Web3 (also called Web 3.0) is an idea for a new iteration of the World Wide Web. The term was coined by Gavin Wood (Co-Founder of Ethereum) in 2014, and its innovators and thought leaders have focused on its integration with decentralised technology, blockchain, and token-based economic systems.
But the development of Web3 has since spilled beyond the cryptocurrency sector – with large tech companies and VC firms exploring the potential of a new way to use the internet.
Web3 aims to reimagine (and reprogram) the way the web works. It’ll use distributed ledgers to change the way that information is stored, shared, and owned – so theoretically, it could transform the dynamics of information control and economic advantage on the web, removing control from major tech and e-commerce giants, and pushing businesses to operate in a new way.
Web3 isn’t just one thing. It’s a term that encompasses a broad and ambitious vision for a new and better internet – giving power back to individual users and equipping them with control over their own data.
Its core principles are:
- User empowerment
What Web3 developments can we expect to see?
As the concept of Web3 gains popularity outside of the cryptocurrency space, the potential for transformation of the way we use the internet continues to grow. Innovators are experimenting with new possibilities all the time.
Finance remains a key area for Web3 exploration. Decentralised Finance (DeFi) is expected to grow in popularity, with increasing adoption in the Web3 ecosystem. Right now, most DeFi applications are built using Ethereum – but Web3 developers are working on solutions that can enable transactions to be processed in different ways.
User demand for DeFi is on the rise, with market revenue projected to reach USD $16,960.0 million by the end of 2023, and $34,700.0 million by 2027. But the sector needs technological and systems development in order to function efficiently and provide users with smooth and secure financial services – so Web3 development will continue in this area.
Then there’s Regenerative Finance (ReFi): a new concept that uses blockchain tech to create a more sustainable and fair financial system. Rather than being connected to any specific cryptocurrency, ReFi is a social movement within crypto and Web3 that aims to mitigate climate change and improve socio-economic equality. It’s a movement of our time, and definitely one to watch.
The worlds of Web3 gaming and augmented and virtual realities will likely increasingly intersect. Game designers and builders are already integrating token-based economic systems into games – and as Web3 development increases the functionality of those systems, users will have the opportunity to dive deeper into gamified experiences.
And as AI technology continues to become more advanced, there’s little doubt that AI and Web3 will grow side-by-side: complementing and enabling each other to provide enhanced products, services, and experiences to Web3 users. These might include a resurgence of NFT art, advanced crypto trading bots, and natural-language smart contracts – to name just a few possibilities.
Interoperability is important across the tech industry
For all tech niches, interoperability is an increasing focus for developers. And Web3 is no exception. Developers will work to simplify and democratise software development, and create more low-code platforms to give users equal access to digital opportunities.
Interoperability is the ability for a diverse variety of systems and platforms to exchange data, integrating it in a way that enhances user experience and functionality across platforms. As Web3 strives to create a more equitable internet, interoperability will be a keen focus: because it encourages and enables collaboration, and drives a more flexible digital economy – with the potential for rapid innovation.