?

In the Web3 world, search engines, marketplaces, and social networks will have no overriding overlord.

This way, you can control your data and have a single personalized account where you can switch from your emails to online shopping and social media, creating a public record of your activity on the blockchain system.

A blockchain is a secure database managed collectively and anyone can search for it. Also, people get rewarded with tokens for participating.

It comes in the form of a shared ledger that uses encryption to protect information. This register is in the form of a series of records or “blocks”. Which are each added to the previous block in the chain, hence the name.

Each block contains a timestamp, data, and a hash. This is a unique identifier for all the contents of the block, sort of like a digital fingerprint.

The future of the internet

Web3 supporters will say that the concept will be the dominant form of the Internet in the future.

The truth is, Web3 is not a new version of the Internet that we will have to pack and use. It is a growth of our current Internet. And it will probably be a smooth transition that you probably won’t notice.

While there is the potential for innovative changes such as giving people more control over the services they visit the most.

Creating decentralised tools is not easy. Centralised systems are easier to build but less transparent.

Úrsula O’Kuinghttons
Parity Technologies
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