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Introduction to Web 3.0

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I know, I know. You are sighing again and wondering what all the fuss and hype is about Web 3. Can’t these people just rest? Every 3 market days, web 3 people are always hammering into our ears that web 3 is the future and how we need to get involved. They are always trying to create solutions to problems that aren’t there.

Hold up! Slow your tempo, and go on this journey with me as I explain how important web 3 is and why we should all start adopting it. I promise you’d fall in love with web 3, just like I did.

However, it would be highly inadequate if we don’t talk about the evolution of the web itself. Aye, passenger strap in and fly with me. I will try not to bore you with jargon or too much data.

Evolution of the web

The world wide web or as it is popularly known as “The web” is used by billions of people to exchange, read and write information and communicate with others over the internet. The web as we know it today has not always been so. To understand this, let’s take a look at what web 1.0 and web 2.0 is about.

Web 1.0(1990–2004)

In 1989, at CERN, Geneva, Tim Berners-Lee was busy developing the protocols that would become the World Wide Web.

The earliest website was “read-only” i.e web 1.0. While they offered plenty of information and were accessible to users across the world, these pages had little or no functionality, flexibility or user-generated content.

Sites delivered static material rather than dynamic, hypertext mark-up language (HTML) in Web 1.0. Data and content were supplied from a static file system rather than a database, and there was littleto no interaction on the web pages.

What the Google website looked like in 1998

It was majorly just long lines of text. It wasn’t giving what it was supposed to give. LOl, it hurts my eyes just by looking at it. Yet, at that point in time, that was what was needed.

Web 2.0 (2004 — present)

The Web 2.0 period began in 2004 with the emergence of social media platforms. It describes the current state of the internet with more user-generated content and usability for end-users compared to its predecessor, web 1.0.

It focuses on the web as a platform and offers more opportunities for collaboration, functionality, and user-generated content. It is referred to as the “read/write” web. Web users are able to communicate in real time with servers, edit web pages, post comments, and communicate with other users.

Some of the popular applications based on web 2.0

As seen above, these are just some of the uses of web 2.0. Others are payment platforms, software as a service(SaaS) e.g Netflix, Spotify, Meet; Video and Image sharing platforms e.g Tiktok, Youtube, Google Photos etc.

What then is WEB 3.0?

Web3 was coined by Ethereum co-founder Gavin wood shortly after Ethereum launched in 2014. Web 3.0 is built largely on three new layers of technological innovation: edge computing, decentralised data networks and artificial intelligence.

Web3 refers to decentralized applications that run on the blockchain. These are apps that allow anyone to participate without monetising their personal data. It is important to know that there is no definitive definition of web3 yet as it is constantly evolving but the key aspect is decentralization.

According to Wikipedia, decentralization is “ the process by which the activities of an organization, particularly those regarding planning and decision making, are distributed or delegated away from a central, authoritative location or group”.

Photo by Worldspectrum on Pexels

Chances are you might have come across in this present day and time, you’ve come across something related to web3 even if you didn’t understand the term used. Talk about cryptocurrency — Bitcoin is the most widely known cryptocurrency and application of the blockchain, Non-Fungible Tokens(NFTs), Metaverse or even Defi(Decentralised Finance).

The edge Web 3 has over its predecessors

Because it’s decentralized, you don’t need permission from a body or need regulations before you can use the service. Think about what your finances would look like without the government having control over it.

No one can restrict your access to the services/platforms. Think what twitter would be like without the censorship. You might have come across Shola on Twitter, he is a popular guy known for delivering guys from being simps. His account has been suspended twice now on the platform for reasons best known to Twitter.

With web3, your data lives on the blockchain. When you decide to leave a platform, you can take your reputation with you, plugging it into another interface that more clearly aligns with your values. Shola would be able to maintain his followers regardless of which platform he chooses to switch to.

Payments are built in via the native token. Compared to how traditional payment is done i.e through banks and payment processors excluding those without bank accounts or those living within the borders of the wrong country.

Web3 however changes the game. It is the true definition of cross-border payments (every fintech product is trying to solve that now, I am sure you are not new to that). A prominent example would be during the End Sars movement, the bank used to receive donations was blocked and even the Flutterwave payment link was disabled. Cryptocurrency came to the rescue with donations being used to provide first aid care, hire ambulances, buy facemasks, settle police bail for arrested protesters, pay hospital bills for the injured, and feed the protesters. Take a look at what the group(FemCo) have to say

“We’re moving to only accepting donations in Bitcoin using BTC Pay. BTC Pay is a free, secure, decentralized, and censorship-resistant platform, which makes it our best option, given the past few days #EndPoliceBrutalityinNigeria,” the group said on Twitter.

Your data is safe and privacy guaranteed. With every platform you use, you have to create an account i.e give out your personal information(contact, name etc). Now, the issue with that is your information is being shared, don’t let them deceive you with end-to-end encryption. How else do you think the wristwatch you checked on Jumia appeared on your Facebook feed?

They got you, didn’t they?

With Web3, you just need an address and voila you can perform your tasks without having to reveal any of your personal information.

Yen yen yen, Khadijat please, Web3 has its problems too

That is true, but the problems associated with web3 aren’t even what you are thinking of. Your data is even more secure. Let’s have a look at some of the current limitation

  1. User Experience: Web 3 is still relatively new, so many people aren’t familiar with how to interact with the platforms, and the meaning of terms used which is a hurdle in adoption. Check out some of the terms used in web3 and their meaning.
  2. Scalability: Transactions are slower on web3 because they’re decentralized. Changes to state, like a payment, need to be processed by a miner(this is what makes web3 secure and difficult to hack) and propagated throughout the network.
  3. Accessibility: The lack of integration in modern web browsers makes web3 less accessible to the general populace. Also, due to high transaction fees, people in less wealthy developing countries are less likely to utilize them because of high transaction fees.
  4. Centralized infrastructure: Owing to the fact that web 3.0 is still young and rapidly growing, it currently depends on centralized infrastructures such as Github, and Discord. Though many Web 3 companies are rushing to fill this gap, they must understand that building quality and reliable infrastructure takes time.


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Khadijat Bakare

Product Designer

@khadijatbakare
Product designer. Avid reader. I write sometimes
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