Web 3.0 for beginners

7 April
  • web3, new technologies

Unless you have been sleeping under a rock for the past few years, you must have heard of Bitcoin. Maybe you’re even an enthusiast or you have invested in cryptocurrency. It has become so popular that you can see it advertised on buses and in the tube. For this article I thought it would be interesting to scratch a little bit under the surface on the technology and what the Web 3.0 means without going too deep into technicalities.

Let’s take a step back in time. As a millennial, I clearly remember the time when the internet arrived. Me and my brothers would spend hours on the family computer surfing on what seemed to be an infinite world of possibilities whilst hoping our mom would not pick up the phone and end our dream of exploration. Those were the days of the web 1.0, the Internet was brand new, we could do our school homework by accessing an extensive amount of knowledge but in a hard and chaotic environment.

Fast-forward to a few years later. I’m a teenager and I stay in touch with my overseas friends through a new website called Facebook. I can see their pictures, write on their walls and send pokes. This is my first experience with social media. I go through university by googling everything without any limit (Still going through my developer journey by googling everything). More social media platforms appear, Twitter, Instagram and more recently, TikTok. Those companies are slowly becoming giants and starting to control the whole internet. This is the web 2.0.

As those companies grow, people start to raise concern over the transparency of the internet. I realise that if I tell my girlfriend that I would like to have McDonalds for dinner, I immediately see the golden arches adverts on my feed. Privacy has become something users are aware of, and they are willing to take back control. The recent Privacy settings changes in iOS 14 and GDPR laws show that it has become a real question amongst companies and politicians, but will it be enough?

Amongst all this noise, I see people talking about the web 3.0. A new version of the internet which is decentralised (maybe that word rings a bell?). What I see in this word is a dream built on a blockchain (another word that sounds familiar?). A dream where users control their data and interact with all the aspects of the internet using a single personalised account, where they receive tokens for their participation. A Utopia that still seems far away, but theoretically, sounds like a better version of the internet as we know it.

As the momentum towards Web 3.0 is gaining attention with the current boom of cryptocurrencies and more recently NFT’s, sceptics are making their voices heard by saying that the web 3.0 is a mirage that would never be achieved and turned into a hypeword to justify the massive amounts of money that has been invested by the public into Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies.

As a tech enthusiast, I love the idea of a decentralised internet, where I am in control of my data and of my privacy but we have to be realistic. Is the Web 3.0 a beautiful utopy or is it going to be the future? As we are only at the very early stage, it still seems pretty hard to be sure what the next move will be, but there is undeniably a growing community around decentralised projects. Since Facebook (now Meta) and more recently Microsoft announced the creation of their own metaverse we can see that technology is converging towards a new direction, and those two different realities are opening to us. Still controlled by tech giants or controlled by Decentralized Autonomous Organisations (DOA).

What is very sure is that the world of tomorrow is going to be full of things we can’t imagine yet and it is a very exciting time for everyone who has a knack for technology. A time to invest, discover, learn or even reflect on how we see our own world.

Do you believe that Web 3.0 is the future or do you think it’s unrealistic, or even worse, an enormous ponzi scheme?

Photo by Shubham Dhage on Unsplash