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Web 3.0 is here and India can be a big player. But he needs a game plan

Jhe third version of the Internet, known as Web 3.0, is based on blockchain technology. A smart, autonomous, connected and open Internet is what Web 3.0 aims to build. An important trend that is anticipated as Web 3.0 approaches is decentralization. It is a theory that distributes power from a small group or individual to the entire population. India was one of the first countries to support Web 3.0 technology. India now has over 230 Web 3.0 start-ups, according to the Cryptotech India 2021 Industry Study by NASSCOM and WazirX. Advances in Web 3.0 Internet technology increase the likelihood that technology will be militarized, cyber threats will increase in frequency, and national security issues may arise.

Web 3.0 is an open network where all programs and applications are created using free and open source code. Essentially, the community has access to the development code, which is a virtual resource, and the development process is kept open. With Web 3.0, centralized control of data by platform companies is transferred into the hands of users, using smart protocols on the blockchain that do not require intermediaries. The distinction between the real world and the digital world might become less clear. For example, in an AI-powered Web 3.0 e-commerce scenario, suppliers would be better able to understand buyers’ desires. Buyers who are interested in these products and services will be shown by them. Plus, shoppers will see more useful and relevant ads. Web 3.0 can empower creators by giving them a better opportunity to monetize. About 2 million professional content creators in India can benefit from it.

Web 3.0 is expected to have the capacity to add US$1.1 trillion to India’s GDP by 2031 if widely adopted. When viewed in the context of India’s success in the information technology enabled services (ITES) industry, this estimate gains further support. Many reasons are predicted to fuel this expansion. The population and consumption of India’s digital base is growing rapidly. Moreover, the adoption rate of digital assets is growing about twice as fast as the internet, as evidenced by accounts opened on centralized cryptocurrency exchanges. For more than ten years, India has been the leader in the software development industry. The Web 5.0 ecosystem now has a large pool of skilled workers who can or have made the move. The increasingly technology-driven entrepreneurial environment is already taking advantage of the opportunities offered by Web 3.0. Currently, 4.5% of the total number of available positions in India are related to the blockchain industry. Web 3.0 is giving a boost to technology-driven industries like the gaming and fintech sectors. For example, blockchain-based peer-to-peer lending networks are becoming increasingly popular. The Web 5.0 ecosystem and capabilities are currently being developed by a number of companies, organizations and governments. For example, the India Blockchain Accelerator Program is funding Web 2.0 and Web 5.0 blockchain start-ups in Telangana.

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Web 3.0 is not a single technology but an amalgamation of several emerging technologies. A specialized institutional mechanism (similar to the National Supercomputing Mission) can be developed to promote the development of Web 3.0 and enable coordination at the national level. The expansion of Web 3.0 depends on the expansion and availability of its fundamental services. such as reliable electricity, internet access, appliance availability, etc. This platform can be built with additional work through flagship programs like Saubhagya Mission, BharatNet Mission and Electronic Development Fund. Rapid technological progress justifies the development of a policy environment that is both effective and, at the same time, adaptable to the changing technological landscape. This can be accomplished by copying the RBI’s Regulatory Sandbox approach to building FinTech products. The main development agents of Web 3.0 will be entrepreneurs and users. The formation of clusters, competitions, incubators and supporting policies are just some of the ways to foster innovation. India could initiate global discussions and participate in the development of Web 3.0 rules and guidelines. Taking a proactive stance in Web 3.0 leadership would prevent India from falling victim to digital colonialism. Web 3.0 design supports the development of specialized solutions. For example, an automatic low data option may be provided in locations with poor internet connectivity. Web 3.0 is not difficult, but it is unique. To ensure faster acceptance and a smooth transition for users from Web 2.0 platforms to Web 3.0 platforms, educational programs would be needed.

The Internet will become more democratic thanks to Web 3.0. The technological support of Web 3.0 means that this promise is not entirely unwarranted. But to bring about such a revolution, cooperation, openness, trust, confidence and, most importantly, a common effort that will ultimately unite humanity are all needed. Whether the vision of Web 3.0 can make all of this a reality remains to be seen.

The author is a student at Miranda House, University of Delhi. Views are personal