The evolution of the “Web”
On August 6, 1991, the first website was introduced. And while perhaps not as exciting or immersive as some of the nearly 1.9 billion websites that exist today, it marked the beginning of a genuinely revolutionary, world-changing, unstoppable force. Since its invention and introduction all those years ago, the Internet as we know it has evolved into something we are completely attached to. The technological advances and discoveries across the world would not have been possible without the World Wide Web. The endless opportunities created using the Internet are extraordinary, but we must understand that life continues to improve, evolve and change, and the Web is no exception.
The term “Web 1.0” is often used to describe the earliest form of the Internet, which began in 1989 up until 2005. Users were amazed to see the first example of a worldwide network that hinted at future digital communication and the potential for worldwide information sharing. Most early internet users were ‘consumers’ and were very limited with what they could do compared to today. It is considered the ‘read-only’ Web and a system of cognition. Web 1.0 began as a place to find information and for businesses to broadcast their knowledge to people.
The explosion of Web 2.0
Web 2.0 is the version of the Internet that we have all become very familiar with. Companies dominate Web 2.0 by providing services in exchange for your personal data. When you’re in a public place now, what do you see? If you look around, for example, at a train station, what will you see? Phones. Phones are glued to everyone’s hands and zoned in for that quick release of dopamine. Web 2 has changed the way our society lives and communicates. It took thirty-eight years before 50+ million people gained access to radios. It took television thirteen years to gain an audience of that size. Now, guess how long it took Instagram? A year and a half.
A big part of Web 2.0 is social media. It’s everywhere. Social channels like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube were all made possible through the rise of Web 2.0, especially when the iPhone came to market in 2007. User-generated content flourished as platforms and applications owned by powerful corporations collected, distributed, and shared data. These centralized companies then began selling their collected data to advertisers, or third party brokers as users view more and more information, leaving themself exposed for their data to be ‘stolen’. Web 2.0 became the age of target advertising.
The problems with Web 2.0
Despite its magnificence and revolutionary opportunities that have come to life since its arrival, Web 2.0 certainly has its list of negative aspects.
- Censorship and control are huge issues on the current Web. Most people are unaware that the companies ruling the Internet are in control of nearly everything online.
- Privacy and Security
- Lack of ‘Freedom of speech.’
- Data breaches
Data Privacy in Web 2.0
Data privacy and ownership is a relatively hidden problem within Web 2.0, with the world slowly realizing that their information is being taken advantage of. With the rise of the Internet and technology, billions of people are giving away their personal data every day by using these networks and social media channels. These organizations utilize apps and websites without anyone having the faintest idea. These companies and data brokers leverage this information to find more about you. This leads to products being created and advertised to target you and people with similar interests. It’s a clever cycle, that’s for sure. But does that mean it’s right? No, not at all. Their objective is for you to keep coming back and continue sharing more data that they can utilize. The cycle then repeats. I think you get the picture. Some organizations even choose to use Third- Party Data Brokers, who are the real data hunters, lurking in the shadows and jumping at any opportunity to catch their prey (your data) which they then sell to organizations for profit.
The Perfect Time for Web 3 to take centre stage?
The introduction of Web 3 and the Metaverse in the last year alone has resulted in an incredible response worldwide. Growth and adoption are increasing daily, at rates much faster than the early stages of the Internet and traditional websites. It may be hard for some to grasp this concept, and understandably so. Web 2 is a moderately new network in itself. The older generation is getting increasingly used to technology and the diverse opportunities available that they did not have when they were growing up. For them to understand Web 3 is similar to how they probably first understood the Internet, which was dismissed from the get go. But look where we are now.
Instead of just being users, there will be a shift to owners. Web 3 allows ownership of everything, from being your own bank to taking control of your data, without the need of the so called “middle man”. There will be no need for these centralized third parties due to advances in the Blockchain and Defi, two of the most significant factors that have created such outstanding growth recently. The Blockchain will play an instrumental role in the next phase of the Web and provide many unique solutions to the problems facing Web 2 today.
Here are a few reasons why Web 3 will solve these problems
1.) DAOs and Community Driven projects: The rise of DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations) in the last year has given us a glimpse into the future of how companies will be in Web 3. DAOs enable the community to vote and discuss critical decisions instead of having one central unit of power. Community is the number one most important aspect of any project in Web 3, which is an exceptional trait whereby trust, integrity and constant engagement are vital for a project’s longevity and continued success.
2.) Decentralization: The whole concept of decentralization is one of the drivers of adoption and interest of the entire crypto market. The fact Web 3 is running on blockchain technology means there will be no central point of failure, unlike the centralized space in Web 2. The concept of decentralization essentially means giving back control and ownership to the user, which will become increasingly important with continued technological advancements.
3.) Transparency: Companies in this space operate with much higher transparency than Web 2 companies. Transactions are auditable, decisions are made in public, and data is unchangeable.
Data Ownership in Web 3
The provider stores all information on Web 1.0 and Web 2.0, and you as the consumer do not have ownership of your personal data. Itheum is aiming to utilize Web 3 to focus on empowering individuals to truly own and trade their personal data through a range of exciting blockchain technologies and core products. Itheum creates new market value for your data and enables this by providing “decentralized data brokerage” technology. It’s a suite of tools that will allow high-value data to be bridged from web2 to web3 and then be traded via peer-to-peer sales. It allows for “viral adoption” via our creative “Data NFTs” (provide “inner value” to NFTs and enable royalties / limited supply) and “NFMe ID” technology (a living Metaverse avatar representation of you — wrapped as an NFT and backed by personal data) and our innovative Data Coalition DAOs (which bulk trades your data).
This article does not include elements of any contractual relationship. This article shall not be deemed to constitute a prospectus of any sort or a solicitation for investment or investment advice; nor does it in any way pertain to an offering or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities in any jurisdiction.
For the avoidance of doubt, please note that the protocol has not been fully developed. Any statements made about the protocol are forward-looking statements that merely reflect Itheum’s intention for the functioning of the protocol. There are known and unknown risks that can cause the results to differ from the forward-looking statements.
Itheum does not intend to express investment, financial, legal, tax, or any other advice, and any conclusions drawn from statements in this article or otherwise made by Itheum shall not be deemed to constitute advice in any jurisdiction.