Defining the 11 Core Building Blocks of Web 3.0
The Fundamental Vision of Web 3.0For the average user, though, there’s actually very little understanding of how we’ve been numbering these phases in Web history. That’s because, in reality, the Internet has been evolving steadily and it’s only in hindsight that we can easily identify some stages of development and capabilities. It’s not surprising then that while we’re in the early days of Web 3.0, there’s not a consensus about the features of the Internet that qualify as Web 3.0, or even whether we’re currently operating in Web 3.0 or just evolving towards it. For some, Web 3.0 it’s analogous to the Metaverse. For others, it represents the complete integration of artificial intelligence (AI). Neither of these characterizations are wrong, yet neither one is completely right either. So, before we get into specific functionality, let’s be clear on the general direction Web 3.0 is taking us. Web 1.0 was a passive system in which we could simply access information. Web 2.0 followed, featuring greater interaction opportunities with the web platforms and other users – posting, sharing, and reacting to information, for example.
My Take on Web 3.0In this third generation of the Internet, information will work for us individually. It will facilitate transactions of all kinds (not just financial) and provide information that’s uniquely relevant, if not designed for, each person. And the more we interact with Web 3.0, the smarter and more helpful it will be for each user. Web 3.0 is all about the decentralized empowerment of data users and data contributors. Power is shifting from the major content and data collecting platforms and reverting to secure personal locations where we can house and monetize our own data within environments of peer-to-peer networks. In order to do that, Web 3.0 will be blockchain-based (to support transactional activity) and AI-driven (to power the unique user experience).
Features and Functionality of Web 3.0
Within those broad parameters, what are the specific tools and capabilities offered in the Web 3.0 environment that will change our lives the most?
Many lists have been published detailing those Web 3.0 elements and features, such as this one. They all make for very interesting reading. There’s really no right or wrong answer because, again, we’re at the start of this journey and who’s to say where we’ll be when Web 3.0 evolves into Web 4.0? More on that below.
That said, I believe the utility of Web 3.0 will be best demonstrated in the context of these 11 building blocks, many of which are in place today and will continue to be enhanced and mainstreamed.
This digital currency is used in decentralized transactions that exist outside of any government or other financial institution. Commerce within Web 3.0 will happen via cryptocurrency in this very democratizing financial model.
Fundamental blockchain technology – an unchangeable ledger of assets, records, and transactions – is the foundation for secure, interpersonal transactions of all types in Web 3.0 environments.
Blockchain is the key here as well since all agreements between parties and institutions can be stored within Web 3.0 environments, bypassing outside agencies so that they’re self-enforcing and auto-fulfilling.
In Web 3.0, computers won’t think for themselves. They’ll just be far better at accessing and processing information in all forms and from all sources so that they can predict what information is most appropriate and valuable to an individual user.
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs)
In addition to serving as proof of originality, proof of origin, and proof of ownership, as well as functioning as monetized assets, NFTs are used as indispensable and immutable credentials that allow the holder to engage in institutions within Web 3.0.
Decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs)
DAOs are Internet-based organizations that use Web 3.0 capabilities to bring users together around a shared financial interest or another commonly held passion or purpose. Membership is often bestowed via an NFT, and the groups are governed according to smart contracts.
Decentralized applications (dApps)
The automated elements of self-executing contracts and DAO functionality are managed through dApps – algorithms created using open-source code – that can be placed on a blockchain or another distributed ledger system.
As mentioned above, many people equate the Metaverse with Web 3.0. That seems simplistic and overly generous with regard to the scope of the Metaverse. The Metaverse will be a way to experience one important element of Web 3.0 – interpersonal interaction in a virtual world. That’s a lot … but it’s only one part of Web 3.0.
As I described recently, we’ll soon be collecting and storing elements of our personal identity and documentation of our accomplishments in soulbound tokens, a special type of non-transferrable NFT, all thanks to the capabilities of Web 3.0.
Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs)
Because of blockchain technology in Web 3.0, we’ll see more frequent ICOs, the initial release of new digital coin assets, as opposed to mined cryptocurrencies.
Quantum computers are advancing very quickly. This new generation of smarter, intuitive computer processing gets to the right answer incredibly fast and performs all the calculations inherent in the Web 3.0 building blocks much more quickly, which will lead to more seamless, immediate experiences.
Again, these core building blocks and pillars inherent in Web 3.0 don’t “define” Web 3.0, just as the existence of social media doesn’t “define” Web 2.0.
Web 3.0 will need to be defined at a higher level – beyond characteristics and tools – to reflect the status of humankind’s relationship with technology. And in this third generation, that relationship, in the most general terms is one of empowerment.
It’s odd to hear people question whether Web 3.0 will survive or if it’s just a fad. The Internet and our personal engagement with data will always evolve. Whether it advances exactly along the lines the experts are predicting today remains to be seen. We’ll have to wait twenty years until it’s time to transition to Web 4.0 before we can truly define Web 3.0 and evaluate its success.
And speaking of Web 4.0, it’s hard to fathom what the fourth generation of the Internet will look like or the new frontiers it will try to reach.
My prediction is that computing and Internet technology will continue to evolve over the next 20 years away from being a tool and more towards being a partner. The logical conclusion of that evolution is integrating our brains and technology to a point where they operate in perfect synchronicity with everything that’s happening in the Metaverse.