Blockchain technology is no longer a myth. It's a reality. Blockchain technology is becoming part of our daily lives as it covers almost all sectors of the economy and our lives. But blockchain technology did not just pop into the economy. There has been a foundation as innovative ideas have brought about what we know today as blockchain technology and Web3.
What's the evolution of blockchain technology and how did we get here with the advent of Web3? This article highlights the history of blockchain technology, what web3 is and what the future holds for blockchain technology and web3.
Blockchain Technology: The Origin
Many people who came for the money, not the technology, know little about the history of blockchain technology. To help you understand the idea behind blockchain technology, we will take you down memory as we talk about the history of blockchain technology.
It all began in 1991 when Stuart Haber and W. Scott Stornetta thought about the idea of blockchain. This involved working on a cryptographically secure chain of blocks where no one could tamper with the documents or data on the blockchain and its timestamp. In 1992 they upgraded their system to incorporate trees that will enhance the efficiency of collecting data on a single block.
Blockchain technology is a peer-to-peer distributed ledger used to record transactions across computers in a secure environment. The content of this distributed ledger can only be updated by adding another block to the previous block. In simple terms, blockchain technology is a platform where people can carry out transactions without a third party.
However, blockchain technology will not get as much of it as it does now until 2009 when Satoshi Nakamoto created the first white paper on Bitcoin which is the first application of blockchain technology. In the white paper, Satoshi Nakamoto gave a detailed explanation of how blockchain technology was equipped to enhance digital trust due to its decentralized nature. This means that nobody was in control of anything and this concept was enticing to a few people who saw the future of blockchain technology.
The birth of Bitcoin as the first cryptocurrency backed by blockchain technology opened the door for a long list of applications that seek to leverage the principles of digital ledger technology.
Evolution of Blockchain Technology
In 2013, the world witnessed the birth of the second cryptocurrency backed by blockchain technology. Vitalik Buterin, a Russian-Canadian programmer, created Ethereum to solve the problems that the first cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, was facing. Vitalik realized that Bitcoin has not reached its full potential when it comes to leveraging the full capabilities of blockchain technology.
To differentiate Ethereum from Bitcoin blockchain Vitalik created a function that allows people to record other assets such as slogans as well as contracts. This feature further expanded the functionalities of the Ethereum blockchain from not just being a cryptocurrency but also becoming a platform where developers can build decentralized applications.
Ethereum was officially launched in 2015 and it has evolved to become one if not the biggest blockchain platform in the world. It gives users the ability to create smart contracts that can be used to perform various functions. The Ethereum blockchain platform is host to an active developer community that keeps creating decentralized applications and it's also host to a lot of innovations such as decentralized finance (DeFi) applications and even NFTs.
Over the years blockchain technology has evolved past just Bitcoin and Ethereum. In recent years, various projects have been created leveraging the capabilities of blockchain technology to provide services to the public and the economy. Also, developers have created more blockchain platforms to solve the issue of scalability that traditional blockchain platforms have. Blockchain technology has evolved from just creating an environment for transactions in a transparent and scalable form to creating an environment for developers and content creators to create data that are owned by them.
Examples of blockchain platforms that have been created include EOS which was created to solve the issue of scalability. Monero and Dash blockchains came into being to address the issue of security and stability associated with traditional blockchain applications. These blockchain platforms now seek to provide a high level of privacy and security when it comes to transactions. With each functionality, companies and organizations are starting to adopt blockchain technology as a means of enhancing the efficiency of their operations.
Recently, Web3 has been touted as the future of the internet in conjunction with blockchain technology. What is Web3 and what effect will it have in the future?
Introducing Web 3
In the late 1980s, the world was introduced to Web 1.0 which was static HTML web pages that users could read but not interact with. As time moved on, the early 2000s ushered in Web 2.0 dubbed the "read, write web."
Web2.0 increased social and digital interactions with the emergence of social media apps like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and service-based apps like Google, Amazon, and many more apps.
Access to user data by centralized platforms has created the need for a more decentralized internet. Enter Web 3.0!
Web 3.0 is the next generation of the Internet, which relies on the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence to create open, interconnected, and intelligent websites and applications. Web 3.0 aims to build an internet that works for everyone with peer-to-peer interactions, relevancy, and privacy.
When combined with blockchain technology, Web 3.0 is creating an interconnected, intelligent internet.
An example of a Web 3.0 application is Wolfram Alpha that collects large amounts of information into knowledge for users. For example, when searching for Brazil vs Argentina on Google, you get results related to previous football matches played between both countries. However, that same query on Wolfram Alpha gives you statistical results such as the demographics, economy, cultural and geographical properties.
Compared to its predecessors, what makes Web 3.0 superior? Let's take a look at the advantages of Web 3.0 that give it an edge over its predecessors.
Unique Features of Web3.0
There are some features of Web 3.0 that make it different from its predecessors. Let's discuss these features.
•Decentralization: This is the most predominant feature of Web 3.0 and perhaps its biggest advantage. Today many people are concerned about how centralized systems take advantage of their personal data for the full benefits of their services.
This is one of the major reasons why people prefer to work with a decentralized network as there is no central body controlling the data in a decentralised system. With its main focus on decentralization, Web 3.0 guarantees users absolute control over their data. As there is no central body there is no concern for security as Web 3.0 systems are more secure than their predecessors.
•Cryptocurrencies: Cryptocurrencies are powered by blockchain technology. One advantage that Web 3.0 has over its predecessors is that its native currency is in the form of crypto tokens.
This means that money can be transferred between two parties without the need for a third party like banks or payment processors. The meteoric rise of decentralized finance (DeFi) applications has opened the eyes of many to the importance of a decentralized form of payments.
•Censorship: The 21st century has been a pioneer for free speech. This has been the most talked about topic on the internet as people look for social media platforms that allow them to speak their minds without being censored.
Popular social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have been under scrutiny by the public about their posts or tweets being censored even when they have the right to free speech.
One advantage that Web 3.0 has is that it is open and permissionless. Since there is no central body controlling the network, no one can restrict access to the decentralized applications running on it. This means that there is no censorship on the Web 3.0 internet.
The Future of Web3.0
The future of Web 3.0 is bright as well as disruptive. So many enthusiasts are looking into a future where free speech will be restored in its original form. Since the internet will be decentralized, it is almost impossible (theoretically) to delete information or data without being detected. Thus, people will be able to say their minds in an uncensored form.
Some features of Web 3.0 are already being adopted in the mainstream with the most notable one in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). With NFTs, people are creating artwork that truly belongs to them without the need for an intermediary. Thus, we look forward to a time when free speech will be upheld and true ownership of data and information will be the norm of the day.
Another thing we can see in the future is the spatial web. In the spatial web, our interactions with the internet will be defined through physical surfaces and filters. Imagine waking up in the morning, looking out the window, and automatically getting a notification about the weather and the prediction for the day without having to go to the weather app on your phone.
Virtual reality and augmented reality will become the predominant force in the future and this is being seen today with games launched in the metaverse where people can own anything and interact with anyone in the metaverse without actually being there.
The future of blockchain and Web 3.0 looks bright as more organizations and businesses employ the use of blockchain technology in their daily operations. We can expect a future where the internet with the help of blockchain technology will create a whole new universe for content creators, companies, businesses, and the public at large.
Since there are no certainties around what we can expect from Web 3.0 or the many possibilities that this can open for us, we can for sure say that the future of the internet will cryptographically connect data from individuals, corporations, and machines and create new markets and business models for everyone.