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What is Web2 and Web3? Explaining Web3

Both Web2 and Web3 profoundly altered their previous version of the internet. In today’s era, Web3 is becoming increasingly popular, and its decentralized nature is changing the way we interact online. Since the launch of Bitcoin and Ethereum, the transition from Web2 to Web3 became a reality. Hence, more and more people started to ask, “what is Web3?”. A lot of progress within Web3 has been made recently, and many exciting new blockchain use cases are emerging daily. However, many individuals have recently discovered that the internet contains different so-called “versions”. As a result, people started wondering, “what is Web2 and Web3?”. Thus, explaining Web3 and Web2 is something we’ll address herein. In addition, we’ll provide both beginners and JavaScript and Unity proficient programmers with info regarding how to easily become a blockchain developer using the Web3 basics presented in this article.

Before moving forward, we’ll first start with some essential information about Web1. Then, we will focus on the “what is Web2 and Web3?” question. After addressing that question, “what is Web3?” will no longer be a mystery. Furthermore, with a proper understanding of “the internet of today” and the emerging version, we will be able to compare the two versions more closely. As a result, you will be able to see the advantages Web3 holds over Web2. In addition, you’ll learn some essential details about the pinnacle of the current Web3 tech stack. You’ll get a chance to explore a “Firebase for crypto” platform to create your own decentralized applications (dapps). As such, this article has the power to take you from asking “what is Web2 and Web3?” to becoming a Web3 developer.  

What is Web1?

Now, before diving deeper into the “what is Web2 and Web3?” topic, let’s explore Web1. The concept of the internet started in the 1960s when government researchers needed a way to share information. However, we consider January 1, 1983, the official birthday of the first generation of the internet. Of course, back then, it was considered “the internet”. It wasn’t until the birth of Web2 that the “Web1” label emerged. As you may know, computers in those times were quite primitive and slow compared to today, and only tech-savvy individuals knew how to use them. Accordingly, the number of users, let alone owners of computers, was minimal at the beginning of the Web1 era. Thus, Web1 was mainly used by larger corporations.

It was also quite expensive to use Web1 since users were charged per pageview. Aside from technical obstacles, there was also a question of who could afford it. 

Furthermore, we must point out that Web1 was read-only, with static pages representing the core content. As such, homepages were the base of the first generation of the internet. During this time, content creators were very few. However, this was the time when email was introduced. Yet, it only supported text back then, which meant that it didn’t support attachments. Moreover, the era of Web1 also produced the so-called “dot-com” bubble between 1995 and 2000. It wasn’t until 2005 that the internet evolved and Web2 came to life. This is also the cue for us to tackle the first part of the “what is Web2 and Web3?” discussion. 

What is Web2 and Web3? 

Now that you know where it all began, it is time to have a look at what stages the internet took next. Hence, this is where our “what is Web2 and Web3?” journey begins. Although, we must first ensure that you all know what the majority of people now consider the internet as. By doing so, we will lay strong foundations, on top of which we can then unveil “what is Web3?”. Furthermore, since Web3 is not yet live in its full glory, it is best to present it in comparison with Web2. That way, you can easily see the pros, cons, and opportunities it offers. 

What is Web2?

As the above image demonstrates, Web2 introduced user-to-user interactions. The internet was no longer read-only, but it also enabled users to write. As such, static websites offered inputs and even became interactive. That also meant content creation was a lot simpler than with Web1. Hence, there were suddenly many more content creators, especially once blogging became popular. After 2005, the infrastructure supporting the functioning of the internet continued to grow. As such, the internet became less expensive and more common. Nonetheless, more advanced and less expensive computers also contributed to the adoption of the evolving online world. 

On top of that, unique websites or online applications, such as Facebook (now Meta), caught a lot of attention from users. In fact, this was the birth of social media, and it didn’t take long for this form of online socialization to become widespread. In many ways, Web2 is marked by social media applications. If we now add video streaming into the picture, we can see that this once “technical” tool suddenly became a whole lot more. Sure, many users continue to use the internet for educational purposes. However, Web2 continues to be the entertainment hub for countless users across the globe. Yes, Web 2.0 is what many refer to as “the internet of today”.  

Blogging, podcasting, tagging, web content voting, social networking, and much more are all children of Web2. Moreover, this generation of the internet also sculpted the “web as platform” concept. We talk about the latter when desktop software applications are replaced by web apps. In addition, Web2 also served us with new web browser technologies, such as AJAX and JavaScript (JS). Plus, we saw the emergence of application programming interfaces (APIs) that offered a new ocean of interactions. 

Pros and Cons of Web2

Being aware of the main advantages and disadvantages of Web2 will help you better understand the “what is Web2 and Web3?” topic. Let’s start with the pros:

  • Anyone with internet access can use Web2. Users don’t need permissions. 
  • Users can access an unimaginable broad scope of information, often with a single click.
  • Web 2.0 is easy to handle. 
  • It enables users to search based on recency. 
  • Search engines support many languages.
  • Emails, social media, and other practical Web2 services enable people to interact and stay in touch, no matter their actual location. 
  • Web2 also allows people to correct the wrong information.
  • It enables people to easily share files with each other.
  • Web2 serves as a pretty efficient, cheap, and easy way to promote businesses online. 
  • It’s crafted dynamic learning communities and continues to offer real-time discussion.

Here are the key cons of Web2:

  • Search results can sometimes be off-target.
  • Depending on several factors, Web 2.0 can sometimes take quite a long time to display search results.
  • Automated translations are not yet reliable.
  • There’s a lot of misinformation available on Web2.
  • There’s no way for users to connect on a peer-to-peer basis without an intermediate agent.
  • Oftentimes, privacy is quite questionable.
  • The risk of fraud, spamming, and virus attacks are still quite high.

Do you agree with the lists above? Would you add or remove anything? After all, the chances are pretty high that you’ve been an active user of Web2 for years. Moreover, now that we’ve answered the “what is Web2?” question and analyzed the pros and cons of Web2, it’s time to tackle “what is Web3?”.  

What is Web3?

One of the primary topics in our “what is Web2 and Web3?” article is Web3. Thus, let’s address the “what is Web3?” question in this section. The internet of the future, the read-write-execute web, the executable web, and the semantic web are all different names for Web3 or Web 3.0. The latter term was popularized by one of Ethereum’s co-founders, Gavin Wood. He marked centralization as socially untenable long-term. In fact, many folks consider decentralization and native support for peer-to-peer (P2P) interactions as the essence of Web 3.0. However, we must point out that Web3 is not yet alive in its full glory. As such, a web in which machines process content completely like humans doesn’t exist yet. However, certain aspects of AI and ML are already being implemented. Although, we can expect the future of Web3 to bring a lot more dynamic apps, machine-to-machine interaction, and interactive services. 

Furthermore, on the internet of the future, data will not be owned but shared instead. According to Avivah Litan, distinguished VP analyst at Gartner, Web3 innovations will take the internet into new realms. He predicts that the new era of the internet will support applications not previously possible. Moreover, we already see that with many dapps. In addition, another distinguished VP analyst at Gartner, Whit Andrews, points out that Web3 is intended to give its participants their own autonomous power and control. Do you feel like you can give a solid answer to the “what is Web3?” question now? If so, let’s continue or “what is Web2 and Web3?” quest! 

Blockchain as the Beginning of Web3

The majority of experts agree that blockchain is the core of Web3 and that this new version of the internet is supposed to use a stack of technologies based on decentralized blockchains. The latter enables new social and business models. For example, blockchain tech allows users to own their data, identity, and content. Its algorithms let users participate as “shareholders” by owning governance tokens or cryptocurrencies. The latter comes in the form of fungible and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which power the economics of Web3. This also supports countless new business opportunities and adds a high level of transparency.

Furthermore, there are multiple programmable blockchains already up and running, with Ethereum leading the pack. If we focus on decentralization and P2P transactions of the “what is Web3” topic, you can use MetaMask and enter the Web3 realm today to participate in its decentralized ecosystem. As such, early adopters have already been able to get a taste of what the future has in store for the internet. Although, keep in mind that many dapps are still similar to a real “wild wild west”. That’s why it is important to get as many advancing developers as possible to help create a Web3 that will make future generations proud.

Are you perhaps wondering how Web3 and the metaverse fit together? Above all, the metaverse is an evolving vision of a digitally native world. Predictions expect that we will engage in all types of activities, even working in this digital world. On the other hand, Web3 is more about providing a decentralized tech stack and protocols. Of course, the latter will be used to build specific parts of the metaverse.

What is Web2 and Web3? Side-by-Side Comparison

The image below offers a great comparison between Web2 and Web3. It’s basically the essence of the “what is Web2 and Web3?” discussion.

Avivah Litan, the distinguished VP analyst at Gartner, nicely pointed out some key concerns around Web3. These primarily include a lack of customer protection and several new security threats. For now, scaling, customer service, and customer protections are still on the side of Web2. 

Using the “What is Web2 and Web3?” Knowledge with Moralis

Moralis is the ultimate Web3 backend platform. It’s the tool that helps you put the “what is Web2 and Web3?” knowledge to use with ease. Thanks to Moralis’ SDK, you can cover your blockchain-related backend needs by copying and pasting short lines of code from Moralis’ documentation. As such, you can save a lot of time and devote more resources to creating an impressive Web3 UI. Moreover, with Moralis’ Metaverse SDK, you can also tackle Web3 game design.

By using Moralis, you can avoid dealing with the limitations of RPC nodes. Moreover, you’ll get your hands on many Web3 tools, including MetaMask, WalletConnect, and IPFS. As such, you can easily authenticate with MetaMask or connect users with WalletConnect to cover your dapps’ Web3 authentication needs. Additional Moralis tools also support Web3 social login by connecting Web3 wallet to Twitter account and Web3 authentication via email. The latter can really help you boost Web3 user onboarding. Via Moralis’ Web3 login tools, you can also manage user sessions, including cross-chain identities. With the Moralis dashboard (database), you can index the blockchain and store off-chain data. So, if you are ready to help shape the “what is Web3” topic, create your free Moralis account today. 

What is Web2 and Web3? Explaining Web3 – Summary

At this point, you know the ins and outs of Web1, Web2, and Web3. As such, you are aware that we are still in the era of Web2, slowly transitioning to Web3. However, you also know that thanks to blockchain technology, Web3 is already a reality in some of its most important aspects. Furthermore, you also had a chance to learn more about Moralis and how it may serve as a diving board into Web3 development. Moreover, we also encourage you to check out the ultimate guide to Web3 and explore topics such as “why is Web3 important?” and “how does Web3 work?”. By doing so, you will get on top of the “what is Web3?” topic.

We recommend exploring the Moralis blog and the Moralis YouTube channel. This will give you a chance to take on various example projects. That way, you will put the “what is Web2 and Web3?” theory into practice. Some of the latest topics answer questions such as “what is Solana?“. In addition, the outlets dive deeper into connecting a Web3 wallet to a website, NFT utility, how to set up a BNB wallet, a multi-chain wallet, or an ETH wallet, Web3 Netflix clone, the benefits of Web3 gaming, and much more. Nonetheless, to those of you who want to go full-time crypto sooner rather than later, we recommend enrolling in Moralis Academy

April 16, 2022
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