Understanding Web 3.0?
It is important to bear in mind that the concept does not have a specific definition, but is usually the subject of debate among specialists. In principle, to understand what web 3.0 is, we must know what the two previous “versions” of the web refer to.
Web 1.0 is Internet in its classic sense: a decentralized network of computers, linked through a specific protocol. Entering the website of a newspaper would be an example of the typical operation of web 1.0: the information is on a computer and users, through another computer, access a copy of it to read it locally.
Web 2.0 is linked to services that allow data sharing and interact with great ease. Social networks and collaboration platforms are the basis of this evolution of the Internet.
The idea of web 3.0 , in this context, is related to what is known as the semantic web. Users and teams, in this framework, can interact with the network through a natural language, interpreted by the software. In this way, accessing information is easier. In other words, all the data hosted on the web 3.0 can be “understood” by the machines, which can process them quickly. A clear example would be that in the traditional web we would look for information about “cat”, and Google would present us all kinds of felines and thus the semantic web would present us different alternatives of “cat” but from a mechanical perspective.
“Web 3.0 is in charge of defining the meaning of words and facilitating that a Web content can be a carrier of an additional meaning that goes beyond the actual textual meaning of said content.”
With Web 3.0, there is a high presence of artificial intelligence. The websites even have the ability to connect with each other according to the interests of the user.
First, the reason that there is no formal definition or a single definition of web 3.0 is because many people are working on their own vision of the future of the Internet, so each one expects different changes and improvements in the browsing experience through the network.
Returning to the evolution of the Internet, we can say that initially each site had its own information and did not share it with others: text and images, for example, that were part of the code itself and therefore, were indivisible from the page in the one that showed up.
One of the barriers that web 3.0 tries to bring down is the need for human operators to evaluate and manage content on the Internet. This is not new, since several companies, among which Google stands out for the popularity of its products, have spent years researching and developing artificial intelligence technologies to make navigation increasingly fluid and enriching.
Currently we can access the Internet from a host of different devices, and this variety brings many new challenges for developers, both in terms of the aesthetics of websites and technical issues related to applications and data transfer. Web 3.0 aims that everyone can enjoy the information and Internet tools regardless of the device through which we connect, as it seeks flexibility and versatility that overcome the barriers of format and structure.
The concept of Blockchain
Don and Alex Tapscott, author of the book Blockchain Revolution defines the term as “an incorruptible digital book of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not only financial transactions but virtually everything that has value”.
A blockchain, is essentially a database of records or public accounting of all transactions or digital events that have been executed and shared between the participating parties. Each transfer is recorded in that digital book. In this way, there is always proof and communication is totally secure. Each transaction is verified by consensus of the majority of the participants in the system. And, once entered, the information can never be erased. Blockchain contains a true and verifiable record of each transaction that has been made.
We can also consider blockchain as a decentralized application development environment based on a secure and public accounting data base, which allows it to use its own resources to selffinance its operation and which in turn enables the creation of companies or groupings of character totally digital with a very advanced sense of democracy and the participation of the users that compose them. Bitcoin and 10+ Altcoins are the most popular examples linked to blockchain technology.
Technology based on trust
The current digital economy is based on the dependence of a certain trust. Our online transactions depend on trusting someone to tell us the truth. It can be an email service provider that tells us that our email has been delivered or it can be a social network like Facebook that tells us that our publications have been shared only with our friends. Or it can be our digital bank that tells us that the transfer has been made successfully.
The reality is that in the digital world we trust in a third “person”, the security and privacy of our digital assets. The reality is that these third-party sources can be pirated, manipulated or compromised. This is where blockchain technology comes into play. Authentication and authorization, vital for digital transactions, are established as a result of the configuration of the blockchain technology. The idea of shared digital books can encourage users to protect and formalize digital relationships. It is a registration system that users can trust.
Is Blockchain technology the new web 3.0?
By creating a new way to verify transactions, traditional trade controls may become unnecessary. Stock trades become almost simultaneous in the block chain and decentralization is a reality. Bitcoin transactions in 2016 averaged more than $ 200,000 per day.
The Web gains a new layer of functionality with Blockchain technology: Users can make transactions directly between them in a very secure system. With the added security brought by the blockchain, new Internet businesses may emerge outside of traditional financial institutions. Blockchain technology promises future, but it is also a reality:
These are decentralized applications that are developed as a software that uses a token as a change asset for the management of your transactions. For an application to be a DApp it must fulfill several conditions such as: being written as open source and therefore be accessible to anyone who wants to understand its operation; operate autonomously, without the intervention of any person and without any entity that controls it; and adapting its code according to what the tokens’ owners decide in a majority way based on the proposed improvements.
The DApps use the tokens as “the fuel” that allows them to function. Any contribution of value that is made to the DApp by the developers must be rewarded in tokens of the same application. In addition, a DApp generates new tokens based on its cryptographic algorithm, acting as a test of the value that is being contributed to its operation. The purpose of a DApp is to manage the transactions that are made on their tokens on a blockchain.
Digital books allow the coding of simple contracts that are executed when the specified conditions are met. Ethereum is an open-source blockchain project that was built specifically to do this. Any developer can create and publish distributed applications that make intelligent contracts through Ethereum.
At the current level of technology development, smart contracts can be programmed to perform simple functions. For example, a derivative could be paid when a financial instrument complies with a certain benchmark. For this, it uses the blockchain and Bitcoin technology that allows to automate the payment.
The collaborative economy
With companies like Uber and AirBnB, the collaborative economy is already a proven success. Currently, however, users who wish to use these shared-travel services must rely on an intermediary such as Uber or AirBnb because of the trust they have in using third party services.
By enabling peer-to-peer payments, however, the blockchain opens the door to direct interaction between the parties: a truly decentralized sharing economy is obtained.
A first example of a collaborative economy is OpenBazaar. OpenBazaar uses blockchain to create an eBay-like e-commerce. You download the application on your computer device and you can make transactions with OpenBazzar providers without paying transaction fees.
The popularity of crowdfunding initiatives suggests that people want to have a direct voice in product development. Blockchains take this interest to the next level, potentially creating venture capital funds from multiple sources.
In 2016, the DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) based in Ethereum, raised an astonishing 200 million dollars in just over two months. The participants bought “DAO tokens” allowing them to vote on venture capital investments in smart contracts. The voting power was proportional to the number of DAO they had.
Subsequent piracy of project funds showed that the project was initiated without due diligence, with disastrous consequences. In spite of everything, the DAO experiment suggests that the blockchain has the potential to usher in “a new paradigm of economic cooperation.”
By making the results fully transparent and publicly accessible, distributed database technology could provide full transparency to the election or any other type of survey.
In practice, it means that corporate governance becomes completely transparent and verifiable when managing digital assets, actions or information.
Decentralizing the storage of files on the Internet brings clear benefits. The distribution of data through the network prevents files from being pirated or lost.
An Internet composed of completely decentralized websites has the potential to accelerate file transfer and transmission times. This improvement is a necessary update for the systems of delivery of contents currently overloaded on the web, few examples are siacoin, storj and filecoin.
Protection of intellectual property
Digital information can be infinitely reproduced and distributed widely thanks to the Internet. This has given the users of the web worldwide a gold mine of free content. However, copyright holders have not been as lucky. They have lost control over their intellectual property.
Smart contracts can protect copyright and automate the sale of creative works online. In such a way that the risk of copying and redistributing files is eliminated.
Jane uses blockchain to create a music distribution system individual to individual. Jane allows musicians to sell songs directly to the public. It also shows licenses to producers and distributes bonuses to composers and musicians. All these functions are automated through intelligent contracts. Blockchain has the ability to issue payments in fractional amounts. Which suggests that blockchain can succeed in this market.