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Explained | Web 3.0: What are the likely benefits and risks?

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Web 3.0 is still work-in-progress but it has everyone, from Elon Musk to Jack Dorsey excited. So, what will the new avatar of the internet look like and more importantly, what will be the pros of the technological shift and what will the pitfalls to watch out for? Read on...

Web 3.0 or the third version of the internet is expected to bring a paradigm shift in the way we browse, interact socially, or even shop on the internet. While Web 2.0 improved communication and online interaction, Web 3.0 will focus on improving personalisation, collective ownership, and sharing of content.
The updated version of the internet will make use of blockchain -- the technology underlying bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies--and hence, allow the internet to be supported by decentralised networks. As a result, website owners will no longer need to depend on servers owned by big companies.
According to a report by New York Times, investors have already bet $27 billion on Web 3.0 to be the "future of the internet".  However, there are always two sides to a coin and as there will be benefits, there will also be drawbacks of Web 3.0. Although Web 3.0 is still work-in-progress, experts list out some of the pros and cons of the next iteration of the internet:
Pros
Following are some of the potential benefits of Web 3.0:
  • It is expected to be more reliable
  • Web 3.0 will give more freedom to creators and users in general. With the help of decentralised networks, Web 3.0 will ensure its users always remain in control of their online data. The next version of the internet is also expected to be more reliable as its decentralised nature removes the occurrence of a single-point failure.
    • It will be truly for any and everyone
    • Web 3.0 does not require a single entity to control it. Bigger corporations may no longer control any aspect of the internet. As a result, decentralised apps or dApps cannot be censored, and neither can their access be restricted.
      • Increased personalisation of the internet
      • Since Web 3.0 will be able to understand your preferences, you will be able to extensively personalise your web browsing experience. This will also help you surf the web in a productive way.
        • Web 3.0 will help sellers to market better
        • With the help of the artificial intelligence of Web 3.0, sellers can understand your buying needs and show you products and services that you are keen on purchasing. This helps you see better and more relatable advertisements that have a higher chance of being beneficial for you.
          • Uninterrupted services
          • The decentralisation will mean every data will be stored on distributed nodes and therefore, users need not worry about suspension of a particular account or service disruptions due to technical or other reasons.


            Cons
            Here are some of the arguments against Web 3.0:
            • Ownership concerns
            • Twitter's former CEO Jack Dorsey believes that regular users will not be the owners of Web 3.0 projects, as is expected. It will be owned by venture capitalists and investors. This will mean the control could still remain centralised.
              • Tough to regulate
              • Some experts also believe that decentralisation could add to difficulties in monitoring and regulating Web 3.0. This could lead to a rise in cybercrimes, online abuse etc.
                • Surfing Web 3.0 will require better processors
                • Old devices will not be able to handle Web 3.0. Hence, you would require a device that has above-average specifications to be able to use the next version of the internet.
                  • Existing website owners will be compelled to upgrade
                  • As websites and apps that work on Web 3.0 become popular, existing businesses will be compelled to upgrade their digital offerings to ensure that they do not lose their captured market.
                    • Easier access to one’s personal and public data
                    • Web 3.0 is vast and interconnected. Though this is its strength, the semantic network also makes it easy for anybody to gain access to your public and private information that you share online.
                      However, all these advantages and disadvantages are based on information that is currently available. Web 3.0 is still in the works and the actual version could be a lot different. It's just wait-and-watch till then.
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