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Unveiling The Next Frontier Of The Internet: An Introduction To The World Of Web3 Picture Web3 as the great, new frontier in the internet landscape, where pioneers tap into their quest for freedom and autonomy, empowered by cutting-edge technology, and some serious coding chops. Welcome to the next digital revolution!

By Pierrick Ribes Edited by Aby Thomas

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Lucidity Insights

Do you ever feel a bit uneasy about the control that tech giants seem to have over your personal data and the online world? Then, say hello to Web3, the groovy alternative, often dubbed "the future of the internet."

Web3 is all about decentralization, aiming to bring more democratization and transparency to the digital universe. Imagine a world without overbearing tech overlords or shady data collection practices. Sounds pretty good, right? The secret sauce is decentralized technologies like blockchain, which aims to systematically diffuse power from any single entity or authority. Instead, blockchain lets information be stored across a network of computers, eliminating the need for intermediaries and giving users greater control over their data and online interactions.

Picture Web3 as the great, new frontier in the internet landscape, where pioneers tap into their quest for freedom and autonomy, empowered by cutting-edge technology, and some serious coding chops. Welcome to the next digital revolution!

The Origins Of Web3

Web3 is an innovative concept representing the next evolutionary stage of the internet. Its foundations are deeply rooted in the early thoughts of Tim Berners-Lee, the founder of the World Wide Web. He first introduced the core concepts of decentralization, openness, and greater user utility in the 1990s, which involved the following two points:

  • Bottom-up design He advocated for code to be developed in full view of everyone, encouraging maximum participation and experimentation.

  • Decentralization Berners-Lee envisioned a web without a central authority, free from a single point of failure or control, and resistant to indiscriminate censorship and surveillance.

While Berners-Lee's ideas laid the groundwork, the concept of Web3 truly emerged as a distinct idea separate from Web 3.0 (the semantic web). In 2006, journalist John Markoff coined the term "Web 3.0," envisioning a future where machine learning and artificial intelligence would shape a more intelligent internet. However, it was Gavin Wood, the founder of Polkadot, who popularized the term "Web3," and helped to shape its vision for a more decentralized web, taking the concept to new heights.

Wood described Web3 as a decentralized internet where users control their own data and applications built on open, interoperable, and secure infrastructure. His company, Polkadot, is designed to connect different blockchains together into a single network, creating a decentralized web. The current definition of Web3 incorporates concepts of decentralization, blockchain technologies, and token-based economics, while continuing to evolve.

In conclusion, understanding Web3's origin requires recognizing its roots in Tim Berners-Lee's early ideas, and its divergence from Web 3.0. Web3's evolution has centered around decentralization, openness, and user utility, emphasizing blockchain technologies and token-based economics. This unique approach sets it apart from Web 3.0, and paves the way for a more decentralized, user-centric digital world.

Source: Lucidity Insights

The Top Five Defining Features Of Web3

There are a few unique features about the future of the internet that makes it distinctively different from the internet and the tech ecosystems that we currently operate in:

1. Decentralization Web3 is built on decentralized technologies such as blockchain, which enable the creation of decentralized applications, commonly referred to as dApps, that are not controlled by any single entity or authority.

2. Interoperability Web3 is designed to be more interoperable, meaning that different dApps and blockchain platforms can communicate and interact with each other seamlessly. Universal wallets such as Metamask (self-custodial wallet), cross-chain communication, interoperability layers, and standardization are just some of the tools being deployed in the Web3 ecosystem to ensure there won't be any "Should I go with Apple Store vs. Google Play Store?" or "Playstation vs. Xbox?" questions in the Web3 space.

3. Token Economics Many Web3 projects use token economics to incentivize users to contribute to the network, and help govern its operations. This can help to create a more democratic and decentralized ecosystem by giving users a say in how the network is run.

4. Data Privacy And Security Web3 aims to increase data privacy and security by giving users greater control over their personal data, and enabling them to share it securely with others on the network. This can help to prevent data breaches, identity theft, and other forms of cybercrime.

5. Open-Source Software Many Web3 projects use open-source software, which allows anyone to access and modify the code. This increases transparency and accountability by allowing users to see how the software works, and verify that it is not engaging in malicious or unethical behaviour.

Related: The Rise Of The Builder: How Consensys Is Pioneering A New Era In The Age Of Web3

A History Of The Web: Understanding The Evolution From Web 1.0 To Web3

Are you ready to take a trip down memory lane? We're talking about the time when the only thing you could do on the web was play solitaire, or chat with strangers in text-based chat rooms. Yep, we're talking about Web 1.0, the era of dial-up and Tamagotchis. But hold on to your pagers, because we're now entering the era of Web3, and we have come a long way since those AOL days.

Source: Lucidity Insights

Web3 is already the fastest rate of adoption of any technology in human history. The adoption of blockchain, crypto, and Web3 is best represented by comparing the growth rate between the number of internet users, and the number of identity-verified crypto asset users. Looking at the logarithmic scale, crypto adoption has seen the fastest adoption rate of any technology in human history, and it is well on its way to reaching one billion users in the next two to four years, depending on the adoption rate.

Source: Lucidity Insights

Web3 is also already upon us. Don't be fooled by its youth- Web3 is already shaking things up! Say goodbye to centralized apps, and hello to decentralized ones. The future is bright, and it is already happening!

Source: Lucidity Insights

Though the term "Web3" was popularized in 2014, almost a decade ago, by Dr. Gavin Wood, co-founder of Ethereum and creator of the Polkadot platform, to describe the vision of a decentralized internet enabled by blockchain technology, it is still in its infancy. Here is a brief historical timeline of key milestones in the development of Web3.

Source: Lucidity Insights

To dive deeper into the future of Web3 and the decentralized web, read our full report on Opportunities in Web3 by clicking here.

This article was originally published on Lucidity Insights, a partner of Entrepreneur Middle East in developing special reports on the Middle East and Africa's tech and entrepreneurial ecosystems.

Related: Utility NFTs: The Rising Digital Revolution Transforming Industries

Pierrick Ribes

Contributing Writer and Researcher, Lucidity Insights

Pierrick Ribes is a Contributing Writer and Researcher for Lucidity Insights. He is interested in disruptive technologies such as Web3, blockchain, digital currencies and retail tech. His career in strategy consultancy coupled with his inquisitive mind make him a thoughtful and investigative storyteller.

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