Internet users may not be aware that we are slowly transitioning to the next level in the online user experience. What most of us are used to is Web2, but now with the birth of cryptocurrency, blockchain technology, and decentralized networks, we are now moving into the Web3 space. So, how does it all work, and what makes Web3 stand apart?
Well, we can now access the internet on everyday devices like phones and laptops. This alone trumps previous iterations of the internet.
It goes without saying that the internet experience is no longer like what it was 10 years ago. Things have changed, but how much has changed for the individual user and user-generated content? Leave that to us, in this post we’ll cover what’s the difference between Web2 and Web3.
Web2 & Web3
Web2 and web3 are two new marketing strategies for blockchain networks. Blockchain is a peer-to-peer (P2P) network of data centers that holds and distributes electronic information. Individuals who have access to a blockchain cannot change or erase existing information, but they can add to it, view it, and use it. The most popular blockchain technologies are cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Web3, on the other hand, refers to open-source, blockchain-based data decentralization solutions. Proponents of this technology argue that it deprives Big Tech of power, enhances transparency, fosters innovation, and offers people control over their information and online interactions.
Web 2.0 (a term Dale Dougherty used in 2004 to describe the user-centric internet that was emerging from social media and massive smartphone adoption) and Web 3.0 (a term used to refer to Tim Berners-concept Lee’s of The Semantic Web, or “a common framework that allows data to be shared and reused across application, enterprise, and community boundaries”) have been frequently confused.
Web2 and Web3: The Comparison
Data ownership is a fundamental distinction between Web2 and Web3. In Web2, data was mostly managed by one or more intermediaries.
For instance, in Web2:
- Twitter has the ability to block any account or tweet.
- Payment services may decide not to accept payments for specific sorts of work.
- Servers for gig-economy apps may fail, affecting worker earnings.
Web3 brands, on the other hand, promote the fact that users’ data is autonomous and so does not need to be managed by an intermediary.
- Because control is dispersed, tweets can be censored.
- Web3 payment apps do not require personal information and cannot block payments.
- Web3 servers cannot fail because they rely on Ethereum, a decentralized network of thousands of computers, as their backing.
Although web3 is frequently cited in conjunction with the metaverse, most metaverses available to consumers today still work on Web2 principles due to a lack of interoperable infrastructures that allow users to own virtual things and an identity that is not platform-specific.
The Benefits of Web3 Over Web2
An advertised advantage of web3 over web2 is better user control and less corporate surveillance. Users own their data and can share or keep it private as they see fit.
Artists with digital art portfolios, for example, may use smart contracts and NFTs in the future to bypass middlemen and interact directly with the owners of their works.
Furthermore, because computer power is not centralized in one location, web3 technologies are anticipated to be more stable and accessible than web2 technologies. Many web2 technologies, such as Wix, have lately turned toward multi-cloud hosting in order to give more consistent site reliability with full worldwide coverage and 99.98% uptime.
The Downsides of Web3 Over Web2
Because of Web3’s increased openness and decentralization, it will be more difficult to filter out negative content such as cybercrime, hate speech, and misinformation. A decentralized web would also make regulation and enforcement more difficult—for example, which country’s laws would apply to a website that hosted content from different countries around the world?
Web3 will also most likely be slower than web2 because each transaction will have to go across the full P2P network. This necessitates a massive amount of computational power, and the instantaneous transactions to which we have been accustomed may take much longer. Indeed, certain activities, such as producing an NFT, demand so much power and electricity that “gas fees” may become necessary for transactions that we now perform for free.
The Current Internet Generation
We are currently in the middle of an internet revolution! User interaction, social networks, and even business models are now going through major changes to adapt to this new generation of Internet services. Modern web browsers offer a lot more than they did back in the day, and these browser technologies offer us a wide range of dynamic content that previous generations could never have.
The fact that we can join virtual communities and access massive databases shows that Web3 has now gained mainstream adoption and broad acceptance by the world. The read-only web still has its merits, but innovative technology proves that there can certainly be more.
Everything from social networking, online shopping, and other popular applications can now be accessed on a simple mobile device, using mobile internet access. This was something inconceivable 20 years ago. Now, it’s a part of our daily lives thanks to the next generation of Internet services, Web3.
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