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Web3 vs Web 3.0: The difference between the Decentralised Web and the Semantic Web

Updated: May 6, 2023

In the early days of the internet, Web 3.0 was simply a term used to describe the third generation of the World Wide Web. It was marked by an increase in users and websites, as well as more interactivity among them. More recently, another term called web3 emerged which is often mistook for Web 3.0, but in reality these are two different terminologies.

Web3 vs Web 3.0: The difference between the Decentralised Web and the Semantic Web | The Business Anecdote

Some of the core differences between these two terminologies include:

  1. The semantic web, known as Web 3.0, focuses on efficiency and intelligence by reusing and linking data across websites. On the other hand, the decentralized web also known as web3, puts a strong emphasis on security and empowerment by returning control of data and identity to users.

  2. The semantic web uses a central place called the solid pod to store all user data. This enables users to handle third-party access to their data, while the Solid pods issue a unique WebID for users that act as an identity within the ecosystem. On the other hand, blockchain-based web3 users can store their data in a cryptocurrency wallet, which they can access using their private keys.

  3. In terms of operating philosophies, web3 is focused on removing intermediaries and directly connecting content creators and content consumers. This eliminates the need for third parties in transactions. On the other hand, Web 3.0 is all about continuing the evolution of the web, for example evolving to a semantic web to make web content more machine-readable.

  4. Both web3 and Web 3.0 use different technologies to implement data security. Web3 uses blockchain technology, while Web 3.0 uses data interchange technologies like RDF, SPARQL, OWL, and SKOS.

While there are many factors that differentiate web3 from Web 3.0, what really sets them apart is their underlying philosophy. Web3 prioritizes decentralization and security, while Web 3.0 focuses more on innovation and convenience for users. Whether you're interested in using the latest technology or simply looking for a more secure online experience, it's important to understand the differences between these two terms to choose the right tools for your needs.

Brief history of Web 3.0 and Web3

Web 3.0 - The development of the internet has come a long way since its inception in 1969 as Web 3.0. In the early days, it was primarily used for academic and military purposes. But in the 1990s, everything changed with the advent of Web 2.0. This ushered in a new era of online interactivity, where users could communicate and collaborate on websites like never before.

The history of Web 3.0 is intertwined with the evolution of the internet. Web 3.0, also known as the semantic web, is a concept that has been around since 2001 when it was first proposed by Tim Berners-Lee and other computer scientists. It refers to a new way of organizing data on the internet, taking advantage of its structure and making it easier for users to access information quickly and efficiently.

Web 3.0 offers developers more control over their applications and content than ever before, enabling them to create powerful online experiences for their users. Web 3.0 is usually characterised by three core pillars, which are Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain.

Brief history of Web 3.0 and Web3 | The Business Anecdote

Web3 - Web3 was first coined by the Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood in 2014. The fundamental idea behind web3 is to create a decentralized version of the Internet. At its core, web3 is focused on creating a more decentralized and secure internet. Instead of relying on centralized servers or data centres, web3 allows users to interact directly with each other and the content they are accessing. This enables greater privacy and security, as information isn't stored in one central location that could be hacked or compromised.

Web3 technologies | The Business Anecdote

Another key feature of web3 is the ability for users to engage in micropayments or microtransactions. In order to buy goods or services online, users typically need to set up an account with a payment processor such as PayPal or Stripe. With web3, smart contracts can facilitate direct transactions between users without going through these middlemen, enabling faster and more efficient online interactions. Web3 is characterised by technologies such as Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, NFTs, DeFi, Metaverse, Decentralised Storage, Smart Contracts etc.

The application of web3 in gaming is also an area which has a lot of maturity. Several entrepreneurs have launched games based on a combination of blockchain technology, cryptocurrency and DeFi. For more information on web3 read our articles on:

Similarities between Web3 and Web 3.0

To be absolutely clear, web3 and Web 3.0 are not the same thing but they do intersect and share technologies. For example, the Metaverse, Big Data and AI would typically interact with each other. The Metaverse might look like the final output but it is powered by AI, Blockchain and Big Data technology such as IOT. The Metaverse is effectively a typical example of how Web 3.0 and web3 technologies interact. In many ways web3 is a big part of the improvement being made on the next version of the internet which is Web 3.0.

Similarities between Web3 and Web 3.0 | The Business Anecdote

The big selling point of web3 is its decentralised philosophy that caters for privacy and user tracking issues associated with the semantic internet. So while the internet will always remain the internet, the Web 3.0 version of the internet would support decentralised technology provided by web3.


Web3 and web 3.0 are two different technologies with distinct features that can be used to create content or services in order to take advantage of its capabilities. While there may be some security concerns associated with the use of these new technologies, they have tremendous potential for transforming how we access information and interact online. Whether you're a developer looking to create something entirely new or an everyday user interested in exploring Web 3.0's possibilities, it is definitely worth taking the time to learn more about this revolutionary technology.

With its innovative applications and powerful tools, web3 has already begun changing the way we experience the digital world and data security. It certainly looks like it will only continue evolving from here! Additionally, Web 3.0 has already begun to shape our experience of the internet in ways we could never have imagined before, and this is only just the beginning!

As more developers continue to explore and experiment with these new technologies, there will be a wealth of opportunities for us all to benefit from their capabilities in exciting new ways. So if you want to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to understanding what’s possible on today’s connected world, now is definitely a great time start learning about web3 and Web 3.0!




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