In the early days of the internet, we experienced the read-only version called Web 1.0. It was established in the 1980s to increase public accessibility. Then came Web 2.0, which replaced static desktop webpages with interactive experiences and user-generated content and led to Uber, Airbnb, Facebook, and Instagram. The rise of Web 2.0 was fuelled mainly by three elements: mobile, social, and cloud.
● Mobile: When the iPhone launched in 2007, we saw a drastic transformation in mobile internet access in both the aspect, user-base, and Web usage. From using the Internet for a few hours, a day at home on the computer to a "24-hour connected" state - the web browser, mobile apps, and personal notifications were available to everyone.
● Social: The birth of social networks such as Friendster, MySpace, and Facebook encouraged users to publish helpful content, including recommendations, tips, and referrals. For example: persuading us to share our group picture online, getting a ride from a stranger’s car with Uber, etc.
● Cloud: The cloud commoditized the creation and maintenance of internet pages and applications. Companies could shift from buying and maintaining their own expensive, dedicated infrastructure upfront to renting storage, compute power, and management tools.
Along with Web 2.0, we are now seeing the early signs of the next major paradigm shift in internet applications, Web 3.0. Let us explore what Web 3.0 is and what makes it more empowered than the other two.
What is Web 3.0?
Web 3.0 is a more fundamental disruption that will ultimately overtake everything that has come before it. It is a step toward open, trustless, and permissionless networks. These new networks will make it possible to coordinate and incentivize the disenfranchised work, service, and content providers. Web 2.0 was fuelled by mobile, social, and cloud; on the other hand, Web 3.0 is based on three technological innovations: edge computing, decentralised data networks, and Artificial Intelligence.
● Edge Computing
In Web 2.0, computer hardware was repurposed in data centers. Datacentre operations are moving to the edge because of Web 3.0. The emergence of powerful computing resources present in modern-day phones, computers, appliances, sensors, and vehicles. It is projected that 160 times more data will be generated and consumed in 2025 than in 2010.
Global corporations such as Meta and Google dominate the internet, as we are asked to provide our data to access their platforms. Whereas under Web 3.0, users will no longer need permission from a central authority to post and receive content online.
In Web 3.0, information can be found by its content and stored in multiple locations simultaneously, thus achieving decentralization. As a result, existing internet giants will no longer be able to exert control over our online activities while our privacy will remain intact.
● Artificial Intelligence
Under Web 3.0, computers can decode and analyze data online in a better way. With Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, even life-saving predictions and actions have become possible. AI helps users differentiate between fraud and genuine data online.
One feature that differentiate Web 3.0 from Web 2.0 - Web 2.0 is human-based, so it is prone to errors & fraud behaviors. For example, companies often pay users to review their services online positively. Here AI plays an important role. AI can easily distinguish between a genuine review and a fraudulent one so that the users receive only genuine feedback.
Impact of Web 3.0 on the Legal Industry
Regulatory issues, legal ownership, cyber security, and privacy are the various wars that tech was fighting from the start in the legal industry. It was crucial to address these negative aspects and let technology unleash its potential. Web 3.0 made it possible because it is designed to deliver sustainable results.
Web 3.0 and the decentralized structure enables teams to leverage distributed ledgers and smart contracts. It eliminates intermediaries, manual mediation, and arbitration and avoids power centralization while reducing costs. To put it simply, Web 3.0 helps to deliver safe, trusted, and secured intelligent contracts and transactions in the legal field.
The driving force behind the commerce of Web 3.0 is blockchain technology; let’s look at blockchain and how it works in law firms.
An Overview of Blockchain Technology
To get a better overview of blockchain technology, let us examine its predecessor: Banks. Ingoing and outgoing transactional activity performed by large financial institutions is logged in a ledger record. Due to many transactions in digital banking, the ledger requires powerful servers to monitor every transaction and keep a bank's digital balance sheet updated.
Similarly, blockchain technology uses a public ledger to log transactions on a network. Blockchain digitalizes social trust through built-in verifiability using a public ledger. The public ledger of transactions on the blockchain ensures the transaction’s security.
Blockchain in Law Firms
The legal sector is built on trusted agreements between multiple parties. Trust is typically granted by a centralized authority such as a court of law or parliamentary body that possesses social authority and legitimate power. The agreement that required the parties to take oaths and witnesses can now be verified digitally with total transparency.
In addition, up to 48% of lawyers' time is spent on administrative tasks, such as transferring information between software and updating client trust ledgers. Lawyers can streamline their transactional work by leveraging blockchain technology and digitally signing and store legal agreements. Automated contract management, scripted text, and smart contracts reduce time spent preparing, personalizing, and maintaining standard law documents.
Web 3.0 has the potential to empower us to interact with data, value, and other distributed users through peer-to-peer networks without the need for intermediaries or gatekeepers. It promises an interconnected and permission-less future by returning data ownership and enhancing human-machine interaction.
The evolution of Web 3.0 gives us a chance to shift to smart contract workflow: as we need to move faster to be ahead in the industry. A smart contract workflow platform will help improve collaboration and negotiation.
InkPaper is a contract workflow and e-signature platform that enables an efficient contract management system. From authoring the contract to the execution and storing the contract securely on the cloud, InkPaperhelps you manage the workflow efficiently.
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