What is web3?

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Welcome to your 12-day intro to web3 with ZenAcademy & the Canadian Web3 Council

By: Yash, Zeneca, Canadian Web3 Council


This series will teach you web3 fundamentals using simple, easy-to-understand language. 

Web3 is the next generation of the internet, which aims to make the web more decentralized, secure, and user-friendly. It uses blockchain technology, like the one behind cryptocurrencies, to create a more open and fair internet where users have more control over their data and online activities.

Web3 is best understood when compared to web1 and web2. Let’s take a look at how the internet (the web) has evolved over the past few decades:

  • Web1 (1990-early 2000s) was read-only. People consumed static web pages that they navigated to from directories like Yahoo. Web1 was built on open protocols like HTML.
  • Web2 (early 2000s-today) is read and write. People create and consume content on the social platforms that we’re all familiar with. In web2, tech giants extract value from users by sitting in the middle. Web2 is built on client-server architecture where users are the client, and companies control the servers.
  • Web3 (2020+) is read, write, and own.  People create, consume, and own the upside of their work through tokens (a record of ownership of an asset). Web3 is built on trustless peer-to-peer networks of computers (blockchains) that reduce the need for middlemen. 

Web3 matters because we’re building an internet that will be more owned by “the people” instead of giant tech corporations. Instead of relying on big companies like Google or Meta to manage your data and online activities, Web3 aims to give you more control over your information and who can access and/or monetize it.

Web3 is still being developed, and it might take some time before it becomes widespread. However, the goal is to create a more open, fair, and user-friendly internet where everyone can participate equally.

To sum up:

  • Web1: Read
  • Web2: Read, write
  • Web3: Read, write, own

In our next section, we’ll cover: “What is blockchain?”

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