Web 3.0 is a concept for the internet’s future phase, which envisions a decentralised ecosystem built on blockchain technology. It would be a change from the present ecosystem’s centralised mega-platforms and businesses, according to proponents, and would repair what’s wrong with the internet today while also reversing the decline of democracy.
What do proponents of Web 3.0 think is wrong with today’s online ecosystem? Web 3.0 is the most recent Internet technology, combining machine learning, artificial intelligence, and blockchain to enable real-time human communication. The frosting on the cake is that web 3.0 not only allows people to own their data, but it also allows them to get reimbursed for their online time.
The current closed and controlled ecosystem is dominated by a few technology winners – Meta and Amazon, to name two. They act as gatekeepers or middlemen in people’s digital life in numerous ways. Competing against platforms with a critical mass of users is extremely difficult, even if someone develops a superior product, due to the network effects of platforms with a critical mass of users.
These platforms compel people who want to fully participate in society to join. Their recommendation systems, product features, and community guidelines all have a significant impact on what people consume in their daily lives and the actors who find out how to best exploit them have disproportionate power.
A centralised ecosystem also means that these gatekeepers can collect and use vast amounts of personal data in ways that individual users have limited control over. Such an environment is helpless in the face of abuse (as seen in the Cambridge Analytica controversy), data leaks, and strategies that rely on access to users’ data for micro-targeted advertising.
What is Web 3.0? and why is it so important for Data Privacy and Security
Platforms are under pressure under this paradigm to design their services in ways that increase user engagement and tracking, even if those design decisions may not necessarily match with democratic norms or the public good.
Defenders argue that Web 3.0 introduces structural innovations that render the current online ecosystem’s inherent problems essentially outdated. “Platforms and programmes created on Web3 won’t be owned by a central gatekeeper, but rather by users,” says Gavin Wood, known as the “Father of Web 3.0.” Its blockchain infrastructure, which is the same technology that underpins cryptocurrencies, allows for this.
There will be no need for large, privately-owned data centres in Web 3.0; instead, data will be securely stored and spread among many devices. Anyone with the financial means and specialised knowledge can use this architecture to make their device a hub. Because data is no longer housed centrally, such a design decreases the possibility of massive data leaks.