Web 3.0 represents the next iteration or phase of the evolution of the Web/internet and could potentially be as disruptive and represent as big a paradigm shift as Web 2.0. Web 3.0 is built upon the core concepts of decentralization, openness, and greater user utility.
While there is as yet no standardized definition of Web 3.0, it does have a few defining features:
- Decentralization: This is a core tenet of Web 3.0. In Web 2.0, computers use the HTTP protocol in the form of unique web addresses to find information, which is stored at a fixed location generally on a single server. With Web 3.0, because information would be found based on its content, it could be stored in multiple locations simultaneously and hence be decentralized. This would break down the massive databases that are currently held by the internet giants like Facebook (now Meta) and Google, and prevent their undue enrichment by handing greater control to users. With Web 3.0, the data generated by disparate and increasingly powerful computing resources including mobile phones, desktops, appliances, vehicles, and sensors will be sold by users through decentralized data networks, ensuring that users retain ownership control.
- Trustless and Permissionless: In addition to decentralization and being based upon open-source software, Web 3.0 will also be "trustless" (i.e., the network will allow participants to interact directly without going through a trusted intermediary) and "permissionless" (meaning anyone can participate without authorization from a governing body). As a result, Web 3.0 applications will either run on blockchains or decentralized peer-to-peer networks or a combination thereof—such decentralized apps are referred to as Dapps.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning: In Web 3.0, computers will be able to understand information like humans, through technologies based upon Semantic Web concepts and natural language processing. Web 3.0 will also use machine learning, which is a branch of AI that uses data and algorithms to imitate the way that humans learn, gradually improving its accuracy. These capabilities will enable computers to produce faster and more relevant results in a host of areas like drug development and new materials, as opposed to merely targeted advertising that forms the bulk of current efforts.
- Connectivity and Ubiquity: With Web 3.0, information and content are more connected and ubiquitous, accessed by multiple applications and with an increasing number of everyday devices connected to the Web—an example being the Internet of Things.