What is Web2 and Web3? Comprehensive Web3 Guide

Что такое Web2 и Web3? Объясняем Web3

Web2 is a version of the current internet that slowly steps back to welcome the new internet era, Web3. The transition to a new era is our new reality, and it is just a matter of time. It became possible due to the creation of Bitcoin and then Ethereum. Today, the decentralized nature of Web3 makes it more and more popular. But many people still don’t know the answer to the question “What is Web3?” Many people wonder, “What is Web2 and Web3?” Not many know that the internet we know today is just a version of the internet that has a predecessor and a successor. Thus, we decided to delve into this topic to help you understand the evolution of the internet and what to expect from Web3. Besides, we will tell you how to become a blockchain developer, whether you are already a JavaScript and Unity expert or a beginner.

First, to set the common ground, we will talk about Web1. Then, we will move on to the question, “what is Web2 and Web3?” We will compare the different versions of the internet to help you fully understand and be able to answer the question “What is Web3?” with confidence. On top of that, we will talk about the advantages Web3 provides both to users and developers and what the Web3 tech stack has to offer the new programmers today.

What is Web1?

Before we delve into the exploration of the “What is Web2 and Web3?” topic, let’s talk about Web1.

Web1 is the name of the first version of the internet that took its roots in the 1960s when government researchers started working on a practical way of sharing information. But the first version of the internet actually came to life much later. The birthday of Web3 is considered January 1, 1983. Although then, it wasn’t called Web1. This name occurred after Web2 was introduced. Back in the day, only a few individuals owned computers, and those computers were much slower and less efficient than those we have today. Web1 was primarily used by large corporations rather than regular people. On top of that, the internet was also quite limited and costly back then – the cost of internet use was based on pageviews.

At that time, Web1 was represented by read-only static pages. Thus, we can say that the first version of the internet consisted mainly of homepages. Nevertheless, it was the time when emails occurred. The first emails supported only text without attachments. We also owe the “dot-com” bubble that occurred in 1995-2000 to the Web1 era. The new, Web2 Internet era started in 2005.

What is Web2 and Web3?

Now that you know how the internet started and how it looked at the beginning, we can move on to answering the question “What is Web2 and Web3?” Let’s begin by making sure you know what most users consider the internet. It will be a basis on which we will further build our discussion on the topic “What is Web3?”

We must admit that the transition to Web3 is ongoing by still hasn’t reached its peak. So, we will compare it to Web2 to make the differences and benefits more apparent.

What is Web2?

In the picture above, you can see that the main innovation Web2 brought was user-to-user interactions. It made it possible not only to read on the internet but also to write. This made interactive websites where users make their inputs possible and boosted the occurrence of millions of content creators. The popularity of content creation skyrocketed with the increased possibilities for blogging. Of course, this was also due to the major improvements in the internet functioning infrastructure since 2005. It made the internet faster and cheaper. And of course, the occurrence of more advanced, smaller, and more affordable computers played an essential role in the development of the online world.

And of course, we couldn’t overlook social media such as Facebook (now Meta) birth which instantly attracted millions of users and inspired the creation of other social platforms. We can even say that the socialization of the internet is responsible for making it what it is today. Suddenly, this previously “technical” and work-only tool became a lot more. Naturally, today’s internet is used for work, education, and so on. But for the majority of users, it is primarily an entertainment tool.

We can say that blogging, social media, tagging, online voting, and all other social aspects of the internet are offspring of Web2.

Besides, Web2 also brought us the “web as platform” concept. What we mean is the massive replacement of desktop software with web applications. What’s more, Web2 has brought us new web browser technologies, such as AJAX and JavaScript (JS) and application programming interfaces (APIs), offering a whole new range of interaction possibilities.

Pros and Cons of Web2

To better understand the “What is Web2 and Web3?” topic, it is very beneficial to structure Web2’s pros and cons.

The Pros of Web2 are:

– Anyone who has access to the internet can use Web2 without any permission.

– Web2 gives access to an unlimited amount of information accessible with just one click.

– Web2 is user-friendly.

– Web2 allows users to sort searches based on recency.

– A user can use almost any language to use a search engine.

– Social services, including social media, email, messengers, and others, allow users to stay in touch wherever they are.

– The internet of today allows users to correct wrong or misleading information.

– Web2 allows users to share files and content with others easily.

– It offers easy, cheap, and efficient ways to promote business.

– Web2 enables people to create learning communities and real-time discussions.

The Cons of Web2 are:

– Sometimes, search results can be off-base.

– Some factors can influence Web2’s speed of displaying search results.

– The existing auto-translation options are still far from perfect.

– Web2 is full of misinformation that is hard to filter.

– All connections between users are made through mediators and not on a P2P basis.

– Users cannot connect on a peer-to-peer basis without an intermediary.

– The privacy offered by Web2 is controversial.

– The internet of today still has a high level of spam, fishing, fraud, and virus attacks.

As an active internet user, which we are sure you are, what do you think about the pros and cons of Web2 we outlined in our lists? Do you agree? Maybe you have to add something?

Now, after we make sure you know the answer to the question “What is Web2?” we can move on to answering the question “What is Web3?”

What is Web3

Since we have already figured out what Web2 is, we can now start the new section of our guide dedicated to answering the question, “What is Web3?”

Web3, also known as Web 3.0, the Internet of the future, the read-write-execute web, the executable web, and the semantic web is the decentralized Internet based on peer-to-peer (P2P) interactions and the elimination of mediators. This definition and the name Web 3.0 were coined and popularized by one of the co-founders of Ethereum, Gavin Wood.

Today we can already use Web3, but it is still far from full bloom since no technology allows machines to fully replace humans in content processing yet. Nevertheless, the work in this direction is in progress, and certain aspects of AI and ML are already executed. In the future of Web3, there certainly will be more interactive services, dynamic apps, and machine-to-machine interaction.

The data on Web3 will not be owned but shared. Avivah Litan, a VP analyst at Gartner, says that the Web3 version will change the way we perceive the internet. He believes that there will be applications that we cannot even imagine today. Worth noting that we already see that in some of the dapps. Another Gartner VP analyst, Whit Andrews, states that Web3 will give users unprecedented power and control of their data.

At the end of this section, we think you can already answer the question “What is Web3?” on your own. So, let’s move on to the next chapter of our “What is Web2 and Web3?” quest.

Blockchain – the Beginning of Web3

Since the creation of Web3 became possible with the occurrence of blockchain, most experts agree that it is indeed the core of the Internet of the future. It is the stack of namely blockchain technologies that Web3 is built on. It will allow new business and social model creation. For instance, unlike in Web2, blockchain technology enables users to own their data, including identity and content. Besides, the algorithms allow users to become “shareholders” when they acquire governance tokens or cryptocurrency and NFTs that power Web3 economics. All of this opens virtually unlimited business models and opportunities and creates conditions for transparency.

Several programmable blockchains are already operational, with Bitcoin and Ethereum being the leader today. Talking about P2P transactions in the context of the “what is P2P” topic, you can already enjoy them by using MetaMask to access the Web3 world and take part in its decentralized ecosystem right now. This allows early adopters to already have a peek at what’s coming with the internet of the future, even though the majority of dApps today are still only testing the ground. To boost the growth of Web3, the realm needs to attract more advancing developers to contribute to building a Web3 that will inspire future generations.

Here we would also like to mention metaverse, another hot topic in the framework of the internet of the future. Metaverse development is aimed at transferring most of our activities, including leisure and work, online. And the decentralized tech stack and protocols of Web3 will definitely provide a good basis for some parts of the metaverse.

Side-by-Side Comparison of Web2 vs. Web3

To help you understand the differences between Web2 and Web3 more clearly, we decided to make a side-by-side comparison in a table:

Protocol parameterWeb2Web3
Who ensures trust?Centralized services, software, and servers, and the companies who own them.– Services, apps, and server are decentralized, peer-to-peer (p2p) trust, lack of centralized authority, lack single point of failure.
– Providers of trust are minimized – trust is ensured by the decentralization protocol itself.
ManagementPower in the hands of digital giants.Power is in the hands of decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) governed by governance tokens owners.
Business modelDigital giants and service providers own user information and use it for profit generation.– Transaction validators earn revenue by providing their service to the blockchain.
– Game theory is used to keep transactions fair.
Content– Dynamic, created by users.
– The original content may be duplicated.
Owned by users and not associated with Web 2 services.
User Participation Models– Free services in exchange for user information.
– Payments to intermediaries for the use of services and software.
– Users own their data and content and can monetize it.
– Payments are made directly to transaction validators.
User Interfaces– Web browsers
– Social networks
– Mobile applications
– Decentralized applications (dApps).
– Centralized marketplaces and services.
User Authentication Methods– User ID
– Password
– Other authentication methods (for example, through email, social networks)
A private key that gives access to the user’s records in the blockchain. The private key can be stored in a self-hosted wallet or a third-party wallet.
Financial SystemCentralized and governed by central banks and other financial institutions.– Managed by smart contracts (based on “if, then else” script) and blockchain protocols.
– There is no centralized control and intermediaries who need to be paid.
CurrencyA centrally administered, government-backed currency (for example, a currency administered by a bank or a stored value account provider).– Cryptocurrency embedded in a decentralized blockchain.
– Users play the role of a bank for themselves, but can delegate to a centralized exchange.

 

As for the key cons of current Web3, Avivah Litan, Gartner’s VP analyst, outlined several points:

– No customer protection

– New security threats.

At the moment, these aspects are still better in Web2.

What is Web2 and Web3? – Roundup

From our article, you have found out what are the versions of the internet. You already know that we are currently in the era of Web2 but are slowly transitioning to Web3. We pointed out that Web3 occurrence is partially possible thanks namely to the blockchain. And it is the blockchain that makes the already-used components of Web3 possible in today’s world.

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