Web 3.0, its infrastructure can be understood by looking at the automobile industry.
Web 3.0, the third generation of Web technologies has been coming for a while now and many people are still trying to understand what it means and how to define it. Web 1.0 was about information and Web 2.0 was all about social media and digital interactivity — Web 3.0 is about Web-based applications directly interfacing with our physical reality.
Web 3.0 might be called the “Internet of Value” as opposed to the Internet of Information (the first) or Social (second). The first two generations were largely us communicating with each other; Web 3.0 or the ‘metaverse’ is about us communicating with the physical world around us.
Looking back at Web 1.0, Web 2.0, you can see each transformation has involved a move towards greater decentralization, openness, and “mass adoption”. For Web 1.0 it was moving from centralized information repositories (information silos) to the web where anyone could publish on equal terms; Web 2.0 took that further through social media allowing online communities to form where individuals could interact more directly than just publishing their thoughts in an online journal — Web 3.0 takes this one step further by building applications that use blockchains to not only communicate but transact value between users without requiring third-party intermediaries or centralized authorities . Blockchain is the ultimate ‘open source’ platform to date. These decentralized ledgers allow anyone, anywhere to see what is taking place and what has transpired. Its completely transparent, while at the same time highly secure.
Comparing Web 3.0 to the evolution of the automobile industry and its’ infrastructure helps to understand what is happening today. Before the mass adoption of automobiles, there were limited roads, regulations, and supportive industries. But once fully adopted, the growth of highways, toll roads, paving new freeways, and other businesses started rapidly popping up everywhere. In addition, regulations and laws started to be established.
In the same way, Web 3.0 is still in its early days with limited infrastructure, but the driving force behind it ( and I believe it will happen quickly) is the mass adoption of all most everyone in the world of cell phones. Over 5 billion people have a computer in their pocket that they can access the internet. As a result, Web 3.0 will see explosive growth in businesses and industries that support it. Just as we see companies like Ford and GM when we think about the automotive industry, Web 3.0 will soon have its own household names. These companies will be ones that build the infrastructure and applications needed to make Web 3.0 a reality for everyone.
Just as we had to learn to drive a car, Web 3.0 will require new skillsets and ways of thinking. We will need to learn how to use decentralized applications and understand the value that is being exchanged on the blockchain. The days of trusting centralized authorities is coming to an end, and Web 3.0 will usher in a new era of transparency and trust through open systems where everyone can participate on equal terms.
It’s still early days for Web 3.0 but as we see now, Web 2.0 took less than 10 years to go from infancy to mass adoption. Web 3.0 will likely be no different, and I expect over the next few years we’ll see massive growth in all areas of the ‘metaverse’ infrastructure and applications as many companies move quickly to stake their claim for this emerging space and new businesses opportunities it creates.
Rather than fear the ‘metaverse’ as its being called, Web 3.0 should be embraced as it represents the next step in the evolution of the internet. With Web 3.0, we have the opportunity to create a better world where trust and transparency are the norms, not the exception.
What will Web 3.0 look like? No one knows for sure, but it’s safe to say that it will be very different than Web 2.0, which was very different than Web 1.0. It’s an exciting time to be alive!
I am not saying that there won’t be issues and problems. For that matter, it took 75 years for the automobile industry to adopt mandatory seat belt laws! All of us must push for more ethical and ‘human’ internet algorithms and regulations.
Web 3.0 is coming and will be a powerful force for creating new business models, decentralized applications, and companies to meet the need of users as they move from Web 2.0 to Web 3.0’s open infrastructures.