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  • Writer's pictureMalaz Elnaiem

Nugget: What On Earth is Web3?

Updated: Feb 13

The internet has come a long way since the early days of AOL. As it continues to evolve, its impact becomes increasingly pervasive, influencing what we read, buy, watch, and how we interact with each other.

Anyone using the internet in the 90s can attest to how radically different it is today. We went from passively surfing the web for news and information to actively creating and posting content for millions to see.

The internet, and its transformation over the years, has never failed to attract attention or cause widespread technophobia— with the third iteration being no different.

Web3 is the next generation of the internet, and understanding it requires looking back at its history and the way the internet currently operates. Unlike the Web 2.0 era, where companies such as Meta, Google, and Apple own and operate the internet, Web 3.0 engages users in creating, owning, and maintaining platforms and applications.

A Brief Breakdown of Web1, Web2, and Web3.

Web 1.0 (1989-2005): The initial version of the internet was designed for users looking for news, information, and data. Web1 is referred to as the "read-only web" due to the lack of user interaction. Websites were typically static pages with hyperlinks to related content and other pages. In the first version of the web, content creators were few and far between, and interaction on the level of what we now know today was nonexistent. Social networking sites like Six Degrees, Myspace, and Hi5, were still in their infancy.

Web 2.0 (2004 - 2014): Around this time, the internet became more widely available and affordable, spawning the creation of many popular social media platforms. The emergence of major platforms like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon facilitated a commercialized version of the internet by optimizing online communication, discovery, and commerce. In a short amount of time, Web2 grew to where concepts such as virtual reality and decentralization were within grasp.

Web 3.0 (2014 - present): The transition from Web1 to Web2 mainly affected the front end, while the shift to Web3 focuses on the back end. As a result, the user interface remains unchanged as the underlying operations evolve. With the help of blockchain technology, the central idea of Web3 is to transfer ownership of the networks and platforms from the existing corporations to the individual users— cutting out BigTech as the middleman.

Web3 represents the next evolution of the internet. It empowers users with complete control and ownership over their online experiences. Instead of passively using free apps and platforms that exploit user data, Web3 enables individuals to actively participate in the development, operation, and governance of networks and protocols. As awareness grows regarding the drawbacks and constraints of Web 2.0, more people will likely gravitate towards Web3 in the coming years. So, get on board while it's still early, and help us build an equitable internet.

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