A decentralized web could lead to new ways to do business online. Web3, or Web 3.0 as it is sometimes called, is a popular buzzword. Google searches for the phrase were about 20 times higher in early December than they were a year earlier. Google Trends shows that more people are searching for “web3” these days than they were a few months ago.
Given this rise in interest, the web3 shopping website development concept may be something that owners and managers of eCommerce businesses should know about. If web3 is used by a lot of people, it could help with large, stable e-commerce transactions worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
Change on the Web
The internet began in the 1960s when it was mostly a project for schools and the military. Today, the web is social and can be used to interact. Web3 shows how this important technology could change in the future.
The CEO of Protocol Labs, Juan Benet, talked about this change in four steps.
The internet describes the rules that computers follow and how they connect to each other. “Wire and the network” is what it is.
Web 1.0 made it easier for people to share “read-only” files and information.
Web 2.0 added social media and ways for people to interact. It lets almost anyone make and share their own content. We now use Web2 for everything, from Facebook to online shopping. It’s the “read-write” web.
Web 3.0 is a software framework that, according to its supporters, reimagines web applications in a way that spreads power, checks identity and intent, and builds a better, more sustainable set of tools that everyone can share and use.
Web3 is not the “read-write-execute” web that pioneers had in mind. It’s the “read-write-truth” web instead.
Not Trust, but Truth
Today, web2 applications rely on centralized authorities that can be trusted and a small number of security protocols that can be trusted. Everyone who uses the internet must have faith in governments and private businesses. This means trusting both what people say and what they do.
Authorities make sure that when someone types in a website address, they end up at the right site. When a person uses Facebook, they trust the company to store and share information about them. If you shop online, you have to trust the merchants, the payment processors, and the people who run the protocol. People who bank online trust more than one organization.
The problem with this setup is that these authorities and security protocols are not always reliable. Here are some things from the year 2021.
More than 100 million Android users’ personal information was made public by app developers who didn’t mean to.
About 553 million Facebook users’ personal information was scraped and made public by hackers.
LinkedIn lost control of 700 million user records, which included full names, phone numbers, physical locations, geolocation data, and more.
In addition to data breaches, which could be seen as mistakes, many customers worry about how companies and governments use the information they collect.
Because of concerns about privacy, laws around the world have changed a lot about how data is collected and how online advertising works on different devices.
Web2 apps need trust, but they don’t always deserve it. On the other hand, you can’t trust web3. The web3 framework assumes that no one or no organization can be trusted, so it always checks identity and intent.
It spreads out applications in a way that is similar to how cryptocurrencies spread out money.
In a way, web3 is meant to solve all of the problems with security, privacy, and trust on the current social and interactive web.
Or, to paraphrase Dr. Gavin Wood, the founder of Ethereum and president of the Web3 Foundation, the next generation of the web will not be based on trust, but it will be based on the truth.
“Research and development expert teams who are building the strong foundation of the decentralized web” are paid for by the Web3 Foundation.
Strong in the economy
“Web3 is an extensible framework for making applications that can be used by a lot of people and are good for the economy,” said Wood. It is also a “reliable, strong way to help an application keep working in bad situations.”
“Economically strong” is the key phrase in Wood’s definition for us. Wood says that this means it would be safe for applications to handle very large financial transactions.
Someone could pay several thousand dollars online today without giving it much thought. But for two businesses to make a deal worth $10 million, they would need lawyers and contracts.
At $10 million, Web2 eCommerce authorities just aren’t reliable enough to use. Instead, the people involved would rely on the laws of the place where the contracts are written to make sure the promises are kept.
“Software like Facebook or Twitter is not so strong in terms of the economy…
“You wouldn’t want to make deals worth hundreds of millions of dollars over Facebook,” said Wood.
“What we’re making are applications that are strong from an economic point of view and that give you strong guarantees and the ability to send strong economic signals.”
All of this is just an idea right now. But web3 and the cryptocurrencies that go with it might make it possible for new kinds of large-scale eCommerce and everyday transactions to happen. Still, not yet. Web3 has gotten people interested, but it hasn’t had the effects that Wood talks about yet. Also, almost no one thinks web3 will take the place of web2. Instead, they will live together for years.