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What is Web3.0, Anyway? The Decentralized Internet of the Future Explained…

Updated: Jan 1, 2022

Web3 - The Decentralized Online Ecosystem Based on the Blockchain | xTripz - Decentralized Community Owned and Governed Travel Experiences Platform
Web3 - The Decentralized Online Ecosystem Based on the Blockchain

Did you ever find yourself wondering “What the hell is Web3?” Well, you’re not alone… there’s so much talk about Web3 that you just can’t ignore, unless you’re living in a cave somewhere far away…

Web3.0 is having its field day now, with enormous amounts of press coverage, venture capital investments into it, incomprehensible corporate announcements from the tech giants, and just about anything you can think so… Still, it’s quite hard to comprehend what this hype about Web3 is all about…

Gavin Wood, Co-founder of Ethereum and creator of Polkadot and Kusama coined the term “Web3” in 2014. Wood believes that decentralized technologies are the only hope of preserving liberal democracy. He founded the Web3 Foundation, a nonprofit organization focusing on decentralized internet infrastructure and technology, starting with the Polkadot network.

“The internet today is broken by design. We see wealth, power and influence placed in the hands of the greedy, the megalomaniacs, or the plain malicious. Markets, institutions, and trust relationships have been transposed to this new platform, with the density, power and incumbents changed, but with the same old dynamics.”

Gavin Wood

To its believers and supporters, Web3 represents the next phase of the Internet evolution. Web 1.0, as the story goes, was the era of decentralized, open protocols, in which most online activity involved navigating to individual static webpages. Web 2.0, the era which we’re living in now, is the era of centralisation, in which a huge chunk of communication and commerce takes place on closed platforms owned by a handful of super-powerful Big Tech the likes of Alphabet (Google), Amazon, Apple, and Meta (Facebook) and Microsoft, subject to the nominal control of centralised government regulators. Web3 is supposed to break the world free of that monopolistic control.

At the most basic level, Web3 refers to a decentralized online ecosystem based on the blockchain. Platforms and apps built on Web3 won’t be owned by a central gatekeeper, but rather by its users, who will earn their ownership stake by helping to develop and maintain those services.

Let’s go back a bit further to look at the evolution of the Internet over the last few decades to provide some context to what we’re discussing today…

The History of the World Wide Web | xTripz - Decentralized Community Owned and Governed Travel Experiences Platform
The History of the World Wide Web

In his seminal document “Information Management: A Proposal”, Sir Tim Berners-Lee outlined a vision of the “web” as a network of information systems interconnected via hypertext links. It is often assimilated to the Internet, which is the computer network it operates on. Key practical requirements for this web included being able to access the network in a decentralized manner through remote machines and allowing systems to be linked together without requiring any central control or coordination.

This vision materialised into the initial version of the web (Web 1.0) that was composed of interconnected static resources delivered via a distributed network of servers and accessed primarily on a read-only basis from the client side. Usage of the web soared with the number of websites growing well over 1,000% in the first couple years following the introduction of the Mosaic Graphical Browser in 1993. The websites were built using Server Side Includes or Common Gateway Interface (CGI) instead of a web application written in a dynamic programming language such as Perl, PHP, Python or Ruby.

Concept of the Web 1.0 | xTripz - Decentralized Community Owned and Governed Travel Experiences Platform
Concept of the Web 1.0

In the Web 1.0 era, users on the internet were consumers of content created by content creators.

The early 2000s marked an inflection point in the growth of the web and a key period of its development, as technology companies that survived the dot-com crash evolved to deliver value to customers in new ways amidst heightened skepticism around the web.

Web 2.0 from 2004 till now, is the second stage of the World Wide Web revolution, usually referred to as read-write web. Emphasis was given to user-generated content, ease of use, participatory culture and interoperability. Some of the early platform based on web 2.0 are YouTube, Facebook, Amazon and so on. Due to CMS technologies such as WordPress, blogging, creating a e-commerce shop became extremely popular.

Web 2.0 brought about a fundamental shift, where people could share their perspectives, opinions, thoughts, and experiences through a variety of online tools and platforms. For all the convenience that Web 2.0 brought, there lies some serious flaws and disadvantages…

Let’s look at what happens in Web 2.0…

How Web 2.0 Works and the Disadvantages | xTripz - Decentralized Community Owned and Governed Travel Experiences Platform
How Web 2.0 Works and the Disadvantages

A user will make a HTTP request to the server and if everything is correct it will send back that webpage as a response. A major flaw here is that all data is stored on a centralised server, controlled by the platforms.

Facebook, Google, Twitter and other platforms began storing users data in their servers so that they can serve us better content through machine learning. This in turn would make us stay on their websites longer, therefore providing more ad revenue for these companies. The companies eventually started selling our information to advertisers, which meant more money for them!

In short… In the Web 2,0 era, the users are the product.

So that brings us to Web 3.0…

A New Paradigm for the Internet

Web 3.0 aims to create a decentralized and secured Internet, where the users can safely and securely exchange information and money, without the need for any middlemen or Big Tech companies. Unlike Web 2.0 applications, in which all data are stored in a single database, Web 3.0 applications runs on decentralized networks like blockchain or peer-to-peer servers.

In contrast to web 2.0, where you are the product, some people predict that in web3, you will be the content owner. According to web3 specialists, the corporation will be run by a decentralised group known as a DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) removing the need of CEO’s and upper management in a company. Because your digital identity is not tied to your real identity in web3, you can be anonymous on the internet while still living your usual life.

An example of web3 application is Obsidian for Whatsapp, Odyessy, LBRY for YouTube, etc.

Examples of Web 1.0, Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 Applications | xTripz - Decentralized Community Owned and Governed Travel Experiences Platform
Examples of Web 1.0, Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 Applications

Web 3.0… The web is for the end user.

Distributed systems are inherently different from centralised systems and should not be thought about in the same way. Distributed systems enable the data and its processing to not be held by a single party. This is useful for companies to provide resilience, but it’s also useful for P2P-based networks where data can stay in the hands of the participants.

For instance, if you were to host a blog the old-fashioned way, you would put up a server and publish to the Internet. Nowadays, your blog would be hosted on a platform like WordPress, Ghost, Notion, or even Twitter. If these companies were to have an outage, this affects a lot more people. In a distributed fashion, via IPFS for instance, your blog content can be hosted and served from multiple locations operated by different entities.

This is how your blog works in Web 1.0, Web 2.0 and Web 3.0…

Your Blog in Web 1.0 | xTripz - Decentralized Community Owned and Governed Travel Experiences Platform
Your Blog in Web 1.0

Your Blog in Web 2.0 | xTripz - Decentralized Community Owned and Governed Travel Experiences Platform
Your Blog in Web 2.0

Your Blog in Web 3.0 | xTripz - Decentralized Community Owned and Governed Travel Experiences Platform
Your Blog in Web 3.0

To summarise…

The Internet we have today is broken. We do not control our data, nor do we have a native value settlement layer. Every time we interact over the Internet, copies of our data get sent to the server of a service provider, and every time that happens, we lose control over our data. This raises issues of trust.

The Internet we use today stores and manages data on the servers of trusted institutions. In the Web3 data is stored in multiple copies of a P2P network, and the management rules are formalised in the protocol, and secured by majority consensus of all network participants, often (but not always) incentivised with a network token for their activities. In the Web3 the state of the network (represented by the ledger) is collectively maintained.

While the Web2 was a front-end revolution, the Web3 is a backend revolution, introducing a universal state layer. It is a set of protocols led by a blockchain network or similar distributed ledger, which intends to reinvent how the Internet is wired in the backend. The Web3 combines the system functions of the Internet with the system functions of computers.

As opposed to centralised applications that run on a single computer, decentralized applications run on a P2P network of computers. They have existed since the advent of P2P networks. Decentralized applications don’t necessarily need to run on top of a blockchain network.

That’s it for today… Catch us again at our blog page for more articles on Web3 and all things blockchain…

Web 2.0 Apps vs Web 3.0 Apps | xTripz - Decentralized Community Owned and Governed Travel Experiences Platform
Web 2.0 Apps vs Web 3.0 Apps

About xTripz Network:

xTripz Network aspires to become one of the best travel booking site in the world, one which is fully decentralised and community owned and governed. The xTripz platform facilitates discovery, shopping, booking and payment of travel products, with novel DeFi and NFT features, replacing travel gift cards with our $XTR travel token, and providing our users memorable travel experiences and wide offering of travel activities. Our travel guides provide up to date information, including popular searches on travel activities, glamping near me and travel cryptocurrency.

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