Web 1.0, 2.0, 3.0 …

Manoj Vignesh K M
4 min readMay 7, 2023
Photo by Shubham Dhage on Unsplash

Since the inception of the internet computers and hence users have been interacting with it in different ways. It transformed from Web 1.0, which was static and one-way, to Web 2.0, which was interactive and user-generated, to Web 3.0, which promises to be decentralized and secure.

This article describes the difference between Web1.0, Web2.0 and Web3.0. Further, it describes how the current Web2.0 technology is different from the prospective Web3.0 technology.

Web1.0

Internet was born in late 1960s with the name ARPANET. It was initially used only for military and research purposes. The natural extension was to make some content available to the world. Hence, certain users of the internet with authority had the power to generate, store and distribute content to the world. These authoritative users maintained servers addressed by IP address (and domain names) which had the content accessible by the world.

Web1.0: Illustration

For example, consider the IEEE xplore website. The content present in it are posted by IEEE scholars. The content is accessible to all the users of the internet (behind a paywall).

Web2.0

Soon, with introduction of web applications such as GMail, Facebook and Twitter the power of generating content reached every user of the internet. Any user of the internet could draft an email and send it to anyone across the internet. Any user of the internet could click a picture and upload it to the internet. Any user of the internet could voice his/her thoughts to the world over the internet. The web applications are now dynamic, interactive and anyone could generate content.

Web2.0: Illustration

Web3.0

To allow users to have more control over the data they generate, and to avoid interacting and paying the intermediaries between two parties that have mutual benefit, and for users favoring democracy over communism, web3.0 was introduced.

Web3.0: Illustration

Web2.0 vs Web3.0

  • Technology: In web2.0, web application frameworks such as Java Spring boot, Python Django and PHP Laravel enabled development. In web3.0, blockchain forms the core technology that enables development. In addition to blockchain, technologies such as Solidity and Vyper enable development of business logic to process data.
  • Data: In web2.0, the user generated data are stored in databases owned and maintained by the organization. While, in web3.0 the user generated data is stored in blockchain.
  • Interaction: In web2.0, any action (or processing of data) is performed by the server owned and maintained by the organization. A user communicates with the internet through APIs. APIs are exposed by the servers that are capable of processing data. While, in web3.0 most (if not all) the nodes in the blockchain perform the action. A user communicates with the internet through smart contract functions.

In web2.0, any dynamic data is stored in the database. This data is retrieved by a computer running a web server such as Java Spring Boot or Python Django. This backend service constitutes business logic that defines rules to process and retrieve data from the database. The frontend built using HTML, CSS and various forms of JS communicates with the backend server through REST APIs (typically JSON) to retrieve data and render them aesthetically to the web users.

Whereas in web3.0, any dynamic data is stored in the blockchain network. Any participant node in the blockchain network can retrieve data. Smart contracts is a mechanism to define rules to process and retrieve data from the blockchain network. The frontend built using HTML, CSS and various forms of JS communicates with the nearest/configured blockchain node to retrieve information and render them aesthetically to the web users.

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Manoj Vignesh K M

Exploring the Science of Security | Georgia Tech MS CS | Security & Software Engineering