There’s a term bubbling up across social media that is confusing an awful lot of people. That term is “Web 3.0,” also called “Web3.” The phenomenon is being heralded by early supporters as the future of the internet. To others, it’s just a buzzword. But what is Web 3.0? And how does it stand to shape the future like its fans seem to think it will? Well, in some ways, Web 3.0 already exists, and it’s already well on its way to shaping how we connect online.
Cryptocurrency is opening up the gate for Web 3.0. The asset class is laying the foundation for a decentralized, autonomous network, free from corporate authority. In just a handful of years, many believe Web 3.0 will be alive and thriving.
So, what is it exactly? Here’s everything you need to know.
Web 3.0 Frequently Asked Questions
What is Web 3.0? I didn’t even know there was a Web 2.0.
Web 2.0 is the internet as we know it today, starting with prototypical Facebook pages and e-commerce. This is a period where connectivity is vastly emphasized; you can chat with friends, receive instant answers to any question in the world and buy nearly anything you want online.
What’s so bad about Web 2.0 that we want to change it?
Meta’s recent scandals have been the most shining example of this displacement of power. Whistleblowers have exposed ways in which the company manipulated its users — the end consumers of the internet. Moreover, there is much controversy over the ways in which companies mine personal data and use this to target specific users.
How does Web 3.0 seek to fix these issues?
How exactly will Web 3.0 “decentralize the internet”?
The internet as we know it is slowly moving to the blockchain because it is where users can retain their own independence. As cryptocurrency is demonstrating, there’s a lot of demand for a place where people can invest their money the way they want and for higher returns than banks can offer; that much is clear from the success of DeFi protocols, which allow one to do things like stake assets for passive income.
There’s a high demand also for a decentralized internet. With Web 3.0, one will be able to use things like social media dapps, where developers have renounced power and users make rules on the type of content that can and can’t be posted through community voting efforts. They could then jump to a DeFi protocol and make a token swap, or use their tokens in the metaverse. Most importantly, they could do all of this on one personal account, log-in free. The possibilities are as infinite as the internet as we know it today, but without sacrificing one’s power or data.
Elon Musk just called Web 3.0 “BS.” Is he right? Is it just a buzzword?
There are a lot of naysayers out there like Elon Musk. Since he is not likely to provide any insight on his views, we can’t know for sure what is holding the business magnate back from Web 3.0. But, if his views fall in line with other skeptics, he likely thinks there’s no real vision to it that makes it more compelling than the Silicon Valley-led Web 2.0 we experience today.
Others think the idea of Web 3.0 taking over is not such a ridiculous notion. However, they find it hard to believe these corporations won’t simply adopt Web 3.0 ideas for their own products. Many believe that these Silicon Valley companies are going to continue taking notice of decentralization efforts, and they are going to implement ideas of Web 3.0 into their own businesses in order to retain relevancy.
I am all-in on Web 3.0, regardless of what Elon says. How far away are we from it?
As of right now, there are a handful of Web 3.0 crypto projects out there. Developers are creating protocols for sharing wireless internet, sharing secure data storage space and creating the foundations for a broader decentralized internet. Projects like Polkadot (CCC:DOT-USD) are leading the charge as some of the earliest Web 3.0 endeavors; indeed, Polkadot has the full backing of the Web3 Foundation, which seeks to expedite development of the next iteration of the internet.
On the date of publication, Brenden Rearick did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.