History of Web 3.0

How web evolved and paved the way for the new financial world!

The internet, since its discovery, has revolutionized the computer and democratized information which is now available to all. With its humble beginnings in the late ’60s and early 70’s, when it was a connection between few computers, the internet has grown multi-folds, touching the lives of every individual today. While the next couple of decades remained steady since its inception, the actual steam to the internet’s growth engine came in the ’90s when the popularity of the internet skyrocketed, and the content moved from being more dynamic and user-controlled and oriented. As this trend made the internet famous, the ammunition for the next level is already getting ready when the internet will be more decentralized driven by artificial intelligence and 3D graphics, making it more agile, better connected, and universal. 

While the above paragraph speaks about the past, present, and future of the internet in a single go, in reality, the difference between how the internet functioned and will function is a little more complex- both in terms of the content aspect, user reach and the technical aspects. Let us dive into a little more detail to understand each version of the internet and its difference. 

Web 1.0  (1970-1990)

Web 1.0 refers to the humble beginnings of the World Wide Web. For the first few decades, the internet remained a rare commodity and was available only to the select few majorly who could afford it and were technically sound to use it. This period also had limited content creators, and a vast number of users were only content consumers. The content created during this period was pretty static and was majorly informative and less interactive. Personal and single-page web pages were pretty standard in this era hosted on ISP-run web servers or free web hosting services.

It wouldn’t be wrong to say that WEB 1.0 was more of a content delivery network- an easy platform to transfer information from one person to another via websites and webpages, and the content was served from the server file system.

Web 2.0 (1990-2018)

As the world entered the last decade of the previous century, the internet started changing shape, and the focus shifted more towards the consumer. The number of users who now had access to the internet also increased manifold, thus changing the whole dynamics of the world wide web and being known as Web 2.0. 

While the Web’s back-end technical aspect continued to grow during this period on the base of Web 1.0, the way the web pages were designed and used changed significantly, Web 2.0 was a significant upgrade to its previous version as the content now was more user-generated, usable, and interoperable. It allowed free sorting of information and permitted users to retrieve and classify information. Web 2.0 also opened doors to interaction and collaboration between users, thus enriching the whole internet experience where users could do much more than just sharing information.

As the way the data was consumed started changing, the web browsing technologies also leveled up and started using more AJAX and JavaScript frameworks, thus further enriching the user’s experience. JAVA was introduced in the year 1995 and helped in delivering lightweight ways to provide client-side programmability and richer user experiences by creating small applets which generated dynamic content. However, the potential of the web to deliver complete-scale applications didn’t hit the mainstream till Google introduced Gmail, quickly followed by Google Maps, web-based applications with rich user interfaces and PC-equivalent interactivity. The collection of technologies used by Google was christened AJAX. 

Web 2.0 also introduced several tools and platforms that allowed users to interact much more with the applications with ease without having to spend hours writing codes as they had to in Web 1.0. This also expanded the use-case of the world wide web to the user who could now share multimedia over the internet and could do things like podcasting, blogging, tagging, social networking, among others. 

Web 3.0- A Look into the Future

As we look at the history of the internet and where we stand today, we can gauge that a more semantically intelligent web could hold the future. While it would be too early to define the whole of Web 3.0 today, the upcoming version could use and integrate many other innovative pieces that are present today, including peer-to-peer (P2P) technologies like blockchain, open-source software, virtual reality, Internet of Things (IoT), and more. 

Currently, many applications are restricted by design and run only on one operating system. Web 3.0 could enable applications to be more device-agnostic and interpretable, meaning they would run on many different types of hardware and software without any added development costs.

As we look at Web 3.0 in the making, it sure looks to be heading in a direction where the Internet would become more open and decentralized. In all probability, it will be more potent than its predecessors and some of the features that could contribute to its superiority would include decentralization, increased interconnectivity, more efficient browsing due to semantics and metadata from Web 2.0, improved advertising and market, and better customer support. 

While exciting times lie ahead with Web 3.0 in the making, the journey that the internet has gone through in its various phases of evolution is commendable and leaves no doubts that it will keep on growing as technology, content and the way data is produced and consumed keeps on changing. While it’s still not easy to define Web 3.0 yet, innovations in other technological fields have already set its making in motion.