Web3 – What is it?

What is Web3?

Web3 technology, also known as Web3.0 or the decentralized web, is a set of technologies intended to create a more open, transparent, and decentralized internet. Web3 technology is built atop blockchain technology, which enables the creation of decentralized apps (dApps) and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs). This simply means that they are not controlled by any central authority or small group of companies.

Web3 technology is designed to solve some of the problems associated with Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 technologies. Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 are terms used to describe the evolution of the World Wide Web.

Web 1.0, also called the static web, was the first generation of the web that emerged in the 1990s. During this time, websites were mostly static, consisting of simple HTML pages with limited interactivity and functionality. Content was primarily created and published by a few content providers, such as media companies and government agencies, and accessed by passive consumers.

Web 2.0 technology, the current web infrastructure in use, is based on centralized platforms such as social media, search engines, and e-commerce websites that collect and control user data. The emergence of Web 2.0 platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube facilitated the rise of user-generated content and created a more decentralized and participatory web.

Web 2.0 also introduced new technologies and design principles that enabled more sophisticated and intuitive user interfaces and experiences. This included technologies like AJAX, which allowed for more responsive and interactive web applications, and design principles like responsive design, which enabled websites to be accessed on multiple devices and screen sizes.

In contrast, Web3 technology is based on decentralized platforms that are controlled by the users themselves, and data is stored on a distributed network of computers rather than centralized servers.

Web3 technology includes a range of technologies such as blockchain, peer-to-peer networking, smart contracts, and distributed ledger technology. These technologies work together to enable decentralized applications and services that are more secure, private, and resistant to censorship and manipulation. Examples of Web3 technology applications include decentralized marketplaces, decentralized social networking, and decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms.

Web3 101: What is Web3 Development?

Web3 app development is the process of building decentralized applications (dApps) and services using Web3 technologies, such as blockchain, peer-to-peer networking, smart contracts, and distributed ledger technology. Web3 development involves creating and deploying smart contracts, building user interfaces, and integrating various blockchain networks.

Web3 development is different from traditional web development in that it requires a different set of skills and tools. Web3 developers need to have a strong understanding of blockchain technology, cryptography, and smart contracts. They also need to be familiar with various blockchain networks, such as Ethereum, Polkadot, and Solana, and be able to work with different blockchain development tools, such as Truffle, Hardhat, and Remix.

Web3 and Python

Web3 Python use is also common and an important skill in Web3 development. Python is a popular programming language used in Web3 development for several reasons:

Web3 libraries. Python has several libraries that are used for interacting with Web3 networks such as Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain, and others. Some of these libraries include web3.py, eth_utils, eth_abi, and others. These libraries provide an easy-to-use interface for developers to interact with the Web3 network and perform various actions like sending transactions, querying balances, interacting with smart contracts, and more.

Smart contract development. Solidity is the most commonly used programming language for writing smart contracts, but Python can also be used to write smart contracts using frameworks like Vyper, Brownie, and Populus.

Web3 backend development. Python is used in developing backend applications for Web3 networks. Backend developers can use popular web frameworks like Flask and Django to create APIs that interact with Web3 networks. These APIs can be used by frontend applications to interact with the Web3 network.

Steps in the Web3 Development Process

The Web3 development process typically involves the following steps:

  1. Designing and defining the functionality of the dApp or service
  2. Writing and deploying smart contracts to the blockchain network
  3. Developing the user interface and integrating it with the Web3 blockchain network
  4. Testing the dApp or service to ensure that it works as intended
  5. Deploying the dApp or service to the blockchain network
  6. Maintaining and updating the dApp or service as needed

Web3 development is becoming increasingly important as more companies and organizations are exploring the potential of blockchain and decentralized applications. Web3 developers are important to most enterprise-level organizations.

Web3 Decentralization Explained

In this Web3 guide, few concepts come up more than Web3 decentralization, the use of distributed networks to create a more open, transparent, and democratic internet. It is a key feature of Web3 technology that enables the development of next gen, decentralized applications and services.

Web3 decentralization refers to the principle of distributing control, ownership, and decision-making power among a network of users instead of a single entity or authority. In the context of Web3 technology, decentralization means that applications, data, and services are stored and managed on a distributed network of nodes, rather than on a central server or platform.

Decentralization is a key characteristic of Web3 technology because it enables greater security, transparency, and accessibility. They are also more transparent because Web3 data and transactions are stored on a public, immutable ledger that can be accessed and audited by anyone.

Blockchain technology, a distributed ledger that enables secure, transparent, and tamper-proof transactions, makes Web3 decentralization possible. The blockchain network consists of a network of nodes that validate and store transactions, and each node has a copy of the ledger.

Decentralization is also a key feature of Web3 finance (DeFi), which is a new financial system that is built on top of blockchain technology. DeFi applications are designed to be open, transparent, and accessible to anyone with an internet connection. They enable users to take control of their financial assets and participate in a more decentralized and democratic financial system.

How is Web3 Decentralized?

Web3 achieves decentralization with blockchain technology and distributed networks.

Blockchain technology is a decentralized, distributed ledger that enables secure, transparent, and tamper-proof transactions. There is a set of transactions that have been validated by a network of nodes inside each block in the chain, and once a block is added, it is inalterable. This ensures that the data stored on the blockchain is tamper-proof and transparent.

Distributed networks are another key component of Web3 decentralization. In a distributed network, data and processing power are spread out among a network of nodes, rather than being centralized in one location.

Each node in the network has a copy of the ledger, and transactions are validated by a consensus mechanism, such as proof of stake (PoS) or proof of work (PoW). This ensures that no single entity or authority has control over the network.

Tokens are of the key features of the cryptocurrency and Web3 ecosystem. There are fungible and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and different types of each. 

There are various kinds of tokens, with governance tokens having emerged as one of the key features of the developing Web3 sector, serving a crucial role in the decentralization of the web.

Governance tokens grant control over specific DApps, protocols, games, or DeFi solutions.  In turn, governance tokens are the foundation in establishing decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), DeFi projects and DApps. In conventional organizations, important decisions are made by a board of executives or a single CEO. Web3 achieves decentralization and shared decision-making through smart contracts and tokens in that anyone with a governance token has the right to suggest new ideas for protocol enhancements and take part in decision-making procedures.

Together, blockchain technology and distributed networks enable Web3 to achieve decentralization. Applications and services built on Web3 technology are stored and managed on a distributed network of nodes, and data is stored on a public, immutable ledger.

This ensures that applications and services are resistant to censorship, hacking, and manipulation, and that they are transparent and accessible to anyone with an internet connection. In this way, Web3 achieves decentralization through the use of blockchain technology and distributed networks, which enable secure, transparent, and tamper-proof transactions without the need for a central authority or intermediary.

Web3 Infrastructure Explained

What are the characteristics of Web3 infrastructure? They include:

Decentralized. Web3 infrastructure is decentralized, so control and decision-making power is distributed among a network of users instead of a single entity or authority.

Interoperable. Web3 infrastructure is interoperable, so different blockchain networks and applications can communicate with each other seamlessly. This enables greater flexibility and accessibility for users and developers.

Trustless. Web3 infrastructure is trustless. Transactions and data are secured by cryptographic protocols and are validated by a network of nodes, ensuring that they are tamper-proof and transparent. Users don’t need to trust an intermediary or central authority. 

Open source. Web3 infrastructure is built on open source technology, meaning that the code is publicly available, transparent, and can be audited by anyone.

Programmable. Web3 infrastructure is programmable, ao developers can use smart contracts and other blockchain technologies to build custom applications and services and create decentralized applications (dApps) and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) that are not controlled by any central authority.

Private. Web3 infrastructure enables greater privacy and anonymity for users, as transactions and personal data are secured by cryptographic protocols and untethered from user’s personal data and identity.

Scalable. Web3 infrastructure is scalable, handling a large volume of transactions and users without compromising performance or security.

What is Web3 Storage?

Web3 storage is a decentralized storage solution for Web3 applications and services that is built on top of blockchain technology to allow developers to store and manage data securely without relying on a server or cloud storage provider.

Web3 storage solutions use distributed networks and protocols to store data in a decentralized way. This means that data is distributed across a network of nodes that validate and store the data rather than being stored on a single server or cloud provider.

This design makes Web3 storage solutions more secure, resilient, and censorship-resistant than traditional cloud storage solutions. Because data is stored on a distributed network, it is more resistant to hacking, censorship, and data loss. Additionally, because data is encrypted and secured by cryptographic protocols, it is more difficult to tamper with or manipulate.

What is a Web3 Protocol?

A Web3 protocol is a set of rules and standards that govern the communication and interaction between Web3 applications, services, and devices. It is a standardized way of enabling interoperability and communication between different Web3 systems and applications.

Web3 protocols are designed to be decentralized and trustless, meaning that they do not rely on a central authority or intermediary to operate. Instead, they use cryptographic protocols and consensus mechanisms to validate transactions and ensure that data is secure and transparent.

Some popular Web3 protocols include:

Ethereum. Ethereum is a blockchain-based protocol that enables the creation and execution of smart contracts, which are self-executing contracts directly written into lines of code with the terms of the agreement between buyer and seller.

InterPlanetary File System (IPFS). IPFS is a peer-to-peer protocol for sharing and storing hypermedia within a distributed file system. It enables developers to store and retrieve files in a decentralized and censorship-resistant way.

Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC). WebRTC is a protocol for real-time communication between browsers and mobile applications. It enables developers to build applications that support audio and video chat, file sharing, and other real-time communication features.

Whisper. Whisper is a protocol for secure, decentralized messaging that enables communication between different nodes in a distributed network. It is designed to be resistant to censorship and surveillance.

Web3 Authentication

Web3 authentication is a decentralized authentication system that is built on top of blockchain technology that enables users to securely authenticate their identity on Web3 applications without relying on a centralized authority or intermediary.

Web3 authentication uses cryptographic protocols and public-key cryptography to verify a user’s identity. Users are provided with a private key, which is used to sign and verify transactions on the blockchain. When a user wants to authenticate their identity, they can use their private key to sign a message, which is then verified by the blockchain network.

Web3 authentication is designed to be more secure and tamper-proof than traditional authentication systems, which rely on centralized authorities and databases. Because user data is stored on a distributed network and is secured by cryptographic protocols, it is more resistant to hacking and data breaches.

Blockchain vs Web3

Blockchain and Web3 are related concepts, but they are not the same thing. The difference between web3 and blockchain rests on scope and breadth of conception.

Blockchain is a specific technology that is used to create decentralized and tamper-proof databases. It is a distributed ledger that enables secure and transparent transactions between different parties without the need for a trusted intermediary. Blockchain is the underlying technology that powers many Web 3.0 applications and services.

In contrast, Web3 is a broader concept that encompasses a variety of technologies and protocols that are used to create decentralized, peer-to-peer networks and applications. Web3 is a vision for a decentralized web that enables users to interact with each other and with applications in a trustless and secure way, without relying on centralized authorities or intermediaries.

In other words, blockchain is a specific technology that is used to create decentralized databases, while Web3 is a broader concept that includes blockchain as well as other technologies and protocols that are used to create decentralized networks and applications.

Some of the technologies and protocols that are included in the Web3 ecosystem include decentralized storage solutions, peer-to-peer messaging protocols, decentralized identity systems, and decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols.

Advantages of Web3

Why is web3 important? The advantages of Web3 make it important across industries:

Decentralization. Because Web3 is built on the principle of decentralization, it lacks a single point of failure or control. This makes it more secure and resistant to censorship, as there is no centralized authority or intermediary that can be targeted by attackers or regulators.

Innovation. Web3 is a rapidly evolving ecosystem that is driving innovation in a variety of industries, including finance, healthcare, and governance. It enables developers to create new applications and services that are more secure, transparent, and accessible than traditional centralized systems.

Interoperability. Web3 protocols and technologies enable interoperability between different applications and networks. This means that users can interact with each other and with different applications seamlessly, without having to switch between different platforms or ecosystems.

Transparency. Web3 enables transparent transactions and interactions between different parties, as all data is stored on a decentralized and public ledger. This promotes accountability and trust, as all parties can verify the authenticity and validity of transactions.

Web3 Limitations

Although it offers notable advantages, Web technology also has its drawbacks. The disadvantages of Web3 include:

Complexity. Web3 technologies and protocols can be complex and difficult to understand for non-technical users. This can be a barrier to adoption, as many users may find it challenging to navigate and use decentralized applications and services.

Limited scalability. Web3 technologies such as blockchain can require significant computational resources to operate, and this in turn may limit scalability. This can cause slow transaction processing times and high fees, which can make it difficult to scale Web3 applications to mass adoption.

Regulatory uncertainty. The decentralized nature of Web3 can create regulatory challenges and uncertainty. Many governments and regulators are still grappling with how to regulate decentralized applications and services, which can create legal and compliance risks for Web3 projects.

User trust. Despite the potential benefits of Web3, adoption by mainstream users has been slow. Many users are still unfamiliar with the technology and may be hesitant to trust decentralized applications and services with their data and assets.

How to Access Web3

To access web3, there are several tools to use and steps to take, including a web3-enabled browser extension like MetaMask, a wallet address, and a web3-enabled website or dApp to connect to. First install a Web3-enabled browser extension. MetaMask is a popular Web3 integration option. Next import your account if you have one, or create one using the extension, and use it to connect.

The Future of Web3

There are a number of active voices who have shaped the discourse surrounding Web3 technologies.

Co-founder of Ethereum, Gavin Wood is a key figure in the development of the Web3 ecosystem who actually coined the Web3 definition back in 2014. After he left Ethereum in 2016, Wood started his own blockchain project, Parity Technologies, which has developed the Parity Ethereum client and a number of other important Web3 technologies.

Wood is also a key contributor to the development of Web3 standards and protocols, including the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), the Solidity programming language, and the Web3.js JavaScript library. Wood is also an advocate for the Web3 ecosystem and a strong proponent of the vision of a decentralized web3 that empowers users and enables greater transparency, interoperability, and innovation.

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Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, is another vocal advocate for the concept of a decentralized web and has been actively involved in the development of Web3. In recent years, Berners-Lee has become increasingly concerned about the centralization of the web and the growing power of large tech companies like Google and Facebook.

In 2018, Berners-Lee launched a new project called Solid, which aims to create a decentralized web platform that gives users control over their data and online identities. Solid is built on the principles of privacy, security, and decentralization and uses technologies like linked data and the semantic web to enable greater interoperability between different applications and platforms.

In addition to his work on Solid, Berners-Lee has also been involved in the development of Web3 standards and protocols, including the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) and the Decentralized Identifier (DID) specification.

How will Web3 technologies change business in the coming years?

In the next decade, experts predict that almost every sector—including e-commerce and retail; energy; entertainment and media; healthcare; and technology—will adopt Web3.0 blockchain technology throughout its operations. And while cryptocurrencies boosted the development of blockchain technology, Web3 depends heavily on blockchain technology, but not on the cryptocurrencies.

More trends we are likely to see in the future of Web3 include:

Growing decentralization. Web3 implies decentralized control and data ownership. Rather than the big, centralized control of the internet of the past, builders and users will share a distributed stake in Web3 ownership.

Interactive 3D web technology. For example, the Jack Dorsey-backed Web3 app may be poised to challenge more established platforms such as Twitter and is an interactive Web 3D technology.

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). AI and ML will be used much more often in more complex Web3 apps, such as those used for climate modeling, accident reconstruction, and drug design. Organizations will also connect customer data to internet of things (IoT) devices and blockchain services to deliver user-driven, immersive experiences to clients.

Brand-as-a-Service (BaaS). BaaS is a recent trend in Web3 and blockchain technology. This cloud-based service allows users to create digital products with blockchain technology even if they lack the capacity to handle the complex and expensive undertaking of building their own from scratch.

The semantic web. Semantic Web technologies allow users to create data stores, write data handling rules, and build vocabularies.

Low code application development. This visual drag-and-drop development technique enables enterprises to build applications more rapidly with less hand-coding.

Cloud technology. Organizations are moving away from poorly constructed cloud services, toward cloud-native systems.

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