What is Web3? In the same way that distinct programming stacks created Web1 and Web2, a new software stack defines Web3. It’s based on the fundamental concepts of decentralization, freedom, and democracy and promotes a much more private, secure, and universal way to engage with each other. While Web3 is still early on we can put together an idea of what it might look like by looking at the concepts and benefits that drive web3 development.
Web 1.0 was designed to help people better find information. Sometimes called “the read-only Web” because it lacked the necessary forms, visuals, controls, and interactivity we enjoy on today’s Internet. Get a physical-world dictionary, upload everything in it, and make it available for anybody to read online (though not be able to respond to). That’s Web 1.0.
What is Web3?
Web3 or Web 3.0 represents the next phase of the internet. It refers to a blockchain-based decentralized online ecosystem where platforms and apps created on Web3 will be owned by its users who will contribute to the development and maintenance of such services.
Right now, in the Web2 phase, a huge share of commerce and communication takes place on closed platforms owned by a handful of super-powerful corporations like Facebook, Google, Amazon, etc. Web3 looks to liberate the world from that monopolistic domination.
Machine learning and artificial intelligence will also be used in Web 3.0 to enable more intelligent and adaptable apps.
Yet, to really know “what is Web3”, we need to look forward. While some aspects are available now and making a difference, it’s nowhere near its full realization. We’re currently at a stage where Web2 is being enhanced by the technology that’s evolving in Web3; in other words, the combination of Web2 + Web3 is beneficial for everyone right now.
What have Web1 and Web2 ever done for us?
Unlike the centralized governance of Web2, Web3 is decentralized. No central authority that takes control and gives permission, no kill switch, no single point of failure. Instead, services are offered in a distributed approach with no central controlling node implying greater freedom from indiscriminate censorship and surveillance.
With Web2, Big Tech like Google and Meta hold massive databases of information. With decentralized storage, information would be found based on its content and therefore could be kept in several locations at the same time, breaking down the internet giants’ control, and handing it back to users.
A decentralized identity system allows users to control their online identity and personal information. Web3 gives you full control over what information is available about you online and who has access to it because it’s decentralized to the user and all users own their own data which Big Tech cannot abuse or use to control as digital twins. You also have a cryptographically safe means to verify the accuracy of the information.
Examples of Web3 technology being used in Web2 include platforms like Next-Gen. The smart learning and career development platform uses “Metaverse technology to introduce a new form of social learning whereby students actively learn skills and competencies to better enable job applications and job progression”. Next-Gen will provide a symbiotic ecosystem using blockchain that empowers all parties - students - educators - employers - to reach their potential in the world of work.
Using Concordium’s unique blockchain technology, which balances privacy with accountability, Next-Gen is able to ensure that everyone in the world can use their platform as an open decentralized infrastructure. This includes SSO solutions, with an ID layer at the protocol level, validated by a third party, which allows people and companies to trust one another while remaining private with zero-knowledge proof.
Concordium ID layer Web3 technology will prevent customer data abuse
Web3 has the ability to provide users with significantly higher usefulness, going well beyond the bulk of Web 2.0 apps customers use, such as streaming, social media, and online shopping. Semantic Web, AI, and machine learning capabilities, which are at the heart of Web 3.0, have the potential to dramatically expand application in new domains and vastly improve user engagement.
A semantic web is one in which web technology matures into a platform that allows people to produce, distribute, and link material through search and analysis. It is centered on word understanding rather than numbers and keywords.
More automation in general is a key characteristic of Web 3.0, and this automation will be primarily powered by AI. If these concepts are combined with NLP (natural language processing), the result is a smarter, faster, more responsive computer that provides more specific data that end users will find appropriate.
While this is already there in Web2, it’s pushed to the next level in Web3 by assuring that anybody, from anywhere, at any time, can access the internet. Eventually, devices capable of connecting to the internet will no longer be confined to PCs, smartphones, tablets, etc.; Web3 will be leveraging IoT (Internet of Things) technology, which will result in a variety of new types of smart devices.
What is Web3’s purpose right now and in the future?
Web3 projects are almost entirely open source, which means that anybody can develop on top of them. Web2 functions with restricted API access, while Web 3 operates like Lego blocks, with each portion interconnected and reusable. This is referred to as "composability." This provides the path for existing initiatives in Web2 to be used to produce something better using Web3 tech, making it simple to build innovative new projects with actual value.
Web3 is powered by a DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization), a new way of managing without the need for boards or CEOs. DAOs function according to a set of rules defined in code and allow an infinite number of individuals to participate. Many traditional organizations are expected to transition to DAOs during the next 10 to 15 years. At present, they are great for creating communities around specific shared interests, for example, Next-Gen offers DAO based educational grants to help people who might otherwise be unable to afford education.
What is Web3?
Web3 tech adds layers to and enhances Web2 to ensure privacy, security, ease-of-use, and compliance for its users. This protection of humankind from the abuse that Big Tech perpetrates means that everyone has a choice of decentralized, ethical technology.
Next-Gen is a smart learning and career development platform.
Our mission is to inspire all individuals to turn their passions and abilities into useful qualifications, successful jobs, and satisfying lives. Everyone should be able to pick a meaningful education and career pathway that will position them for lasting success and a place in the ‘World of Work’.