The concept that is currently circulating online and generating equal hype and speculation is Web 3.0. Several experts have evaluated, trying to determine what is and what is not – however, what is certain is that Web 3.0 will be a decentralized ecosystem where infrastructure builders own their data. Gone are the days of one server and one database, as Web 3.0 will move towards a monolithic way of seamlessly connecting people and devices. But to understand the implications of this shift, it is important to look back at the predecessors of Web 3.0.
Initially, there was Web 1.0, which was basically a way to share and use information on static pages. With Web 2.0 came the rise of social media and launched the era of user-generated content. What united these previous iterations was data storage on servers owned by large corporations and organizations. Even if the user was the original originator of the data, he was not the real owner in the end. Although Web 3.0 is not fully formed, it will have major implications for how businesses are run as – unlike in the past – they are decentralized and not controlled by governments and corporations.
Centralization vs Decentralization
The internet was first built around single server ownership because that was simplest way To build a network infrastructure. To this day, data is stored, in most cases, on a server or group of servers in the cloud. These servers are owned by companies that manage data on behalf of users and even other companies. Web 3.0 will break this model by moving away from one server to many different decentralized servers; As Berners-Lee envisioned, Web 3.0 would create a global space with no central authority.
Many believe that the blockchain will be the “core” enabler of Web 3.0 in terms of decentralization. Blockchain will allow Encryption and Distribution Computing, which means that data stored on the blockchain can only be accessed by those who have permission. Essentially, the owner of the data will be the only person who controls it – that is, the user. Furthermore, the blockchain allows individuals and businesses to interact without intermediaries or third parties. The best representation of untrusted transactions between two parties is exchanging bitcoins directly with another person. However, since the Internet will not theoretically be under the ownership of a single central gatekeeper, the community will need to determine the balance between trust and truth.
If blockchain technology plays a pivotal role in the development of Web 3.0, we can see cryptocurrencies being seamlessly integrated into the digital payments ecosystem. Decentralized ledger technology can also be used to democratize the world of digital content and protect copyrights by giving everyone the opportunity to create and monetize their own content.
Some have assumed that Web 3.0 would be a potential solution to the dominance of “big tech companies”, such as Google, Amazon and Microsoft, which together have more than 50% for all data centers. Although someone might argue the importance of centralized data to protect the truth and prevent the spread of malicious or inappropriate content, others assume that data can be easily manipulated because it is so centralized. Currently, in the Web 2.0 model, if some system administrator wanted to manipulate the data on the server, they could by default do so, and no one would be wiser. But with Web 3.0, central companies no longer own or control the data, as it is managed privately. In addition, there will be several servers, each with copies of the same data but supervised by different people or companies. Likewise, users cannot predict which server they will join even though they keep the same set of data. This unpredictability is necessary as the administrator cannot process the data without making it very clear because the information will not match with other servers. And by not having a central party that generates leadership opinion, it is democratizing the web.
However, the implications of Web 3.0 raise some questions about the inherent lack of oversight and oversight in terms of safety and legality; Some believe that the Internet could become something similar to the “Wild West”. Likewise, despite the excitement of the decentralized Internet, so are many of them Doubtful whether it will be as free as people think. It’s doubtful that big technology will allow its monopoly to be ended so easily – already, many large corporations and venture capital firms have started pouring money into Web 3.0.
A big misconception is that the metaverse and Web 3.0 are the same thing. In fact, the metaverse is just the users’ interaction with the presentation/interactive layer, while Web 3.0 is the complete architecture with each level being decentralized.
How will Web 3.0 affect business models
Web 3.0 will revolutionize how companies interact with their customers, to the point that they may need to build an entirely new infrastructure to accommodate it. New channels will need to build for potential revenue streams, particularly curated content, products, and experiences. Web 3.0 will give businesses direct access to their end users, forcing many to review what an end-to-end channel really means.
Currently, businesses face significant challenges with customer base segmentation – but with Web 3.0, customers can effortlessly and purposefully share their information with the brands of their choice, making the customer experience more personalized. By adding artificial intelligence and machine learning on top of decentralized data structures, brands can do more than just targeted advertising — for healthcare, specifically, a company can design a drug made solely on patient data.
In many cases, users will collectively contribute to the creation of the product, being paid for their contribution as co-investors and creators without a central authority authorizing the payments. Based on various DAO models and smart contracts, a direct connection between end use/revenue and contribution to creation can be established without the involvement of management parties.
Understanding the full potential of Web 3.0 will take some time, and there is still a lot of research and development necessary before it becomes a reality. Many obstacles stand in their way, such as the reluctance of major tech companies to relinquish their dominance. However, Web 3.0 will completely revolutionize the way businesses and consumers interact with each other online.