Web3 is a collection of JS libraries that allows you to interact with an Ethereum node remotely or locally. It simply provides us with an API to use so that we can easily work with the blockchain. web3 works as a wrapper for JSON RPC to connect to a remote or local Ethereum node with an HTTP or IPC connection. Web2 refers to the version of the Internet that most of us know today.
An Internet dominated by companies that provide services in exchange for your personal data. Web3, in the context of Ethereum, refers to decentralized applications running on the blockchain. These are applications that allow anyone to participate without monetizing their personal data. At the core of Web3 are distributed applications (or dapps) built on the Ethereum blockchain, which pays users who help keep their network online.
While Web3 promises to bring the underlying technology of NFT and cryptocurrency ownership to potential new realms of the web, that promise has yet to be fulfilled. It was only a matter of time before Web3 became a big enough part of public Internet discourse for jesters to come for protocol priests. These applications are often called dapps (decentralized applications), and you'll see that term is often used in the webspace3.Some Web 2.0 companies, including Reddit and Discord, have explored incorporating Web3 technologies into their platforms. Web3 is also crucially different from what Tim Berners-Lee described as early as 1999 as Web 3.0, or the semantic web, which focused on making the Internet machine-readable, a vision that remains largely unrealized.
Most of the time, in web3 applications, identities will be linked to the wallet address of the user interacting with the app. Web3's stance is that you should own your own online identity and reveal parts of that identity only when you decide to do so. When I asked my brother, a Web3 developer, how he explains Web3, his short answer is that Web1 was read-only, Web2 is read-write, Web3 is self-read and write. Anyone who has been in the Web3 ecosystem long enough is aware of the design advantages and disadvantages engineers encountered when trying to adhere to decentralized architectures to the fullest, easy-to-use applications, and scalable infrastructure.
Web3 can be seen as a reaction to the extractive relationship between users and platforms on the Internet today, one in which users will always be able to choose what to share and what to keep private. While the decentralized social network Mastodon and the GitHub clone Radicle are based on some Web3 principles, like the Brave browser, most existing Web3 applications are adapted to trading crypto assets or betting cryptocurrencies on casino games.