Web 2.0 vs web 3.0: a deepdive.

Gepubliceerd op 2 april 2023 om 09:30

Nowadays, it is impossible to imagine our daily lives without the Internet. We have the Internet available to us anytime and anywhere. The internet was invented in the early 90s and has gone through many developments since then. We are often not aware of these developments because they happen slowly and gradually.

With Web 3.0, the Internet is decentralized. The users of the Internet (like you and me) have control and power over the development of the Internet.

What are the biggest differences between web 2.0 and web 3.0?

What is web 2.0?

Web 2.0 is the Internet we know today. This is the internet where the larger - central - parties like Google and Facebook hold the power and determine through their algorithm what we see.

In order to better place Web 2.0 in the broader development of the Internet, it is important to know what exactly Web 1.0 is. I will not go into detail about what web 1.0 is and how exactly it works in technology. Web 1.0 is the very first form of the Internet. It was created in the early 1990s and it was a form of internet where users could only see text and pictures. You could navigate to subpages and there was also only text and pictures. It was straightforward and not interactive. But at the time, this was already a very big and groundbreaking development!

In the 1990s, it wasn't called Web 1.0 yet. The term web 1.0 didn't begin to live on until web 2.0 came along. Web 2.0 began to gain more prominence in the 2000s. The development took off at that time as well. The major development compared to web 1.0 was that web 2.0 became more interactive between users. We could not just add text and images, but we could add content to the web. Think about social media. We could easily connect and stay connected with friends and family.

A major drawback of Web 2.0 is that you, the user, are the product of the central parties. Using these platforms may be free, but you pay with your data. The central parties such as Facebook and Google all collect data about our behavior on the Internet. What we visit, what we buy, what keywords we type into Google, what kind of food we order, etc. All this information is sold to advertisers who then in turn create personalized ads for us. Privacy has become an issue. The big companies now know everything about us. So the power lies with the larger companies like Google and Facebook.

A good example is the 2016 US election. A company called Cambridge Analytica used personal data to show ads in Trump's favor. The opposing candidate Clinton was discredited as a result.

There is a new form of the Internet coming in which users' data is no longer sold and power is no longer placed in the hands of central parties such as Google and Facebook, but rather given back to the users. This is also known as web 3.0.

Web 3.0

In short, every Internet user has power over the Internet. Anyone can become the boss of the web, so to speak. The power of the Internet and data is shifted from the big powerful parties to the individual user.

The data you generate by surfing the Internet and what you see on Instagram and Facebook are determined by them. This is done through algorithms built by Facebook itself and it is not clear to the public on what parameters such algorithms are built. But these major parties also sell your data to advertisers to show personalized ads to you. Because of web 3.0 you decide what you do with the data.

Crypto and blockchain will have a big role in web 3.0. Because the individual user has the power on the Internet and no longer the large parties, this fits perfectly with crypto and blockchain. One of the core characteristics of blockchain is decentralization and transparency. In addition, blockchain is completely transparent and it is visible what data is stored. A blockchain internet is certainly not unthinkable. Think of Internet protocol (ICP). This is a project that aims to complement the Internet with blockchain.

Also, don't forget smart contracts. Smart contracts have tremendous value in shaping web 3.0. Smart contracts are self-executing software. If pre-programmed conditions are met, then the smart contract will automatically execute. By means of smart contracts, certain processes can be executed completely automatically.

By using crypto, blockchain and smart contract, data can be handled much more efficiently, transparently and smartly. A lot of data can thus be processed decentrally and automatically.

Smart contracts can also be used to build decentralized applications (Dapps). These are applications as you know them from the Apple store, but then built on blockchain. The code of these Dapps is completely open source, so that everyone can contribute to making these apps better. Not only are these apps open source, all of Web 3.0 is open source so that anyone can contribute to the Internet. So this is no longer determined by larger parties.

What are the main differences between Web2 and Web3?

The distribution of data
In web 2.0, data is in the hands of the big parties like Google and Facebook. that is different in web 3.0. The data and the power to use it is in the hands of the users.

Think for example of Facebook and a web 3.0 solution. There is a blockchain DeSo (decentralized social). This is a blockchain on which social media can run. The resulting data lies entirely with the user and no longer with the central party. Thanks to the blockchain. Not one party is in control of your data, as this data is completely distributed in a decentralized way.

The blockchain DeSo is a great example because not only do you ensure that data is distributed decentrally, but you also determine what you see in advertisements. With web 2.0, the larger parties determine what you get to see on your feed. In web 3.0 you decide! How does that work? You choose a particular algorithm to run on DeSo. Or you can build your own algorithm. Because you now have choice in what you see, the power lies more with the user.

To take an extra step, the Internet can also be set up in the form of a Decentralized organization DAO. This would allow you to have a say in updates, etc.

In short, a DAO is a form of business in which a company can operate autonomously. The future of a DAO is determined by the users. This is done through governance tokens. A user who has 1 governance token also has only 1 vote. The users can then vote via a panel on certain proposals and in this way directly participate in the DAO.

When Instagram was acquired by Facebook, the data was used to sell ads. This was not happening before the acquisition. If Instagram had been a DAO, the users of Instagram themselves could have voted against the decision to be acquired.

But then how can a DAO become a large and profitable company? Every governance token holder has a stake in a thriving business. Just as it does for shareholders. Shareholders also want a company to make a profit and have an interest in that as well. So do governance token holders. When the DAO / company grows and makes a profit, then the governance token also becomes more valuable. Users with such a governance token can then sell that token for a profit. The users can make money from the growth of the company/DAO.

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