With the advent of the Internet many years ago, it was hoped that there would be democratization and decentralization, making information accessible to everyone on the web.
The reality now looks different: big players like Meta and Google dominate, control and regulate the web, we are undoubtedly dependent on their services in many ways. However, with blockchain, NFTs, tokens and smart contracts, a new era of the internet is looming – Web 3.0. Will Web 3.0 finally achieve decentralization and democratization? Maximilian Schmidt is CEO of CPI Technologies GmbH, a full-service agency specializing in software development in the areas of blockchain, finance and AI, as well as marketing and fundraising. He knows the answers to these questions and describes the opportunities for democratization and decentralization that Web 3.0 holds.
The idea of decentralizing the Internet
From the 1990s, the Internet was mainly assigned its function as a mass medium for obtaining information and networking, and it has not lost this function to this day. However, if large companies like Meta, Google or Amazon offer a large part of the web services we use, we become dependent on a few players. With millions of data and users, big players can play a major role in shaping the web, internet users as individuals are no longer relevant here.
As a result, over the past decades and years, efforts have repeatedly been made to create a decentralized Internet. The idea of not leaving the Internet and its services dependent on a few companies, but rather letting users actively participate in the design, has also been instrumental in the blockchain hype. If we talk about cryptocurrencies, for which the blockchain serves as the basis, the topic of decentralization is at the top of the list. Users want to store and manage their finances independently of intentional and traditional banks. This need of Internet users can now be rethought and expanded – not only in financial matters, Internet users want to be independent of the big players, but also in relation to their data, their leisure activities, their entire presence on the web.
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Technology is for everyone
All these developments and trends in recent years have meant that the so-called Web 3.0 is now in its infancy and is gaining more and more form and use. Decentralized options have been gradually extended and integrated into programs, services and platforms, so that a decentralized web will appear more and more realistic in the future. Because in Web 3.0, technologies are used that can be used by anyone and work in all browsers. There are enough open source programs, you work together on solutions rather than against each other.
Data-related aspects are also fundamentally changed by Web 3.0. Because in Web 2.0, which we apparently are in right now, user data and personal information is stored on a server that can usually be assigned to one of the big players. In Web 3.0, on the other hand, this is not done centrally, for example, registration for a platform is no longer regulated via e-mail address and password, but via the blockchain. Domains are also allocated decentralized in Web 3.0 via the blockchain, so hacking a server is a thing of the past if registration tools are decentralized regulated.
The role of big players in the future
The question of whether Web 3.0 will contribute to the complete decentralization of the Internet also raises the assumption that the influence of the big players must disappear. It cannot be assumed that the major players will completely withdraw from Web 3.0, but will know how to adapt their business models and their fields of application to the new Web so as not to lose their position of strength.
For example, Instagram and Twitter want to allow users to use NFTs as profile pictures. The operation of NFTs is also subject to the blockchain and is therefore also an important part of Web 3.0. However, when it comes to data protection, Web 3.0 is much more sensitive and secure than the big players have been. until now. In order to continue to be present and powerful as a major player in Web 3.0, companies should rethink their data protection policy and technical orientation.
Conclusion – Will the Internet soon be decentralized?
The development of Web 3.0 is a process that requires the participation of many. Developers and end users must embrace blockchain and the possibilities of Web 3.0 so that it can prevail and replace Web 2.0. The current hype surrounding NFTs and tokens is driving the acceptance and application of Web 3.0, but it takes a lot more for this new era to fully dawn. However, it is clear that users are increasingly looking for new solutions that can provide them with transparent, more secure and above all decentralized applications. It will probably take some time before the internet becomes more and more decentralized, the central players will not disappear overnight. For developers and businesses, however, there is now a promising opportunity to embrace new decentralized technologies in order to stay competitive in the future.