Explained: Will Web 3.0 live up to its hype?
The next significant development for the internet and all it governs is Web 3.0. To improve user experience, it will make use of artificial intelligence. In addition, blockchain technology will enable the service to be backed by decentralized networks since Web 3.0 is the fundamental framework for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. This will be a revolutionary move that might significantly influence businesses and how they function, as well as individual users. For instance, site owners won't have to rely on larger businesses like Amazon (AWS) and Google to buy server space.
Ushering Web 3.0 into the global space
Web 2.0 – the current version of the internet – has grown overly centralized, with a small number of large technology businesses and government organizations controlling the industry. Web 3.0, which promises a decentralized online ecosystem built on the still-emerging blockchain, will be the third iteration of the internet. Web 3.0 was first coined in 2014 by a computer scientist named Gavin Wood. Wood also helped create Ethereum, the decentralized blockchain system that powers the ether coin.
The main problem with Web 2.0, according to Wood, is trusting the people who run the services. "We've managed to build ourselves into this fairly dystopian picture of what the world could be," he said in a podcast with CNBC. This is why many believe Web 3.0 – with its focus on decentralization – will provide a more democratic and dispersed view of the internet. Additionally, it's touted as an essential component of the emerging metaverse, an immersive online universe. While some are skeptical and refer to Web 3.0 and the metaverse as primarily a marketing project and even as a pyramid scheme, other venture investors are pouring billions of dollars into this futuristic vision. However, the idea is reportedly also opposed by many in the tech world, including Elon Musk and Jack Dorsey, the former CEO of Twitter.
For many Web 3.0 supporters, the past few months have brought a harsh awakening: the market prices of significant cryptocurrencies have fallen precipitously, the trading volume of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) has slowed, and, most importantly, some pioneer businesses in the field have filed for bankruptcy due to poor risk management and the misappropriation of investor funds. Nevertheless, many argue that business executives should not mistake market volatility or dishonest individuals with the potential applications of digital assets and the technology that support them, even while the debris keeps flying and many retail investors lose their savings.
The financial services sector has substantially driven the adoption of several emerging digital technologies and assets. Among other industries, real estate, gambling, carbon markets, and the arts are using the lessons learned from the financial services experience – both the highs and lows.
Tech companies putting Web 3.0 concepts into practice
Web 3.0 has extensive applications on the internet in edge computing, live streaming, behavioral engagement, semantic search, and other areas. For example, you frequently need to log in to sites using your user I.D., email address, password, and occasionally a biometric like a fingerprint to access any website or application. Online, various services store credentials; some do it locally, while others do so in the cloud. For instance, Google has long offered the option to remind you to keep your password in a digital wallet when you log in using its service. In Web 3.0, this could become easier to manage. A private key will be generated using blockchain and stored in a secure digital place or a third-party wallet.
A few tech companies have already begun to put Web 3.0-based concepts into practice. In 2019, Twitter and representatives from several decentralized networks unveiled Bluesky, an independent project aimed at developing a decentralized social network protocol that would allow multiple social networks, each with its own systems of curation and moderation, to interact with each other through an open standard.
And, of course, decentralized social networks like Mastodon already exist and are growing rapidly. Of course, any firm may use blockchain principles outside the context of cryptocurrencies to see whether this new approach to platform development is feasible, and many already are.
Several businesses are already using Web 3.0 principles:
GameStop has employed Web 3.0 game leads, non-fungible token (NFT) platform marketing directors, and software developers to advance the gaming industry and associated commerce. It routinely claims that blockchains will power the commerce of the new platforms it is developing. In July 2022, after seeing $160m losses, GameStop announced it was pivoting its focus to the Web3 space, including the launch of an NFT marketplace and partnerships to provide in-game crypto in a bid to drive future growth.
By introducing new services and altering the layout of its website, Reddit hopes to get 500 million new crypto users to join its platform. It has relocated the r/cryptocurrency subreddit on the Arbitrum network, which is said to facilitate site transactions. Additionally, it claims that community-driven decisions are working toward forking blockchains. Additionally, it aims to transition its current 500 million Web 2.0 users to its scalable Web 3.0 platform.
On its Web 3.0 Metaverse platform, Meta aims to guarantee user independence by incorporating a number of new concepts. Despite losses of some $9.4 billion in the first nine months of 2022, prompting layoffs of 11,000 employees (13% of the company), Meta continues to invest heavily in developing its metaverse project.
According to the company's quarterly earnings, its Reality Labs business, which includes its VR and XR efforts and its metaverse activities, had operating losses of $3.7 billion. However, although this was a particularly high loss for the division, it had a lengthy history of losses dating back quarter after quarter.
The metaverse and Web3 are inextricably connected. Although Web3 is widely referred to as decentralized, the metaverse continues to exist in surface and deep webs; nonetheless, it will remain centralized regarding social media governing platforms.
Facebook and Instagram are among the top social media and entertainment categories investing in Web3. Adam Mosseri, the CEO of Instagram, disclosed the company's intentions to explore NFTs. The streaming giant Netflix is also investing in Web3. Microsoft, which has kept relatively quiet on the matter, recently invested in Wemade. Wemade, a game-developing company famous for its Legend of Mir series, announced that Microsoft, alongside two other companies, invested $46 million towards its Web3 and blockchain adoption.
Web 3.0 allows machines to interpret information similarly to humans, using the Semantic Web and technologies based on natural language processing. In the future, businesses adopting Web 3.0 may utilize AI to filter out data unwanted by clients or users, like PII (personally identifiable information). As a result, they will be able to sift enormous volumes of data rapidly, speed up application response times, and identify issues earlier. In addition, machine learning – a branch of artificial intelligence that uses data and algorithms to simulate human learning and steadily increase accuracy – will be incorporated into Web 3.0. These capabilities will lead to quicker and more relevant outputs in various disciplines like medical development and new materials rather than just targeted advertising, which accounts for most of the current efforts.
Web 3.0 and patent applications
Regardless of questions of ultimate ownership, the deployment of new technologies tends to follow an increase in patent applications for particular technologies. And while new patent applications in this space are increasing, they are still insignificant compared to other current technological developments regarding blockchain-powered or other Peer-to-Peer (P2P) network-based online platforms technologies.
There were 937 patent applications broadly related to the blockchain industry in 2018 and 1,520 and 2,730 in 2019 and 2020, respectively, according to data from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. However, the 2,730 blockchain-related patent applications filed in 2020 pale in comparison to 646,244 patent filings in the U.S. and 388,900 patents that were granted in 2020. The small number of decentralized web patents granted may be an indication that the technology still lacks significant active investment in its growth. And it’s a circular problem: with an inability to patent innovations, investors may be less interested in investing in Web 3.0.
There is debate over whether these applications can grow to the point where they would be able to compete with the Web 2.0 infrastructure, as there are many other blockchain technologies now under development. Decentralized web apps are largely utilized for private networks and have a unique “tone.” Moving away from a public, centralized network will likely be encouraged by the addition of greater security between participants. Also, there is the argument that Web 2.0 still has immense economic value, while the value of Web 3.0 has yet to be demonstrated.
One business that stepped up as a prospective partner for those CIOs who require a decentralized web solution in addition to products from firms like Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, Intel, and numerous Chinese financial institutions, is Bright Data. Bright Data claims to have "an SDK that is installed by application owners who enable users to actively and opt-in voluntarily as peers of their own volition. In return, both parties are fairly compensated, making this one of the only collaborative digital networks of its kind.”
Bright Data has around the same number of P2P web patent families as IBM – a much larger company. A significant signal that the firm takes its technology seriously and has taken the required steps to guarantee it can continue to seek funds for additional expansion is an investment in building a patent portfolio to protect its digital network.
In conclusion, Web 3.0 is seen by many as superior since it has the capacity to be more intelligent, effective, and linked than Web 2.0. A more interconnected society where information is freely available and individuals are more productive at work is one possible outcome of this new web technology. The next stage in internet development is known as Web 3.0. Compared to Web 2.0, it is more intelligent and efficient. Web 3.0 could completely change how we communicate and engage with one another online, thanks to its expanded capabilities.
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