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The notion of Web3, often referred to as Web 3.0, is a proposal for a new version of the World Wide Web that integrates ideas like as decentralisation, blockchain technology, and token-based economy. Some engineers and journalists have made the comparison between it and Web 2.0, in which they claim that data and content are concentrated in a small handful of businesses that are collectively referred to as "Big Tech." In 2014, Gavin Wood, a co-founder of Ethereum, came up with the name "Web3," and by 2021, cryptocurrency enthusiasts, big technological businesses, and venture capital firms were showing interest in the concept.

The idea that Web3 would give consumers with better data security, scalability, and privacy, as well as counteract the dominance of giant technology firms, has been advanced by a number of critics. Others have voiced their worries with the decentralised web component of Web3, noting the possibility for minimal moderation and the development of bad information as their primary reasons for doing so. Concerns have been raised by some over the possible loss of privacy as a result of increased data collecting as well as the possible concentration of wealth within a relatively small number of investors and people. Others, like Elon Musk and Jack Dorsey, have suggested that the phrase "Web3" is nothing more than a marketing buzzword or a marketing term.

Web3 is not the same as the notion that Tim Berners-Lee introduced in 1999 for a semantic web. In 2006, Berners-Lee identified the semantic web as a component of Web 3.0. The meaning of Web3 in scenarios involving blockchain technology is distinct from this use of the term.

Gavin Wood, creator of Polkadot and co-founder of Ethereum, is credited with coining the phrase "Web3," which refers to a "decentralised online ecosystem built on blockchain." The word was first used in 2014. In the year 2021, the concept of Web3 began to gain traction. At the tail end of 2021, a particular surge in interest occurred, which can be attributed, in large part, to the enthusiasm of cryptocurrency fans as well as investments from prominent technologists and corporations. In October of 2021, executives from the venture capital company Andreessen Horowitz flew to Washington, D.C. to campaign for the notion as a viable answer to problems regarding the regulation of the web, which legislators have been struggling to address.