Web2 vs Web3: What are the major differences?
What is Web3? We might have heard of it as an evolution from its predecessor, Web2, but it is likely that a clear idea cannot be formed from the mere mention of a word. Web2 and Web3 are both umbrella terms that cover a wide range of subjects within their concept. Each of them represents a generation of the internet, sharing some similarities to a certain extent. The easiest way to understand these two however will be learning their differences, as it can tell you how Web3, which hinges largely on blockchain technology, progresses from Web2.
There are two main aspects where Web2 and Web3 diverge.
Web2 is the version of the internet that we are using today. It entails the concept of a centralized system where all of the end-users can share their information or content on the online platforms such as the social networking sites, however, the online platforms will end up being the ones taking hold of the information. This system signifies users’ reliance on them and their services, and its mechanism simply does not allow users to really own the content they publish or transfer data with the platform. Actions are monitored and limited by the platform.
Web3 aims to remove such dependency by decentralizing the system with blockchain technology. Acting as a digital distributed ledger that contains information shared with any users from anywhere in the world, it enables us to view and access the information anytime. Once a record (namely a transaction) has been stored on a block, it’s immutable. This means there will be no single party or authority that can own, modify or delete the data of any user or take down the entire network, granting users the true ownership of their digital assets.
This crucial difference goes on to further create changes and disparities in the usage of the internet between Web2 and Web3 versions:
Transfer of Assets or Transaction
Web2 needs intermediaries like banks to authorize the transfer of money, assets or simply transactions. They then extract profit, or information from users during transactions or transfers. On the other hand, the way transactions run according to the Web3 concepts no longer require the transfers of digital assets or any transactions that are made on blockchain to go through any banks or money transfer services, giving users more transparency during the process of exchange. These actions won’t be monetized or charged an extra fee by the financial services for their own gain.
In addition to the transfer of the assets, decentralization implies that there is no centralized authority to oversee the information exchange. Third parties cannot implement content rules or censor any content that infringes the law. In the world of Web2 however, any social media site can remove posts they deem as offensive or harmful to the community. Sometimes a site can get overly restrictive with its censorship, making the room for freedom of expression vastly limited. Web3 can provide an uncensored and unfiltered space for users to share their content for everyone to see.
2. Web2 vs Web3: Top-down Structure and Bottom-up Structure
Web2 has a top-down structure in terms of the way the system operates. Most technology corporations or organizations have board of directors or executive management team to set the main goals, then pass on tasks to the lower leveled staff teams for distributing the work and execution. In the case of the services provided on the internet during the era of Web2, the developers who invent their own program or software typically have absolute sovereignty over it. As it expands into an entity that operates as a business organization, they will be the sole decision-makers with regards to the technical updates and business changes towards the program and the network. There may be employees who are allowed a certain level of authority to enforce changes to the system, but these type of actions are strictly prohibited for the end users as they are unauthorized to influence the decisions.
To adhere to the decentralization of the internet, Web3 adopts a bottom-up approach for the structure of the governing body that runs the system, which is the polar opposite of Web2. Whereas Web2 offers a version of the internet that only permits the developers or top level management to modify the codes of the software or the platform, Web3 itself is open source, spawning an internet that is filled with public-owned programs and platforms, building a permissionless infrastructure; end-users can make changes to the codes and participate in making critical decisions by themselves without the need of authorization.
This was how the existence of Decentralized Automomous Ogranizations (DAOs) emerged, coming into play within the framework. They are the organizations that utilize blockchain technology to ensure its operation, which can be to create new applications or serve as a means to fund more blockchain or NFT projects. DAOs are governed by their individual members, allowing them to make important decisions collectively and vote on proposals. Only through reaching consensus can they move forward with the change. The authority spreads across the hands of the users, forming a structure that passes the power from the few to the many.
Here are the 13 essential terms you need to know before venturing into the world of Web3:
13 Essential Terms You Must Know to Get Yourself Familiar with Web3
If you have any questions about launching or promoting your Web3 products or NFT, feel free to contact us for professional advice!