What is Web4 of the European Union? What are the advantages in which areas?What is EU's Web4? What are its advantages in different areas?
I haven’t figured out Web3 yet, and you guys are already talking about a new narrative?
Written by: Loopy Lu
“Open and permissionless blockchains will play a key role in the open virtual world… We are at the beginning of a major technological transformation, and Web 4.0 will completely change people’s daily lives.”
– EU “Initiative” document
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On July 12th, news from the policy side began to circulate in the crypto world. The document disclosed by the European Union showed that the European Commission has approved a new strategy on Web 4.0 and the virtual world. This strategy aims to guide the next technological transformation and ensure an open, secure, trustworthy, fair, and inclusive digital environment for EU citizens, businesses, and public administration.
While the crypto world is still stuck in the narrative of Web 3.0, the European Union has already moved on to Web 4.0? Finally, one day, the traditional world is no longer a follower of narratives and has taken a step ahead to open up the next mainstream narrative for the crypto world.
Whether you have a thorough understanding of Web 3.0 or not, Odaily Star Daily takes you one step ahead to take a quick look at the European Union’s Web 4.0 plan.
What is Web 4.0?
Before looking ahead to Web 4.0, let’s review Web 3.0. The EU document also provides a definition of Web 3.0: “The main features of the third generation Internet Web 3.0 are openness, decentralization, and complete user sovereignty.” It can be seen that the European Union has embraced the concept of decentralized Web 3.0 advocated by the crypto world for many years.
As for the future Web 4.0, the EU document explains, “Web 4.0 refers to the expected fourth generation of the World Wide Web.” Specifically, this generation of the Internet uses various advanced technologies, including artificial intelligence and ambient intelligence, the Internet of Things, trusted blockchain transactions, virtual worlds, and XR capabilities.
In the fourth generation of the Internet, digital entities, real-world entities, and the environment will be fully integrated and able to communicate with each other, achieving a truly intuitive and immersive experience, seamlessly blending the physical and digital worlds.
It is worth mentioning that although the European Union also includes blockchain as one of the cornerstones of Web 4.0, the wording in the draft is “trusted” blockchain, rather than the trustless blockchain native to the crypto world and supported by the crypto world.
Is Web 4.0 far from crypto?
As a long-term development strategy and future outlook, the technology of Web 4.0 seems to be too distant for the crypto market. Although blockchain is one of its technological cornerstones, trusted blockchain is still far from the crypto world. In such a strategic plan, what is the relevance between Web 4.0 and the crypto market?
The committee believes that this technological transformation is extremely important because its open and free concept reflects the values, principles, and fundamental rights of the European Union from the beginning. The strategy aims to ensure that European citizens can use the virtual world safely and confidently, and that European businesses can develop world-leading applications.
“Web 4.0 should be driven by open technologies and standards to ensure interoperability between platforms and networks and to guarantee user freedom of choice.”
This seems to be compatible with the spirit of the encrypted world, but what about specific use cases and scenarios?
In terms of specific implementation, the European Union also provides some specific prospects. For example, digital twins are helpful in testing and optimizing production processes, which is of great significance to the manufacturing industry. The virtual world also provides new ways for creation, promotion, content distribution, and audience interaction, which is crucial for the cultural and creative industries.
Unfortunately, all of these are not closely related to the cryptocurrency market.
Which sectors of the cryptocurrency market are expected to benefit?
Although this strategy is too broad to immediately find a focus point that benefits the cryptocurrency market, the Web 4.0 initiative still has extensive prospects for cryptocurrency technology.
The European Union believes that blockchain is the key to realizing the virtual world. Its decentralized nature can support a large number of individuals and organizations to permanently record relevant information without the need for a trusted third-party authority.
The initiative mentions that blockchain technology can be used to manage assets in the virtual world, such as virtual currencies or virtual real estate, and allows for secure and transparent transactions within the virtual world.
This may be a positive development for the metaverse and other related sectors, as the “virtual world” is one of the main future directions of this initiative. In addition, the initiative also mentions virtual real estate. (Perhaps future metaverse lands will be deployed in the real world in Europe?)
NFTs are another area highlighted in this initiative. The document points out that NFTs are being widely used in various applications. “NFT promotes innovation in content creation and provides opportunities for artists (and creators). NFT platforms directly connect artists (and creators) with potential buyers and connect them at a lower cost.” This description seems to be too cliché, and its narrative has been used in the previous bull market.
Fortunately, the European Union still provides their insights on the implementation scenarios: “In fact, NFTs have been introduced into new business models. NFTs can also be used in sales and event ticketing for specific use cases such as sports, fashion, games, music, etc.”
Currently, although the narrative of NFTs is also outdated, there is still room for further development and exploration, which provides ample imaginative space for NFTs.
Finally, in terms of security and privacy protection, cross-border payments, and international trade, the importance of blockchain to Web 4.0 is also mentioned, but not discussed in detail. This may bring potential growth points for the hot zk technology in the encryption market and the yet to be popular payment applications.
Interesting fact: In the 113-page initiative document, “Blockchain” is mentioned 31 times, “Crypto” is mentioned 7 times, “Bitcoin” and “Ethereum” are mentioned 0 times, but “NFT” is mentioned 40 times.
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