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  • Writer's pictureMichael Paulyn

What is the Difference Between Web 3.0 and Web3?

Updated: May 5

It's a common occurrence to hear in discussions people using the terms "Web 3.0" and "Web3" interchangeably without another thought, but the truth is they're entirely different. Before beginning, it's important to note that although both terms are quite different, they do, however, hold the same goal: to make the web of tomorrow a more equitable place for everyone.

This blog looks at the difference between Web 3.0 and Web3 and dives into what makes these terms unique.

Web 3.0 Defined

Web 3.0 is the Semantic Web, the Word Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) "vision of the Web of linked data." The primary goal of the Semantic Web is to focus on making data on the web all machines readable solely; this happens by improving two key elements: efficiency and intelligence.

Web 3.0 allows information to be reused and linked across many websites to accomplish these goals. Users are encouraged to create data stores, build vocabularies, and write rules on handling data, which work to help complete this ambitious vision. It's crucial to note that Web 3.0 is still developing and has yet to be live for everyday use.

Overall, Web3 is much harder to pin down, mainly because it's constantly evolving and operates from ideas based on what projects are on the horizon; its governing definition follows the vision of the day that can fluctuate.

In contrast, think of Web 3.0 as a library where everyone can access the same information from one specific location, much like a physical library. The main difference with Web 3.0 is that this data is only available through one access point, the "solid pod," at one location rather than in a decentralized manner.

1. Web 3.0 vs. Web3

With Web3, the vital difference is that security and user empowerment are high priorities; the hope is that the users regain control over their data in time. Web3 is aspirational, like a dream or a hope for what could be the future web by harnessing the power of blockchain technology. Web 3.0 is more mechanical, all about the physical distribution of information in a real-world setting rather than in idealistic terms.

For Web 3.0 users, everyone has access by entering a central entry point known as "the solid pod." This access area allows users to offer third-party access to their data. Individuals who enter a solid pod require a unique WebID and their identity card in Web 3.0.

2. The Infrastructure of Web 3.0 vs. Web3

On another note, while Web3 uses blockchain technology, Web 3.0 uses specific data interchange technologies. These technologies, such as RDF, SPARQL, OWL, and SKOS, are known as the Semantic Web Stack (the Semantic Web Cake or the Semantic Web Layer Cake), a quick way of articulating the Semantic Web's architecture.

It's vital to point out that the Semantic Web is a cooperative movement organized by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). This global body promotes a standardized format all across the web. Each interchange technology is "layered" one upon another and mechanically works to distribute information across the web, efficiently sharing intelligence.

The Semantic Web provides a common framework that allows data to be shared and reused across application, enterprise, and community boundaries. This highly collaborative enterprise contains many researchers, industrial partners, and specialists working to make this a reality.

3. Data on Web 3.0 vs. Web3

There is some significant difference between Web 3.0 and Web3 when making changes to data. For Web3, changing or correcting any data is difficult, as everything is decentralized, and all data is spread across many nodes (computers). In contrast, modifying data in Web 3.0 is a breeze because the solid pod is the main entrance to all data storage, which is one centralized access point.

5 Key Characteristics of the Semantic Web (Web 3.0)

Here are the five key characteristics of the Semantic Web (also known as Web 3.0), along with a short description of the purpose of each element. To learn more, keep reading.

1. Linked Data Header link

With a reputation for being "the Web of Data," the Semantic Web is all about dates, titles, numbers, and even chemical properties a person might need to know. The interchange technology, RDF, is an essential ingredient when it comes to the basis for publishing and linking all data on the web.

Additionally, some technologies allow for embedding documents on a website (RDFa, GRDDL) or even sharing SQL databases as RDF files.

2. Vocabularies Header link

Ensuring that every item is sorted and organized is essential when dealing with data. With help from OWL, which is for building out vocabularies ("ontologies"), and SKOS, which is for designing the structure of a knowledge system, a website can offer enriched data to its audience.

3. Query Header link

Every database needs a query language to function and easily understand data. The Semantic Web uses SPARQL as its query language as a global database.

4. Inference Header link

Number four on the Semantic Web Stack list is the Inference Header link. This layer handles the rules around reasoning over data. The W3C's primary focus is the rules for translating and sharing languages across several interchange technology systems.

5. Vertical Applications Header link

To encourage continued cooperation, the W3C works across various sectors, including healthcare, government agencies, energy, and more. Collaborating across industries aims to share research and development studies and further the adoption of innovative ideas.

What is the Difference Between Web 3.0 and Web3?

‍ The short answer is yes; there is a difference between Web 3.0 and Web3. While many people, even tech experts, use these two terms interchangeably. The truth is that the differences between Web 3.0 and Web3 are staggering. Here is a short list of the critical takeaways between these two terms.

Web 3.0

  • Centralized model

  • It harnesses many layers of interchange technologies to distribute data better.

  • It focuses on efficiency and intelligence, sharing information across many websites.

  • Web 3.0 is a cooperative effort that's being worked on right now.

  • Uses WebID to enter solid pod for users to access necessary data.

  • Web 3.0 is a collaborative enterprise using the expertise of many different people.


  • Decentralized model

  • It uses blockchain technology, along with cryptocurrencies, to function.

  • Focuses on "what could be the web of the future"; more aspirational and idealistic.

  • Individuals must have a crypto wallet to access a Web3 platform.

  • It possesses a company-centric approach, with firms developing services or products for users with the help of blockchain technology.

Final Thoughts on Web 3.0 and Web3

While Web 3.0 and Web3 are almost as distinct as night and day, both terms hold one main similarity. These two concepts aim to develop a better web version for tomorrow and future generations. The truth is that they both are working to help ensure that the web of tomorrow uses a more equitable and fairer approach to the distribution of information. The future looks bright!

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