Posted 2 weeks ago | by Catoshi Nakamoto
What is Web3? Crypto loves it. Jack Dorsey hates it. It’s getting a lot of press and yet…the definition isn’t concrete. The inventor of the internet, Tim Berners Lee already coined the term back in the 90s but several decades later one of the Ethereum founders, Gavin Wood, repurposed the term in light of what the internet has become…and the problems with it. In this video we’re going to breakdown what Web3 is, what came before it, and what that can mean for the future of the internet and crypto.Read More
Let’s get it.
Trust. It’s what makes the world go round. Without it, things get expensive. If countries don’t trust each other they make things like NATO and start buying and selling tanks and missles. You can see trust measured in interest rates, the higher the risk…or less trust … the higher rates you pay the bank for a loan. But it’s also the same with everything in life, you need a car, but a cheap one….you don’t trust to get you around reliably…so you opt for the one that’s over-engineered and bullet-proof. That’s why the average price of the Toyota Tacoma and Landcruiser depreciates far less than other vehicles in their class. If you misplace your trust…it can cost you. Just ask Nicolas Cage.
It’s no different for the internet. Most businesses put their trust in Amazon Web Services to host their cloud services. Other folks use WhatsApp for it’s security and encryption. Whatsapp users trust Meta when they say there is no backdoor key to the app that can decrypt their messages. But we’re just taking Metas word for it. Only they have access to the code for Whatsapp. This kind of opacity is what gave Gavin Wood the perspective to re-coin the term Web3 in terms of blockchain. He and others look back at the history of the internet and put it into 3 eras:
Web 1.0 – The early internet. From 1991 to 2004. This was the internet most of us grew up on. It was static and open. Highly decentralized but also rigid in it’s capabilities. Anyone else remember how difficult it was to set up a router in 1999? The other difference between Web 1.0 and now is that users were consumers of content, not producers of content.
Content creation is what takes us to the next iteration of the internet where we are today.
Web 2.0 – starting in 2005 to the current day, the 2.0 version of the internet started with Myspace and evolved the internet into a thing that you use every day instead of a static hub that you visit in the evenings or at work. It also ushered in the centralization of tech into a handful of silos that gather user information and sell it back to them in the form of ads and products.
It changed social media, into what we have now…corporate media. It’s when FAANG stocks became a thing and how censorship and deplatforming has been able to run unchecked for the past few years. The oligarchs holding the keys to our data are almost fully in control of what takes place on the mainstream internet. Is our data safe? Is it being used in ethical ways? Can I access all of it? How is it being used? Am I being tracked? All mainstream internet users have to TRUST these megacorporations to do whats in the best interest for freedom. But as we’ve seen and always suspected. They can’t be trusted.
The cypherpunks of crypto have known this forever and have been thinking of ways to make the internet more open and trust-less. They knew blockchain could help with that but didn’t know how until Bitcoin. Bitcoin was the first piece of trust-less technology that took off and from there the thought leaders of crypto have been trying to bring “trusting less” to the mainstream internet. That’s what Web3 is. It’s a more open internet where users and builders have a stake in their data and the platforms are more open, often tokenized, and above all, less centralized that Web 2.0. We take a look at some of the problems with Web2.0 in the BitBoy Special that you can check out by clicking above.
Moving away from Web 2.0 sounds great. So great in fact that Gavin Wood made a foundation about it. The Web3 Foundation. It has given out over 300 grants to Web3 companies since 2019. If you look at most of the tokens on coinmarketcap, the majority would be considered Web3. They are blockchains that are public, tokenized and decentralized (kind of). It’s important to note that Bitcoin itself and other cryptocurrencies that don’t have native support for NFTs like Litecoin or aren’t technically Web3. I know that’s kind of confusing because it’s the early days of Web3 and it’s still being defined. But that confusion is making other tech leaders nervous that Web3 is not what it seems.
Former twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has spent the last year or so getting intimate with Bitcoin and crypto and without warning fired off a series of tweets stating that Web3 was trendy name for nothing more than a Silicon Valley cash grab, and users should be wary of any promises made by Web3 developers. Is he right? Is this all just a gimmick? Well I can tell you one thing. It’s convenient for the guy who created one of the most centralized and censorious corporate media companies on the planet to be opposed to an open web initiative. Yes Jack has been getting into Bitcoin like I said earlier but the timing is too good. Needless to say, you don’t know Jack. Until he shows more initiative with non-centralized work we should remain skeptical.
But we can’t discount what he says. Afterall he is connected to that world. So lets take a look at the Web3 Foundation and what they do. If you look at their github its rows of projects that range from gaming, to healthcare to advertising. Seems legit. But you’ll start to notice something. A lot of the projects are based on Polkadot; Gavins own Web3 project. Huh. Convenient. Oh and the foundation gets equity in the company they give a grant to. Hmmm. Level three grant members get…VC introductions?
Take a look at Acala. A project we like and are excited about. The ACA token isn’t available to purchase at the time of this recording but according to their own website more than half of the ACA distro is going to Backers and Team Members. And some of those team members are part of the Web3 Foundation. Oh gosh. Is Jack right? Maybe. But like I said these are the early days and just because group of tech bros call themselves Web3 doesn’t mean they ARE Web3. Do you know how many cryptos in 2011 were saying they were the best digital currency for the world? A lot. But all of them are gone now and we have Bitcoin. In a similar way Web3 is an idea and blockchain is it’s muse and no amount of VC cronyism can get in the way of people taking control of their money, their data and their freedom. The age of tech monoliths is over and they more they try to use the old ways of doing business to a new age of technology, the faster we can finish writing their chapters in history. Comment below with your favorite Web3 project and which corporate media company you despise the most. Don’t forget to smash that like and subscribe button and hit the notification bell.
That’s all I got. Be Blessed. Bitboy Out.