What is Web 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0?

What is Web 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0?

Nahid Ibrahimzade

Nahid Ibrahimzade

MELD Ambassador

January 25, 2022

The web that we are using today has changed a lot in the past three decades. Throughout these years, many sites and web-related companies have risen to the top while some have stayed and some just have faded into history. The web is a phenomenon that is always evolving, whether we are a part of it or not. As a person, who was born in 1994, I had a chance to see and utilize web 2.0 and 3.0. From a user experience perspective, as long as you are interacting with the web and doing the things that you want, the naming convention does not matter a lot. For instance, I used to call a USB-B cable a USB cable until I learned that there is also a USB-C cable (then, of course, I googled for a USB-A cable). Thus, having multiple versions of cables made me do the research and understand the difference clearly. Afterward, I made a similar approach for the Web. It is worth mentioning that definitions of the web have been subject to heated debates in the past weeks on Twitter. Hence, in this article, I will try to explain and provide some examples of Web 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0.

Web 1.0

Tim Berners-Lee wanted to develop a system that could be shared across the networks which would allow individuals to perform file transfer over these machines. With this goal in mind, he created a world wide web in December 1990. Here you can still browse the world wide web site. 

Web 2.0

The read-only browser was a breakthrough, but after a little more than a decade, users wanted not only to browse but also to contribute. Hence, we saw the arrival of platforms, such as YouTube, Facebook, and many other social platforms and blogs, that could be easily created with the help of WordPress. Accelerated with the speed of the internet, having smartphones (I still remember my nostalgic Nokia 5700 XpressMusic) and multiple devices, Web 2.0 has seen enormous growth until now. The shift from the ‘read-only’ to the ‘read-write’ web has changed the dynamics of the web dramatically. Many users can provide their opinions, discuss the topics that are interesting to them, or share their videos and photos over the internet easily either in public or private ways. Hence, this created a participatory community, where users became a part of platforms.

Though the benefits of Web 2.0 are huge, there are also some drawbacks. Despite these changes, the users are still not the true owners of the web from the perspectives of data privacy and data protection . One of the major flaws is that the data is stored on a centralized server and is controlled by the platforms themselves, not by users. Hence, the ultimate owner is never the user, but always the company. Additionally, users are seen as “products”, whom the advertisements are shown based on the history, searches, or even interactions. Your account can always be deleted or disabled without prior notice. Hence, at this stage, we can say that there is a need for a new version of the web.

Web 3.0

On top of ‘read-write’, bringing a solution to the above-mentioned problems, web 3.0 offers its users ownership over the assets (coins, tokens, NFTs) and aims to store data in a decentralized way. As a result of these new features, there will not be one central entity, which has absolute ownership over the system. Additionally, communities will play a significant role in web 3.0 since ownership is usually acquired by governance tokens. Hence, directly, users can participate in the decision-making process for the platforms. However, users should not expect to participate at an early stage of the projects, since asking for a small hotfix is not the ideal solution. However, this should also be agreed with communities or clearly written in a whitepaper to manage the expectation of communities. Moreover, web 3.0 allows users to send and receive coins and tokens within a short period which is much faster compared to legacy systems. Although I expect KYC to come also for wallets in 2022 and onwards in some jurisdictions to combat the money laundering (meaning that the wallets, most probably, will be tied to CEX (centralized exchanges, such as Binance or Coinbase) addresses), having KYC is not something that will negatively impact the usage of the systems. 

Nevertheless, web 3.0 also has its limitations which include fee issues (for some blockchains, congestion might happen, and you might end up paying increased fees for a small transaction or wait longer), network issues (if nodes are not decentralized enough), and inherent problems within web 3.0. For example, if explicit content is shared on a social platform that is created in a decentralized way, who will have the authority to delete it? Or should it be deleted at all? 

It should be noted that web 3.0 is currently in its infancy at the moment, but if communities adequately address the issues, we might see the results beyond our expectations. 

MELD is built on the Cardano blockchain and inherits the underlying principles of web 3.0. It is a decentralized, ethical, and cost-efficient lending and borrowing protocol. With the help of the non-custodial nature of the protocol, users will have total control of their assets.

Additionally, through partnerships, MELD has gained significant traction in the emerging crypto market. One of the partners is IAMX, and through the partnership, IAMX is looking to utilize and integrate MELD services directly into their identity gateway systems for new IAMX users - who are creating a digital identity for the first time - to also have access to financial services for the first time.


The opinions shared within this article are those solely of the MELD Ambassador. Note that the content within should not be considered financial, legal, or tax advice. Neither the author nor MELD Labs PTE Ltd. are financial, legal or tax advisors. None of this content should be used to make any form of financial, tax, or legal decisions. Do your own research and consult professionals as needed for official policies, restrictions, and requirements in your jurisdiction.

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