Technology evolves throughout time in practically all industries. The starting point of the Internet has proven to be a substantial technical advancement that has dramatically impacted the globe. We are fortunate to be born during this generation, which has allowed us to experience the advantages of the Internet.
Our great-grandparents, grandparents, and parents all have read newspapers holding a stack of papers in their hands. Then, the ones who were able enough and interested to embrace the upcoming Internet era started using the Internet for reading news. Now, they are using their gadgets and different apps to keep up with everything happening in the world.
In the developing era of blockchain technology, we are constantly crossing into terms like Web2 and Web3, reading about their differences. But one thing still stays unclear – how they developed.
The Web Development
When it comes to today, we have seen the Web in many different stages up to this point. We cannot fail to notice the changes that have occurred over the years and are still occurring. So, let’s make a difference between the three generations and look at web development.
The first stage is Web1, also known as the Internet. It was created to give people better access to the needed information. That is what we mean when we say that Web1 is reading-centric. People couldn’t use Web1 for anything other than reading.
Are you using social networks to stay in touch with your friends, gain new followers, advertise, earn money, etc.? Yes? Well, all of these forms of announcing your digital presence imply Web2. Quite simple, isn’t it?
We could define Web2 as a user-generated Web. Platforms like Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and Snapchat are representatives of Web2. We started connecting and interacting with one another, on the whole, on another level, with the help of different apps.
Even if we’re at two ends of the world, each in its own home, we could still be close. And all that was made possible by Web2.
The third and the most talked-about generation of the Internet, often known as Web3, is defined as a decentralized online ecosystem and is the most sophisticated development of the Internet.
Modern innovations like Blockchain and DeFi enable a decentralized communication network to access digital records of sensitive data and transactions. Web3 strives to provide a reliable, data-driven user interface accessible to all users.
The fundamental reason why many people are getting interested in Web3 is that it operates without the need for a third-party or centralized authority. What does it mean? It means you will have total control over using the Internet and owning your content. That’s great, right?
What Are the Characteristics of Web2?
Web2 changes how information is created, distributed, and controlled. The borders between companies and customers have never been this thin, thanks to Web2 technology. But we can summarize the key features of Web2 below:
- Apps that run on the Web can be accessed from anywhere
- Certain apps solve specific issues
- The value lies in how the content is displayed, not in the software that displays it
- Several channels can be used for the content distribution, such as file sharing and permalinks
- Data can be easily shared, reused, edited, and send
- Customers and staff can independently access and utilize different tools
- Social tools allow users to post, interact, edit, classify, share, and promote information that has value to them
Now that we have seen the features of Web2, we should also think about the potential of Web3.
What Are the Potentials of Web3?
Web3 represents how the Internet will look in the future and how it will transform the digital era. It brings the continuity of connectivity of many devices – TV, car, fridge, watch, etc. Some would say it brings with it the glittering age of the Internet. But we certainly have to look at the potential of Web3.
This is something we are constantly writing about. Decentralization refers to the transfer of control and decision-making from a centralized association to a wide network in the context of blockchain. Blockchain technology is at the center in solving the question of trust. Therefore, as a rule, you will almost always see Web3 in the context of blockchain.
The direct relationship between sellers and customers
Smart contracts will enable the content of the “new” Internet to be highly personalized. The focus is on the individual user (as against addressing the entire social network). For such a thing, removing a mediator, a centralized platform, and enabling a smarter flow and sorting of information (e.g., through artificial intelligence) is necessary.
Faster and fairer
Nowadays, people struggle and shake when applying for a bank loan, whether they want to start a new business or buy a property. Consider the time-consuming mortgage application procedure that borrowers must undergo in today’s society, which mainly depends on human judgment. The Web3 world makes this procedure quicker and fairer. When using blockchain technology, borrowers just need to connect their wallets. An algorithm may respond instantaneously with “yes” or “no” based only on their financial profile and blockchain-based transaction history.
Centralization vs. Decentralization
OK, you must have a clue what centralization and decentralization are. But still, we need to make a difference, right?
If you use Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or other social media platforms, you are a part of a centralized system. It implies that a central authority controls all of your information and details of the abovementioned platforms. For example, Facebook has complete control over its features, including the authority to select who may and may not use its platform.
Another great example is sending an email. A short time after you send an email to someone, the email service provider is aware of the email content and the time you sent it. The email provider nevertheless has a copy of this information, despite the fact that it’s kept anonymously in a private location.
If you are asking how they can do it? Well, the first time you created an account on any centralized platform (Facebook, Google, Yahoo, etc.), you had to provide your complete name, nationality, date of birth, and other personal information. Therefore, you gave them permission to hold all the data.
Considering the fact that many people combat the desire to hide personal info and the necessity to reveal it, decentralization takes the lead. The idea is to let users be in full control of their transactions and get rid of the central authority.
When discussing censorship, we cannot help but notice how certain social networks work. Twitter, for instance, has a reputation for censoring accounts when it discovers inappropriate tweets or when the government attempts to do so if it conflicts with its objective. Hence, less censorship results from decentralization because it allows peers to engage directly without having someone watching them.
People are getting more interest in decentralization for a few simple reasons:
- Want to have total control of their transactions
- Data can’t be altered or deleted
- Decentralized networks are secured
Key Differences Between Web2 and Web3
Web2 and Web3 have similar technology but take different approaches to problems. While Web2 seeks to connect individuals, Web3 integrates this data to increase trust while also giving it significance. Decentralization is to “blame” for this situation. Upon this, we must add a few more critical differences between Web2 and Web3.
On Web2, all transactions are done in fiat currency (e.g., US dollar). Web3, on the other hand, differs from Web2 since it allows people to use cryptocurrencies like Ethereum or Bitcoin to finance transactions.
With Web2, the network takes over the responsibility for information storage, leading to access problems and worries about online data privacy and security. The issue is resolved by Web3, which enables simultaneous data interchange across several locations.
Transfers via Web2 are more rapid than those over Web3 because Web2 searches for data that is held in a fixed location, often on a single server. On the contrary, Web3 transfers ownership to countless additional parties (decentralization).
Podcasts, social networks, blogs, and video sites are part of Web2. Web3 integrates dApps, virtual worlds, and 3D portals driven by AI and machine intelligence.
Now that we have explained all differences, it’s time to wrap everything up.
The old Web was built to connect a computer to a network. Web3 makes the network one big global computer. The data is no longer stored on a server and is appropriated by the companies that offer certain platforms’ services. With Web3, the data is a part of the blockchain network and is inalienable to the user.
Web3 brings a change that happens “behind the screen” so that users can have freer, more private, and more useful content. Blockchain networks and cryptocurrencies are the foundation, the database, the payment system, and the new way we will be connected.