The third-generation Internet has become one of the most popular topics of discussion. Companies are striving to become part of the web3 market, and developers are creating tools to interact with this new iteration of the World Wide Web.
A general history of the Internet
The modern Internet is a descendant of the ARPANET, which was created in 1969 at the request of the Office of Advanced Research Projects of the U.S. Department of Defense. On its basis, 15 years later, the U.S. National Science Foundation developed the open network NSFNET. The project helped organize the transfer of data between universities and data centres. As early as 1992, about 7,500 networks were connected to NSFNET.
At the same time, scientists were developing technology for transmitting e-mail. Based on the method, the first mass network for data exchange, Usenet, appeared in 1980.
Many other countries, including Chile and Great Britain, experimented with data networking. The aggregate of developments from around the world became the basis for the first iteration of the World Wide Web.
The term "Internet" was coined in 1983. It came to be used against the background of ARPANET's transition to the TCP/IP protocol, which is a networking model for data transmission.
The World Wide Web (WWW) project was introduced in 1989. Its author was Tim Berners-Lee. Since then, the developer has been considered the "father" of the modern Internet.
Further chronology of events is as follows:
- 1990. The first browser appeared. The public got access to the program in 1991.
- 1995. Responsibility for the development of the Internet was transferred to the private sector. The decision stimulated the growth of the World Wide Web audience.
Formally, the development of the Internet can be divided into three stages with their own characteristics.
Web1 (first generation Internet)
The first iteration of the Internet was extremely limited. Web1 was used to deliver text data.
The first-generation Internet consisted mostly of static pages. They ran on web servers hosted by an ISP. Web1 users were limited in what they could do. For example, the first iteration of the Internet did not involve making adjustments to content. It was also extremely difficult to change sites.
Web2 (second-generation Internet)
The second iteration of the Internet emerged against the backdrop of the "inflating" of the so-called dot-com bubble (.com) — between 1995 and 2001. The time period went down in history due to the implosion of Internet companies' stocks. Many of the business models of the young organizations whose stocks surged in the wake of the hype surrounding the new technology failed to live up to expectations. As a result, the dot-com bubble began to burst in the spring of 2020.
Developers began launching platforms that help people communicate at a distance. Examples of such projects are Facebook and Twitter.
With the advent of web2, censorship emerged in the online space. Platform owners began to ban users with opinions they or the public did not like.
Another problem of web2 — is centrality. The servers that run the Internet platforms are vulnerable. If they fail, web users lose access to the sites of interest.
Web3 (third-generation Internet)
The term web3 was first used by Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood in 2014. According to the developer's idea, the third-generation Internet will become a decentralized form of web2. The new network, Gavin Wood is confident, will be more stable, secure and transparent than its predecessor.
Also in the third iteration of the Internet users will be able to interact with the market of meta words and non-exchangeable tokens (NFT), with which developers fill digital worlds.
Decentralized applications (dApps) can be the basis of web3. The "thread" for all components of the third iteration of the Internet will be blockchain. Recall, that technology helps to organize the distributed storage of data. This approach protects Internet platforms from going offline against server damage or other technical malfunctions by creating multiple copies of information and distributing it across users' computing machines.
Blockchain guarantees the protection and reliability of data. The technology is built in such a way that no one can delete or tamper with even part of the information recorded on the blockchain and verified by the system participants.
The decentralized Financial Market (DeFi) will be responsible for the organization of financial relations in web3. The concept implies a complete rejection of centralized credit institutions in favour of a distributed system of digital assets.
How web3 is better than the Internet in its current form
The main advantage of the third iteration of the Internet is the emphasis on decentralization. This approach ensures the stability of the network and guarantees the protection of user data. Also, the concept of blockchain Internet will allow the parties to get rid of intermediaries, which will increase the speed of transactions and eliminate unnecessary costs.