Web 2.0 vs Web 3.0: What’s The Difference?

Web 3.0 is the hottest topic of late. After all, it promises a more equitable and democratic internet free from the censorship of big tech. That is not even mentioning the benefits that A.I will be.

But you are probably wondering. What is the difference between web 2.0 and web 3.0?

Don’t worry. In this article, I will be going over the key differences between the two. So without further ado, let’s jump right in.


Web 2.0 refers to the current form of the internet. It is characterized by user-generated content, greater social interaction, and centralized control. On the other hand, web 3.0 provides a more democratic experience whereby people are in control of their assets. Moreover, it leverages A.I and machine learning to create more complex applications that dynamically change based on various inputs. 


web 2.0web 3.0
Centralized Decentralized
Authoritative controlDemocratic control
Single point of failureCryptographically secured
Closed databasesTransparent blockchain
Widely adoptedStill in the adoption phase
Less adaptableGreater adaptability thanks to A.I

Technology & use cases

Web 2.0 relies on databases. They are centralized ledgers that are managed by an administrator. Moreover, the applications and websites use various frameworks including AJAX and Javascript.

These are usually stored on a single server that has a unique website address. The emphasis of web 2.0 is on user-generated content and social interactivity in a virtual community.

Popular use cases include podcasting, the gig economy, e-commerce, video sharing, etc. Web 3.0 is an extension of this although it is more adaptable thanks to the use of A.I.

Simply put, A.I imitates human intelligence allowing web 3.0 applications to be developed at unprecedented speed and complexity while being able to dynamically change based on various inputs.

Moreover, web 3.0 leverages blockchain technology. Simply put, it is a distributed ledger that is immutable and transparent.

The most notable use cases of web 3.0 are the Metaverse, decentralized finance, and NFTs.


Web 2.0 relies on centralized databases. This allows for quick querying of data but it comes at the cost of having a single point of failure.

On the other hand, web 3.0 is secured by a decentralized network of computers known as nodes. In essence, the computing power of the network is dispersed among a large number of participants.


Due to the nature of blockchain technology, web 3.0 is not as scalable as web 2.0. To put it into context, the blockchain platform Ethereum has less than 20 TPS.

Ultimately, changes to the smart contracts need to be processed by each node and relaid across the whole network. Moreover, the overall throughput is usually lower, and more computational power is required.

Conversely, web 2.0 utilizes databases. This allows greater scalability as there is a central authority that usually has a large number of computational resources at its disposal.

Moreover, there is little friction when proposing upgrades as there are fewer participants governing the platform. Whereas, web 3.0 relies on a large number of participants coordinating together. Often in different geographical locations and time zones.


As web 3.0 is decentralized it is not under the control of an authoritative organization or company. Ultimately, data has many ways of propagating the network making it censorship resistant.

Moreover, in most cases, web 3.0 applications are permissionless meaning anyone can interact with the applications.

Conversely, web 2.0 is governed by a central body. The vast majority of power is held by a select few tech companies e.g Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Ultimately, they have complete control. They can censor data and cut off participants from interacting with the network. In other words, they are the gatekeepers.

This can be good for combating nefarious activity. However, it also provides less freedom and has the potential to be abused.


Due to the centralized nature of web 2.0 applications, they have a single point of failure. Not to mention, there is one large honeypot for malicious actors to target.

Conversely, web 3.0 can still function if a large proportion of the nodes are targeted and taken offline. Not to mention, they are cryptographically secured. Consequently, it requires considerable computing power to take down the network.


Thanks to blockchain technology, web 3.0 is partially transparent. For instance, every transaction can be verified to guarantee authenticity and to also highlights malicious activity.

This creates a more open and honest experience. Whereas, with web 2.0 companies utilize closed systems. The data is private.


There is no denying that web 2.0 has significantly greater adoption when compared to web 3.0. This is simply because it has had more time to develop and gain network effects.

Overall, web 2.0 has billions of monthly users whereas web 3.0 applications only have a few million. To put it into context, the second largest cryptocurrency Ethereum has less than 500,000 daily active addresses.

If you want to view this article in a more visual format then please check out my video below:


In conclusion, web 3.0 is an extension of web 2.0. The key tenants include increased decentralization, data ownership, and the use of A.I to provide rich content with greater adaptability.

Although web 3.0 has little adoption I am optimistic about its future. After all, it will only become more important as our world becomes more digitized. I hope you found this article useful and thanks for reading it.

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