Web3 allows tech to indulge in its love of both speculation and idealism

Does it seem like Web3 was born just a few months ago? It’s the same here in San Francisco. Suddenly, a mythical digital utopia is being seriously referred to by some of the world’s largest companies.

This is no coincidence. Web3 was launched by tech investors. But it has given the broader sector some much-needed optimism.

This optimism was evident at ETHDenver, the largest crypto conference in the US. The event, held in snowy Denver last month, had a decidedly understated aesthetic. The main stage looked like it had just thrown a warehouse party. Most participants showed up in hoodies and jeans. Because I wore an elegant coat, I was often mistaken for an event organizer.

But ETHDenver was also one of the most good-natured conferences I’ve ever been to. So what if the price of Ether, the second largest cryptocurrency in the world, had fallen? crashed from a high of $4,815 to less than $3,000. The Ethereum blockchain it is built on would save the world!

Nobody mentioned money. The focus was on cooperation on the Internet. “I believe this is the mechanism for a new society,” said one speaker. “This is how we create a pluralistic civilization,” explained another. Elon Musk’s younger brother Kimbal took the stage to talk about philanthropy. Vitalik Buterinthe 28-year-old Russian-Canadian co-founder of Ethereum spoke of a culture that focuses on new ideas.

Does that sound confusing? It was. If you’re having trouble with Web3, it’s because it’s still an amorphous umbrella term used to cover cryptocurrencies, the metaverse, non-fungible tokens, and the idea of ​​a community-driven, “decentralized” internet.

Kimbal Musk spoke at ETHDenver last month. The concept of Web3 is seen by many as a spur to radical digital change © Michael Ciaglo/Getty

Some of it is new, some is not. The idea of ​​users owning the internet dates back decades, although the term Web3 is credited to Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood in 2014. It reached critical mass last September when tech venture capitalist Chris Dixon a Twitter thread describes it as a distinct new era of the Internet. First came Web 1 (1990s decentralized internet), then Web 2 (Big Tech circa 2005-20), now Web3.

The data is an invention, as are the dividing lines that marked one generation as Boomers and another as Millennials. But they’re a good way to reflect on the timeframe in which big tech companies took over and envision a different future.

This future depends on blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. In a way, Web3 is really a way to rebrand crypto investing. Bitcoin’s volatility and lack of real-world application mean it’s still dismissed as a fad by some. Web3 is presented as something more high-minded and durable: a way to use the same mechanism to change the way the world works.

That’s helpful for investors like VC firm Andreessen Horowitz, where Dixon is a partner. it is attempts to raise up to $4.5 billion for new crypto funds. It’s also helpful for businesses looking for a fresh start. That same month, Dixon posted tweets about Web3, Facebook rebranded to Meta, and stated his future lay in the metaverse. There is one more connection. The company expects users to access the Metaverse through virtual reality hardware like its own Oculus headsets. Dixon led Andreessen Horowitz’s early investment in Oculus.

Is that a spur to radical, positive change? Or is it just a new way for tech investors and companies to attract money? Maybe it’s both. In Web3, technology has finally found a new way to indulge its love of speculation and idealism.

Web3 allows tech to indulge in its love of both speculation and idealism Source link Web3 allows tech to indulge in its love of both speculation and idealism

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