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Web2 vs. Web3: Unveiling the Next Evolution of the Internet


Having worked in the domain name Registry / Registrar environment during the splitting of the two functions. I feel like I have a pretty good handle on the legacy benefits and drawbacks of Web 2.0. Even with the radical changes over time (would you hire someone with an email address?), the underlying premise of the “whatever Boomer” internet made sense to me. But there’s a new kid in town and Web 3.0 represents the next evolution of the internet, offering a paradigm shift from the traditional Web 2.0 landscape. While Web 2.0 enabled users to consume and contribute content, Web 3.0 takes it a step further by emphasizing:

1. Decentralization and Ownership: Unlike traditional web applications where data and control are concentrated in the hands of centralized entities, Web 3.0 technologies, such as blockchain and smart contracts, enable a more distributed and transparent ecosystem.

2. Disintermediation and Peer-to-Peer Collaboration: Web 3.0 fosters disintermediation, cutting out intermediaries and enabling direct peer-to-peer interactions. Through decentralized platforms and protocols, Web 3.0 encourages collaborative networks, removing the need for trusted third parties in various transactions and interactions. This can have profound effects on industries like finance, art, gaming, and social media.

3. Tokenization and the Token Economy: Web 3.0 introduces the concept of tokenization, where digital assets can be represented and traded as tokens on blockchain networks. Tokens can represent ownership of assets, access to services, or even governance rights within decentralized systems.

Identifying Web 3.0: Indicators and Characteristics

Web 3.0 leverages blockchain technology, decentralized storage, and smart contracts to create a more transparent, secure, and user-centric online ecosystem. While Web 2.0 relied on centralized entities and intermediaries, Web 3.0 aims to empower individuals, enabling them to have greater control over their data, digital assets, and online identities. By embracing principles of decentralization, programmability, and self-sovereign identity, Web 3.0 offers exciting opportunities for economic, social, and technological innovation.

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As a user, it may not always be immediately obvious whether a website you’re using is built on Web 2.0 or Web 3.0 technologies. If you know to look for certain indicators and characteristics, you should be able to identify which type of web you’re interacting with:

Domain Extension: Traditional Web 2.0 websites typically use common extensions like .com, .org, .net, etc. Web 3.0 projects may use new domain extensions like .eth, io, or .crypto.

User Accounts and Authentication: Web 2.0 websites often require you to create user accounts using email addresses or social media logins. They may store your personal information and login credentials on their centralized servers. In contrast, Web 3.0 websites may offer options for self-sovereign identity, allowing you to authenticate using decentralized identifiers (DIDs) or blockchain-based wallets, allowing you to maintain control over your data and identity.

Data Ownership and Control: Consider whether the website emphasizes user ownership and control over data. Web 3.0 platforms often highlight user-centric features like data portability, selective data sharing, and transparent data management. They may integrate decentralized storage solutions or employ blockchain technology to ensure that users have more control over their data.

The Future Is Web 3.0: Reshaping Our Digital Lives

In conclusion, Web 3.0 is ushering in a new era of the internet, fundamentally different from the Web 2.0 landscape we have become accustomed to. It challenges the traditional notions of centralization, intermediaries, and data control by embracing decentralization, user ownership, and trustless systems. As Web 3.0 continues to evolve and gain wider adoption, it has the potential to reshape our online experiences, fostering a more inclusive, equitable, and user-centric internet where individuals are the true owners and architects of their digital lives.

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