What Role Will the Blockchain and AI Play in Web3?

4 Mins read

Centralization has been instrumental in onboarding billions of people to the world wide web and establishing the stable, robust infrastructure on which it is domiciled. Concurrently, many centralized entities have gained a stronghold on large sections of the world wide web, unilaterally deciding what should and should not be allowed. Web3 is touted as the answer to this challenge of monopolizing the web

Blockchain technology and artificial intelligence are at the core of what Web3 seeks to achieve, and we shall explore their roles in this article. First, however, it is important to examine the trajectory of the web and how we got here. 

Evolution of the Web

The web as we know it today significantly differs from how it was originally imagined. The web’s history can be divided into two periods, Web 1.0 and Web 2.0.

Web 1.0

Web 1.0, also known as the read-only web, lasted from inception in 1990 to around 2004. Web 1.0 was composed primarily of static websites owned by businesses, and there was virtually no interaction between users, leading to its moniker as the ‘read-only web.’

Web 2.0

Web 2.0 emerged with the advent of social media platforms in 2004. At this point, the read-only web evolved into the read-write web; companies began providing platforms to share user-generated content and take part in user-to-user interactions. 

As the number of people online ballooned, just a few top corporations, such as Google and Facebook, began to control a disproportionate amount of traffic and value generated on the web. The advertising-driven model was also born in the age of Web 2.0 as users generated content while it was corporations that owned it and profited from its monetization

Here Comes Web 3.0

Web 3.0, or Web3, is a high-level concept describing a future version of the internet whereby power and benefits are more equitably distributed by implementing decentralization. In Web3, the core capabilities of the web shall no longer be monopolized by a handful of large tech corporations. Additionally, in the decentralized world of Web3, users will own their data, privacy will be preserved, censorship will be non-existent, and rewards will be shared equitably. 

Gavin Wood, the co-founder of Ethereum, posited the premise of Web3 soon after the launch of Ethereum in 2014. Wood verbalized the feelings of many early cryptocurrency adopters: that the current web version required too much trust, in that most of the web people know and use, relies heavily on trusting that a select few private companies will act in the best interests of the public. 

The Core Philosophy of Web 3.0

Like earlier versions of the web, Web3 is building off the past generations and adding onto it. Web3 is considered the read-write-own or read-write-execute version of the internet. Party McCormick, an investor who helped popularise Web3, defines it as “the internet owned by the builders and users, orchestrated with tokens.” Although it is difficult to provide a steadfast definition of what Web3 is, its creation is guided by a few core principles as set out below:


Web3 is decentralized such that ownership gets shared amongst its builders and users instead of centralized entities owning and controlling huge portions of the internet.


In Web3, everyone has equal access to participate, and no one is excluded.

Native Payments

Web3 utilized cryptocurrency for spending and sending funds online rather than relying on the traditional financial infrastructure of banks and payment processors. 


Instead of relying on trusted third parties, Web3 operates using incentives and economic mechanisms.

How Do Blockchain technology and AI fit into Web3?

Blockchain technology

One of the main problems of Web2 is the concentration of power and data into the hands of a few major corporations. Blockchain technology and cryptocurrency decentralize Web3 by enabling a wider distribution of information and power. Web3 could use blockchain-powered public ledgers to facilitate greater transparency and decentralization. Blockchain-based projects also promote a permission-less web goal by substituting traditional companies’ classic proprietary systems with openly available code, enabling any entity to access and interact with them without restrictions. 

With blockchain, the need to trust any third parties like banks or individual intermediaries is eliminated as Web3 users can transact minus the need to put trust in any entity bar the network itself. Additionally, cryptocurrencies- established on blockchain technology- are poised to serve as the digitally native payments infrastructure of Web3. 

Crypto already provides users with tools such as self-custodial crypto wallets that enable them to store their funds without intermediaries. Users can also link their wallets with decentralized apps (dApps), and anyone can verify ownership of these funds and assets on the transparent public ledger. 

Finally, blockchains are censorship-resistant by design, meaning that no party has the power to change the record of transactions unilaterally. Once the record has been inscribed onto the blockchain, it is virtually impossible to erase, and this feature could come in handy to preserve all manner of speech from corporate or government censorship.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial Intelligence (AI) plays an essential role in Web 2.0 by allowing users to find friends, products, and news; it epitomizes the core business model of Web 2.0, targeted advertising. AI also propels much of the current dysfunctions of Web 2.0, such as misinformation, echo chambers, and amplification of extremist content. 

Web3, on its part, is geared towards eliminating monopolies held by big tech companies and promoting equitable sharing of power and data among users through decentralization. According to PwC, AI will add about $15.7 trillion to the world economy by 2030.

AI has the potential to be uniquely applied to the three major aspects of Web3, which are the blockchain, dApps, and protocols. Regarding the blockchain, AI systems can add an extra layer of security as they mine through data rapidly and make accurate predictions on behavior based on that data. 

Sufficiently advanced AI systems should be able to predict fraudulent behavior and avert such attacks, a concept that the Elrond blockchain has already tested in early 2022. 

Decentralized Apps and NFTs

In terms of dApps, some blockchain games, like Digital Clash from Cortex Labs, are already implementing AI. In the future, it is possible to have games whose scenery, difficulty level, and missions will change depending on the player’s mood. 

NFTs might also join the fray and incorporate AI such that they may change their appearance depending on their user’s moods. This is all, however, hypothetical at the moment. 

Protocols such as decentralized finance (DeFi) and smart contracts form the part of Web3 that AI is already disrupting. AI could disrupt loan procedures in DeFi by utilizing the technology to determine consumers’ credit scores by poring through their online data. This would be terminal to over-collateralization—an enormous problem for the DeFi space. Deploying AI as a protocol in Web3 would not only immediately triple the size and potential of DeFi, but also solve the two traditional finance problems of intermediaries and collateralization.

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