Web 3.0: The Web of Data, with and without Blockchain (part 1)


The web and blockchains have a different history, use partially different technology, and use the same underlay network. To get a better understanding how blockchains and “crypto” fit into the Web 3.0 picture, a look at the evolution the WWW and the evolution of blockchain technology will provide the necessary insights.

The Worldwide Web (WWW)

The Worldwide Web is a complex system consisting of servers and clients that communicate with each other over an IP network (Internet). Each web server is a platform that provides services: Data and data processing. A typical web server consists of the web server itself as frontend, and an application server and a database as backend. Clients can access this data and data processing. Each server can provide one or many web applications. Each web server can be concurrently a client of other services which are not limited to web services. Each client can access offers of several services and be a server at the same time. It is also not limited to web services. Most web services contain, in addition to the data and its processing, the logic and the elements for displaying the content. In most cases, a browser serves as an application for displaying the content and for interacting with the service. But there are also other options, such as apps and applications. Servers and clients use the same network infrastructure and network protocols. Since anyone can operate and offer their own web server and web services on this network infrastructure, the web is designed to be decentralized. Only the respective services are centralized in terms of access. Services can be made freely available or restricted to a specific group of users. Web servers and services can also be operated exclusively in private networks. These are then only available via the private network. Another area of application is the browser as an interface for device management. For this, there must be a web server in the device.

The evolution of state-of-the-art

The state-of-art of the technology determines what is possible. The use of those possibilities, is determined by the availability and widespread adoption of state-of-the-art technology. A look at the development of the Web since its origins shows, that it took significant progress in all areas to get to the current state.

  • Network: higher bandwidths in both directions, lower latency, instant and long-term connections, lower prices, global availability
  • Computing: processing speed, memory, operating system, network connectivity, lower prices
  • Web: Evolution of HTTP and HTML, introduction of XML, RPC, CSS, Javascript, API’s, web applications etc.
  • Data: Availability and optimized delivery methods.

The basic principles stayed the same. What changed were the possibilities. Initially, a slow, expensive dial-up network limited the use and use cases. Combined with limited computing and storage capabilities on both ends, interactivity and user experience had only limited user appeal. That changed with the widespread availability and adoption of better computing and storage capabilities, and inexpensive high-bandwidth network connections. At the same time this enabled new services and was the infrastructure foundation for Web 2.0, the web of services and platforms. The next focus was the data, as data is what data processing is all about. Data has to be understandable for a machine and thus needs context. The Wordwide Web Consortium started to address the data issue in the context of Web 3.0 in 2007. Digital assets are also a current topic on the agenda of the Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C), which is the organization responsible for official Web standards.

The network perspective

Looking at the Web from a network perspective, it is clear that we are talking about services and applications that are available over an IP network.



Today, the web is used for many different use cases and it is the use case that decides how a solution is implemented.  While the actual implementation of web applications differs, the basic principles stay the same. Solutions for many concurrent users and large amount of data to be processed and transferred differ from solutions for a small number of users with small amounts of data. Access to services can be unrestricted or require a multi-factor authentication of the user and an authentication of the service.