Web3 is the third generation of the internet that promises to go back to the roots: total freedom to communicate with users all over the world.
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THE web3 is still being built and is expected to succeed the first and second generation of the famous World Wide Web that we more commonly know as the Internet.
First we live with Web1, a read-only internet, which between 1990 and 2004 focused on offering open and decentralized protocols capable of putting users to consult information from different sites produced all over the globe. A novelty that astonished and conquered the world.
Then we moved on to a Web2, a read-write internet (read and write), the current internet, which saw the birth of blogs and social networks that gave the user the power to create content as companies already did.
But in this transition to the second generation of the internet, which took almost 20 years to happen, a small group of large companies began to control everything that is read, seen and written on the internet. This control allowed them to develop a business model that collects revenue through advertising targeted at users.
The more you know about these users, the more advertisers pay them to deliver their ad with surgical precision. Today, Amazon, Google and Microsoft are the three big companies that lead the cloud data storage market.
In the current Web2, even though users are already creating the vast majority of content distributed online and providing their personal data, often without suspecting it, they do not profit from this business of millions.
Even worse, they live at the mercy of the algorithms, more or less covertly, created by these companies to access or not access the information available online, without even being able to control the way in which the content they produce is circulated. But Web3 promises to change this framework, giving users back the power lost and promised in the early days of the internet.
Web3: more efficiency, freedom and security
Web3 intends to be the read-write-own internet (read-write-own), a new concept supported by a decentralized architecture where the user owns his data. This means that it can take your data and choose who stores it and how they store it among thousands of storage centers across the globe and not just between 3 or 4.
Better still, in this new architecture, no one will be able to unilaterally decide what should and should not be allowed to do or keep on the internet because everyone can also own these storage centers.
The technology behind this decentralization is the technology associated with blockchains, cryptocurrencies and NFTs, technologies that have been under development for a few years, but are still being poorly assimilated by most users. We show you some examples to clarify some of the potential that these technologies offer.
Users own their data
If you have created an account to play an online game, when you buy a new item for that game, that item is registered in your account operations. But if for any reason the game operator closes his account or the user stops playing the game, the entire investment made by the player will be lost.
In Web3, the player will have direct ownership of the items he has purchased through a kind of virtual “currency”, the NFT and not even the game’s creators can take this property away from him. Which means that if you stop playing, you can sell them or exchange them for something else in an open market for these property titles, and you can recover their value.
Less censorship and more access to diverse content
The contents created on Web3 live on blockchain technology, which means that, if for some reason you created them on a platform that you want to censor, you can choose to leave that platform and take them with you to another that suits you better. It is a “peer-to-peer” (P2P) technology, which allows the exchange of resources on a peer-to-peer basis, directly between multiple users.
Another example of escaping the current censorship of Web2 is imagining the internet as a library. At the moment we can only access the library that Google or another search engine allows us to access. That library prohibits us from going to other libraries and its algorithms can work like real physical guards that do not let us access certain shelves in the library.
In Web 3 it is as if each copy of any book is compressed into a cryptographic algorithm that cannot be manipulated so that no one can limit access to it.
Web3: the risks of living in the cloud
At Web3, everything is in the cloud and that means that everything will be increasingly in the “hands” of machines that guarantee faster and more efficient operation, but that distance themselves from human intervention through self-learning artificial intelligence algorithms that we don’t know much about. well as far as they can go.
For example, to manage access to massive information content, Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) are foreseen, the ones where it is possible to store our data. Users can own these platforms as a collective, using NFTs that act like shares in a company. Users with NFTs vote on how resources are spent and the code automatically executes the result of the vote.
If the different DAO communities materialize decentralization, we still don’t know very well how they can work in the future and if this system is as equitable as it wants to appear since whoever has more NFTs (virtual economic power) ends up having more decision-making power.
Another obstacle has to do with literacy in the use of these technologies and the extreme use of natural resources to satisfy them. If it is true that in recent years efforts have been made to build a more efficient and transparent Internet, the truth is that a Web3 represents a gigantic leap in the evolution of human communication that can definitively leave the most disadvantaged behind.
With regard to sustainability, the energy and material resources needed to produce the devices that make Web3 work permanently will have to be increasingly reused and recycled so that a network of similar proportions can function without the risk of collapsing.
The road to Web3 is long ahead, especially if the goal is a more egalitarian and equitable internet, but judging by the enthusiasm and participation of countless and varied members of the global technological community in the development and expansion of the protocols that allowed its existence, Web3 is really going to happen.