Web 3.0 | The Emergence of Blockchain Technology |

Daniel Chan
5 min readJun 17, 2022

Chances are if you use the World Wide Web, you’ve come across the terms Web3 and blockchain more than once. So what exactly do these terms mean?

The World Wide Web (www)

Before we get into Web 3.0, let’s talk about the history and origin of the web. The web was originally born in 1989 when a scientist by the name of Tim Berners-Lee developed protocols which allowed information to be shared across the world. In 1990, Lee had developed the first inception of a web server and browser. This was the start and emergence of Web 1.0.

Web 1.0 : Read-Only

Web 1.0 occurred roughly between 1990–2004. It refers to a time where the majority users were content consumers. Accessing the web kind was kind of like going to the library and reading a book. It consisted of mainly static websites with zero interactions among users, leading it to be known as the read-only web.

Web 2.0 : Read-Write

Web 2.0 began in 2004 and is still very much the web we use today. The shift towards Web 2.0 is largely due to the emergence of social media platforms. Social media was a big reason for the web’s mass adoption and allowed users to publish their own content. More platforms were created specifically for user to user content. Instead of just reading off a static webpage for info, users were able to interact with web pages and also put their own content out there for others to see. This however, also allowed companies track your views and clicks on a webpage, which created an advertising revenue model for the web.

Web 3.0 : Read-Write-Own

Web 3.0 is a term coined in 2014 by Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood. As it is still relatively a fairly new idea, many others have their own ideas of what the future of Web 3.0 actually is. However, the overall consensus is that it represents a decentralized online ecosystem based on blockchain technology.

With blockchain, digital ownership is made possible with the introduction of tokens. Digital assets can be sold or traded, and all verifiable via the blockchain. Present day it can seem kind of silly as people are paying millions of dollars for monkey pictures, but the possibilities of what blockchain tech can be used for is intriguing.

So what exactly is blockchain and decentralization?

Blockchain and Decentralization

Blockchain is a variant of distributed ledger technology (DLT), a decentralized database managed by multiple people. It differs from a traditional database where instead of storing data in tables, rows, or column like a traditional database, blockchain stores data in blocks that are algorithmically and cryptographically appended by hash.

Decentralization in blockchain refers to the transfer of control and decision making from a centralized entity (government, company, individual) to the entire distributed network. Basically, there is no middle-man dealing with any requests or transactions that an individual tries to make.

Pros and Cons

There are many solutions to problems that decentralization and blockchain technology achieves. Some of these include:

  1. Transparency/Trust

We trust companies, governments, and banks with our information and assets all the time. This can cause issues if these institutions have different agendas. What if we don’t want our data to be sold and used? What if we need some money transaction to be instantaneous? It is well known that banks have wait times and big companies like Google sell your information. Decentralization allows each individual to eliminate the trust required to rely on a third party. History of changes made on the chain are transparent and every change made on the blockchain is verifiable.

2. No single point of failure

A blockchain isn’t controlled by a single entity because blocks of information are stored on and verified by multiple devices across the network. Because of this, a blockchain doesn’t have a single point of failure, meaning there will not be downtime. In contrast, centralized web sites and networks go down all the time.

3. Security/Immutability

Data stored on the blockchain is immutable. Due to blockchains hashing techniques to store each transaction on a block, and its append-only data structure, there is no chance for anyone to modify or alter the data once it is stored. This also increases the integrity of blockchain systems as it is also monitored and maintained by miners who validate transactions 24/7. With this amount of oversight it is basically invulnerable to fraud.

Some downsides to this new tech are:

  1. Scalability

Currently a main issue with blockchain is that it is not very scalable. This means that a network has a limited capability to handle data in a short time. The more traffic a network has, the longer it will take to process and validate a transaction.

2. Energy Consuming

A lot of computing power is required to validate transactions and mine cryptocurrencies, which requires a lot of electricity. With more people adopting blockchain and crypto, more miners join to try to make profits.

3. Regulation/Crime

With blockchains recent emergence, there has not been many rules or regulations set up to keep users accountable or safe. On top of that, everything done on the network is anonymous, which can lead to misuse/scams.

There is great debate as to whether or not these things are worth incorporating into the new web. Some people don’t see blockchain as the future as there are many downsides in its current state of development, but many people are currently trying to further advance blockchain tech and fix some of the issues which have been mentioned.

I’m sure most people have only heard of blockchain through the exploring of cryptocurrencies, as this is the most common implementation of blockchain today; however, blockchain introduces many other possibilities and avenues with DeFi, dApps, DAOs, gaming, etc. There’s no denying that this emerging tech has great potential. As we are still in the very early stages of blockchain development, it is exciting to think where it can take us in the next decade.

Most visited sites annually

This article just barely scratches the surface of the complexity of blockchain and decentralization, so if you’d like to further get in the details I recommend taking a look at these resources:

--

--