The Internet, like our world, is constantly evolving. Web3 and Web3 Credentials are changing how we access and use the Internet.
Since 2018, blockchain technology and decentralization have emerged as disruptive innovations, taking the world by storm. With the rise of public ledgers and a trustless system, organizations and developers have begun implementing the future of the World Wide Web into our websites and integrating these characteristics into our experience. One such example is digital credentials. Web3 credentials are a form of digital credentials. Let’s understand how they differ from the rest and know their importance in a decentralized internet.
Understanding The History Of The Web
You might be wondering what Web3 is in the first place. Most people might not have even known that there were 2 previous Web versions. Knowing the earlier iterations of the Internet is crucial to know why Web3 is an incredible paradigm shift in how we access and operate in the digital world.
The first version of the World Wide Web, dubbed Web1, had a single purpose in mind – to help people find information better. It consisted of people building web pages that directed information to users. However, this information was only text-based. It lacked the necessary forms, visuals, controls, and interactivity we enjoy on today’s Internet. But it served its purpose of giving people a hint at the future of digital communication.
Web2 was the next generation of the World Wide Web and is the current version that we see around us on websites today. While Web1 was focused on helping people access information easier, Web2 focused on allowing people to participate and contribute. This Web form was responsible for creating communities, collaborations, dialogue, and social media. As a result, Web 2.0 is considered the primary form of web interaction for most of today’s users.
Why Web3 Will Reshape The Future Of The Internet
Understanding Web3 is not easy compared to Web1 and Web2, mainly because there is still a long way to go before Web3 has been fully realized. While Web1 and Web2 are the past and the present, Web3 is the future.
Web3 is built on decentralization, openness, and more extensive user utility. This allows users to move away from centralized platforms such as Google and Facebook and more towards decentralized, nearly anonymous platforms. The vision for Web3 is that of an intelligent, autonomous, and open internet that uses AI and ML to act as a global brain and process content effectively and efficiently.
These characteristics of Web3 are far from being developed, due to technological limitations, but more and more websites are implementing Web3 features, and within the next 5 years, most websites and platforms will be Web3 compliant. The main characteristics of Web3 include the following:
- Decentralization – Interaction between devices, users, and services will be possible without a centralized authority’s governing.
- Openness – Open-source software will be used to build content platforms
- Zero-Trust – Everyone will use a trustless environment, and network protection will reach its maximum potential.
What Are Web3 Credentials?
Web3 Credentials are a form of digital credentials, in that they exist digitally. They use the major characteristics of Web3 technology in certification. While they are similar to traditional paper credentials in that they are earned through the completion of a task such as a course or a test, they differ from them in that they are not controlled by centralized bodies. There are three forms in which Web3 Credentials can be issued, which are NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens), SBTs (SoulBound Tokens), and Verifiable Credentials.
While all of these types of credentials are relatively new and are still being developed, they innovate the way credentials can be used, and provide legitimate authentication of one’s identity, possession, skills, knowledge, and so on.
The Importance Of Web3 Credentials
Web2 Credentials, being issued by a centralized authority, leave you no choice but to trust them to take care of your credentials, and hence, you are trusting your data in the hands of someone else. This brings issues such as privacy infringement, data security, and inefficiency in validation. Web3 Credentials solve these issues by giving you direct ownership of your credentials. You can decide who can use your data. The decentralized nature of Web3 credentials makes it nearly impossible for hackers and threats to target your data, unlike attacking a centralized server where all credentials are stored.
Web3 credentials can be stored in a digital wallet. They will follow you wherever you go, and won’t be limited to one platform. No organizations can alter, delete or suspend your credentials after they are issued because they would need to do that to all the nodes on the blockchain. This also means that all on-chain credentials are instantly verifiable because of the transparent but secure nature of the blockchain they exist on.
Digital credentials don’t just stop at universities and educational institutions. Globally, fraudulent vaccine certification, licenses, and compliance markets have risen since the pandemic. Web3 gets rid of the possibility of these black market fakes. Falsifying claims is nearly impossible to do with blockchain technology because of its public availability and immutable nature.
Before You Go Ahead…
The world of Web3 is exciting, but it is still being developed. It will take a while before it becomes the new status quo. There are some things to point out with the current environment of Web3 technology.
There are a handful of places where Web3 credentials can be shown. Some social networks have started implementing NFT integration. However, there’s still a long way to go before we can give Web3 credentials the proper recognition that it deserves. While there aren’t a lot of platforms that allow you to integrate your Web3 Credentials, Hyperstack has been leading the charge to a Web3 future and allows you to issue as well as receive Web3-compliant credentials. Sign up for Hyperstack today.
The majority of Web3 credential projects are still in their fetal stage. Some platforms, such as Hyperstack, thrive and assert themselves as mainstays of the decentralized identity and credential stack.
Credentials are incredibly important in how we operate our society, and their importance will only rise as Web3 matures.
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