Is web3 really nonsense? Molly White, Senior Software Engineer interested in web3, delivers her analysis, during the Web Summit 2022

In a blog post published on November 4, Molly White, Senior Software Engineer interested in cryptocurrency and web3, discusses the issue of web3 and gives her opinion on the subject. Many imagine that the next generation of the web will be the one where we reject mining and capitalization. I am one of them, writes Molly White.

For Molly White, the web we know today is a far cry from the idealism of its beginnings. Because the idealism of the early days of the web was compelling. It was a new technology that would allow everyone, regardless of their means, to access knowledge from around the world at their fingertips. It would provide equal access to things like governance and participation in their communities. Borders would no longer matter. The truth would set people free.

Most people discover the web filtered by the algorithms of web giants like Google and Facebook. When the information is free of charge, it is generally covered with advertisements. Web companies exploit every data of their users to resell them or to establish astonishingly detailed advertising profiles. Social media companies maximize engagement at the expense of everything else, even if it means radicalizing or inciting hatred to their users.

But this “web3” that I started reading last year, amid “fortune smiles on the brave” ads and cryptocurrency fanatics screaming to “go to the moon” and telling everyone else to “having fun while remaining poor”? It’s not quite as I expected us to get there. But maybe I missed something, I thought to myself, as I started trying to figure out what web3 was, Molly White wrote.

Remember that the term Web3 was invented in 2014 by Gavin Wood, an English computer scientist. At the time, he had just been involved in the development of Ethereum, the blockchain that underpins ether, the second most popular cryptocurrency after bitcoin in terms of notoriety and market size. Wood thinks the current design of the We2 is not a good solution, for several reasons. One of them is that it is very difficult to regulate new industries. The government is slow, it takes some time to catch up. Another is that regulators are imperfect, he said.

The problem with a term like “web3” is that you don’t necessarily know what it is until it happens. We do not know what will be the fundamental evolution that will bring about a radical change in the web and which will deserve the name “web3”. In the meantime, we are left to guess what web3 might be – unless we are a venture capitalist or a startup, in which case we must speak out decisively in the hope of securing funding, even if we are wrong.

According to some proponents and its founders, Web3 is a radically updated Internet technology that will unlock a new era of human cooperation and creativity. It will be about taking the current Web2 and adding blockchains to it. Venture capital giant Andreessen Horowitz released a slideshow extolling the merits of Web3 and claiming that the Internet as we know it is “flawed”. One graphic shows a flag planted in the web, emblazoned with the logos of Facebook, Google and Apple, with a caption saying it was meant to “denounce big tech company oligopoly”.

Andreessen Horowitz’s oligopoly or his investments in the very Big Tech companies they have now decried, including Facebook, Instagram, and others, weren’t pointedly mentioned. The slides pointed out that it is now platforms like the NFT marketplace OpenSea that would help fix this terribly broken, unfair and monopolized web, ostensibly failing to mention that Andreessen Horowitz had led several rounds of funding for OpenSea and that OpenSea, at the time, held an oversized share of the NFT market. But they had nothing to fear if OpenSea lost its monopoly, as Andreessen Horowitz also invested in other NFT platforms.

You see, if they can convince people that this is the future of the web, they’ll be rich…richer than they already are. It doesn’t matter if it turns out or not, or if they steer the web in the wrong direction, or even if they hurt a lot of people, warns Molly White.

As part of my research, I therefore abandoned the talkative founders, the venture capitalists with their slides, and the technical journalists in the mainstream media who regurgitated sales pitches without much critical analysis, to pass something a little more specific. I started looking at individual projects and asking myself, “How’s web3 doing? And what I’ve found is that web3 is doing great,” she adds.

For its founders, the platforms and applications built on the Web3 will not be owned by a central guardian, but by the users, who will earn their share of ownership by contributing to the development and maintenance of these services. Web3 is a way to deal with the trauma of losing a great possible future for the Internet, says Niels Ten Oever of the University of Amsterdam. Many are convinced of the potential of this Web3.

According to Wood and his proponents, in Web3, developers typically don’t build and deploy applications that run on a single server or store their data in a single database (usually hosted and managed by a single vendor). cloud). Instead, Web3 applications run either on blockchains, on decentralized networks of many servers, or on a combination of the two that forms a “crypto” protocol. These applications are often called “dapps” (decentralized apps). This term is widely used in the Web3 space.

I looked for projects that really needed blockchain and credibly shifted the paradigm in the direction of web3’s stated ideals. More often than not, I found projects that rowed in the completely opposite direction,” writes Molly White.

Web3 gaming is a decentralized gaming process in which the activities of a gaming ecosystem or gaming platform, particularly ownership of gaming assets and decision-making in all aspects of gaming, are delegated far away. from any central authority. Like proponents of web3 games, they offer self-sovereignty, with players being able to take full ownership of in-game assets and collectibles in the form of digital NFTs.

In traditional games, players own the game assets and collectibles, but they lose all of their assets when they decide to switch gaming platforms. According to these proponents, Web3 games solve this problem by providing true and interoperability between different platforms. Players can own in-game resources on one platform and transfer them to the next platform.

Play-to-earn games introduced a class of rentier managers who supervised low-wage workers in countries like the Philippines, Vietnam and Venezuela and took a cut of their winnings in exchange for letting them play the game in first place. Web3 bass games allow gamers to engage in games. People can play to win via cryptocurrencies and NFTs.

When it exploits people’s hopes for a better future and their fears about the effects of today’s web on themselves, their children and society, to convince them to literally buy into projects that may never exist? When it comes to circumventing seed investment regulations through token offerings and convincing ordinary people that their only way to financial stability is to bet their savings on technologies they don’t understand because “it’s the future!”. worth paying attention to.

Despite fears around web3, some people cling to the idea that cryptocurrencies and blockchains will democratize the web, solve wealth inequality, bank the unbanked, and maybe more. Web3 is a way to deal with the trauma of losing a great possible future for the Internet, says Niels Ten Oever from the University of Amsterdam. Many are convinced of the potential of this Web3.

For Ewan Kirk, tech entrepreneur and founder of Cantab Capital Partners, don’t believe the media hype about Web3, it’s not going to change the world. Web3 is just a new version of blockchain technology that we have been discussing for ten years.

For Ewan Kirk, public databases are not always a good thing. The web is really a gloved public database. But if you want to store your invoices, customer lists, or financial data, having a public database is a very bad idea. You could, of course, have a private blockchain. But then what is the point? Questions the tech entrepreneur. You might as well have a private SQL database, he adds.

Neel Chauhan, Software Engineer at Microsoft, argues that Web3 is in fact centralized, just like Web2 was. According to him, Web3 is just a worse version of Web2.

Molly White finds the tech industry to be full of people walking around with their fancy slides, spouting nonsense about their revolutionary, unworkable ideas that would exhaust themselves at the expense of a few startup founders and a few wealthy people. For Molly White, when an entire industry emerges and begins to sell to the general public the idea that a better web is only possible thanks to technology that does not seem to be up to the task?

Source: Video

And you?

What is your opinion on the subject?

What do you think of Web3? Do you think the project will succeed?

Do you think that we are in the presence of an absurdity? Why ?

See as well :

Web3 is centralized and inefficient, according to Neel Chauhan, Software Engineer at Microsoft, while for its founder, Gavin Wood, Web3 applications run on decentralized networks

Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee would like Web3 to be ignored, but its founders believe it’s a technology that will unlock a new era of creativity

Web3 projects have lost over $2 billion to hacks this year, according to CertiK

Leave a Comment