Volume IconWhat is Web 5.0?

The internet has come a long way. The upcoming web 3.0 boasts of decentralisation as its bedrock. And now, former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has announced Web 5.0. Let us find out more about it

ImageAkash Podishetti New Delhi
Net neutrality, Internet, Web

Internet, Web

Even before we could fathom the intricacies of Web 3.0, former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced his plans to build Web 5.0. The goal, according to him, is to create an “extra decentralised” internet platform where users have control over their data and identity.

But, the idea seems similar to that of Web 3.0 and is centered around the same theme, that is “decentralisation”. So what exactly is Web 5.0 and how will it be different from Web 3.0 and Web 2.0? Let us try to understand.

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Web 5.0, being developed by Jack Dorsey’s bitcoin business unit “TBD”, is reportedly trying to solve all the problems related to “identity and data” in the current web system. It aims to give data ownership to users where they will control it.

To understand the difference between Web 3.0 and 5.0, let us look at the evolution of the internet. The initial phase of Web or Web 1.0 was built around one-way communication, where users can only read the information on the web pages and cannot interact.

The evolution of the internet has led to Web 2.0, which is the current web system that we are all using. It is dominated by social media platforms where users can interact, comment, share and create content. But in the current web system, users generally have no control over the data and it is stored with third parties. There are also genuine concerns around how Big Tech companies such as Google, Facebook control most of the data and the chances of potential misuse.

Ushering in a more decentralised internet, Web 3.0 is being built on multiple blockchain networks to reduce the need for intermediaries or eliminate threats of censorships and outages. In essence, it is designed to give control to users where the data is stored in multiple blockchains and thus being owned by users themselves.

So how is Web 5.0 different from Web 3.0? Even though Web 3.0 and Web 5.0 more or less share the same vision, the technologies and protocols employed to build these platforms are different. Jack Dorsey says Web 3.0 is mainly based on multiple blockchain networks or single point of failure systems. He claims that Web 3.0 is more centralised than what is portrayed in the public discourse and is controlled by few venture capitalists.

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Web 5 developers are saying "you don’t need a blockchain for everything”. And that they can build decentralised applications on well understood distributed centralised systems of computer science.

Web 5.0 will have a series of decentralised apps and protocols. Instead of multiple blockchains, Web 5.0 developers are trying to leverage only Bitcoin and build everything on top of it. In Web 5.0, users will hold a digital wallet that securely manages their identity, data, and authorisations for external apps and connections.

For instance, a user can use his or her wallet to log in to a new decentralised app. They may not need to repeatedly create fresh profiles and log in to new applications as Web 5.0 will aim to give users a “decentralised identity” allowing them to seamlessly move from one app to another. User data, rather than getting stored with third-party products and services, will be controlled by users and only be exposed with their permission. 

First Published: Jul 04 2022 | 7:00 AM IST

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