Thursday, Dec 08, 2022

Elon Musk Says 'Web 3' Isn't Real', Jack Dorsey Is 'Banned' From It: What Is Web 3.0?

Elon Musk Says 'Web 3' Isn't Real', Jack Dorsey Is 'Banned' From It: What Is Web 3.0?

Jack Dorsey seems to be facing flak for his recent comments on Web 3.0, a relatively new phenomenon that is being dubbed as the 'future of the interne'.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk and former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey AP/PTI

Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's account on the microblogging site has been blocked by fellow internet giant and tech entrepreneur Marc Lowell Andreessen. Dorsey recently took to social media to share a screenshot of the same. The tweet, which went viral, is yet another proof of the growing rift between Dorsey and other venture capitalists, thought leaders and tech billionaires.

Dorsey seems to be facing flak for his recent comments on Web3.0, a relatively new phenomenon that is being dubbed as the "future of the internet". Dorsey has previously expressed concerns about the lack of decentralisation in "Web3" projects and stated that the move in such a direction will end up creating a centralized entity controlling the internet.

He is not alone in his diatribe against Web.30 or 'Web 3'. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has also been critical of the new development.

So what is Web 3.0?

Web 3.0 or simply 'Web3' is the newest buzzword in the tech, crypto and venture capital world and is being seen by many as the future of the internet. In this iteration of the internet, driven by blockchain and crypto tech, users will be directly able to access the internet without the need for 'middlemen' or third parties like Google, Twitter or Facebook.

But what exactly is it?

In simple, words, it is being seen as the 'third generation' of the internet. The first was Web 1.0 (what we know as the World Wide Web) in 1989. Then came the second generation of the Web in 1999. And now, Web 3 is being dubbed as the internet of the future. 

Web3 will allow internet users to use a single, personalized account to browse through various platforms such as social media, email, online shopping and much else. According to a report in NPR, all these activities will be part of a public record driver by blockchain to maintain transparency.

In this new web, new search engines, social networks, online shops and marketplaces etc will emerge in place of the existing ones. These will be decentralised and based on blockchain. So instead of corporations owning and controlling these platforms, they will collectively be used and operated by users of the internet such as you and me. It aims to convert users of internet services (at present provided by private corporations) to owners. Essentially, it would cut out corporate tech giants like Google, Facebook, Amazon and other privately owned services and decentralise ownership.

Are Jack Dorsey and Elon Musk against it?

Dorsey has been openly critical of the new version of a decentralised internet, suggesting that the whole thing was an eyewash. He has also been critical of the venture capitalists behind Web3 and thinks that the proposed new generation of the internet is nothing but old wine in new bottle.

"You don’t own “web3.” The VCs and their LPs do. It will never escape their incentives. It’s ultimately a centralized entity with a different label. Know what you’re getting into..." Dorsey tweeted. He also shared a number of memes on how Web3 would only further be used to feed the greed of Silicon Valley VCs while retailers would suffer.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has also been sceptical of the Web3. In recent tweets, he raised doubts about Web3 being "real". "I'm not suggesting that Web3 is real. Seems more like marketing buzzword than reality right now".

Who is Marc Andreessen?

Utopian as it may sound, Web3 is very real and driving huge amounts of investment already. And Andreesen is one of the biggest investors in Web3 projects and startups. The former founder of Netscape and Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) is reportedly investing his money in futuristic metaverse sneaker and DeFi projects among others. Following Dorsey's comments, Andreessen seems to have blocked the former Twitter CEO on Twitter, urging the latter to claim that he was "banned" from Web3.  With a16z being one of the largest investors in the space, Dorsey's tweet might as well be true.