Web3 Architecture Explained: A Paradigm Shift from Traditional Apps

Adnan Umar
3 min readDec 22, 2023

The internet is evolving, and so are the applications we use. Enter Web3, a new vision for an internet built on decentralization and user ownership. But how does it work under the hood, and how does it differ from the apps we’re familiar with today?

Let’s dive into the fascinating world of Web3 architecture and see how it rewrites the rules of the game.

Decentralization at the Core: Redefining Power Dynamics

Imagine an internet where no single entity controls your data or dictates the rules. That’s the dream of Web3, where power shifts from centralized corporations to users themselves. This is achieved through a key innovation: blockchain technology.

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Think of blockchain as a secure, transparent ledger distributed across a network of computers. Every transaction, every piece of data, is recorded and verifiable by everyone. This eliminates the need for a central server, fostering trust and transparency — the cornerstones of Web3.

Smart Contracts: Programmable Logic, Unwavering Rules

Instead of relying on traditional server-side code, Web3 applications utilize smart contracts. These are self-executing pieces of code stored on the blockchain, dictating how the application functions. Once deployed, smart contracts operate autonomously, enforcing rules and facilitating interactions without the need for intermediaries.

This creates a trustless environment where users can interact directly with each other, knowing the rules are immutable and enforced fairly.

Beyond Blockchain: Building the Web3 Stack

While blockchain forms the backbone of Web3, it’s only one piece of the puzzle. A diverse ecosystem of tools and technologies powers Web3 applications, including:

Decentralized storage

Solutions like IPFS and Filecoin provide secure, distributed storage for data, eliminating reliance on centralized cloud providers.

Oracles

These bridge the gap between the blockchain and the real world, feeding external data like weather or sports scores into smart contracts.

Crypto wallets

These digital wallets give users control over their digital assets and identities, enabling seamless interaction with Web3 applications.

Web3 vs. Traditional Apps: A Tale of Two Architectures

Now, let’s compare Web3 architecture to the familiar model of traditional applications:

Centralized Apps (Web2)

Server-centric: Data and logic reside on centralized servers controlled by single entities.

Closed-source: Code is often proprietary, limiting transparency and innovation.

Single point of failure: Server outages or vulnerabilities can disrupt the entire application.

Data privacy concerns: User data is collected and stored by central servers, raising privacy and security risks.

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Web3 Applications (dApps)

Decentralized: Data and logic are distributed across a network of computers, increasing resilience and censorship resistance.

Open-source: Code is often publicly available, promoting transparency and community development.

No single point of failure: Outages on individual nodes don’t affect the entire network.

User-controlled data: Users own and manage their data, reducing reliance on centralized platforms.

The Road Ahead: Challenges and Opportunities

While Web3 holds immense potential, it’s still in its early stages. Scalability, user experience, and regulation remain key challenges that need to be addressed.

However, the continued development of the Web3 ecosystem is paving the way for a more open, equitable, and user-centric internet.

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