There’s been an evolution through the years in the way humans interact on the internet. We started with Web 1, then grew into Web 2. Currently, there’s a craze on the latest evolution; Web 3. According to Berners-Lee, Web 1 was the “read-only web,” which allowed us to search for and read information. There was little user participation or content creation. Although Web 1 seems ages away, the world still uses it in most of its applications, like most e-commerce sites that present products to customers.
Web 2 brought in interactivity and content contribution to its users. With Web 2, users can participate in the content creation process by creating and editing their content and interacting with other users. Sites like Youtube, Twitter, and Myspace rely on content submission and interaction among their users to run correctly. So, unlike the read-only paradigm used to describe Web 1, Web 2 presents itself as the read-write paradigm. However, the issue of customer information security and value accrued are two critical critiques of Web 2. Firstly, with the amount of information shared by its users, there’s the question of the safety of users’ data. Also, with most Web 2 applications, most value accrued only benefits the technology companies and attributes little to no value to its content creators.
These limitations led to Web 3, which is decentralized and permissionless. With Web 3, users had a level of anonymity with their data and control belonging to each user. Web3 is transforming decentralized decision-making, finance, art, digital real estate, gaming, and the metaverse and supporting secure ownership records for digital and non-digital assets ranging from medical records to real-estate ownership, supply chain personal collectibles, etc. Many of these use cases can transform the way organizations, governments, and businesses operate. Web3 presents its limitations like scalability, but its selling aspects make it worth trying.