What is Web3? Understanding the Next Evolution of the Internet
The World Wide Web has come a long way since its inception. From Tim Berners-Lee’s creation of open, decentralized protocols that allowed information-sharing anywhere on Earth to today’s Web, which has been monopolized by large technology companies. But, with the introduction of Web3, a new era of the internet is beginning to take shape.
What is Web3?
Web3 is a new vision for a better internet that embraces decentralization and is built, operated, and owned by its users. It uses blockchains, cryptocurrencies, and NFTs to give power back to the users in the form of ownership. Unlike Web1, which was read-only, and Web2, which was read-write, Web3 is read-write-own, allowing users to own their digital assets in an unprecedented way.
Why is Web3 important?
Web3 has four core principles that guide its creation: decentralization, permissionlessness, native payments, and trustlessness. These principles allow for direct ownership of digital assets through non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and create a trustless environment that operates using incentives and economic mechanisms instead of relying on trusted third parties.
Web3 gives users ownership of their digital assets in a way that was not possible before. In Web2, if a user purchased an in-game item, it was tied to their account. If the game creators deleted their account, they would lose these items. Web3 allows for direct ownership through NFTs, which no one, not even the game’s creators, can take away. And, if a user stops playing, they can sell or trade their in-game items on open markets and recoup their value.
Web3 also allows for censorship resistance, which is not possible in Web2. The power dynamic between platforms and content creators in Web2 is imbalanced. For example, in August 2021, OnlyFans announced plans to ban sexually explicit content, which sparked outrage amongst creators on the platform. On Web3, a user’s data lives on the blockchain, and they can take their reputation with them if they decide to leave a platform.
Web3 is the next step in the evolution of the World Wide Web. It allows for direct ownership of digital assets and creates a trustless environment that operates using incentives and economic mechanisms. It also allows for censorship resistance, which is not possible in Web2. With Web3, the power is in the hands of individuals rather than corporations.