Without a doubt, the internet has altered the course of history and the lives of billions of people during the last two decades, as most of us do not spend a day without engaging in online activity. Since its inception, the internet has grown through multiple stages, and the subsequent discovery of shortcomings in its current stage, Web 2.0 resulted in the emergence of Web 3.0.
Web 2.0 — The Current Phase of the Internet
Web 2.0 stands as a representative of first-level developments of the internet. This is the phase after Web 1.0 from static publishing of attributed data to integrated editing tools, and shared P2P functionalities of identical data and information. Search engines, online payments like PayPal, and e-mail messaging functions are also apparent in this phase. Web 2.0 refers simply to the change in the way the internet is enforced in the twenty-first century. The biggest evolution between both web servers is the degree of information and connection shared among users. Overall, enabling to actively interact with the data rather than just reading and absorbing information.
Nonetheless, persistent data breaches are one aspect of Web 2.0 that demonstrates a major disadvantage. For instance, certain businesses operating on the Internet have their own data centers with a lack of verification procedures with information propagating quickly. As propagation is managed by a central authority with lots of computational resources. This causes stored user data and commands to pose serious security and privacy risks to DDoS attacks.
While Web 2.0 has been defined by centralization, monitoring, and intrusive advertising, the introduction of decentralized technologies, like blockchain, will enable a more open environment with multi-ownerships on data on the internet.
How Web 3.0 emerges as the ultimate response to Web 2.0’s issues
Web 3.0 represents the next iteration in the web’s development that seeks to tackle the issues posed by Web 2.0 and reclaim control to consumers. Web 3.0 will enable decentralized applications to work alongside DNS websites and introduce a multitude of structural changes to the internet protocol system we understand today. Though it is at its infant stage since it began in 2015, it is a new protocol mostly built on the native token, Ether (ETH). This means developers are free to program anything on top of this Turing-complete blockchain.
Internet’s Web 3.0 attempts to establish a decentralized portal amongst users where they move away from singular ownership to shared integrated data between users. Anyone who is in the network has permission to use the service but does not own the service as an entity. In addition to the shared ecosystem, blockchains act as databases that store records while algorithmically ensuring security and transparency. Users use these properties of the server by trading cryptocurrencies and data securities while benefiting through the interface as independent users.
But in contrast to having equal rights, transactions are recorded publicly on the blockchain for all networkers to clearly see and observe the access rights of all data. As it would subsequently increase the perception of security and privacy for one’s activity. Currently, Web3 users can interact with protocols without giving away too much personal data, but in the future, we hope they withhold the rights to the date, method, and duration for permitting others to access metadata.
Web3.0 also introduces users to smart contracts and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAO). Website developers can create blockchain integrated codes that are self-operative — digital contracts stored on a blockchain that is automatically executed when predetermined terms and conditions are met. This means organizations can run operations without a hierarchical management team; running on rules coded on contract to follow “ifs/whens statements” and having blockchains consistently updated after transactions are done. It’s a more efficient, accurate, and clear method of running a business — focusing autonomously on one objective set by a community of members. This would be another advantage as a Web3.0 function, that overrides the traditional and manual inputting that Web2.0 composes of when it comes to e-commerce or basic business operations. Even the simple integration of smart contracts eliminates the concern for DDoS attacks since each record is encrypted to the chain, hackers require to alter the entire chain rather than a singular block. Though it would take developers to adjust to when writing predetermined conditions, it will soon be a prominent ingredient when it comes to web development.
The Impact of Web 3.0 on Decentralized Storage
One of the greatest innovations brought by Web 3.0 is constituted by decentralized storage, which is built on blockchain technology. This convergence of technologies utilizes open-source apps and algorithms and distributes data slices to a distributed network of independent nodes.
Web 3.0 promotes data redundancy and backup, among other things, and uploads files to seed nodes. Besides, economic incentives are provided by the party to encourage data valuation. The economic incentive model that enables the secure and long-term preservation of user data completes decentralized storage.
When decentralized storage is combined with blockchain features, it exhibits significant scalability, security, efficiency, automated fault tolerance, high dependability, and cost savings.
Decentralized Domains — the Ultimate Web 3.0 Advantage
Moving forward, decentralized domains represent another critical improvement within the Web 3.0 ecosystem.
To quickly understand the difference between decentralized domains and DNS websites: Every website has a registered domain name in the domain name registrar. They work with registry operators, which are the databases of domain and registrant information. At its core, we find IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) which is administered by ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). They maintain the root zone files and delegate the domain name management of high level domains like “.com” to registry operators. Generally, it works quite well with Web2.0 but is interconnected to other web domains (especially, top-level domains) meaning when top-level DNS servers go down, so do large chunks of the web, which happens with alarming regularity. Hence, Decentralized DNS comes into play as a possible solution to this problem. Even if it is not ready to replace the centralized DNS we’re all used to just yet. But it’s worth learning how it works and what role it could play in making one of the internet’s most centralized and hierarchical elements more resilient and independent.
Benefits of having a decentralized domain (or, Blockchain-based domains) is anonymity when doing transactions. Since they are represented in a string of numbers and alphabets, it makes it difficult to distinguish its owners (in code) to human-readable addresses. Though we have seen ENS undertake these liabilities alternatively by creating wallet address domains, or website pages with intelligible names. However, still without revealing personal identities. Otherwise, decentralized domains are censorship-resistant and secure. Due to the blockchain’s distributed nature, no central authority can censor data.
Additionally, decentralized domains provide enhanced functionality for end-users. It is possible to create programs on top of your domain, run them as applications, and analyze the records of existing domains and create software to communicate with them. Whereas conventional domains are often somewhat one-dimensional and serve a limited number of specific objectives, blockchain domains allow for far more interactivity and customization.
Ultimately, Web 3.0 will alter how we perceive and use the internet, with users gaining greater control, new industries emerging, and networks being able to operate without the need for a central authority or single point of failure, among other things Although Web 3.0 is still in its early phase, it may become the standard throughout the globe in the not-too-distant future.
Cointelegraph. 2022. What is a decentralized autonomous organization, and how does a DAO work?. [online] Available at: <https://cointelegraph.com/ethereum-for-beginners/what-is-a-decentralized-autonomous-organization-and-how-does-a-dao-work#:~:text=A%20decentralized%20autonomous%20organization%20> [Accessed 1 March 2022].
cPanel, V., 2022. What Is a Decentralized Domain Name System? | cPanel Blog. [online] cPanel Blog. Available at: <https://blog.cpanel.com/what-is-a-decentralized-domain-name-system/> [Accessed 2 March 2022].
ethereum.org. 2022. Web2 vs Web3 | ethereum.org. [online] Available at: <https://ethereum.org/en/developers/docs/web2-vs-web3/> [Accessed 1 March 2022].
Ibm.com. 2022. What are smart contracts on blockchain? | IBM. [online] Available at: <https://www.ibm.com/hk-en/topics/smart-contracts> [Accessed 1 March 2022].
Medium. 2022. Moving from Web2 to Web3: What Technical Improvements Are Needed?. [online] Available at: <https://medium.com/the-green-light/https-medium-com-the-green-light-moving-from-web2-to-web3-cf3cd4ac1a62> [Accessed 1 March 2022].
Security Boulevard. 2022. Cybersecurity Considerations for Web3. [online] Available at: <https://securityboulevard.com/2022/02/cybersecurity-considerations-for-web3/#:~:text=Web3%20Advantages&text=While%20there%20is%20no%20single,decoupled%20from%20the%20data%20itself.> [Accessed 1 March 2022].