If you regularly follow tech news, and in particular that of cryptocurrencies, you have probably already heard of Web 3. Indeed, it is a term that is very regularly mentioned in articles or press releases. And although for the moment it is a rather vague notion, Web 3 could well be the next revolution of the Internet.
For you to understand, it is important to note that Web 3 is neither a standard nor a particular technology. It’s more of an idea. In essence, after Web 1, then Web 2 (or the famous Web 2.0), Web 3 could gradually transform the way we use the web in the coming years.
Web 1, Web 2, then Web 3?
In its early days, the web was only used to display static information. Universities published their research, the media published their articles, while vendors displayed their products. And we were passive users. It was Web 1.
Then Web 2 arrived. On this new “version” of the web, Internet users are no longer content to consult content, they also contribute. With just a few clicks, any user can publish text, photos or videos that will be accessible (almost) anywhere in the world.
The emergence of Web 2 and that of social networks are often associated. And if Web 2 has opened the way to new possibilities and new uses on the web, it has a big drawback: when we use, for example, social networks, we send data to the servers of digital giants. Another problem is that some platforms have become very (too) powerful.
Less data and power for internet giants
And the solution to this problem is Web 3. In essence, it is the idea of a decentralized web taking advantage of the blockchain that would allow data to no longer be centralized with the digital giants.
The term Web 3, for information, was born in 2014. According to an article in Wired magazine, it was Gavin Wood, one of the co-founders of the Ethereum blockchain, who used this term for the first time.
As mentioned above, Web 3 has no precise definition. However, to get an idea of what it is, we can still rely on the vision of the “Web 3 Foundation”, of which Gavin Wood is also the founder.
According to its website, the mission of this foundation is “to develop state-of-the-art applications for decentralized web software protocols.” The vision of this foundation is a new internet on which users, and not digital companies, are the owners of their data. The foundation also imagines a web on which “global transactions” are secure (via cryptocurrencies?). And on Web 3, “online exchanges of information and value are decentralized”.
In essence, Web 3 would be an improved version of Web 2 over which the digital giants would have less data and less power.