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What is Web3? Decentralised Internet of the Future

20113 min. to read

    Internet evolution

       The web has evolved a lot over the years, and today's applications are completely different from their ancestors. The evolution of the Internet is often divided into three distinct phases: Web 1.0, Web 2.0, and Web 3.0.


    What is Web 1.0?

       Web 1.0 was the first iteration of the web. Most of the participants were content consumers, and the creators were generally developers who created websites containing information presented primarily in text or graphic format. Web 1.0 lasted roughly from 1991 to 2004.

       Web 1.0 consisted of sites serving static content instead of dynamic HTML. The data and content was provided from a static file system, not a database, and the sites weren't very interactive.

       Web 1.0 can be called the read-only web.


       What is Web 2.0?

       Most of us have first encountered the Internet in its current form, commonly referred to as web2. You can think of web2 as an interactive and social internet.

       In the world of web2, you don't have to be a developer to participate in the creation process. Many applications are designed in such a way that anyone can become a creator.

       If you have an idea and you want to share it with the whole world, you can do it. If you want to upload a video and let millions of people see it, interact with it, and comment on it, you can do that too.

       Web2 is very simple, and because of this simplicity, more and more people around the world are becoming creators.

       The Internet in its current form is really good in many ways, but there are some areas where we can do much better.

       Web 2.0 monetization and security

       In the web2 world, many popular applications follow a common pattern in their lifecycle. Think about some of the apps you use on a daily basis and how the following examples might apply to them.

       Application monetization

       Imagine the early days of popular apps like Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn or YouTube and how different they are from today. The process usually goes something like this:

    •    The company launches the application
    •    It attracts as many users as possible
    •   She then monetizes her user base

       When a developer or company launches a popular app, the user experience is often very simple as the app continues to grow. That is why it is possible to quickly gain popularity.

       At first, many software companies don't worry about monetization. They are solely focused on growing and attracting new users, but eventually they need to start making a profit.

       They also need to think about the role of outside investors. Often, the limitations associated with raising venture capital adversely affect the lifecycle and ultimately the user experience of many of the applications we use today.

       If the app company raises venture capital, its investors often expect a return on investment of tens or hundreds of what they invested.

       This means that rather than opting for some sustainable growth model that can be sustained in a somewhat organic way, a company is often pushed down two paths: advertising or selling personal data.

       For many web2 companies such as Google, Facebook, Twitter and others, more data leads to more personalized ads. This results in more clicks and ultimately more ad revenue. The exploitation and centralization of user data is fundamental to the functioning of the Internet as we know and use it today.

       Security and Privacy

       Data leaks happen all the time in Web2 applications. There are even websites dedicated to tracking down such leaks and letting you know when your data has been compromised.

       In web2, you have no control over your data or how it is stored. Moreover, companies often track and store user data without their consent. All this data is then owned and controlled by the companies in charge of these platforms.

       Users living in countries where they have to worry about the negative effects of free speech are also at risk.

       Governments often shut down servers or seize bank accounts if they think a person is expressing an opinion that runs counter to their propaganda. With centralized servers, it's easy for governments to intervene, control or shut down applications as they see fit.

       Because banks are also digital and centrally controlled, governments often step in there as well. They may shut down access to bank accounts or restrict access to funds during times of instability, extreme inflation, or other political unrest.

       Web3 aims to address many of these shortcomings by fundamentally rethinking how we create applications and interact with them from the very beginning.

       What is Web 3.0?

       There are some fundamental differences between web2 and web3, but they are based on decentralization.

       Web3 improves the Internet as we know it today and adds a few more features:

    • Verifiability
    • Trusted centers are not required self-management
    • No permissions required
    • Distribution and reliability
    • Presence of state
    • Native payments

       In web3, developers typically do not create or deploy applications that run on the same server or store their data in the same database (usually hosted and managed by the same cloud provider).

       Instead, web3 applications run either on a blockchain, or in decentralized networks of many peer nodes (servers), or a combination of these two technologies that form a cryptoeconomic protocol. Such applications are often referred to as dapps (decentralized applications).

       To achieve a stable and secure decentralized network, network members (developers) are incentivized and compete to provide the highest quality service to all who use the service.

       When you hear about web3, you may notice that cryptocurrencies are often part of the conversation. This is because cryptocurrency plays a big role in many of these protocols. It provides a financial incentive (tokens) for those who want to take part in the creation, management, contribution or improvement of one of the projects.

       These protocols often offer various services such as computing, data storage, bandwidth, identity, hosting, and other web services that were typically provided by cloud providers in the past.

       People can make a living by participating in the protocol in a variety of ways, both on a technical and non-technical level.

       Service consumers typically pay to use the protocol, similar to how they pay a cloud provider like AWS today. With the exception of web3, the money goes directly to network members.

       In this, as in many other forms of decentralization, you will see unnecessary and often inefficient intermediaries cut off.

       Many web infrastructure protocols such as Filecoin, Livepeer, Arweave, and The Graph (which I work with in Edge & Node) have issued useful tokens that govern how the protocol functions. These tokens also reward participants at many levels of the network. Blockchain protocols like Ethereum work in a similar way.

       Native payments

       Tokens also create their own payment layer, which has no boundaries and no friction. Companies like Stripe and Paypal have created billions of dollars of value to enable electronic payments.

       These systems are overly complex and still do not provide true international interoperability between participants. In addition, for their use it is necessary to transfer confidential information and personal data.

       Crypto wallets such as MetaMask and Torus make it easy, anonymous and secure to integrate international payments and transactions into web3 applications.

       Networks such as Solana offer delays of several hundred milliseconds and transaction costs for pennies. Unlike the current financial system, users do not have to go through the traditional multiple, friction-filled steps to interact with and participate in the network. All they need to do is download or install a wallet and they can start sending and receiving payments without any restrictions.


    Eugen Tanase

    Chief Operating Officer, 1BitUp

    Eugen Tanase is Chief Operating Officer at 1BitUp. Along his long Corporate Management career he gained lots of expertise in Renewable Energy Projects, Transnational Trade of Energy Resources, and many other fields. Starting 2015 he stepped into the study Decentralized Applications and Blockchain along with Bitcoin mainstream. From 2017 he embraced WEB3 and Cloud Mining .



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