What is Web 3.0, the new internet?

What is Web 3.0, the new internet?


Web 3.0 succeeds web 2.0 and designates a decentralized version of the internet which is based on the blockchain, this technology which surrounds cryptocurrencies. Web 3.0 has many features, including the decentralization of digital identity, and provides benefits such as privacy and data control.

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At the very beginning of the internet, in the late 1980s, the basic version of the web, web 1.0, was a network of sites comprising static web pages linked together by hyperlinks. The Internet user only had the possibility of reading the content online, which was already a major advance for the time. This technology allowed Internet users who so wished to access content even if the search engine did not yet exist. However, they could not interact with each other, because it was only in the 2000s that web 2.0, also called “participatory web”, was born.

This web 2.0 included applications and features to which Internet users could connect to publish information and create communities. It was the emergence of social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Whatsapp or Instagram. Thanks to web 2.0, the relationship to digital is transformed, because the Internet user can share photos, order a product, open an account on a site or make an appointment with a hairdresser. Users are now required to interact daily on the Internet.

This concept of web 3.0 was created in 2014 by Gavin Wood, computer scientist co-founder of Ethereum, a decentralized and open source blockchain. Its cryptocurrency is Ether and ranks second in the cryptocurrency market, just after Bitcoin. Very involved in web 3.0, Gavin Wood also directs the Web 3 foundation which supports decentralized technological projects and Parity Technologies which manages the development of web 3 software.

The decentralized web therefore corresponds to the latest generation of applications and internet services that work with the technology of the distributed ledgers of the blockchain.

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Web 3.0 advocates are wary of online platforms, which they say centralize and control too much user data. These online platforms are managed by large companies such as Amazon, Méta (Facebook) or Alphabet (Google) which hold countless amounts of personal data and content without users being able to control it. The basis of web 3.0 is that users retain control of their data through decentralization, removing the middle tier of big tech companies.

What are the characteristics of web 3.0?

Data protection

Data protection is a central topic when considering the future of the web. The way in which data are managed by operators is carefully studied in the context of the development of web 3.0 applications. The objective: for Internet users to regain control of their personal data thanks to decentralized digital identity. This concept is reflected in a new adaptable user experience for all daily uses, from simply sending a message to managing your bank account.

Web 3.0 respects a strict regulatory framework with the GDPR regulation (General Data Protection Regulation) or eIDAS (electronic identification and trust services). These regulations make it possible in particular to frame the democratization of Self Sovereign Identity, an integral part of the web 3.0 of tomorrow. With Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI) or self-sovereign digital identity, an individual must be able to control and manage their digital identity, without the intervention of a third party. The end user will therefore control his own digital identity and all of his personal data.

Decentralization

Decentralization is certainly the main feature of web 3.0. Here, the network is not fed by data centers belonging to large multinationals (in particular GAFAM), but the data is split and hosted by the computers of the users. This decentralization is close to blockchain technology.

Decentralized digital identity, also called “augmented identity”, allows users to fully control and secure their personal data thanks to decentralization and to streamline the user experience thanks to automated verification methods. The transition to web 3.0 indeed raises questions about digital identities that will take an important place in the digital ecosystem of tomorrow. It is therefore essential to develop robust solutions to verify a customer’s identity, secure the management of personal data and facilitate access to the various services.

Blockchain

The notion of blockchain is one of the great innovations of web 3.0. Among blockchain technologies, we find of course decentralized finance applications, but not only. Blockchain refers to a technology that makes it possible to store and transmit information in the form of a database shared simultaneously with all users. It has no central body, is fast and secure. This level of security remains particularly essential for the uses of web 3.0: tokenize assets (via a cryptocurrency), transfer personal data, create a digital identity or conclude a smart contract.

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artificial intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) transforms content written by humans into machine-readable data. Examples of AI include customer service bots. Artificial Intelligence presents and sorts data, making it a versatile web 3.0 tool. In the near future, AI will be able to learn and improve on its own. With advances in AI and the advent of big data, machines are increasingly better at understanding data and content written for the web. Computer systems and search engines are thus able to respond with ever more relevance to the needs and problems of users.

3D visualization

Web 3.0 also claims a significant impact on the user interface with many changes in the appearance of the Internet: transition to 3D environments, emergence of virtual reality, increased intuitiveness of navigation. A few examples: the metaverse, one of the pioneers of these experiences, or encounters through 3D video games.

The Consensus Protocol

A consensus designates an agreement of the different parties, here the consensus is established between the different users of the network. A consensus engine makes it possible to agree on certain interaction rules, a sort of global social contract to be respected during all interactions on the network.

This consensus reinforces the notion of trust, because the consensus engine is there to filter data from the blockchain. The widespread consensus mechanism linked to the transparency induced by decentralization makes any modification almost impossible without the whole network being informed. Consensus protects the blockchain from all kinds of attacks. The “Proof-of-Work” consensus was initially developed in the context of cryptocurrency transactions, such as Bitcoin or Ether. Today, there are a wide variety of consensus mechanisms, each seeking to make trading faster or cheaper.

What are the benefits of web 3.0?

An intuitive system

Web 3.0, also called semantic web, implies a more intuitive use of the web. It will allow us to access ever more precise content. The intuitive web takes into account the browsing history on websites, the habits and the profile of the Internet user. It offers associated searches in connection with those made previously, more adapted and more intelligent returns according to the requests. The various technologies on which web 3.0 is based, and in particular artificial intelligence, allow machines to better understand information and adapt responses more precisely. These web 3.0 technologies know the user better. Intuitiveness also leads to better compatibility with all operating systems and all connected objects. Not to mention the development of voice search, with ever more specific and precise answers.

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A platform with no restrictions

It should be noted that the blockchain network is accessible to everyone, which means that users have the possibility of creating their own addresses and are free to interact on the network. It is not possible to limit users on this network according to their gender, income, geographical location or sociological factors. With this feature, users can transfer their assets or wealth anywhere in the world in a fast manner.

A creation of a unique profile

In the air of web 2.0, the user had to create as many profiles as platforms on which he wanted to connect. With web 3.0, the multiplicity of accounts is over! A single profile gives access to all platforms and the user remains the owner of all the information provided.

Confidentiality and data control

After creating an account, users will take advantage of data encryption to help protect information from disclosure. Internet users will therefore have full ownership of their data and the confidentiality of their information. To access the data and verify its accuracy, companies will have to obtain the consent of users who will have the choice of sharing their profile and selling their data to them.

Relevant and useful advertising

Internet users hate to see online advertisements appearing at a frantic pace on their screen. It turns out, however, that these advertisements may be relevant to their needs and therefore may be interesting and useful. Web 3.0 thus aims to improve the targeting of these advertisements by using artificial intelligence technologies.

Optimized customer support

Web 3.0 can also serve companies by offering significant improvements in customer service. Support agents, such as chatbots, offer a better user experience to Internet users. Available at any time, able to respond to several users at the same time, these tools tend to improve with Web 3.0.

Lack of central control point

With web 3.0, there are no more intermediaries and the data is no longer controlled, thus reducing the risk of censorship by certain governments or companies. Web 3.0 also makes it possible to limit hacking and denial of service attacks, or “DoS” for “Denial of Service”, a method consisting of interrupting a user’s legitimate access to a network or web resource.

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