What about the internet of the future?
The themes of metaverse and NFT are closely connected with “the network of the future” named Web 3.0. Many people discuss it but not so many understand what the coming of Web 3.0 means for the market and for ordinary users. The history of previous web-generations will help to find out.
By the standards of the modern Internet, Web 1.0 capabilities were very limited. First, it required special knowledge and skills. Secondly, there was a lack of technical equipment for mass connection. Thirdly and most importantly, Web 1.0 consisted of static content instead of dynamic HTML. In other words, sites weren’t interactive, so the first version of the World Wide Web can be called a one-way channel, an electronic catalog for reading.
Enjoy the nostalgia :)
The interesting fact, the Internet at that time could be called decentralized. Users hosted their pages at home servers, these pages united in local networks, which together constituted a whole network. Centralization began with the Web 2.0 appearance.
So, the modern global network is the second generation of the Web. Since the turn of the 21st-century access to the Internet has been simplified, thanks to new user interfaces and cheaper technologies. And Web 1.0 sites started to lose their primacy, they were replaced by interactive multi-user systems: social networks, online games, communities appeared. However, access to the Internet is still the privilege of about half the population: according to Statista, at the beginning of 2022 there were about 4.9 billion Internet users, which is 62.5% of the world population.
However, the number of users and services was growing rapidly. It was time to change the structure of the network, otherwise the web would be a real mess. So the course was to unite the most popular platforms into super apps and ecosystems. Grocery delivery, money transfers, concert tickets, taxi calling — uniting different features into one app is incredibly convenient. But now mostly all the data and the services themselves belong to corporations like Google, Apple, Yandex and others.
So what’s up with Web 3.0? There are several fundamental differences between Web 2.0 and the new network. The main one is decentralization: it means the release of the Internet from the control of states and corporations. In other words, we need to find a solution on how to automate the system and ensure its safety without a single center of power. As you understand, this is a difficult task, and it was almost impossible — before the blockchain technology invention.
Since every site and application is based on a database, they can work on blockchain and be decentralized. A good example is the Hashtag Space service, which builds on #TraceChain. Decentralization means that decisions on updating the network, fixing bugs and further development can be made by collective voting. This step also solves the problem of forks and mistaken transactions.
Blockchain also deals with the question of authorization. Aren’t you tired of signing up for every new site? Yes, this issue is partly solved by Google Authentication and other services. But if your account is blocked or hacked, attackers can take away all your data and you lose access to all your assets at once. Actually, this is the main problem with centralization. Blockchain is much safer: access is provided by private keys, and other profile data can be linked to the wallet address, independent of the will of cryptoexchanges or regulators.
Partly, this option is already implemented in the NFT-marketplaces, but so far this process still involves third-party services (for example, MetaMask). So, we can’t talk about full-fledged “practical” decentralization yet — at least about the mass adoption.
Luckily there are some initiatives, #MetaHash is one of them. Some experts predict that the whole Internet will never grow to the third generation and that network generations will coexist and perform different tasks. Though we believe that sooner or later the community will choose a definitely more convenient and honest Web — Web 3.0.
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