As we're leaving 2021 behind, it's safe to say that the tech industry has added a few new words to our vocabulary. For the last few months, it was the Metaverse making headlines, and now it's Web 3.0 that has taken the floor. Elon Musk and Jack Dorsey have been talking about it for days now.
What Web 3.0 is all about
Last month, we published a long piece about Web 3.0 and the promise of a New Internet that it holds. To sum up, the internet started off as a 'read-only' service, where you can consume information. Currently, we are using Internet 2.0, where we have the agency to create content on it. However, the platforms on it are mainly owned by the "Big Five", namely Alphabet, Apple, Amazon, Meta, and Microsoft. Web 3.0 is a vision where the ownership of the internet is also decentralized, using blockchain technology, just like cryptocurrencies or non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Supporters of this new vision of the internet believe that ushering in this technology will bring in the much-needed decentralization that will also address the data exploitation that companies in this sector practice regularly with scant regard for individual privacy.
While this might sound like a very drastic shift from how we use the internet now, we have seen this before, with the internet itself. Elon Musk shared a video where Bill Gates speaks about the internet when it was a new thing and a couple of decades later, everything he described then, is the mundane things we do on the internet.
Given the almost unimaginable nature of the present, what will the future be? pic.twitter.com/b2Yw0AXGVA— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 20, 2021
The vision of Web 3.0 also includes decentralized cloud servers that will hold your digital assets including your personal data. But then the question that arises is who will build the architecture and infrastructure for such a massive operation. If Facebook's Meta rebranding offers any clue, Big Tech will jump at every opportunity to control this New Internet.
That's the point Jack Dorsey made when he tweeted,
You don’t own “web3.”— jack⚡️ (@jack) December 21, 2021
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…
When a Twitter user tried to correct him about Web 3.0 citing the popularity of Twitter as an example, Dorsey was quick to revert that Twitter, which started off as a corporation has the same corporate incentives but was now trying to change with BlueSky, a decentralized standard for social media that Dorsey is supporting.
Musk also returned to Twitter to state that amidst all the talk of Web 3.0, he couldn't really find it.