Web 3.0 is no more a tech jargon to impress your clients and investors, but a hardcore reality, that is slowly but gradually changing the rules of the Internet as we know it.
The third generation of the Internet: Web 3.0 eliminates the data privacy risks which engulfed Web 2.0, and is sculpting a decentralized and open Web, which empowers the users, and gives control back to them.
In this blog, we will understand how Web 3.0 protocols and foundation is transforming the concept of User Identity with real use cases, and how Blockchain-based applications and concepts are revolutionizing data transfer, digital asset creation and movements, and giving birth to a whole new world of trust, connectivity, and commerce.
The journey of Web 3.0
As per Investopedia, Web 3.0 “represents the next iteration or phase of the evolution of the web/internet and potentially could be as disruptive and represent as big a paradigm shift as Web 2.0 did.”
When Berners-Lee spearheaded the creation of the Internet as a scientist at computer CERN, he created Web 1.0, the very first version of the Internet as we know it. The primary features of this early Internet were HTML codes, HTTP protocols, and URLs as the path for accessing the Internet.
Web 2.0 emerged in the early and mid-2000s as a replacement for Web 1.0, with the features of intense social connectivity, user-generated content, and higher, next-level engagement between the users to share data and insights
If personal computers fuelled the expansion of Web 1.0, the foundation and expansion of Web 2.0 were driven by mobile devices, mobile operating systems, and scalable and powerful social media companies.
Building blocks of Web 3.0
The biggest problem with Web 2.0 is data privacy, and the rampant commercialization of user data by the big tech and social media behemoths, which raised concerns about the exploitation of data.
In this version of the Internet, data is accumulated and stored, and harvested by a few selected big tech firms, and they have minted billions at the expense of users’ data.
Building blocks of web 3.0
The birth of Web 3.0 happened to eliminate these risks and exploitation of users’ data, with the help of blockchain technology, which forms the base of this new generation of the Internet, which is slowly but surely evolving and cementing.
Blockchain technology translates to a decentralized system of storing and nurturing data, where the data is not owned by any single entity, but collectively shared and maintained by a larger userbase, thereby inciting the ‘democratization’ of data.
As the Father of the Internet, Berners-Lee, highlighted the primary foundation of Web 3.0:
“No permission is needed from a central authority to post anything on the web, there is no central controlling node, and so no single point of failure...and no ‘kill switch’! This also implies freedom from indiscriminate censorship and surveillance.”
4 main pillars of Web 3.0
Decentralization: Instead of data being controlled and manipulated by a few firms, data is being stored across multiple locations, by multiple users, via a token-based economy.
Trustless & Permissionless: With blockchain-based technology, there will be an intermediary entity to check the trust and permission, and the users will directly interact and engage using a commonly accepted protocol
Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning: The concepts of the Semantic Web will enable Machines to understand humans and then process it to solve real-life problems
Unprecedented Connectivity: Trillions of devices can now be connected with seamless communication, unlike Web 2.0. The Internet of Things is the best example.
Concept of user identity In Web 3.0
Enhanced user privacy and decentralization are the primary characteristics of Web 3.0, and this is the reason user identity forms the foundation of the new avatar of the Internet.
Web 3.0 is changing the very concept of user identity, with the adoption of self-sovereign identity (SSI) as an open standard for creating, verifying, and storing user identity.
Self-sovereign identity or SSI is a method of user identity, wherein the need to store users’ personal information is completely removed, and the usage of that information is centered around the users and their commands.
And this is happening via blockchain-powered digital wallets.
A digital wallet is a ledger account on the blockchain, and acts as an identity platform, with features of privacy, control, openness, and interoperability.
A digital wallet based on blockchain technology will never store a user’s information, but rather access the information based on the needs via tokens and accomplish the task that the users want.
This changes everything.
With this new concept of creating and verifying user identity via blockchain-based digital wallets built on the SSI standard, the typical KYC process of Web 2.0 is no longer needed.
Such tokenized digital wallets form the perfect “identity layer”, a bridge between the applications that need this verified information of user identity, and the users whose information is needed.
This new form and way of user identity are giving rise to more and more applications centered around metaverse, gaming, NFT, Decentralised Finance (DeFi), Centralised Decentralised Finance (CeDeFi), peer-to-peer transactions, and more.
We will understand this concept of user identity via three use cases, which are actually happening right now, and evolving every second as we speak.
3 Use cases of transformed user identity under Web 3.0
In Web 3.0, users can seamlessly move their digital assets across different platforms, without actually storing them in a database or a centralized repository. Via tokens, the user identity is verified, and the digital assets are used and monetized, without any compromise to privacy.
For example, if a user wishes to carry transactions at the decentralized exchange Uniswap, there is no need to create an account or kill KYC information: All you need to do is “Connect your Digital Wallet” with the app, and the rest of everything is managed automatically.
Once the users’ decentralized, blockchain-based digital wallet is connected, the app can verify the user information via tokens, check which digital assets are actually stored there, and accordingly grant permission to exchange or trade, based on the tokens that the user hold, for example, NFT ticket, or a cryptocurrency.
The same user identity-based innovation can be applied to banks, and financial services as well. And trading of digital assets such as NFTs, digital skins, digital artwork, books, music, inventions, and more.
Credentials and access
Web 3.0 startup Civic is now using blockchain-based tokens to access the user’s identity, and grant them permission to shop or sell, based on the regulatory norms.
For example, if a person wants to buy alcohol via an ecommerce app, then that app won’t seek birthday details or credit card details to verify the age: All they need to do is connect their digital wallets with the app, and the rest of everything will be managed via backend, without revealing any personal information.
Another example of this concept can be seen at Mintgate, another Web 3.0-based form, which uses tokens (NFT or loyalty points) to grant access to their community/form and access to exclusive services.
User identity revolutionized!
Data & content access
Unlike social media giants of Web 2.0, which harvest data, and refuse to share the same with their users, Web 3.0 companies like Lens Protocol and Farcaster are inciting the democratization of data by empowering the users with seamless data access and enabling them to make the decision of its usage.
They are building social graphs based on the users’ social media activities such as likes, shares, comments, etc, and sharing them with the users, in a decentralized way, based on user authentication via digital wallets.
This way, the data remains with the users, there is no invasion of privacy, and the social media behemoths are not able to exploit and harvest the users’ data for making money.
On average, $80-$100 billion of capital is being raised by Web 3.0-based companies all across the world, every month, and this number will only increase, as the usage and acceptability of Web 3.0 rises, thereby transforming and molding the concept of user identity forever.
If you wish to know more about Web 3.0 and find out how you can leverage its incredible power and capabilities to create innovative applications and services, consult with our experts at TechAhead, and take the first leap toward innovation and the next generation of the Internet.