Web 3.0 (Web3) is the third generation of the evolution of web technologies. The web, also known as the World Wide Web, is the foundational layer for how the internet is used, providing website and application services.
Web 3.0 is still evolving and being defined, and as such, there isn't a canonical, universally accepted definition.
There are several key Web 3.0 features that help to define what the third generation of the web will likely be all about, including the following:
- Decentralized. As opposed to the first two generations of the web, where governance and applications were largely centralized, Web 3.0 will be decentralized. Applications and services will be enabled in a distributed approach, where there isn't a central authority.
- Blockchain-based. Blockchain is the technology serving as the enabler for the creation of decentralized applications and services. With blockchains, the data and connection across services are distributed in an approach that is different than centralized database infrastructure. Blockchain can also enable an immutable ledger of transactions and activity, helping to provide verifiable authenticity in a decentralized world.
- Cryptocurrency-enabled. Cryptocurrency usage is a key feature of Web 3.0 services and largely replaces the use of fiat currency.
- Autonomous and artificially intelligent. More automation overall is a critical feature of Web 3.0, and that automation will largely be powered by AI.
With blockchain at the foundation, Web 3.0 enables a growing number of different types of new applications and services to exist, including the following:
- NFT. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are tokens that are stored in a blockchain with a cryptographic hash, making the token unit unique.
- DeFi. Decentralized finance (DeFi) is an emerging use case for Web 3.0 where decentralized blockchain is used as the basis for enabling financial services, outside of the confines of a traditional centralized banking infrastructure.
- Cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are Web 3.0 applications that create a new world of currency that aims to be separate from the historical world of fiat currency.
- dApp. Decentralized applications (dApps) are applications that are built on top of a blockchain and make use of smart contracts to enable service delivery in a programmatic approach that is logged in an immutable ledger.
- Cross-chain bridges. There are multiple blockchains in the Web 3.0 world, and enabling a degree of interoperability across them is the domain of cross-chain bridges.
- DAOs. DAOs are set to potentially become the organizing entities for Web 3.0 services, providing some structure and governance in a decentralized approach.