Imagine being rushed to the emergency room one day for serious injuries from a car crash. You’ll be asked to provide all your private information to the clerk so you can be admitted. What if after a few months, your bank calls asking for the thousands of euros you spent on airplane tickets, hotels, and other expensive things you didn’t do? Chances are your identity was stolen by criminals who hacked the hospital’s database.
This is much more common than you think, and the number of cybercrimes has been rising rapidly. Companies and individuals are worried about safety. But before we delve into it, let’s talk about how the three internet eras differ from each other, and how web3 is a huge step toward building a better, safer, more secure virtual ecosystem.
Benefits of Web 2.0
Web 2.0 can be characterized as private and centralized, which was a huge step from the first version of the online world, as it became possible for people to communicate instead of just receiving information. Putting it simply, web 1.0 was designed for information consumption; Web 2.0 was made for interaction and web3 aims to provide users with consumption, interaction, production, and governance power. Keep reading and find out how to distinguish the different eras of the internet.
The term “Web 2.0” was coined by the American company, O’Reilly Media in the late 2000s to distinguish the then-new era from web 1.0. It enabled people all over the world to talk to each other, share knowledge and actively participate on several platforms. One can say Web 1.0 was a stationary model that didn’t allow communication between users. Web 2.0 revolutionized the world because it brought interaction into the equation, enabling communication between users and the information in the network.
Web 1.0’s pages were stationary, a unilateral communication so to say. Web 2.0 featured the start of a relationship between the information, and different users in the network through databases. Good examples that fit this era are search engines like Google, and social media platforms such as Facebook.
Being able to exchange information and chat in real time was one of its biggest achievements. You might remember mIRC and MSN Messenger, two very popular online chats that connected the whole world from the end of the 1990s on. According to Nielsen/NetRatings, mIRC was among the Top 10 most used applications in 2003. After that came Facebook, Instagram, and thousands of other interactive channels, like team chats for teams and video games. However, these were all owned and managed by private companies. Users become members and adhere to a set of pre-determined rules.
Web 2.0 was an incredible milestone that opened up countless doors. And sure, this was great, but people started questioning the higher powers that control the world’s most popular internet applications and platforms. Is our privacy really being respected? Is our data securely stored? Are the established rules and restrictions protecting us, or are platforms and clouds we use on a daily basis? Raising these questions was what probably gave birth to web3 — and what drives it even today: the need for individuals and the private sector (companies, enterprises, and corporations) to improve privacy and data safety. Developers, entrepreneurs, and investors are building a truly free, and transparent internet. Let’s see how!
The Web3 (r)evolution
Web3 is better described as the next generation of the internet (the good old World Wide Web) that’s interactive, public, and decentralized. The term web3 first came up in 2014 and was coined by Ethereum’s co-founder, Gavin Wood, soon made popular among cryptocurrency enthusiasts and followers, and investors.
We can say web3 is based on blockchain technology, which is not a difficult concept to grasp once you understand how online information storage is done. Companies and individuals have stored data on their computers and servers. Some deploy security measures, and others don’t, but anyone can easily become a victim of hacking and other cybercrimes.
Simply put, blockchain technology is a more secure way to store and manage data. Imagine a (virtual) block of information. Once it’s full, a new one is created, and so on. A blockchain can be made of several blocks which can’t be reordered or tampered with. This is one of its main advantages since it stores — and provides if needed — data that no one can edit or delete. It is often called a digital ledger with the added benefit of being immutable. Now imagine you could have all the benefits of web 2.0 without having to answer to a higher power. Well, that’s what web3 offers: a safer, faster, and more secure internet.
The idea of web3 is to enable the development and establishment of DApps (decentralized applications) with blockchain technology, which is managed by its users instead of corporations thus eliminating the threat of command. Web3 seems to be the most democratic system of them all when you look at its structure. Every transaction that goes in the blocks has to be approved by multiple participants.
Web 2.0 vs. Web3: What changes?
In truth, it’s not really about shifting from one to the other altogether but more about merging both — at least at an early stage. Web3’s biggest appeal is the fact that it aims to be decentralized and trustless. But what does that mean? While sites like Wikipedia, Facebook, and Instagram are owned and managed by private corporations, the projects on web3 are supposed to be overseen and governed by their users. In this case, to be trustless and permissionless is a good thing: blockchain technology doesn’t require support or governing from third parties.
Integritee & Web3
Cryptography and coding aside, blockchain technology will be extremely useful and beneficial in the near future. The most known use-case for it is decentralized finance (DeFi) such as cryptocurrency, but there are countless industries and areas where blockchain technology can become paramount. One of them — and on which Integritee focuses — is cybersecurity.
Did you know that there’s ransomware every 11 seconds? Or that it takes almost 200 days to spot a data breach? A quick search online will show you some terrifying numbers about cybercrime and hacking. We all hear about how important it is to follow some safety rules, but how many of you actually do it? News outlets and ads warn us about phishing and other menaces but the truth is that some users aren’t always that careful, as this article shows.
Integritee strives to keep companies and individuals safe with the help of Trusted Execution Environments (TEEs). Our first priority is to secure your clients and your company’s information, especially when it comes to sensitive data. People’s identities, social security, bank account number, address, and other details can be traded for millions in the black market, and sold to illegal companies by hackers for mere cents.
Our team helps tackle problems like this by implementing hardware and software-based solutions on blockchain technology. We combine the trust of a public ledger and the confidentiality of TEEs to provide you with a safe and secure digital ecosystem. Want to know more about it? Read our article on how Integritee combines Web 2.0 and web3’s benefits.