What is Web3, the new version of the Internet that everyone is talking about

If 2021 gave us anything other than an endless pandemic, a supply chain crisis, inflation and, well… you got it, it was the incorporation of the term Web3. A largely nebulous concept, Web3 is touted by crypto and blockchain boosters as the future of the internet.

The idea is to create a decentralized website, where users can transport their data from one department to another without the company’s walled gardens stopping them. It’s a soup of high-profile tech terms ranging from NFTs to metaverse that have caught the attention of powerful venture capitalists.

But he also found criticism in some big names, including Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla (TSLA), who said The Bee of Babylon Wednesday that this “looks more like marketing than reality.”

So, is Web3 just jargon the crypto brothers are pushing us into? Or is it a new kind of internet that will change the world? The truth is, it’s a bit of both.

Web3, the next frontier

Before we dive into the potential benefits and pitfalls of Web3, let’s see why it’s called Web3. This name comes from Web1 or Web 1.0, the name of the original version of the Internet that lets you browse GeoCities sites or play silly Flash-based browser games. If you’re in your early twenties, it was basically the Internet Stone Age. Also, if you are in your early twenties, I despise you for your youth.

Web2, otherwise known as Web 2.0, evolved from Web1 and featured the growth of social media platforms like Facebook, services like Uber and Venmo, and well, more or less everything that exists online today. ‘hui.

Web3, which I guess looks cooler than Web 3.0, is the next evolution of the internet. Coming from Web 2.0, it is based on the idea that blockchain technology and digital tokens can promote a decentralized Internet.

While Web 2.0 has given us the Internet as we know it, it has also brought a heavy load. Only a handful of gargantuan companies control the web, whether it’s Google (GOOG, GOOGL), Amazon (AMZN), Microsoft (MSFT), Apple (AAPL), or Facebook (FB), and they’re happy to keep it that way.

There is a lack of data portability, the ability to bring your information with you on any device. And if you buy an app through one platform, it may not work on other platforms.

Big tech companies also thrive on the data you give them. After all, Google and Facebook derive the vast majority of their income from advertising based on user information.

Web3, however, would allow sites and services to exist on decentralized computer networks and rely on blockchain technology to validate user data. Ideally, then, the people who actually use the sites and applications would own them. Participate enough in an online community and you will get some of it in the form of a digital token. Consumers, rather than a large corporation, would govern the service.

So where is the metaverse?

On the right, the metaverse. These are the interconnected online worlds that everyone from Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg to Epic Games’ Tim Sweeney is obsessed with. In order for the Metaverse to exist as an expansive bunch of online worlds, you’ll need to seamlessly transfer your user account, avatar, and data from one location to another.

Individual companies owning various parts of the metaverse would likely make this impossible. Do you really think Meta is going to want to share its users with Roblox (RBLX) and Epic Games? Certainly not.

This is where the decentralized Internet of Web3 comes in. If there isn’t a single entity controlling the sites and applications that make up the metaverse, users can easily move from one world to another.

How would you pay for everything in Web3? With cryptocurrencies, of course. This naturally led crypto fans to take the tour.

The future of the Internet

Supporters of Web3 will say the concept will be the dominant form of the Internet in the future. But in reality, it will probably only be an amalgamation of Web1, Web 2.0 and Web3.

Big tech companies have already invested in Web3. Do you expect the multi-billion dollar companies that make up the Internet’s largest ecosystem to give up their control? Go on.

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 gradual transition that you hardly notice. After all, you can’t remember when we went from Web1 to Web 2.0. To the right?

And while there is the potential for innovative changes, like giving people more control over the services they visit the most, I wouldn’t expect the Web3 Boosters of Utopian Heaven to promise.

Yes, the internet is going to change soon, but it’s not like it hasn’t changed in all this time.

Subscribe to the Yahoo Finance Tech newsletter

More from Dan

Follow Yahoo Finance on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Flipboard, LinkedIn, Youtube, and reddit

Do you have any advice? Email Daniel Howley at [email protected] via encrypted mail to [email protected], and follow him on Twitter at @DanielHowley.

Comments are closed.