Web3: what is it and what are the main use cases

8 min

In the Web3 era, power is and will increasingly be in the hands of the users. It is we, as users, who move the reins of this increasingly dynamic virtual world. In the near future, we will be able to customise products and services through simple interfaces. We will be able to participate in government decisions through direct democracy, supported by increasingly transparent technologies. Or sign contracts without relying on intermediaries. For now we are at the beginning, some is already in our power, much more is part of the unexplored possibilities. Let’s see together what Web3 can do for us and what its main applications will be.

Antonio Grasso's Book

The evolution of the Web: a comparison between Web 1.0, Web 2.0 and Web 3.0

How did we come to talk about Web3? To answer this question, and to understand the giant steps that have been taken in just a few years, we need to take a quick look at the evolution of the World Wide Web. Since 1991, a year that is not so far away if we think of the Web as we know it today, there has been a real transformation, not only technological but also cultural and social. We have witnessed a radical reshaping of the way we interact with the digital. A journey of change that we can understand by exploring how each era of the Web has redefined the relationship between users and digital content.

Web 1.0 was born out of the need to share information. To do this, it was initially designed to be static, with existing websites acting as repositories of information, similar to digital libraries. Users were limited to the role of passive consumers of content, without the ability to interact or actively contribute to its creation. This ‘read-only’ Web was a one-way street: information was distributed in one direction, from creators to consumers.

Soon, however, users began to feel constrained by this form of communication, which did not allow for debate, response, or any form of interaction. And so, between 2004 and 2005, Web content opened up to sharing and active user participation in its management. Web 2.0 saw the birth of the first blogs, thematic forums, social media, and video-sharing platforms. The web is becoming a social and collaborative space where users not only consume content but also become creators. We begin to talk about User Generated Content (UGC).

The downside of this is the centralization of data. Few large companies had control over users’ personal information, raising questions about privacy and security. It is precisely to overcome this problem that another transformation is taking place.

Thanks to emerging technologies such as blockchain, users now have the tools in their hands to take back control of the web. And this is where we come to Web3 and decentralization. The promise of Web3 is to ensure a more secure, transparent, and adaptable network. In this context, artificial intelligence is used to improve the user experience by providing more relevant and personalized content and interactions. This new phase not only challenges the data centralization model but also paves the way for new forms of digital interaction, such as the Metaverse and Decentralised Autonomous Organisations (DAOs).

Having said that, we need to make a small clarification. When we talk about the evolution of the Web, we are talking about the Web’s path as a progression from a static and unidirectional environment to a dynamic and participatory ecosystem, now oriented toward a future that promises greater autonomy and control for users. In this case, we need to talk about Web 3.0 and not Web3.

What is the difference between Web 3.0 and Web3? Quite simply, while Web 3.0 focuses on a more personalized and intelligent user experience, Web3 emphasizes security, transparency, and user control over their data through decentralized applications. In essence, Web3 is a key aspect within the broader context of Web 3.0.

Web3 and Blockchain: an indissoluble link

To be clear, if we are here to talk about Web3, it is because it offers great business potential when combined with another disruptive technology: blockchain, known for its ability to provide a decentralized and secure structure. Their union redefines the concept of data management and security in the digital landscape.

How? Let’s start with a comparison. Unlike the centralized systems typical of Web 2.0, where data is controlled by individual entities, blockchain distributes data over a network of nodes. The intermediaries we used to rely on to be sure of the information we had to manage are no longer necessary. The data processed by blockchain technology is difficult to manipulate, and it is precisely this aspect that acts as a guarantee. Every movement, transaction, or change is recorded in blocks linked in a chain that is visible to all participants in the network: this creates an immutable and transparent register. If you have any doubts, I suggest you read the article on blockchain, where we have simplified the steps and shown the potential of this innovation.

And here the Web3, characterized by its decentralized nature, fits perfectly with blockchain technology, creating a robust and secure digital ecosystem. Blockchain, with its distributed structure, eliminates the failure point typical of centralized Web 2.0 systems, greatly increasing its resilience to failures and cyber-attacks.

Web 3, on the other hand, emphasizes interoperability and scalability, which are crucial aspects for the large-scale adoption of blockchain. Recent innovations in this area make blockchain more suitable for handling high transaction volumes, further expanding its application potential. The convergence of Web3 and blockchain shows us a more secure, transparent, and efficient digital future, with significant implications for both users and businesses.

In order to make these concepts more concrete, we will illustrate what could be the best use cases in this dynamic and decentralized virtual world.

use cases of web3

The Web3 use cases

As mentioned above, Web3 is and will open new horizons in the digital world, bringing a wave of innovation that could completely change the way businesses operate. Unique opportunities will be created in various fields, from finance to marketing, from content creation to business organization. Let’s now explore the most promising and potentially profitable use cases of Web3.

Data security and decentralized architecture

One of the most outstanding features of Web3 is the significant improvement in the privacy and security of digital infrastructures. Thanks to its decentralized architecture and the use of technologies such as blockchain and advanced encryption protocols, users have more control over their data. This means that personal information is less vulnerable to breaches and misuse, a key benefit at a time when data security is a growing concern. In addition, as users, we have the power to decide whether or not to share our data, and what we want in return for that permission.

This works in favor of IT and cybersecurity companies, which are in a privileged position to take full advantage of the solutions offered by Web3. At the same time, cloud and hosting service providers can implement Web3 technologies to ensure greater protection of their customers’ data, consolidating trust and strengthening their reputation in the market.

The gaming sector empowered by blockchain

In the gaming sector, it is a blockchain that is driving significant change with the introduction of NFT (Non-Fungible Tokens) based games and decentralized gaming systems. This innovation not only offers a new gaming experience but also opens up business opportunities for companies.

These technologies allow players to acquire and exchange unique digital assets, creating a new type of value within gaming ecosystems. In this context, companies can experiment with new ways of engaging with potential customers and monetization models, capitalizing on a rapidly growing market.

Indeed, developers and gaming platforms are already working to create applications that offer players tangible properties and rewards. This also opens up new opportunities for merchandising and entertainment companies to create and sell collectible digital products that enrich the gaming experience and create new revenue streams.

Web3 has empowered users by transforming the virtual world into a participatory and decentralized place. A transformation that has created new and exciting opportunities. Share on X

The decentralization of finance

In the world of finance, the combination of Web3 and blockchain is radically transforming the services offered by making them completely decentralized. Through the use of smart contracts on the blockchain, decentralized finance (DeFi) eliminates the need for traditional intermediaries such as banks, making financial services more accessible, efficient, and transparent.

These opportunities extend to fintech start-ups, investors and investment funds. These financial sector players can use DeFi platforms to access innovative services such as loans and insurance and explore new investment opportunities in a decentralized environment. DeFi allows them to participate in more direct and flexible ways of funding and capital growth, diversifying their strategies.

Immersive experiences in the Metaverse

While Web3 has enhanced or disrupted existing sectors, it has also created new worlds with new market opportunities. One of these parallel universes is the Metaverse, which has opened up new frontiers in business and marketing. In these immersive virtual worlds, companies can create unique customer experiences and offer new ways to interact, advertise, and sell products and services.

For example, fashion and retail brands are launching virtual stores where customers can discover and purchase products in an immersive digital environment. Artists and musicians have also taken up the virtual challenge, organizing concerts in the Metaverse or interactive exhibitions where, for example, you can buy the digital version of a painting.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Democracy in Decentralised Autonomous Organisations (DAOs)

We now come to Decentralised Autonomous Organisations (DAOs), another unique product of the combination of Web3 and Blockchain. In these organizations, without a centralized hierarchy, decisions can be made through decentralized voting mechanisms. If we put this in a corporate context, we can see a radical change in the world in which companies operate and make decisions. Indeed, DAOs guarantee a level of transparency and democratic decision-making that is difficult to achieve in other forms of organization.

As a result, DAOs are creating new models of corporate governance, particularly suited to start-ups and innovative companies, which fully embrace the concepts of collective leadership and democratic, decentralized decision-making. However, this type of organization is also suitable for collectives of artists and content creators who can form DAOs to manage collaborative projects and distribute revenues fairly.

User-Generated Content and the Creator Economy

We come to the Creators – artists, writers, musicians, and content creators – the real protagonists of Web3. Those who have gained unprecedented power from the technologies we have discussed so far. With blockchain, for example, an artist can sell his or her work in the form of NFT (Non-Fungible Tokens), guaranteeing authenticity and uniqueness. In addition, each time the work is sold, the artist earns a percentage. Similarly, musicians can upload their music to decentralized platforms and earn directly from their tracks, bypassing intermediaries such as record labels or streaming services. This system will allow them to retain complete control over their creations and the profits they make from them.

They will be increasingly independent of centralized platforms such as traditional social media or online marketplaces, where a significant proportion of revenue often goes to intermediaries. Furthermore, creators will be able to experiment with collective financing methods, such as crowdfunding, to support their projects.

Web3 also opens up new opportunities for marketing and advertising agencies. For example, they can collaborate directly with creators on advertising campaigns, bypassing traditional channels and creating more authentic and engaging content. This direct collaboration leads to more targeted and personalized campaigns, increasing the effectiveness of the advertising message and strengthening the bond between brand and consumer.

So, what can we expect from the full transition to Web3? Certainly, new opportunities and ways of interacting, but also more direct and authentic relationships between companies and customers. Finally, remember that Gavin Wood, who coined the term Web3 in 2014, argues that decentralized technologies are the only hope for preserving liberal democracy.