The future of the Internet has been the subject of much speculation and debate in the past few years. From the rise of virtual worlds and immersive experiences to the explosive growth of social media, the Internet has become a ubiquitous means of communication and commerce. with the rise blockchainThe Internet is about to undergo a major transformation.
This is not the first transformation of the Internet. Since its public appearance nearly 30 years ago, the Internet has experienced two major developments and is about to enter a third phase. These transformations have not only changed how we use the Internet and what we use it for, but they have affected the entire world, changing the way we live, work, and interact with others.
Web 1.0: Static Internet
The first iteration of the public internet was the website era. Every company needed a website, and that website basically had data and static information that the website owner thought was important. The company’s website contains information about the company – mostly marketing materials. News and reference sites also have a stock of information. But all of these sites pushed information to the consumer – a one-way communication path. This was similar to how the traditional media of the time (newspapers, magazines, radio and television) conveyed information to the public.
Whether the company was a current news agency like NBC or CNN, or it was a corporate brand like McDonald’s, every company soon had a website that brought information to the public. Figure 1 illustrates this internet. The website was an entity created and owned by the company. It mostly contained static data, and the company controlled and managed the data. Information flowed in one direction, to the outside users of the site.
In this model, the allocation of data was very limited, due to the one-way nature of the information. Users can select and filter the information they want to consume, but they usually have very little power to influence what the information being transmitted contains. Users had almost no ability to influence other users. Sharing information between users was usually limited to your local friends or bulletin board groups. These are very focused and limited audiences.
Web 2.0: Web Application
The second iteration of the public internet, the internet you’re using now, is the web application era. Here, companies focus on providing a forum for individual users to share information with each other. Web 2.0 ushered in the direction of creating personal blogs, and later expanded to include today’s social media landscape.
Companies like Twitter and Facebook have led the way to the democratization of data. They have created apps that allow anyone to post almost anything on any topic and share it with a potentially huge audience. In the current iteration of the Internet, shown in Figure 2, web and social network applications, owned by companies such as Facebook, provide a forum for users to enter data into the application and share it privately with “friends” or publicly with anyone who might be interested. Today’s web applications allow people to connect across the world with people they have never met.
When the smartphone has become ubiquitous, the use of the Internet has grown exponentially. Now everyone can stay connected to the internet all the time. They can talk to anyone they want, whenever and wherever they want. Internet exploded.
While users have found that they can communicate with people all over the world, the companies that own these apps have found that they can collect massive amounts of information about users, their likes and dislikes. This data has become a valuable source of information and a major source of income for internet giants. Companies like Facebook have grown into huge multibillion dollar corporations, and the founders of these companies have become some of the richest people in the world.
Then these companies discovered something else they could do, and that was to organize. Instead of randomly providing information from a user to other users, they can use the information they have collected about people’s likes and dislikes to provide information sharing for people’s interests. The “social algorithm” was born, and web application companies have used tremendous power in influencing the information people receive in the world.
This control of information has made these companies very powerful – many believe they are very powerful.
Web 3.0: Trusted Data
We are now on the brink of the third iteration of the public internet.
In this third generation, data is no longer stored and maintained by web applications. Instead, data and information are stored in the very fabric of the Internet. In Web 3.0, data becomes available to any application that needs access and is authorized to use it. The data is no longer owned by an app or controlled by a web platform company like Facebook. In fact, web applications play a less important role in managing information. There is no single application that can play the role of information custodian, so there is no Powerful Social Media A company to influence what information people are allowed to see.
Figure 3 shows this internet. End users directly manage and control their data and information, and this data is used and managed outside the control of a single company. Web applications are consumers of information, but none of them own or manage the information. So now web applications are of secondary importance to the data itself. Instead, the data and information is stored in a file blockchain which is not managed by any one company. All information in the blockchain is distributed across all internet companies equally, and cannot be controlled by any central organization (company or government).
The goal is to enable shared, uncensored, unsaturated, and trusted information that is independent of web applications and the undue influence they exert on the information. The information is owned and operated by the true owner of the data – the user – and not by web applications and their creators.
The result will be a more reliable and reliable Internet, because the data will be sourced, referenceable, and uncensored.
Web 3.0 should create more distributed power architecture on the Internet than was ever possible with Web 2.0 platform companies.
This revolution that led to the third generation of the internet is enabled by a single piece of technology – the blockchain. The blockchain is central to this distributed, data-first, trusted Internet. What is making blockchain technology central to this revolution? Blockchain has several features that will enable this transformation:
- Blockchain ownership is distributed. There is no single source of data ownership in the blockchain. Anyone can contribute to the blockchain, and anyone can read from it. Anyone can participate in the blockchain distribution.
- The data stored in the blockchain is immutable, irrevocable, and cryptographically signed, so it can be demonstrated to be trustworthy and trustworthy (or it can be demonstrated that it is not authentic and unauthorized). Everyone knows who is the owner and creator of all data, and all data can be confirmed in terms of its source and authenticity. This increases confidence in the reliability of the data.
- No company alone can regulate, supervise, prioritize or filter data in the blockchain. Since there is no single owner of the data, no one can manipulate how the data is consumed by users. This means that there are no data power intermediaries, such as social media companies, that control and manage the information that is shared.
In short, the blockchain encourages trust in data and its source by making all transactions transparent and data verifiable.
Blockchain is like the IP transmission infrastructure of the Internet – there is no single owner of the communication backbone on the Internet. There are companies, such as AT&T, Verizon, Deutsche Telekom, and NTT Communications, that contribute to the backbone. But no single owner can completely isolate, filter or block Internet traffic. Even powerful countries that want to block parts of the internet from their citizens, such as China and Russia, find that job is a constant struggle. All it takes is a new unfiltered provider to create a new communications path and all filtering is worthless.
Blockchain for Internet data will achieve what the backbone of the Internet has accomplished to disseminate information. You will create a reliable, unfilterable and uncensored repository of data and information that can be accessed all over the world. This is the characteristic that will lead to the creation of the third generation of the Internet.
This is why the blockchain is the future of the internet.
What does blockchain mean for enterprises
The most obvious advice is to learn and understand as much as you can about blockchain. Please do not confuse blockchain with Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. Bitcoin uses the blockchain, but the blockchain is not Bitcoin. The value of the blockchain goes beyond the initial implementation that cryptocurrencies use.
Then, realize that blockchain is not just a technology, but an entirely new way of thinking about data that will create a new iteration of the Internet. It is as fundamental to data as the backbone of the Internet to transmit information.
When you start thinking about future application architectures, consider blockchain. Blockchain will be important for the next generation of Internet applications such as the public cloud, microservice architectures, and devops for the current generation. Make sure to consider the impact of blockchain in all of your application architecture plans for current and future applications.
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