What is Web3

By Anycoin Direct

Web3 or also known as Web 3.0 is a term that has come up more often lately in conversations on the Web 2.0 about cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. Web3 is said to be the future of the Internet. Whether it is, we will find out in this lesson.

✔️ Web3 in short means decentralized internet.

✔️ With Web3, you take control of your digital identity.

✔️ Web3 could revolutionize how we use the internet.

✔️ Is the world ready for Web3?

What is Web3?

Web3 is arguably the next phase in the development of the internet. The intention of Web3 applications is to do as much as possible in-house. Dependence on the big tech companies like Google and Facebook will be a lot less or even disappear altogether with this new generation of internet. Eventually, a Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI) will appear, allowing users to control all their information themselves.

This all sounds wonderful, but is it realistic? Join us in the world of the World Wide Web, where nothing stays the same and a deus ex machina (sudden change for no apparent reason) lurks around the corner!

The history of the WWW

We won't bore you with endless writings on people and dates, but a global history seems appropriate.


ARPANET or ARPA Network was conceived in the US in the late 1960s. Computers were still so expensive that it made economic sense to share them with any research institute that might need them. That way, you didn't have to have an extremely expensive monster of a machine in every institute.

A side benefit, which some argued was the main point, was that communication could continue as usual during a nuclear war if the computers remained connected.

In 1988, this ARPA Internet was decommissioned, but in the meantime they had invented File Transfer Protocol and e-mail here.


The World Wide Web (read) was proposed and introduced by the Englishman Tim Berners-Lee. In 1989, he proposed an information management system and implemented it later that year. The first communication between an HTTP client and server over the Internet came from his hand.

Well-known protocols, which are still in use today come mainly from this era: TCP/IP, SMTP and HTTP. Very importantly, it is free to use these protocols.

You could call this Web1, the beginning of the connection of computers around the world, also known as the internet. It was a kind of two-dimensional world, where you looked at websites without being able to do much else.


The second generation of websites were interactive and centrally managed. The term Web2.0 (read & write) was coined by Tim O'Reilly and dates from around the turn of the millennium. He described it by saying "you no longer had to be a webmaster to upload information to the internet".

The terminology may not seem that familiar to you, but the companies at the center of this era are: Facebook, Google, Amazon, Twitter, and so on. The reason they look so familiar to you is that we are in the midst of the Web2 era!

Web2 is known as the social internet, where you can share stories, images, videos and other applications. A less pretty aspect of this era is the violation of users' privacy and selling your personal data and preferences to companies that then send you targeted ads.

The reason these companies have become so big is known as the network effect, as well as the bandwagon effect. For example, the network effect means that if many people use an application, more will follow. A kind of sheep behavior. As a result, competition dies out.

The bandwagon effect is the principle that an opinion widely shared by others also becomes your own. If everyone has an account at company X, it must also be the best company. In this way, alternative browsers, social media and search engines have died a quiet death. Many people can still remember Netscape, Alta Vista and Myspace. Some companies were better than their competitors but were driven out by the above effects.

Another aspect that is becoming increasingly important for users is the influence of algorithms and fact checkers, which judge your content and can remove your post, account or forum. This dependence gives these companies enormous power, including on public opinion. They can "steer the herd".

This era is referred to by Andrew Keen in his book "The cult of the amateur". According to him, anyone can post anything on the internet without thorough knowledge, and we have noticed this on social networks like Twitter or Facebook. With freedom should really also come responsibility, but alas.


Web3 (read & write & own) or Web3.0 hasn't really started yet. One could argue that we are in the middle of it, but it is not out of the question that it will be a perpetual transformation.

The term Web3 was coined in 2014 by Gavin Wood, best known for Ethereum. It was only around 2020 that it gained some traction, which until then had been dominated by Big Tech.

Web3 is a period of change. It should herald the end of centralization (Google, Facebook) and ensure the elimination of the middleman (banks, notary). It should be a new internet revolution.

Techniques you can use for this because of their decentralized nature are the blockchain, cryptocurrency, NFTs and DeFi.

Control over your data will be in your own hands, preventing central authorities like Google or Facebook from selling your personal data to advertisers. With a fancy phrase, they call this a Self Sovereign Identity (SSI). You then decide what you all share with whom and your privacy has become your own business.

How does Web3 work?

At Web3, people work on integrating internet applications. "Ideally", you would be able to log in with just one profile to access all the applications and websites you are a member of and want to work with. This will take some doing, but will also have quite a few questionable implications.

The big technology companies are also working on this, but do you really want to put your entire life and work on Google Docs or something? What's to stop Google from ever charging for it and denying you access unless you pay? That everything is connected does come in handy without question, but the danger is clear.

So Web3 should work on integrating all major sites without using private companies. It must become a decentralized internet. The problem is, Big Tech has the money for new developments and is centralized, allowing them to drive specific applications. The rest of the internet consists too much of islands without big money, which makes it all a slow process.

Components Web3

Web3 has some key components and changes in store for us that we will list:

  1. Blockchain. A blockchain is decentralized. This means that not all information is on a company's server, but spread across thousands of nodes. No one can come forward and say that someone no longer has access, because blockchain is permissionless. You don't need permission to join a blockchain network. Everything is decentralized and borderless. You don't have to trust any company or person either, it is trustless, that is, trust is built into the system via a majority of nodes approving or rejecting a new block. A brief description of how blockchain works: eliminating the middleman.

  2. Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI). This means you have complete control over the creation, storage and management of your digital identity. Google or Facebook can then no longer use your personal data because you have not given permission to do so via SSI, or because you share an account without any aspects that identify you. One way that has been proposed to deal with this is through crypto wallets and a peer to peer public and private key. A downside to this method is that you have to pay for everything (small amounts) with cryptocurrency and we are not used to that.

  3. Decentralized apps. Whereas we are currently still dealing with centralized services, such as Amazon and Google, that use the client-server model, dApps allow us to participate independently of these big players in all kinds of operations on the internet that you normally have to purchase from a big provider. A very well-known variant of this is DeFi, where you can make financial transactions without an intermediary that cannot be refused to you. You only have to fulfil the conditions in a smart contract. Many of these decentralized apps, such as exchanges, have their own token, such as Uniswap. If you want to join, the smart contact "says" you can do this and that if you put in an amount of coin X (e.g. UNI). For example, you can borrow, lend and provide liquidity there without an intermediary.

  4. DAO. A DAO is a Decentralized Autonomous Organization. This type of organization works completely autonomously, independently of a central leadership. The participants themselves and the software let everything happen by itself. This is a particularly nifty principle, where the people who hold the governance tokens of such a network get to vote which way they go. Everything is automated from cradle to grave in such a DAO. Once it runs, no one has to open the door, answer the phone or finish the mail. It works forever without any effort. The only thing you have to trust in a DAO is the software.

  5. The Metaverse. This is a collection of 3d virtual worlds where you can do all sorts of things. There are worlds that can look quite a lot like ours, like TheSandbox or Decentraland, but also scifi worlds, computer-generated worlds that don't look like ours at all or ancient civilizations. An important aspect in these worlds is that you can be in possession of all kinds of NFTs. An NFT is a non fungible token, or non-exchangeable token, that is unmistakably owned by a particular individual because ownership is fixed on a blockchain and the private key is in his possession. Technically, you can make almost anything non fungible tokens and sell them online, even your house and car. After all, ownership is fixed via your private key and when you transfer, the private key goes to the new owner. You can make that real estate agent look down his nose. In the Metaverse, you can usually buy land, buy user items that are important in a game and work on your appearance, giving you a very personalized experience. There are even doctor's offices, billboards and shops where you can buy branded shoes and the like. You can also often do quests there and win small prizes with play to earn, but earning a real income from it is rare.

  6. AI. Artificial intelligence will definitely play a big role in Web3. Obviously, this is still in its infancy now, but at some point AI will take over more and more tasks, as it is better suited for this than the static versions of all kinds of much less interactive aspects of Web3. Examples are Siri and Bixby, which can use what you say to them to launch all sorts of things, like a road map or something. The WWW will behave more and more like an organism that wants to go in a certain direction. The usual science fiction stories will again be written about this new possibility. The boundary between reality and the virtual world may start to blur. An important part of this may become the semantic web. This means linking data on the internet through machine learning, among other things.

  7. Open source. This has been going on for a while, with WordPress being one of the first programs to release their source code. This has ensured that not only has creating a website become a piece of cake, but also that it has been tinkered with extensively and its possibilities have exploded. Open source ensures that developments are much faster and that there are no patents and other barriers to expanding applications. Many cryptocurrencies have also used open source or are open protocols.

  8. Peer to peer. More and more things will start happening between peers (equals) instead of the usual client-server model. More and more applications make it possible to establish direct communication between two parties who want to get in touch with each other for whatever reason, without permission or cost. In that case there is no need to log in anywhere.

  9. Ubiquity. Ubiquity means omnipresence. Your personal input in the web environment has nowadays extended not only to logging in from anywhere and having access to all your identities and files, but also to your smart devices. With the IoT (internet of things), you can now remotely turn on your thermostat or see who is at the door when the doorbell rings.

Advantages of Web3

  • You own your data. Currently, your personal data is sold by companies so you can be bombarded with ads. If you share your data, you could charge for it yourself.

  • Linking devices and identities. This allows you to access all your accounts and IoT devices anytime, anywhere without having to log in to do so.

  • The power of Big Tech, such as Google and Facebook, is greatly reduced if people can take back their privacy and these giants have nothing left to sell.

  • Freedom from patronizing all kinds of organizations. You can post things on the internet without any government or company being able to deny you access. This is good news for whistleblowers, dissidents and others who are often denied access to post content. You will probably still have to abide by a country's laws, though, so this will bring new regulations.

  • AI will increasingly be at the user's beck and call. Perhaps at some point it will understand us better than we understand ourselves. A nature lover will not see a car for the search term duck. That may also feel a little creepy for some people.

  • Open source will allow Web3 to develop much faster than Web2 ever could.

Disadvantages of Web3

  • Because it involves a lot of new technology, you will have to keep up to date as a user. Before you know it, you will fall behind and no longer understand how it all works. This can lead to a large group of laggards who want nothing to do with it. This can create a divide.

  • With new technologies come new devices with more possibilities. You then must buy them all. This can cost a lot of money and raw materials.

  • If considerable technical know-how is required, it could also mean that it will hardly get off the ground at all. If Web3 is not rolled out in a super-simple way, so that joining is as easy as making an account on Facebook or something, it could well become a niche market. A small group of enthusiasts who know all about it, but quickly lose the conversation partner when they start talking about it.

  • In the case of Web3, the limitations of blockchain are significant. Working with blocks that have to be validated is just really not practical when the whole world is participating and there are large volumes of transactions. Even if you can rush 1 million transactions through per second, what good is it if 100 million people happen to use your app and there are 25 million transactions per second? This limited scalability needs to be solved before this technology can become mainstream. Buying coins is also not exactly easy for a layman. Are large groups of people going to do it? Are people going to pay a small amount for every fart to do something on a blockchain? Or would they rather pay a fixed amount per month, as they do now to central providers?

  • The Web3 has been called the decentralized web. But to make this "decentralized" web work, you still need "some" devices. Providing these decentral will be rather difficult. Surely there will have to be a company that will make all these devices. Won't you then just get a shift of central players?

  • Who is going to develop the Web3? If it's decentralized, you must have a reason to do it. Improving open source software takes a lot of time, but you also want to make money. Where is the revenue model? How do you get it so that you can earn as much from upgrading open source software as from upgrading proprietary software? That's a challenge though, otherwise you get an amateur Web3 and a pro Web2.

  • Who is going to switch? All your friends are on Facebook and Twitter and the like. If you switch to Web3, you're on your own there. How do you get enough people to sit next to you? For that, people have to be given a very good reason. There are already plenty of better networks than Facebook, for example, but no one goes there because everyone is with Facebook. There must be hefty enticements. And what if they switch? Don't you then just get the same as now? If enough people have gone to application X on Web3, everyone goes there. Then you'll still have the same thing.

  • Jack Dorsey, the founder of Twitter, actually calls many Web3 applications a form of scam. With a lot of venture capital being poured into all sorts of projects, you can actually be assured that the token and shareholders will put forward their own desires and not those of the users. There is of course logics in that. Perhaps the design of Web3 should be made less dependent on investment.

The future of Web3

Everyone will agree that the way Big Tech has got a grip on the WWW cannot be called very florid. The question is whether Web3 will be the solution to this problem.

What we are currently seeing is that even the basics, blockchain and cryptocurrency, are little used. Surely, this will really have to become mainstream before we can speak of Web3. If more than half of the inhabitants of planet earth have never done a transaction in cryptocurrency, how can you expect them to make a quick switch from their familiar applications to unfamiliar ones that you have to work hard for to use?

We expect it to be a very long sit. There will certainly be people eager to take advantage of these new features and slowly more are trickling into the metaverse and controlling their thermometer with their phone, but this is going to be a tortoise and not a hare.

Most people are creatures of convenience and habit and Big Tech companies provide this familiar environment.

Once Web3 becomes a spread bed, as today's popular apps offer, it may start to impress. Until then, better not give up your account with these popular apps just yet. Talking to AI on your own just isn't for everyone.

Test your knowledge

Question: 1/5What is the precursor to the World Wide Web?