Many people are puzzled by the Metaverse, but to put it simply, it is a new way for people to interact with online content. Rather than interacting with two-dimensional applications on a mobile phone or browsing the web by flipping through pages or tabs, these websites are transformed into three-dimensional objects. Thus, rather than browsing an apparel store or an online sports store, the website is transformed into a three-dimensional building or mall, with users interacting with it through in-game characters or avatars. Rather than scrolling through web pages, users will be able to interact virtually and immerse themselves in the virtual building. Additionally, they will be able to walk or virtually teleport between “websites,” but in three dimensions.
The next step is to integrate virtual reality headsets, which will elevate the experience to a new level by allowing users to “feel” and interact virtually with objects and other users. Thus, the Metaverse concept is analogous to a more interactive and immersive internet, where users will be able to jump between virtual worlds. Web3.0 represents a paradigm shift in how users manage their online identities and digital assets.
Web2.0, which we have been living and experiencing, is a phase in which businesses and developers create online products and services, such as social media apps, for users to interact with, but in a centralised fashion, which means that the companies own everything on the platform and users have little to no control over the content they create. Thus, in web2.0, users create content, which businesses control and monetise.
Users create content in Web3.0, users control and monetise that content. How?
Through the use of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. Blockchain technology enables users to interact with online services that are governed by a decentralised network of computers rather than a single company, with access to these services completely open and permissionless to anyone with an internet connection and a cryptocurrency wallet.
Through their private keys, users have complete control over their online identities and when and how their data is shared with various online applications. In Web2.0, a centralised entity manages service access and user data. In Web2.0, users register to access a service and exchange valuable data and content in exchange for the service’s convenience. They are denied access unless they agree to the terms of service.
In Web3.0, the online service is available to anyone without registration, giving users complete control over their data but also putting them at risk of not protecting their digital data and assets, as they become the sole custodians and thus forego the convenience of centralised services.