Are we moving towards a new version of the Internet? In any case, this is what supporters of Web3 or Web 3.0 support. What does this innovation, considered major by technophiles, have in store for us? We take stock.
Web3: what is it?
Definition: what is Web3?
Web3 would constitute a new version of the decentralized Internet thanks to which users would retain control over their personal data, in particular through the “blockchain” (chain of blocks in French). We owe the origin of the concept to Gavin Wood, co-founder of Ethereum and a major player in blockchain technology. The Briton coined the term in 2014. The concept still sows confusion, however. Skeptics conjure up a simple trend word, while investors spend billions of dollars developing it.
Web1, Web2 and Web3
To fully understand what Web3 could be, it seems necessary to take an interest in the versions that preceded it. To begin with, there was Web1, in the late 1990s. The version simply offered the possibility of reading and publishing basic content, without any real interaction. Web2 was then born and with it the idea of a participatory Internet. This is still the version in which we operate today, although social networks have come to bring another dimension.
What’s new with Web3?
The Web3 appears as a decentralized alternative to the “World Wide Web”. This decentralized version of the web would be built thanks to the blockchain, a technology allowing the storage and transmission of information and files without a central control body, all in a secure and transparent manner.
Web3 would therefore imply that the Internet is controlled by its users and not by tech giants. These companies, such as Amazon, Meta (parent company of Facebook) or Apple, have collected and used a large amount of personal data and content without Internet users having any real control over it. They now want things to change.
A controversial concept
If Web3 constitutes a revolution for its partisans, its detractors are not of this opinion. The main criticism of Web3 technology is that it does not live up to its ideals. For example, the co-founder of Twitter doubts its potential to empower users, believing that venture capital funds will eventually regain control. Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla and SpaceX, calls the concept “ridiculous”. The richest man in the world tweeted: “It sounds more like a marketing buzzword than reality right now.” The energy consumption of blockchain technologies is also decried, as is the risk of reinforcing the digital divide. It is true that until now, the establishment of Web3 remains unclear. To be continued…
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Web3: towards a new Internet era?
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