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Is Web 3.0 the Future of the Internet

2022-03-23

Key Takeaways

  • Web 3.0 is the ‘read, write and trust’ version of the internet

  • Web 3.0 seeks to establish trust in the current system through DeFi – decentralized finance by using smart contracts on the blockchain to cut out dependence on intermediaries or a central authority

  • Web 3.0 also encourages the emergence of Decentralized Autonomous Organizations, or DAOs to reduce human biases

  • Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by value, helps everyone enter this exciting new world of Web 3.0 through easy steps

Web3.0. Crypto. Blockchain. These buzzwords become overwhelmingly common in everyday language, yet it is still hardly clear to most people why they matter. As our life becomes increasingly integrated with the internet and technology, it begs the question – What will the future of the internet be like?

What is Web 3.0 and why it matters

Imagine regular events in your life today- you get up and perhaps use your voice assistant to open the news app with your favorite podcasts. You booked a cab for the office and got frustrated at how slow it’s moving as you track it in real time. During lunch, your food apps seemed to have read your mind and showered you with offers you just could not refuse. You’re scrolling through your social media and see ads that seem to be built exclusively for you. 

Welcome to Web 3.0 – the ‘read, write and trust’ version of the internet. Web 3.0 comprises everything from AI models, big data analytics for targeted marketing to cryptocurrency and the popular virtual ‘metaverse’. It is then clear that Web 3.0 forms a big part of our present already, but what could the future of the internet look like a decade from now? Can Web 3.0 lead the way?

Ample sources say it can, and it most probably will. Consider the major trend shifts we see today. Every part of our life, from shopping to entertainment to socializing has drastically shifted online. With that the biggest concern among individual users (indeed more than 77% millennials surveyed expressed concern) is the safety of their private information, its misuse within the hands of some large corporations and the hassle of dodging innumerable tracking ‘cookies’ with the potential threat of data leaks. Web 3.0 then allows for a reconciliation of these opposing trends. While Web 2.0 was dynamic, allowing users to create content and interact with each other, third party cookies and excessive data concentration in the hands of few firms became worrisome. Data leaks have grown manifold, and it seems common to get biased, provoking or outrightly funded content on the internet. 

Enter Web 3.0 which seeks to establish trust in the current system through DeFi – decentralized finance by using smart contracts on the blockchain to cut out dependence on intermediaries or a central authority. This means that every individual will continue to own their data, with the added provision of selling it, which they can then be paid for in the form of tokens (designated cryptocurrencies). Further, Web 3.0 can take it one step further, users can be paid for their time online looking at videos and other company content which currently all big firms use as big data completely free. Imagine getting tokens in exchange for links or interacting with the same digital content we see today. Since these tokens are essentially crypto, users might also be able to earn from their value appreciation (think of shares in the stock market). It’ll be as if being an early user of a company also automatically made you a shareholder of the company. If the service or the product picks up, you also get returns in terms of more tokens and higher individual token value. 

How does that work? Token based projects provide a great shot at gaining first mover’s advantage in developing industries while building powerful networks that are completely user owned. In a world where such tokens will probably gain more and more utility not just in the virtual world (imagine rewards in the metaverse), but also in the physical world (American celebrities already offer exclusive access to concerts in exchange for ownership of their personal tokens etc), the token effect can play a strong role in shaping the future of the new-age internet, where everyone will hold power over their assets and have a defining say in decision making, through their wealth (token) accumulation on a trustworthy can-not-be-manipulated-by-corporates blockchain network. This can drastically reduce corporate power, combat corruption and minimize negative human influence in ratings, product evaluations, fund management etc.

How Web 3.0 disrupts the way we use internet

 For individual users, the future of the internet might also hold new forms of socializing. Investments in Extended Reality (XR) can have wide scale applications. Imagine meeting holograms of family members living abroad (or even quarantine!) right inside your room. XR for social impact is already underway especially for senior citizens and others living alone to combat mental health problems and loneliness. The Metaverse could take this even further, with the advent of a completely virtual world with digital avatars and reconstructed surroundings like concerts, malls etc. While there are concerns about safety and regulation in such worlds, one thing is abundantly clear – the line between what is real and virtual is fading and Web 3.0 is why.

What businesses stand to gain from WEB 3.0

Apart from entertainment, businesses too could have a lot to gain from such technological advancements too. Smart contracts on the blockchain make tedious paperwork and data recollection redundant, optimizing decision making through easy access of all past records easily accessible to all stakeholders. Web 3.0 also encourages the emergence of Decentralized Autonomous Organizations, or DAOs, transparent organizations with automated and decentralized decision processes to reduce human biases (search ‘Bankless’ which lends out funds without the need of commercial banking intermediaries). In DAOs, crypto tokens are also used to simulate voting for all – giving every stakeholder an equal platform which could be a breakthrough for HR in retaining talent in a technology driven world.

One of the largest beneficiaries of Web 3.0 for businesses could also be marketing. We are already in a web-mobile-could heavy space, constantly engaging with brands, providing data for efficient customer conversion through targeted ads. The future of Web 3.0 could entail even more personalized human-like interactions with machines as AI, ML and NLP applications become more and more sophisticated. This could enable industries like FMCG, journalism, fast fashion, electronics to interact with their target customers like never before.

Finally, international politics and public policy also stands to gain tremendously from advancements like Web 3.0. XR Integrated virtual reality can aid diplomatic collaborations and inter government meets, critical in times of geopolitical tensions. For domestic policy too, Web 3.0 can enable smoother functioning among all concerned stakeholders and create more jobs & international opportunities for thriving economies like India.

All in all, it will be naïve to discount the internet’s trajectory in the future. Web 3.0 seems to offer incredible scope and we are already inching towards it, with erstwhile FAANG companies have already started making heavy investments in the fields of interactive virtual reality, blockchain and cryptocurrency.

So, what can we do about it now? Just like the stock market, one can only reap the advantages of Web 3.0’s future value by investing early, today. Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by value, helps everyone enter this exciting new world through easy steps. Apart from entry in the cryptocurrency market, Binance offers its own DeFi projects (check them out here) and one of India’s only sites offering its own NFT Marketplace

The internet is our past, present and the future. Web 3.0 is here to change it for good. Are you ready?