Exploring Web3

The Dawn of a Decentralized Internet

In recent years, the buzz around cryptocurrencies and NFTs has dominated headlines, yet these are merely facets of a broader technological shift toward what is known as Web3. This emerging term encompasses a proposed new era of the internet—one that promises decentralization and user empowerment but is often misunderstood or conflated with similar concepts like Web 3.0.

What is Web3?

Web3 represents a transformative approach to the internet, moving away from centralized data control by a few dominant tech entities to a decentralized model based on blockchain technology. This new model allows for data to be stored on a network of computers linked through blockchain, enhancing security and user autonomy by enabling individuals to own and control their personal data.

To appreciate the significance of Web3, it’s crucial to look back at the internet’s evolution:

Web 1.0: The 'Read-Only' Internet Era

Tim Berners-Lee, a pivotal figure in computer science, developed the World Wide Web in 1989, enabling the creation of websites composed of hyperlinked pages accessible via internet browsers.

In his pursuit of a more effective means for sharing information among researchers across various institutions, Berners-Lee launched the first-ever website in 1991. This site served as a guide on how to use the internet.

Tim Berners-Lee, recognized as the founder of the World Wide Web, was featured speaking at the Open Government Partnership Global Summit in Ottawa in May 2019.

Initially, websites during this period were static, serving primarily as information portals without interactive features. These ‘read-only’ sites were curated and updated by webmasters who maintained control over the content. In 1992, the number of websites was just ten, but by 1994, after the internet became publicly accessible, this number grew to 3,000.

The internet’s exponential growth continued, and by the time Google was founded in 1996, there were already two million websites. As of last year, this number had ballooned to approximately 1.2 billion, though it’s estimated that only about 17 percent of these sites remain active today.

Web 2.0: The Emergence of the Interactive Social Web

The evolution from Web 1.0’s static pages to Web 2.0 marked a significant transition to a “read-write” internet. This shift transformed websites into dynamic, interactive hubs where users could not only consume but also create content. The emergence of platforms like Wikipedia, Blogger, Flickr, and Tumblr enabled everyday users to become content creators, drastically changing the internet landscape.

The term “Web 2.0” was popularized by Tim O’Reilly, a noted technology publisher, in 2004, encapsulating this new, collaborative online environment.

As the internet evolved, social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram, along with the rise of mobile applications, significantly enhanced connectivity. Despite their distinct operational models, these platforms formed what are often called “walled gardens,” where the parent companies exert substantial control over what users can do and see, limiting interaction across different services.

Major technology firms like Amazon, Google, and Apple have become integral to virtually every aspect of our digital lives. They manage how we access, store, and pay for our digital content and even handle our personal data, often without our full awareness.

Web3 vs. Web 3.0

The terms Web3 and Web 3.0 are frequently conflated, yet they represent distinct concepts. When examining the differences between Web3 and Web 3.0, it’s essential to focus on their foundational concepts, technological implementations, and the potential impacts on user experience and data management. Here’s a look at how these two versions of the web differ from each other:

Web3: The Decentralized Web

Web3 represents a paradigm shift toward a decentralized internet architecture. This model is fundamentally built on blockchain technology, which provides a robust framework for users to control their own data without the intermediation of traditional centralized authorities like tech giants.

In Web3, the blockchain acts not only as a secure and transparent ledger for financial transactions but also as a platform for decentralized applications (dApps) that enhance user sovereignty over personal data and online interactions. This infrastructure supports a more democratic internet where power and control are distributed across a network of users rather than concentrated in the hands of a few corporations.

Web 3.0: The Semantic Web

Sometimes referred to as the Semantic Web, Web 3.0 is an extension of Tim Berners-Lee’s original vision. It aims to create a more interconnected and accessible internet, where data is not only linked across platforms but is also structured in a way that machines can understand and process. This capability would allow for more intelligent, context-aware applications that can use this data to provide more meaningful and targeted user experiences.

The Promise of Web3

Web3, often heralded as the future of the internet, introduces a transformative concept known as the “token economy.” This innovative economic model pivots from traditional internet frameworks, where major platforms accumulate most of the financial benefits, to a more user-centric approach where individuals gain tangible rewards for their contributions online.

In the Web3 landscape, tokens serve as more than just digital currency. They are integral to creating a decentralized network where users can earn tokens for a variety of online activities, including content creation, data sharing, and participation in community governance. These tokens can then be used within the ecosystem in several meaningful ways. For instance, they can grant ownership stakes in platforms, similar to shares in a company, giving users a vested interest in the platform’s success and governance. This stakeholding aspect encourages a democratic environment where token holders have a say in major decisions and developments.

Moreover, tokens can provide voting rights within digital communities, enabling users to influence decisions that affect the platform’s operation and evolution. This feature promotes a governance model that is more inclusive and representative of its user base than traditional centralized platforms, where decisions are typically made behind closed corporate doors.

Another significant advantage of the token economy is the direct monetization of user engagement and creativity. Tokens earned on a platform can potentially be traded for other digital currencies or even fiat money, providing a real income stream from activities that users are already engaging in freely. This could incentivize higher quality content and more vibrant community interaction, as users are directly compensated for their contributions.

However, the shift towards a token economy is not without its challenges. The scalability of blockchain technology, which underpins Web3, remains a significant hurdle. Additionally, there are unresolved regulatory issues regarding the classification and handling of tokens, which could impact their adoption and functionality. Despite these obstacles, the potential of Web3 to reshape online economic interactions remains vast, offering a more equitable distribution of value and greater user empowerment in the digital realm.


Web3 marks a pivotal shift in the digital landscape, heralding a decentralized internet that returns control to users. This era goes beyond enhancing security and autonomy with blockchain; it redefines online value and ownership.

Web3 introduces a token economy, rewarding user participation and content creation with digital assets of real-world value. This model democratizes earnings distribution on the internet and gives users a stake in the platforms they engage with, allowing them to earn tokens for various online activities. These tokens, offering both voting rights and ownership, promote a democratic internet where decisions are collectively made.

However, Web3 faces challenges like scalability and regulatory issues that may impact its adoption. As this new era progresses, the distinction between Web3 and Web 3.0 may fade, merging decentralized principles with advanced data processing.

Ultimately, Web3 advocates for a fairer, more participatory digital ecosystem, promising a shift in how internet interactions and ownership are managed, setting the stage for a new phase in digital evolution.

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Want to learn more about the basics?

Bitcoin is often hailed as the pioneer of decentralised digital currency that operates outside the conventional financial system. Unlike traditional currencies controlled by central authorities like governments or banks, Bitcoin functions on a peer-to-peer network facilitated by blockchain technology.

Blockchain, the backbone of Bitcoin, ensures security, transparency, and immutability by recording all transactions across a network of computers. Each transaction undergoes verification by network nodes through cryptography and gets documented in a publicly distributed ledger known as a blockchain.

Our comprehensive guide, “What is Ethereum? and What is Solana?” provides invaluable insights for those looking to grasp the fundamentals of Bitcoin or Blockchain.

At the heart of Bitcoin’s proof of work operation is the process of mining. Far from the traditional image of miners with pickaxes, Bitcoin mining involves sophisticated hardware and complex cryptographic puzzles.

Miners are pivotal in confirming transactions and adding new blocks to the blockchain. Miners validate transactions and secure the network by dedicating computational power to solving cryptographic puzzles. In return, they’re rewarded with newly minted bitcoins and transaction fees from the blocks they’ve validated.

This incentivisation mechanism not only ensures the network’s decentralisation and security but also controls the supply of new bitcoins, aligning with the digital currency’s deflationary design. If you want to learn more about how mining works, take a look at our ‘What is Proof of Stake?‘ article.

Coach Dani

Kickstarting her crypto journey with student tips, Coach Dani balances life in IVF labs with her love for art, running, and skiing. An emerging skateboarder, she also infuses Crypto Coach with vibrant visuals, making the complex world of cryptocurrency a colorful adventure.