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Jack Dorsey expresses mild Web3 cynicism, basically calling it a scam

We were just getting used to Web2

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Image: KnowTechie

The future of the internet is starting to come together, kind of like a salami and peanut butter sandwich.

Between Meta’s push for us to exist in the metaverse and the decentralized acid trip that has produced visions of Web3 in the brain holes of venture capitalists, it seems like we’re approaching another catalyst in how we access the digital world.

We’re still at the beginnings of both technologies, the understanding little more than a base gleaning of what’s to come. While the metaverse appears to be some amalgamation of virtual and real worlds set inside the hellscape of the internet, Web3 appears to be focused more on the construction of the internet as it pertains to systems and applied technology.

That is, Web3 could create a blockchain-based, decentralized structure that would allow for a higher level of cybersecurity.

Not all tech lords are on-board with the idea

In a quick tweet, former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey dismissed Web3 as the playground of venture capitalists, warning that ownership will eternally remain with them.

Considering the slate of responses, both in agreement and disagreement, and that Dorsey’s side project through Block Inc. is literally focused on expanding the role of Bitcoin in currency, it’s a strange stance to take.

Twitter itself was born of an idea of a free protocol for communication and was taken over by advertising dollars and politics.

Whether or not Dorsey is being sincere, uncharacteristically ignorant, or simply contradictory with his Web3 comments, it shouldn’t matter.

It’s too early in the game to make assumptions and no matter the amount of venture capital involved in Web3 projects, it’s not like every other innovation in technology hasn’t come with some strings attached to the wallet of investors. The difference being is that Web3 might not offer the ROI that earlier, ad-revenue associated products would have.

That’s because Web3 could easily be built to move away from the increasingly annoying ad-based model that fuels platforms like Facebook.

“An industry that has seen a lot of interest in the native Web3 community, if not as much outside of it, is decentralized social applications,” says Zhen Yu Yong, Co-Founder and CEO of Torus “Users are growing increasingly leery of the ad industry model that powers some of our tech giants today. Signal is a great example of a messenger that managed to break out of this ad model and achieve mainstream adoption, and investors should keep an eye on similar projects and models in 2022. Status.im, Jabber, WASDER, and a slew of others are contributing to this paradigm shift. As blockchains ultimately offer more efficient coordination between entities, [we should] see an increase in sophisticated decentralized social applications.”

It’s strange that instead of offering alternative suggestions or delving into bringing the idea of Web3 to fruition, Dorsey is simply dismissing it

This sounds more like a personal gripe with a few of the involved VC firms, but that’s naïve. It’s not just one VC firm involved in developing Web3, there’s a ton of action happening from all across the tech landscape, though at the money level, much of it from Silicon Valley types once again looking to shake things up, which is perhaps the onus of Dorsey’s cynicism.

Regardless, the basic idea set of Web3 stewards is noble, even if somewhere along the line in the future it simply becomes another structure that is sullied with the stench of advertising and politics.

According to the Web3 Foundation, the future of the internet is one where “users own their own data, not corporations; global transactions are secure; and online exchanges of information and value are decentralized.”

There’s a technology stack that explains how to get to that point, and frankly, it seems like a good idea

“As a technology stack, Web3 will most likely make use of the existing protocol and network layers of the internet. But it will bake into and onto this stack new values pertaining to fairness, equity, transparency, and resilience. All of this requires new approaches to cybersecurity,” says Michael Huth, Ph.D, Co-Founder and CRO of Xayn.

“The foundational infrastructure of Web3 will be decentralized. It will have the ability to make assets programmable and it will give general users unprecedented control over assets and their sharing capabilities. Bitcoin, warts and all, showed us that advances in computing, economics, cryptography, and hardware can converge to create new business models, products, and services. The innovations made in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and decentralized finance present a tool box for much better cybersecurity of Web3 than that of Web2, making users and their behavior an integral part of security design.”

Meanwhile, tech troll and Dogebro Elon Musk was also tweeting about Web3, saying “I’m not suggesting web3 is real – seems more marketing buzzword than reality right now – just wondering what the future will be like in 10, 20 or 30 years. 2051 sounds crazy futuristic!”

This is on-brand for Musk, who prefers to spin the tech world into a frenzy with his disjointed tweets, rather than provide any analysis from one of the most innovative people in technology. But he’s not wrong.

For the moment, both Dorsey and Musk are correct about Web3. As good as it sounds, we should be a bit cynical as to its execution and who is executing it. We should also be aware that it does pertain to the future, not to something that will be launched in the next fiscal cycle.

Whatever Web3 brings, you know we’ll all be here, hands sweating over our keyboards, ready to shit post about it side-by-side with the tech leaders of today.

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