Web3: Explain like I'm five

Web3: Explain like I'm five

You've probably heard of Web3 unless you've been living under a rock. Web3 is widely regarded as the Internet's future, and Web3 apps have recently become all the rage. What is Web3? How can developers create Web3 apps?

Let's get started

The first phase of the Internet, Web1, was mainly about providing online content and information. As such, Web1 was largely static and practically only allowed users to read information.

The cloud, which is a remote data storage and processing service accessible over the internet, powers most online services like email, social networking, and shopping. Cloud services are available through Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and other platforms. This means that any information shared by users on these platforms is stored by the cloud service provider employed by an online business, such as food delivery or e-commerce. That is known as Web2

Web3 is the next generation of the internet, with blockchain-based services. Data in Web3 is shared rather than owned by centralised institutions. Furthermore, Web3 prioritises back-end functionality, whereas Web2 prioritised front-end functionality. The advent of dApps, or decentralised applications, which could eventually replace standard applications, is another notable element of the Web3 era.

You may have heard about "Web3.js" while learning about Web3 and its practical uses. What exactly is Web3.js? The Web3.js library is the primary JavaScript library you'll use while creating Web3 applications. This library is primarily used to interface with the Ethereum blockchain. Web3.js can be thought of as an Ethereum JavaScript API. As a developer, you can use the Web3.js library to create clients or applications that communicate with the Ethereum blockchain. If you wish to properly deal with an Ethereum blockchain from JavaScript, you'll need to bridge the gap between JavaScript and Web3.

The transition to Web3 is, without a doubt, the Internet’s most significant paradigm shift since the emergence of Web2. So, what is Web3? Well, whereas Web1 was a largely static, read-only web, and Web2 was a dynamic, read-write web, Web3 will provide a decentralized, unmediated read-write Internet. Obviously, cryptocurrency is a key building block for Web3 since one needs to transact crypto coins or tokens to participate in them. But Web3 is a lot more than that and its use cases are still evolving. The best example of the Web3 universe is NFTs or non-fungible tokens, which are bought using crypto coins.

Though there is a lot of interest around both, experts said both are not correlated. The metaverse is about creating digital avatars and interacting with others in virtual spaces, be it offices or arcades. It does not have to be on a blockchain.

Most role-playing games offer similar services. Imagine metaverse as a role-playing game in a 3D realm. Microsoft is rolling out metaverses through MS Teams in 2022, which will probably run on Azure rather than Ethereum or Solana.

The whole point of Web3 is decentralisation. While building a metaverse on blockchain is a possibility, it does not make it a purely Web3 use case.

An example

Below, I shall list the differences between Web1, Web2 and Web3 for clearer understanding.

web1 - Web1

web2 - Web2

web3 - Web 3

Thank you for reading.

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