You build, you own. That's the big promise of Web 3.0, the next iteration of the World Wide Web. At its foundation is Blockchain technology - the new-age paradigm of a distributed digital database. Web 3.0 is all about advanced privacy and better data security.
And its future is bright considering it could add USD 1.1 trillion to India's economic growth over the next 11 years, according to new research from the US India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) and digital currency exchange CrossTower, provided policies and regulatory framework are adhered to.
With this new version, there is no central controlling node. "End-users will have complete control over encryption. Creators can sell their content as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), or engage in play-to-earn games - the two things that provided a source of income to many families hit by job loss due to COVID. Web 3.0 is verifiable and self-governing. What’s not to love about it?" says Neha Nagar, finfluencer and founder of TaxationHelp.
Currently, information is stored in the servers of large tech giants such as Facebook. They hold the reigns of how much autonomy a user can exercise in terms of nature of web search, what can be posted, how often, in what form, and what can be banned (a case in point is the former US president Donald Trump being banned from Twitter).
"User data is also regularly shared with advertisers and marketers to generate revenue. The funny part is Facebook even knows where you were last night. Even though tall claims are made, there is no privacy. And then there are frequent data leaks. With Web 3.0, a lot of this is mitigated and the user has complete control over their data," says Nagar.
Blockchains are a big deal
In Web 3.0, your data will be validated by Blockchain technology and the user will have to purchase everything with cryptocurrencies. The blockchain network is open to anybody who wants to be a part of it.
"There are no restrictions in terms of demographic or social factors nor is there any central authority managing services. Web 3.0 will force businesses to become transparent. Blockchain has transformed conventional ways of data storage and management. It makes the record of any digital asset unchangeable. In a traditional data storage system, any human can make changes to the data and alter it but in Blockchain, the data will be permanent. With the use of blockchain technology, the transfer of digital assets is convenient, safe and easy. The role of an intermediary is redundant thus, streamlining systems and processes," says Raj Shamani, entrepreneur, digital content creator, investor and podcaster.
As an extension of Web 2.0, the new and improved 3.0 version uses advanced technologies - even futuristic ones - to expand the scope of what is possible within new and developing spaces such as NFTs, gaming, and AI.
Don't Mistake it for the Metaverse
A common mistake people make is to think of the metaverse and Web 3.0 as similar entities. "While both aspire to present a better, more advanced version of the internet, the metaverse is still an abstract, speculative concept, whereas Web 3.0 is built on a specific paradigm to improve the internet experience by incorporating new and better functions than previous versions," says Shamani.
Most importantly, in the metaverse, users will be able to shift from one virtual world to the next only if they operate on decentralised internet, which is offered by Web 3.0. In that, the two are symbiotically associated and the absence of one will impede the success of the other.
Give it time
"The biggest disadvantage of Web 3.0 is stability and adoption. Since Web 3.0 has a long and somewhat difficult technological learning curve, it is difficult for users or people in lower-income groups to adopt. This could deter its growth potential," says Shashank Udupa, financial expert, co-founder and CFO at Scenes by Avalon.
The Evolution of the Web
There are three stages
This was the first version of the web
Creators developed read-only websites that contained information through various sites serving static content
This is web in its current form and is far more interactive than its predecessors
One does not have to be a developer to participate in the process of creation. You can create using apps.
You can upload, share, comment, and engage with people from across the world
On the flip side, you don’t have any control over your data as it is stored and managed by large tech companies. This is why they can limit, remove or seize accounts. Applications can be banned too.
Built on a decentralised paradigm that gives users autonomy over their data. Based on the open-source software system that allows access to all stakeholders.
There is no intermediary and, therefore, the participants interact however they wish to, whether publicly or privately
You don't need an authorisation from an intermediary
It allows for more connectedness