Web3 has become a bit of a  buzzword or trend in the tech world. But what exactly is it about this new iteration of the internet and why does it matter?

In this article, I will explain what Web3 is, how it differs from Web2, what its benefits are, and how you can get onto the bandwagon.

What is Web3?

Web3 (also known as Web 3.0) is an idea for a new iteration of the World Wide Web (or the internet as we all know it). Web3 incorporates concepts such as decentralization, blockchain technologies, and token-based economics. Unlike Web2, where data and content are centralized in a small group of platforms and intermediaries (such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc.), Web3 aims to create a more open, fair, and transparent internet where users have more control over their own data, identity, and digital assets.

However, it is important to understand that, Web3 is not a single technology or platform. Rather, it is a collection of protocols, standards, tools, frameworks, and applications that enable users to interact with each other directly on a peer-to-peer network without relying on centralized servers or authorities. Some of the key components of Web3 include:

  • Blockchain: A distributed ledger that records transactions and events in a secure and verifiable way. Blockchain enables trustless transactions and smart contracts that can execute automatically based on predefined rules.
  • Cryptocurrency: A digital currency that can be used for spending and sending money online without intermediaries. Cryptocurrency also serves as an incentive mechanism for securing and maintaining the network.
  • Decentralized applications (DApps): Applications that run on decentralized networks such as Ethereum or IPFS. DApps can provide various services such as social media, gaming, finance, e-commerce, etc., without requiring users to trust or depend on any central entity.
  • Decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs): Organizations that are governed by their members through collective decision-making processes based on smart contracts. DAOs can coordinate resources and actions for common goals without hierarchical structures or intermediaries.
  • Non-fungible tokens (NFTs): Unique digital assets that represent ownership of something scarce or valuable such as art, music, and collectables but their use cases continue to grow daily especially when we start exploring tokenisation.

How does Web3 differ from Web2?

Web2 is the term used to describe the current state of the web, where most of the data and content are centralized and monopolised by corporations such as Google and Facebook. These platforms have a lot of power and control over what we see, do, and share online. They also collect our personal data and use it for advertising or other, often malicious, purposes.

Web3 is an idea for a new iteration of the web that aims to decentralize the internet and give more power and control to users and creators. Web3 uses blockchain technologies, such as Ethereum and Solana, to create a peer-to-peer network that does not rely on intermediaries or authorities to store, process, or verify data. Instead, data is distributed across many nodes (computers) that run on the network and follow a set of rules (protocols) to ensure its security and integrity.

Web3 also introduces new ways of creating value and exchanging it online using cryptocurrencies (digital money) and tokens (digital assets). Cryptocurrencies can be used for spending and sending money online without relying on banks or payment processors. Tokens can represent anything from digital art to virtual land to governance rights in a community. Users can create, own, trade, or use these tokens on various applications (dApps) that run on Web3.

What are the benefits of Web3 for users?

Web3 offers many potential benefits for users who want more freedom, privacy, ownership, and participation online. Some of these benefits are:

  • Freedom: Web3 allows users to access any app or service without censorship or restriction by any central authority. Users can also choose which apps or services they want to use based on their preferences and values.
  • Privacy: Web3 enables users to control their own data and identity online without giving it away to third parties. Users can decide what data they want to share with whom and for what purpose.
  • Ownership: Web3 empowers users to own their own content and assets online without intermediaries taking a cut or claiming ownership. Users can also benefit from their creations by monetizing them through cryptocurrencies or tokens.
  • Participation: Web3 encourages users to participate in the creation and governance of apps and services they use. Users can contribute their skills, ideas, feedback, or votes using tokens that represent their stake or influence in a project.

What are some examples of Web3 applications?

There are already many Web3 applications on various blockchain networks. Some popular Web3 platforms include:

  • OpenSea: A marketplace for non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which are unique digital assets that can represent anything from art to music to gaming items.
  • Kraken: A platform for buying, selling, and storing cryptocurrencies, which are digital currencies that operate independently of central authorities.
  • Ledger: A hardware device that allows users to securely store their private keys, which are needed to access their cryptocurrencies and other digital assets.
  • MetaMask: A browser extension and app that enables users to interact with Web3 applications and manage their Ethereum accounts.

Some examples of Web3 applications that offer specific functionalities or services include:

  • Everledger: A distributed digital registry that provides users with a unique record of their physical or digital assets.
  • Storj: A decentralized storage network allowing users to rent out unused disk space or access affordable cloud storage.
  • Brave Browser: A web browser that blocks ads and trackers by default and rewards users with its own cryptocurrency for viewing privacy-respecting ads.
  • LivePeer: A decentralized video streaming network that enables anyone to broadcast or watch live video content.
  • Theta TV: A video streaming platform that leverages blockchain technology to reward viewers and content creators with its own cryptocurrency.
  • Cashaa: A banking platform that offers fiat-to-crypto exchange services and integrates with various Web3 applications.
  • ySign: A messaging app that uses blockchain technology to ensure the privacy and security of communications.
  • EPNS: A decentralized notification protocol that allows users to receive push notifications from any Web3 application.
  • Sola: A social media platform that rewards users for creating and sharing content with its own cryptocurrency.

These are just some of the many examples of Web3 applications that are transforming the way we use the internet.

How can you get started with Web3?

If you want to explore the world of Web3, you will need some basic tools and knowledge. Here are some steps you can take to get started:

  1. Get a crypto wallet. A crypto wallet is a software or hardware device that allows you to store your private keys securely. You will need a crypto wallet to access your cryptocurrencies and other digital assets on various Web3 platforms. Some popular crypto wallets include Ledger, MetaMask, Coinbase Wallet, Trust Wallet, etc.
  2. Get some cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency is the native currency of blockchain networks. You will need cryptocurrency to pay for fees or transactions on various Web3 platforms. Some popular cryptocurrencies include Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Solana (SOL), Polygon (MATIC), etc. You can buy cryptocurrency from platforms like Coinbase, Binance, Kraken, etc.
  3. Explore some Web3 platforms. Once you have a crypto wallet and some cryptocurrency, you can start exploring some Web3 platforms that interest you. You can browse through different categories of Web3 applications on websites like StateOfTheDApps or DappRadar. You can also follow some influencers or communities on social media platforms like Twitter or Reddit who share insights or updates on various Web3 projects.
  4. Learn more about Web3 technologies. If you want to dive deeper into the technical aspects of Web3 technologies such as blockchain, smart contracts, NFTs, etc., you can enrol in some online courses or tutorials that teach you the basics or advanced topics of these technologies such as CryptoZombies, Chainshot, Ethereum.org, Solana Academy, etc.

Wrap-Up and Conclusion

Web3 is a new iteration of the World Wide Web that incorporates concepts such as decentralization, blockchain technologies, and token-based economics. It is decentralized, trustless, and has native payments. The benefits of Web3 for users include the ability to own their data, privacy, and security. Some examples of Web3 applications include decentralized finance (DeFi), non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and decentralized social media platforms. To get started with Web3, you can learn about the basics of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency and explore decentralized applications (dApps) and participate in the Web3 ecosystem.

In conclusion, Web3 is a promising new technology that has the potential to revolutionize the way we use the internet. As the Web3 ecosystem continues to grow and evolve, we can expect to see more innovative applications and use cases emerge, making Web3 an exciting area to watch in the coming years.