Web3 (also known as Web 3.0) is a concept for a new version of the World Wide Web that incorporates decentralization, blockchain technologies, and token-based economics. Some technologists and journalists have compared it to Web 2.0, in which data and content are centralized in a small group of companies known as “Big Tech.” Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood coined the term “Web3” in 2014, and the concept piqued the interest of cryptocurrency enthusiasts, large technology companies, and venture capital firms in 2021.
Web3 is the evolution of the internet. Web 1.0 was the first implementation of the Web and lasted from 1989 to roughly 2005. It could be defined as a network of information connections. Web 2.0 is the “participative social Web” that refers to websites that emphasize user-generated content, ease of use, participatory culture and interoperability for end users. However this often means collecting their users data. Web3 is a decentralized internet where users own their data and monetize any way they want without big corporations taking it for free.
Some commentators argue that Web3 will improve data security, scalability, and privacy for users while countering the influence of large technology corporations. Others have expressed concerns about a decentralized web, citing the possibility of poor moderation and the spread of harmful content, the concentration of wealth in the hands of a small group of investors and individuals, or a loss of privacy as a result of more extensive data collection.
Web3 has been described by technologists and journalists as a possible solution to concerns about the over-centralization of the web in a few “Big Tech” companies. Some people believe that Web3 platforms will improve data security, scalability, and privacy beyond what is currently possible with Web 2.0 platforms. According to Bloomberg, skeptics believe the idea “is a long way from proving its utility beyond niche applications, many of which are tools aimed at crypto traders.” According to the New York Times, several investors are betting $27 billion that Web3 “is the future of the internet.”