What is Web3?

Web3 and metaverse have been two buzzwords for the year 2022, but according to the World Economic Forum, Web 3 is essentially a synonym for the metaverse. Therefore, I wish to discuss the two concepts together instead of writing two articles.

What is Web3.0? It can simply be understood from the following aspects:

  • Web1.0 is “read-only”;
  • Web2.0 is “readable + writable” (read + write);
  • Web3 is “read+write+own” (read+write+own).

Firstly, web1.0 is represented by websites Yahoo and Sina, which solely provide information to users . During this era, most users can only read information on the web while very few website developers could create content, I was one of them. I created my first website in 1995 titled ‘Visual Basic Tutorial” which still ranks top in Google search for the keyword ‘Visual Basic’. Web2.0 is an interactive web comprising blogs, social media like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Whatsapp, WeChat, Tiktok and more, which users can interact and generate content. On the other hand, web3.0 not only allows users to generate content but the content data is owned by the user, not controlled by the platform.

Secondly, we can define the web revolution by the degree of decentralization. Simply put, web1.0 is semi-centralized, Web2.0 is centralized and web3 is fully decentralized.

Comparison between Web 1.0, Web 2.0 and Web 3.0

In the Web1.0 era, decentralized personal websites formed half of the Web while the other half were centralized, both sides formed a semi-decentralized ecosystem. In the Web2.0 era, information islands are formed, and large companies such as FAANG monopolize the web and control users’ data and while numerous individual and SME websites formed a small portion of the web. On the other hand, web3.0 will be purely decentralized where data is owned and controlled by users. Web 3 is a concept for the next generation of the internet. It is the evolution of how users are able to control and own their creations and online content, digital assets and online identities. In Web 3, however, users can create content while owning, controlling and monetizing them through the implementation of blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

Data privacy is another issue of the current Web 2.0 internet. While the centralized entities have full control over the access to the service, they have full control over the users’ data. Users register to access a service and give up their precious private data and content in exchange for the convenience of the service, by agreeing to the terms of services. However, in Web3, not a single entity has control over the access to the service as it’s open to everyone. No registration is needed, users then have complete control over their private data, but at the same time, users have to take the responsibility to protect their own data and assets as they will become the only custodians.

The third aspect:

Web1.0 and Web2.0 are information Internet while Web3 is the Internet of Value. Web1.0 and Web2.0 are essentially transmitting information and focusing on consumption; while Web3 is transmitting value and creating wealth. Therefore, Web3 can be simply understood as the Internet powered by blockchain technology. It will solve the current Internet “central monopoly” problem, help users regain their data sovereignty, and recreate a better ecosystem in the digital world. Internet world. If you really understand the above changes, then you will understand that Web3 is revolutionary.

Key features of Web3 are:


Web3 data are typically stored in decentralized ledger like blockchain, so no single system has access to it all. It is dispersed across multiple platforms. This facilitates decentralized access and eliminate single point of failure .


The decentralized web can be accessed by users without requiring special permissions and KYC. Users will not need to disclose their personal information to access specific services. There will be no need to compromise privacy or share any other information.


Web 3 is more secure since decentralization makes it more difficult for hackers to target specific databases. Besides that, all data are encrypted based on cryptographic hash which add a security layer to the distributed database system.

Why we don’t call web3 as web3.0? Because they are fundamentally different.

Differences between web3 and web3.0

Web 3.0 aka semantic web focuses on efficiency and intelligence by reusing and linking data across websites. Web3 aka the decentralized web, however, puts a strong emphasis on security and empowerment by returning control of data and identity to users.

Semantic web uses a central place called the solid pod to store all user data, enabling users to handle third-party access to their data. Solid pods also issue a unique WebID for users that act as an identity within the ecosystem. In the blockchain-based web3, users can store their data in a cryptocurrency wallet, which they can access using their private keys.

Additionally, they both use different technologies to implement their purpose of data security. Web3 uses blockchain technology, while in web 3.0, certain data interchange technologies like RDF, SPARQL, OWL, and SKOS are used.

Data in web3 is difficult to modify or delete since it is scattered across multiple nodes; however, data in web3.0 can be changed effortlessly. Furthermore, the data stored in the solid pod is centralized, while the keys stored in crypto wallets provide access to the data of assets that reside on a blockchain

The differences are summarised in the following table:

Distribution ModelDecentralized peer-to-peerClient/Server
Relationship to World Wide WebAn Alternative to the World Wide WebThe continuation of the World Wide Web
VisionEliminates intermediaries and emphasis on security and empowerment by returning control of data and identity to users.  Evolving to a semantic web to make web content machine readable.

To learn more about Web3, please check out my book:


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