Tuesday, February 15, 2022
The internet is one of the most important technologies of the modern era. With its enormous influence on our lives, it is not a static basis, but, like related technologies, is constantly evolving. While Web 1.0 in the 1990s was still a very passive affair in which users only consumed a limited amount of information via websites, social media and e-commerce entered our everyday lives with Web 2.0 from the early 2000s. Users can now create content - user-generated content - and interact with each other via websites. With this development, however, parts of the internet passed into the control of a few large companies like Google, Facebook or Amazon, whose centralised services run on a limited number of servers. This contradicts the basic idea of the internet originally conceived by John Berners-Lee as decentralised.
As a solution to this problem and at the same time a reaction to technical developments, a new term has been established for some years now: Web 3.0. But what exactly is it all about? In order to clarify this question, it is worthwhile to observe the amount of data that accumulates year after year.
While 33 zetabytes of digital data were generated in 2018, the estimates for 2025 are 175 zetabytes - a fivefold increase (source: Statista 2021). And this development is not expected to stop. It is already almost impossible for people to manage the existing data, let alone analyse it and use it profitably. At the same time, individual users are increasingly losing control over their personal data. Pictures, chat histories, locations or search histories - all this is in the hands of large companies that act as - more or less - trustworthy intermediaries and make interaction between users possible in the first place (platform economy). What exactly happens with the data obtained is often not traceable or influenceable. This is where Web 3.0 and decentralisation in the form of distributed ledger technologies (DLT), smart contracts, decentralised financial markets (DeFi) and big data come into play.
With Web 3.0, an open network is emerging, without trust issues and access restrictions. This openness is based, among other things, on the use of open source software and the participation of an accessible development community worldwide. Web 3.0 also eliminates the need for third parties to act as substitutes for trust between two parties who are strangers to each other.
The rise of DLTs such as blockchain or the tangle of IOTA enables the tamper-proof decentralisation of data. With the transition to Web 3.0, resources are distributed globally in data centres on servers of a wide variety of actors instead of centrally at individual providers. Cryptographically secured transaction systems eliminate the need for third parties as trust intermediaries. This means that the users themselves can easily share or lend their own data in a targeted manner without losing control over it and giving up their own privacy. For example, it would be possible to grant app providers access to payment or address data and also to withdraw it from them again as soon as they no longer need the data.
At the same time, Web 3.0 in principle allows everyone to participate in the network - without the permission of a higher authority or a company. This brings us back to the basic idea of the Internet in its early days. In the long term, previously unexpected markets with new business models will open up and the internet as we know it today will change once again.
The Web as I envisaged it, we have not seen it yet. The future is still so much bigger than the past.Tim Berners-Lee
The emergence of Web 3.0 and decentralisation will of course not happen overnight. The first foundations are currently being laid with DLTs such as Ethereum or IOTA. The first well-known examples of Web 3.0 applications are Storj as a decentralised counterpart to Dropbox, LBRY as an alternative to YouTube or the Orchid Protocol, which rethinks classic VPNs.
We at byte5 are also intensively and permanently involved in the further development of the internet. With our core technologies such as IOTA, but also Pimcore, Umbraco and Laravel, we have a mature technological basis to support our customers in benefiting from Web 3.0 applications.
We have specifically selected our technologies in such a way that they map the various components of Web 3.0. The basis is IOTA, and all services based on it can be realised with Laravel, Umbraco or Pimcore, for example. In this way, we help our customers get ready for the future at an early stage and take a pioneering role in the market.Christian Wendler, CEO & Founder