There is a lot of talk on the Internet right now about Web 3.0. Web 3.0 refers to the new era of Internet development that comes with cryptocurrencies, DeFi, DAO, NFT, and the increased use of machine learning and artificial intelligence.
The past transition from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 has had a huge impact on business. When Web resources began to provide feedback, when search engines, forums, chat rooms, blogs and social networks began to blossom, many companies quickly realized the potential of using new technology to advertise their products. In the early stages of the Web 2.0 era, this led to the dot-com bubble that lasted from 1995 to 2001. A huge number of internet startups grew up and went bankrupt during this period, but it was the era of Web 2.0 when giants like Amazon, Ebay and Yahoo went bankrupt. Now every major company has a presence on the Internet.
Skeptics also often compare the current hype around Web 3.0 and cryptocurrencies to the dot-com bubble, but the cryptocurrency market already tried to bury at the end of the first hype of 2017-2018, when it was claimed that it would no longer cross the threshold of $20,000. In November 2021, the price of BTC was already as high as $65,000 to $66,000. In addition, the dot-com bubble ended with companies doing business in the Web 2.0 mold. And that means that no matter how volatile the Web 3.0 industry looks, they are the future of the Internet. Our task now is to figure out how Web 3.0 will affect e-commerce.
Web 3.0 is already having a strong impact on users and businesses. The easiest way to explain this impact is to look at the effect of the most significant Web 3.0 technologies on online life and business.
Cryptocurrencies are gradually gaining more and more popularity. This is not only a fashion trend, but in many ways a real alternative to the existing monetary system, which is now suffering from inflation and sanctions wars. As a consequence, more and more different services and marketplaces will adopt cryptocurrency payments, although the specifics will strongly depend on the legal framework in each particular country.
Decentralization is one of the main pillars of Web 3.0. Much of this is accomplished through so-called Dapps – decentralized applications. Dapps rely on blockchain, smart contracts, and p2p (peer-to-peer networks) so that platforms can work without an intermediary.
Many users, especially in the sanction era, are intimidated by dependence on centralized platforms and decentralization has evolved from a crypto-anarchic utopia into a quite pressing need to securely store their assets, for example. Many decentralized platforms are managed through DAOs (decentralized autonomous organizations), where users’ investment in the platform gives them more management rights.
2021 was the year of the hype around NFT. Nevertheless, most NFT started to be used for digital art and in-game assets (the more so because most games specializing in play2earn NFT schemes were in such a hurry to hit the market that they turned out to be raw and could not repeat the success of Axie Infinity). NFT technology can be used to tag any type of real assets from real estate to vehicles, it’s essentially a blockchain-based certification system.
But the legal aspect scared the companies, and that is why most of NFT remained in the speculative sphere of digital art, giving a false impression to an outside observer that it is a bubble.
The use of non-interchangeable tokens has another promising direction is to increase brand loyalty by creating a sense of exclusivity in the most interested consumers.
AI and machine learning
Another important feature of Web 3.0 is the extensive use of AI and machine learning – from trading bots on exchanges to analytics systems capable of identifying unusual patterns in consumer behavior that humans would not pay attention to.
Bots will become more and more sophisticated, capable of processing huge arrays of Big Data, and on that basis will give their users personalized solutions. Since in the near future not only humans but bots will be buying and selling as well, not only human-centric advertising will become important, but also more and more sophisticated forms of SEO that would encourage automatic algorithms to single out your product among all those on the market.
Of course, Web 3.0 is not limited to the above technologies, these are only the most prominent ones. In general, the Web 3.0 is characterized by a movement towards decentralization – and we are talking not only about decentralized platforms and cryptocurrencies, but also about the regionalization of the Internet for political reasons. The second important aspect is strengthening the role of AI. AI will process data, buy, sell and advertise products, and even resolve disputes between business entities through smart contracts.