We are living in the age of Web 2.0, but it’s an era that may soon be drawing to an end. Word on the web is that it’s soon to be replaced by its younger and nimbler sibling, the originally named Web 3.0. Three will be everything that two was not: secure, private, and egalitarian. Instead of leaving billions of web users at the mercy of monopolistic internet companies and their insecure databases and opaque data sharing practices, it will return control to the people. That’s right, the very same individuals who own the information that web giants are prone to trading like football cards.

The idea behind Web 3.0 is often portrayed as a bold one; revolutionary even, but it’s not as outré as it stands. Essentially, the notion supporting it is that it makes more sense to entrust users to act as custodians of their own data rather than corporations that have more important considerations to focus on, like maximizing profits to appease stakeholders. It’s hard to sign up for any sort of online account these days without disclosing more personal information than you’d feel comfortable giving to your closest friends. In many cases, there’s no justifiable need for it. Web 3.0 keeps all such requests to a minimum and enables users to submit their details on a case-by-case and permissioned basis, rather than having it hoovered up as part of the terms of service.

Actions speak louder than words

Web 3.0 is the product of the same visionaries who have helped drive cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. Indeed, the concept of a distributed ledger – like that pioneered by Bitcoin – is what defines the platforms operating on the next iteration of the web. By relying on a series of distributed nodes or databases, redundancy is ensured and distributed denial of service attacks are all but eliminated. To log onto the Web 3.0 and interact with the various decentralized apps (dApps), wallets, and platforms that will form its backbone, a seed will be used.

Rather than typing in usernames, passwords, and email addresses everywhere they go, users will be reliant on a seed to verify their identity but without giving up their personal identity in the process. At present, web users are resigned to having to give up multiple permissions just for the privilege of installing an app or joining a website. They accept it because they have no other choice. But choice is coming, and when it arrives, webizens will finally be free to engage with platforms and products that respect their right to privacy.

One believer in the transformative potential of the web-to-come is Matteo Gianpietro Zago. The 27-year-old entrepreneur became transfixed by blockchain technology while working for AdVantage Media, an Amsterdam-based mobile advertising agency he founded. The mobile web came naturally to Mat, who had already earned notoriety as the creator of the most popular post in Facebook history. The piece notched up four million replies in just 30 days, a record which has yet to be surpassed.

As a digital native, Bitcoin and blockchain – while new to Mat – came easily, and soon he was immersed in a world of decentralization, GPU miners, and permissionless ledgers. It was almost inevitable that Mat’s next business venture would be in this emerging sector, and so it proved to be with the launch of Essentia. The startup is seeking to create a decentralized framework for connecting to Web 3.0.

The concept goes as follows: at present the decentralized apps, wallets, platforms, and other digital assets that make up Web 3.0 are scattered. Accessing these interfaces calls for separate seeds, logins, and identities – much like the existing Web 2.0. Essentia.one will link these disparate platforms together via a single seed. Because this will operate as an encrypted key that can be associated with its owner, Essentia will provide proof of identity but without giving up any more of that individual’s identity than is necessary.

Setting the standard for Web 3.0

Predictably, blockchain technology first gained traction with the geeks of the world: cypherpunks, libertarians, programmers, and engineers. Just like the earliest days of the internet, the decentralized web demanded a certain degree of technical prowess. That’s all changing though as the framework by which users access Web 3.0 becomes more user-friendly.

“Usability is a huge problem to solve,” says Gianpietro. “It doesn’t matter how revolutionary and empowering Web 3.0 is if it’s a chore to use. “We need to build a front-end on top of the basic infrastructure that makes the decentralized web a doddle to use, whether you’re 18 or 80. Achieve that and it’s only a matter of time until the public start to take note.”

This is a sponsored press release and does not necessarily reflect the opinions or views held by any employees of The Merkle. This is not investment, trading, or gambling advice. Always conduct your own independent research.