Science

What is Web 3.0 and how could it transform the Internet? – BBC News Africa

  • Lucia Blasco
  • bbc world of news

an hour ago

Author of the photo, fake images

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Web3, the “third generation” of the Internet, promises a more secure and free structure.

In our hyperconnected world dominated by web connections, it’s hard to imagine any expert saying that the Internet will need a “mass overhaul.”

Yet it is precisely this ubiquity that has led more and more technologists to work on what they call a “new phase” of the Internet.

They insist that this “second generation” internet must change to be much smarter; it must evolve to become a “semantic web” that, in addition to being more efficient, offers us greater control over our data.

This is what they foresee with the arrival of Web 3.0, which many players in the sector consider the “great revolution of the Internet”.

“Web3” will allow machines to interpret a much larger volume of data. This will allow us, among other things, to interact much more deeply with other users from any platform.

In this “new chapter” of the internet, we will no longer need complex operating systems or large hard drives to store information, because absolutely everything will be in the cloud. And everything will be much faster and customizable.

In general, it could be said that in Web3, the machine will “collaborate” more effectively with the human.

But its main value is the decentralization of the internet: creating a fairer network and stripping the “internet giants” of their power, as the promoters of the concept point out.

This concept, which has already echoed in Silicon Valley, has been developing for years.

The term was coined in 2014 by the co-founder of the ethereum cryptocurrency, Gavin Wood.

Just as Tim Berners-Lee is considered the “Father of the Internet,” Wood is often referred to as the “Father of Etherum” for being its co-founder and broadcaster.

Etherum is the second most used blockchain protocol in the world. And this technology is the basis of Web3.

Author of the photo, Noam Galai/Getty Images

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Gavin Wood invented the concept of “Web3” in 2014.

Wood, creator of the Polkadot open source project, started from the idea that it was necessary to “reshape the internet”: create a new architecture with a specific protocol so that services are decentralized.

To do this, the British software engineer founded the Web3 Foundation – to “fund the research and development teams that build the foundations” of Web3 – and created Parity Technologies, a Berlin-based blockchain infrastructure company for the ” decentralized web.

But what does this mean for decentralization?

“In its beginnings, the Internet was an open and decentralized protocol. It began to be centralized in the 1990s with the great technology we know today,” Ursula O’Kuinghttons, director of communications at Parity Technologies, told BBC Mundo.

“What is wanted with Web3 is to return to the essence, in the beginning, of what the Internet was: that no one controls to a great extent this communication tool that is so present in our day to day”, adds O’Kuinghttons.

A key element of the structure of Web3 is blockchain technology, which allows creating “blocks” and forming data chains, and which we know above all from cryptocurrencies.

If Web 1.0 (Web1) was based on hyperlinks and Web 2.0 (Web2) on social networks, Web 3.0 (Web3) will be based on blockchain technology.

“We need to be open-minded because blockchain is much more than a cryptocurrency. Web3 is much more interesting than the value of a token,” says O’Kuinghttons.

In fact, the elements that make Web3 possible have been developed over the last few years and, in a way, it is already a reality.

But its technology has not yet been assimilated or used massively by the general public.

“A faster, safer and more open web”

Author of the photo, Colin Evan

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Colin Evran, who has been developing Web3 for five years

Colin Evran leads the Filecoin and IPFS ecosystems, two protocols created by Protocol Labs, a San Francisco, California-based blockchain technology company that also aims to “decentralize the web.”

“A large part of my job is to speed up the transition from Web2 to Web3,” he tells BBC Mundo.

“Our goal is to upgrade the web to be faster, more secure, more resistant to attacks, and more open.”

Author of the photo, Donald Iain Smith/Getty Images

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One of the goals of Web3 is to give Internet users power over their data.

To understand how Web3 will work and how fast and resilient it will be, we must first understand how the Internet was created and how it has changed over the years.

“If we look back to the early days of the Internet, in the 1960s and 1970s, we see that the Internet existed even before the web itself: it was an amalgamation of cables and a network that ‘connected things,'” explains Evran.

“Originally it was a government project called Arpanet to transfer information.”

In the early 1990s, Web 1.0 took off, Evran continues. Sites like Yahoo! they were static web pages that relied on hyperlinks.

Web 2.0 appeared in the 2000s. The main improvement, according to Evran, is that “it allows us to read and write interactively, that web and mobile applications can ‘talk’ to each other and that we can interact with them.”

“The development of Web 3.0 adds to all this the building of trust, since civil liberties will be incorporated into its underlying structure,” he argues.

He also criticizes the “centralization” of Web2.

“Some storage service providers, banks and big governments hoard all the power and can control and manipulate data at will to make money and feed their interests,” says Evran.

“We cannot believe that these organizations do not manipulate our data,” he adds.

So what changes with Web3?

“Change the entire architecture of the web!” Evran replies.

For example, the expert claims that Web3 “will allow users to access thousands of data centers around the world and choose who stores their data and how.”

Amazon, Google and Microsoft currently lead the cloud data storage market.

The first company, together with its subsidiary AWS, controls 41.5% of the total, according to McAfee data from 2019. It is followed by Microsoft’s Azure, with 29.4%, and Google Cloud, with 3%.

These three companies own half of the world’s 600 large data centers, according to a report by Synergy Research Group.

Author of the photo, fake images

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Amazon Web Services (AWS) controls more than 40% of the data storage market.

On the other hand, Evran explains that in Web3 there will be “clear mechanisms” to verify the data and eliminate problems such as fake news.

As for the more technical part, there is the question of protocols: “When you open Google or another browser and go to a website, you use the HTTP protocol; you ‘tell’ this protocol to look for a file in a specific location” . .

“It’s like, to find a book, you have to force it through the New York Public Library. If that library collapses or the government puts up a security guard, you can no longer access the contents of the library. It’s a controlled library.” centrally”. structure.”

“In the world of Web3, every copy of the book will be encrypted in a cryptographic algorithm that cannot be tampered with. And we will be able to share it even when connected to the network”, summarizes Evran.

Author of the photo, fake images

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HTTP is the communication protocol that currently governs the Internet and works as a centralized server.

It is a -to-peer (P2P) technology that allows the exchange of resources in equal parts, directly between several users, which, according to Evran, is not possible with the current Web2 and the HTTP protocol used.

Úrsula O’Kuinghttons explains that Web3’s blockchain technology is very secure and “until now, in more than 10 years, no one has been able to hack it.”

“The issue of security is crucial in the times we live in because our lives and our data are increasingly focused on the Internet,” adds the specialist.

a slow process

These changes are intended to give Internet users more power over the information they access and the data they share, and ultimately create a freer and more equal Internet.

But the promise that Web 3.0 will be able to put an end to the hegemony of technological giants like Google or Facebook raises questions.

Some skeptical voices are heard, like that of Elon Musk, who a few days ago posted an ironic comment on Twitter: “Has anyone seen Web3? I can’t find it.”

Or that of Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, who said that Web3 “is a centralized entity, but with a different label. […]. “

But Colin Evran does not lose his enthusiasm.

“The transition from Web1 to Web2 was a big transition that took many years. The transition from Web2 to Web3 is inevitable, but it won’t happen overnight, it will happen for many years.

“The number of developers involved in this project is a clear indicator that those building the Internet of the future are betting on Web3,” he adds.

He believes that Web3 “will update the Internet with a completely new paradigm and much more democratic than Web2”.

“If we focus on building the web, in the next five or 10 years we’ll be putting data back in the hands of users. And that’s the world I want for myself and my kids.”

Author of the photo, fake images

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We are still at the dawn of Web3…

O’Kuinghttons agrees that the change “will not be an easy task, but it is increasingly urgent that we have a more egalitarian and fair internet.” […].”

“We are still in a very, very early phase, all this is starting to develop and is still in the construction phase,” explains the specialist.

“But in 2021, we’ve already seen a big push with the push of NFTs and metaverses. And in 2022, we’ll see some crucial changes, like the expansion of these technologies, which is none other than Web3.”

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