µniverse and Bharatverse: Web3 Explorations (Part 8)

Web3 Views – 2

Fred Wilson: “It all comes down to the database that sits behind an application. If that database is controlled by a single entity (think company, think big tech), then enormous market power accrues to the owner/administrator of that database. If, on the other hand, the database is an open public database that is not controlled and administered by a single company, but instead is a truly open system available to all, then that kind of market power cannot be built up around a data asset. As Albert says in his post: “It is difficult to overstate how big an innovation this is. We went from not being able to do something at all to having a first working version. Again to be clear, I am not saying this will solve all problems. Of course it won’t. And it will even create new problems of its own. Still, permissionless data was a crucial missing piece – its absence resulted in a vast power concentration. As such Web3 can, if properly developed and with the right kind of regulation, provide a meaningful shift in power back to individuals and communities.””

Moxie Marlinspike: “web3 is a somewhat ambiguous term, which makes it difficult to rigorously evaluate what the ambitions for web3 should be, but the general thesis seems to be that web1 was decentralized, web2 centralized everything into platforms, and that web3 will decentralize everything again. web3 should give us the richness of web2, but decentralized… I have only dipped my toe in the waters of web3. Looking at it through the lens of these small projects, though, I can easily see why so many people find the web3 ecosystem so neat. I don’t think it’s on a trajectory to deliver us from centralized platforms, I don’t think it will fundamentally change our relationship to technology, and I think the privacy story is already below par for the internet (which is a pretty low bar!), but I also understand why nerds like me are excited to build for it. It is, at the very least, something new on the nerd level – and that creates a space for creativity/exploration that is somewhat reminiscent of early internet days. Ironically, part of that creativity probably springs from the constraints that make web3 so clunky. I’m hopeful that the creativity and exploration we’re seeing will have positive outcomes, but I’m not sure if it’s enough to prevent all the same dynamics of the internet from unfolding again.”

Dror Poleg: “Crypto and web3 promise to increase my freedom to switch between the platforms I rely on and my likelihood to survive a hostile action by one of them. This promise is only partly fulfilled at this point, and it might never materialize in full. Unlike some, I do not believe that web3 will be more just or equitable or even more free by default. But I do believe it offers the possibility of increasing our freedom and agency. And, in light of general and personal history, this possibility is enough to pique my curiosity and garner my support. To most users, the freedom to pack up and move your digital assets and identity does not matter. But it might matter one day, and when it does, it will matter a lot.”

Scott Galloway: “Web3 has different-colored hair, but the same DNA as earlier web paradigms, which decentralized services at an unprecedented scale to centralize wealth and influence at an unprecedented scale. Ninety-three percent of intentions and two thirds of decisions are influenced by two firms. Is that a good thing? Pro tip: Ask someone with teen girls. So far, web3 is web2.01.”

Albert Wenger writes: “Web3 can, if properly developed and with the right kind of regulation, provide a meaningful shift in power back to individuals and communities. And if widely adopted Web3/crypto technology will also start to improve along other dimensions. It will become faster and more efficient. It will become easier and safer to use. And much like the PC was a platform for innovation that never happened on mainframes or mini computers, Web3 will be a platform for innovation that would never come from Facebook, Amazon, Google, etc.”

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.