A brave new world: blockchain and the emergence of Web 3.0

A brave new world: blockchain and the emergence of Web 3.0

James Morgan
James Morgan
Co-Founder of BlockRocket
May 7, 2019 5 min read

Blockchain — and its associated technologies — is set to play a key role in the evolution of Web 3.0, and the democratic decentralisation of data.

Web 1.0 — The beginning

Back in the 90s when the internet became a living breathing beast, we saw the birth of a new paradigm, a revolution in the form of information and communications. Suddenly the world didn’t seem like such a big place; people could communicate, share ideas and exchange data, and applications could be built which could be accessed by billions of people around the world. In time, this became known as Web 1.0.

Web 2.0 — Network effect

In the early days of the internet, websites were focused purely on the retrieval and the display of content to users, with the vast majority of users simply acting as consumers of this content. Web 2.0 emerged in the 2000s as a second revolution of the internet. Software, PCs and technology evolved and facilitated a more interactive, richer, and social-centric engagement with applications and websites. Applications were elevated from static set of rules and started to become networks, which were not only interactive from a UX perspective but also fostered social interactions with other participants. Social networks and data aggregation become the norm, while user participation and **network effect** was the driving force and a deterministic factor of success of many projects.

Web 3.0 — Brave new world

In 2006 **Tim Berners-Lee, best known as the inventor of the World Wide Web, spoke of the term Web 3.0 and defined it as the [Semantic Web](https://www.w3.org/standards/semanticweb/)**, roughly defined as a newly structured world wide web which can be read directly by computers, designed to be organised and categorised by more than just people.

This vision hasn’t yet come to complete fruition. But there have been advancements in the realms of how information can be stored decentrally; in the widespread adoption of secure and encrypted messaging clients; and in the understanding that one’s online presence has value to those who consume and hoard your data. Tim Berners-Lee himself is furthering advancements in this realm, with **Solid** — a project that’s aiming to provide greater data sovereignty and privacy.

It’s within this context that blockchain and associated technologies are operating — driving us towards a world where users have more control, a greater understanding of the software they interact with, and a clearer sense of what those interactions mean. It provides the trust mechanism and platform which could enable the Semantic Web originally proposed in 2006.

A potential solution to Web 3.0 has emerged in the form of public blockchains, in particular Ethereum. Back in 2008, Bitcoin was created and used as a solution for a decentralised, censorship resistant, digital currency. In 2014, Ethereum followed in its footsteps as a fully decentralised **Turing complete** computational platform. The ability to define **smart contracts **started to fulfil some of the definitions of Web 3.0.

Web 3.0 is a very loose term, but change is happening right now as focus shifts from centralised behemoths, such as Google and Facebook, to a more democratic decentralisation of data, fostering much-needed changes in power, control, and identity dynamics. This should mean a true paradigm shift in how users engage with organisations.

The time could be right…

After many publicised data hacks, end users are increasingly concerned with privacy, data portability, and self-sovereign identity. The big corporations of the world wide web are data silos, and awareness is growing of how personal data is monetised and how the content individuals produce is used and often abused, even being stolen.

Talk of seismic shifts in behaviour may sound far fetched, but it does have sound roots. There is an appetite for change among early adopters who are educating, disrupting and laying the seeds of change that are increasingly coming to the forefront of societal thinking. And public, permissionless and trustless blockchains could be the key to fulfilling some of these goals:

  • Public blockchains and distributed ledger technologies (DLTs) provide an open, transparent, fault-tolerant, and censorship-resistant record of data.

  • Permissionless means that there is no single overseeing body which controls the data. Participants in the network adhere to the consensus mechanisms. Bad actors can not influence the data without a majority agreement on the network.

  • Trustless means you don’t need to trust anyone else in the network. Therefore you can have confidence that when you utilise it, the results you get are valid. Backed by shared protocols and cryptography which replaces the middle-man, making transactions and values exchange trustless.

Not all these points are defined as a hard and fast rules, and depending on the business and problem requirements they can be substituted and modified to produce different results.

Fundamentally though, in a public, decentralised blockchain no single person has control of the network or the data; each participant can be in full control of what he or she does when interacting with decentralised application.

A new breed of application is being built to interact with blockchains called dApps (decentralised applications) and they sit on top of a ledger and utilise a new backbone of computing power and data storage.

How we can help

Although many of these exciting new technologies are real things of today and can be used, elbowing them into the enterprise space isn’t a viable and sensible approach and care needs to be taken to make sure its the correct decision right now to utilise them. We foresee over the coming months and years, innovative use-cases will emerge which can leverage blockchain and thrust the technology into the mainstream. The future is exciting as we see an increasing and growing interest in what public blockchains and Web 3.0 really means and how it can be utilised in the consumer and enterprise world.

The question is that now the decentralised model is proven and out the bag, can it be stopped? Only time will tell if further traction is made and nobody can state right now what the end game will look like. At BlockRocket, we know that along the way we can help research, analysis, design and deliver solutions which fit the needs of businesses today.

To understand further the potentials of Blockchain and DLTs please reach out to us via email (human@blockrocket.tech) or on our website blockrocket.tech

Follow us on twitter — @blockrockettech and sign up to our community meetup — Blockchain Manchester