What is Web3?

By: Eli Levi  |  May 15, 2022

By Eli Levi, Business Editor

In order to understand Web3, it is helpful to understand the full evolution of the Web, beginning with Web 1.0 in the 1990s and 2000s. It was a world of static web pages and only the beginning of interactive content. This was the era of Netscape and the first time people had access to real-time news content.

Web 2.0, following the post Web 1.0 bubble around 2001 to 2003, was a paradigm shift in the way the internet was used; it became a place for interactive content. Think of social media and the great impact that it has had on our lives. Additionally, the sleekness and ubiquity of smartphones are both components of Web 2.0. The core belief that given infinite compute power (a key capability that gave way for 2.0) powered Andreessen Horowitz, one of the leading venture capital firms, and enabled them to explode onto the venture scene at an unprecedented rate. We have seen this vision come true as more and more of our lives go digital.

Web 3.0 is only beginning; the concepts that shape Web3 have room to grow and change. Yet there are already some concrete changes that have occurred Covid has accelerated many trends, several of which are digital shifting. The growing number of VR/AR headsets, along with the massive deal-flow in that space is leading many to think that the metaverse will consist of people interacting in some life-like avatar form.

Some are skeptical of a fully digital universe. They think of the metaverse as a fully interactive online experience, in which all apps are integrated into one seamless user experience with an enhanced ability to readily interact with anyone. One contemporary example of this is Discord. Discord does everything WhatsApp does while also maintaining many additional features, such as meeting rooms where anyone can hop in or hop out. These meeting rooms are extremely useful for on-the-fly meetings. Many crypto, Web 3.0, and blockchain startups, including the company I interned for, use Discord as their primary place of business.

Decentralization, trustlessness, and even greater user utility are all components of Web 3.0. The blockchain’s trustless nature allows for greater use of open-source code which could be the greatest contributing factor to this paradigm shift.