The internet, arguably the greatest tech invention in the history of humankind, was built on open protocols. The inventors envisioned a worldwide platform that allowed everyone who wishes to participate in the service to do so.
Original thing I wanted to do was to make it a collaborative medium, a place where we [could] all meet and read and write.Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of Worldwide Web
Initially, the internet flourished as a decentralized community-governed network. However, at this stage (Web 1.0), content consumers outnumbered creators.
Since then it has undergone evolution.
Until last year, the so-called tech titans (Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon) built software and services that grew at an interestingly faster rate that the open protocol systems couldn’t catch up – Web 2.0.
Hence, the former greatly controlled (and still controls) the internet. For example, you can barely use the internet without services owned by the above-mentioned corporations.
On the other hand, Web 2.0 allowed people to actively participate by creating content through blogs and social networks.
Unfortunately, the tech giants (essentially the main profiteers of Web 2.0) couldn’t find a reasonable business model that gave their users enough equity.
At their expense, Web 2.0 founders have exploited and monetized huge amounts of data generated by their platform users. This has been their core business model; selling user-generated data without meaningful consent. Hence, most of the internet value is concentrated in the hands of the corporations founders’ hands.
The current era of the internet (Web 3.0) is defined by the introduction of blockchain technology (I highly recommend you read this article. It explains blockchain technology in plain English, using analogies you can easily fathom).
Web 3.0 combines the decentralized nature of Web 1.0 with the modern features of Web 2.0 to reclaim power back to creators and users. It was popularized when bitcoin went mainstream. Here, you own your data and control who can benefit from it.
Blockchain is a decentralized, distributed ledger used for tracking digital assets and transactions, and digital assets can either be tangible or intangible.
I’m a great fanatic of blockchain technology. It has so much potential in revolutionizing the internet, more so the finance industry. Smart contracts – especially NFTs – are already making waves for solving equitable ownership and compensation. I’m not just a great fanatic… but one with skin in the game – I own fractions of some cryptocoins, including Ether.
Tip me in ether via this address: 0x2D7C8fc1Fa9e18B16Eb81bd8ccD558134925E097