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Definition: Web3


Starting in the late 2010s, the Web3 (or Web 3.0) moniker evolved to mean blockchain networks and decentralized finance (DeFi). Sometimes called the "New Internet," Bitcoin and Ethereum are the blockchain stars that gave birth to Web3. See crypto glossary basics, DeFi and Web3 wallet.

Individual Ownership and Empowerment
The primary focus of Web3 is that people, no matter their station in life, can participate in financial activities that they are not able to obtain in the world of centralized finance. Empowerment of the user is an underlying theme of Web3.

Web1 and Web2
In the mid-1990s, the first version of the Web was mostly static content that was provided by website creators. In the 2000s, the so-called Web 2.0, or simply Web2, added dynamic content from websites, but more significantly, from users on blogs, wikis and social networks. Web2 saw an explosion of user content and opinion on every subject known to mankind.

Under Web2, the general public provides the information, but tech behemoths such as Google and Meta (Facebook) make fortunes from it. Amazon sells tons of merchandise from users' freely given product reviews as well. As a result, Web3 is expected to counter this phenomenon by bringing control back to individuals. A prime example is the Cirus Foundation's approach to paying users for the data they routinely give away (see Cirus platform). Time will tell. See Web 1.0, Web 2.0 and user-friendly crypto address.

Years Ago, It Was the Semantic Web
Web 3.0 was originally envisioned as the Semantic Web, in which all data were identified in a knowledge base. Today, Google's definitions and answers to questions at the top of its search results are getting closer to being the Semantic Web. See Semantic Web.

Different Ways to Express Web3
Web3 is contrasted to Web1 and Web2 very succinctly in the following examples:

  From the Coinbase Exchange

  Web1  Read
  Web2  Write
  Web3  Read/Write/Own


  From the ZenLedger Website

  Web1  Read
  Web2  Read/Write
  Web3  Read/Write/Execute


  From the Cyberscrilla Website

  Web1  Information Economy (Read)
  Web2  Social Economy (Read/Write)
  Web3  Token Economy (Read/Write/Execute)