There's a lot of hype around Web 3.0 (also referred to as Web 3) right now. It is being touted as the biggest thing since sliced bread, and some people describe it as the third industrial revolution. But what is Web 3? Web 3.0 is the next phase of the internet, which will be based on blockchain technology. A blockchain is a digital ledger that stores data in a distributed network. These blocks of data can be anything from financial transactions to Facebook likes. Everything will start to become decentralized on this new internet with many benefits for us as users and small business owners. The businesses that embrace the new technology will be miles ahead of competitors.
But before we get started, let's take a trip down memory lane to understand how the internet has changed over the past few decades:
Web 1.0 enabled users to access the internet from anywhere and view website information. But, there was only one mode of communication. The web pages were static. While they may have provided helpful information, the static HTML pages didn't offer users any reason to revisit. A great example is a web page that gives information about a company, but it never changes.
Web 2.0 is the current version of the internet. This is the era where websites became more interactive, and all users could quickly develop their own websites and apps. This era introduced user-generated content, transparency in integrations, software as a service (SAAS), digital marketing, and the internet as a platform, not a network. The era brought about the introduction of major digital companies such as Netflix, Amazon, and Microsoft.
How Do Small Business Owners Benefit From Web 3.0
The new phase of the internet will increase customer transparency and user orientation. The way companies use the data of their customers will change completely. Blockchain technology will be at the core of Web 3.0. Therefore all web and mobile applications will require a blockchain upgrade.
Web 3.0 will benefit businesses in the following ways:
1. No third party. Blockchain technology is completely decentralized. Decentralized means processing information across several devices instead of one server. Web servers control changes and actions performed by the internet in Web 1.0 and Web 2.0.
However, in Web 3.0, there won't be any third-party service providers. For example, digital coins such as cryptocurrencies don't require banks or financial institutions to operate. Transactions are between the two transacting parties. With no intermediaries, businesses will reduce their operating costs and be more competitive in their industries.
2. Easier Regulation Compliance. With blockchain, transactions will be visible and easily traceable. This will enable companies to comply with government regulations through transparency.
3. Increased Accountability. Transactions and actions will be tracked, and as a result, all companies will be held accountable for all activities. This will enable consumers to purchase from reputable companies.
4. Better Security. The technology makes it impossible for hackers and unauthorized parties to access data. Since blockchain networks are decentralized, there can be no points of failure or data theft. The information on the network can't be manipulated or altered, making Web 3.0 completely safe.
5. Better Customer Relations. Information shared across Web 3.0 will be unchangeable. Therefore, customers can breathe easily and know the information is authentic. This will enable businesses to build long-lasting relationships with their customers.
The tamper-proof record of transactions will enable customers to see companies for what they are. Also, the real-time view of supply chains will allow customers to tell exactly where their orders are within the production stage.
6. Easier Supply Chain Management. Blockchain technology will make it easy for businesses to track and monitor supply chains. Eliminating silos will make it easy to identify problems within delivery and production systems, reducing costs and increasing the efficiency of processes. Web 3.0 will also enable businesses to share information such as schedules, deadlines, and production routines seamlessly with suppliers.
7. Affordability. Blockchain technology's distributed nature will ensure that Web3.0 is cheaper and safer for businesses. Since data isn't stored in one server, it's less vulnerable to loss or cyber-attacks. Also, apps won't require expensive data servers. They will run on networks of computers of end users.
On average small businesses spend about $100 - $200 a month to rent a small dedicated server. The cost of purchasing the server could cost as much as $3,000. With Web 3.0, businesses can scrape off these expenses off their costs.
Businesses will have faster transactions at lower rates. Web 3.0 uses digital currencies such as Bitcoin, which enables transactions to occur in real-time, within minutes, if not seconds, since they don't have to go through an intermediary such as a bank.
Web 3.0 will create equal opportunities for small business owners. The big companies who currently own private data centers can easily manipulate the internet to their advantage. With blockchain technology, big corporations will lose the power to influence the internet—this will level the playing field.
In today's world, many businesses use unscrupulous methods to tarnish brand names by sharing false information on the internet. Web 3.0 will curtail fake stories and fabricated news because of tightened security measures. With Web 3.0, verifiable sources of information will take place through blockchain records of transactions. Several apps, such as Prover, have been built to perform the tasks.
The decentralization aspect of Web 3.0 will reduce internet downtime, which saves businesses high costs. Currently, server failures cause downtimes. The new phase of the internet is still in the development stage. There are a few companies that are already using the technology. Keep a close eye on technological changes to capitalize on the opportunities it presents to your business.