One of the legs of the industrial revolution is the rise of digital technology, and as the years pass by with interesting technological and scientific advancements, it can be said that one of the greatest discoveries/innovations is the Internet. Life without the internet is inconceivable. As it currently stands, the internet has permeated every level or sphere of human existence, for example, the internet has aided in the creation of businesses across the world. You can read this article because the internet has provided a platform to increase learning, thus, education is not left out. Vendors sell a variety of goods and services – create a platform to connect buyers to the seller- commerce is not also left out. These examples go on and on.
As established above, the internet has created a platform to grow businesses and develop life in general. In the same vein, the internet is developing to make sure that it is decentralized, more accessible, and guarantees users certain rights. This article seeks to demystify the myth of a new era of the internet called the web3, its relevance, and possible legal issues.
WHAT IS WEB 3.0
Before exploring the meaning of Web3, it is expedient to understand the internet journey so far. The internet as we know it began as a means of retrieving information simpliciter. It was regarded as a static web. In other words, the web pages did not offer interactive features which are capable of changing due to the user’s set of previous websites behaviour. This period is regarded as the era of Web 1.0.
Furthermore, as technology advances, it became obvious that the internet needed an upgrade, to cover the defects of web 1.0. This led to the development of web 2.0 which birthed interactivity. The emergence of social media is an example of web 2.0.
Web 3.0 is the next step in the evolution of the internet. It emphasizes a decentralized internet, ownership, openness, interoperability, and reliability. Web 3.0 gives you complete control over your data and eliminates social network censorship, making the internet more intelligent. Its interoperability also allows content creators and businesses to move their audience from one platform to another. Web3 also features a process, in which websites and apps will be able to process information in a smart human-like manner using technologies such as Machine Learning (ML), Big Data, Decentralized Ledger Technology (DLT), and so on. It is aimed to be a more autonomous, intelligent, and open internet.
It is evident that Web3 is the “next stage” of the internet and perhaps no other Web3 term is as important or widespread as “decentralization.” Although cryptocurrencies are at the forefront of the movement, some in the tech industry believe that decentralization is an unavoidable evolutionary step for the internet that will impact businesses across the board.
The major component of Web 3 is Blockchain. This is evident in the features and prominent keys of the Web3 environment. Blockchain is by far the most important invention that powers the majority of Web3. It is a digital ledger in which all Web3 transactions, both financial and non-financial, are recorded. The primary benefit of recording a transaction in a blockchain is that it is open, making the entire blockchain visible to all users who have been granted access. Also, once a transaction is recorded on the blockchain, it cannot be changed, not even by the original author. This makes the ledger tamper-proof, which is a very useful feature for proving the authenticity of transactions. Also, Cryptocurrencies serve as a medium of exchange for all financial transactions conducted within Web3. Cryptocurrencies are used instead of fiat currencies because they are easier to transfer, have a complete audit trail of transactions, and can be programmed. These three cryptocurrency capabilities allow transfer, complete audit trail of transactions, and are programmable. Others include Defi, NFTs, etc.
HOW CAN BUSINESSES PREPARE?
Online businesses/ or businesses with an online presence anchored on Web 2.0 rely on second-party and third-party data to reach out to their customers or clients, through advertisements or by looking for target audiences online. For instance, if a person searches online for a particular product, the next thing they would see on social media sites and other websites are advertisements for that particular product. All of that, though, may not be possible anymore. Platforms may not be able to mine user data, thanks to Web 3.0. Now the question is, how can businesses get ready so they will not negatively be impacted?
So as not to be impacted negatively, businesses must transition away from depending on rental data and third-party data, and toward zero-party data. You can rely on data that website visitors expressly and voluntarily give you when they visit your website instead of information from third-party data sources. Also, giving rewards to users to encourage them to willingly give consent to the use of their data.