Should Dorsey's Web5 Concept Be Trusted?
Web3 is the next level of all things internet, where the blockchain plays a very active role. While Web3 is yet to sink fully into global consciousness, former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has come up with a very ambitious idea for what he calls "Web5".
Many people need clarification, especially as there is no Web4 yet, and Web3 is not even in full operation. So what is Web5 all about?
Origins of the Web5 concept
Dorsey's concept aims to give the user complete control of personal information and data, a form of self-sovereignty. According to Dorsey, Web5 is to become an extra-decentralized web platform whose core tenets are:
Decentralized web nodes, which are used for messaging and data storage.
Decentralized, self-owned identifiers.
A critical look at the core tenets shown above indicates that they are similar to what Web3 seeks to achieve. Besides, the entire concept is not inventing anything new. It seeks to tweak the existing web architecture to rid it of the big-money players who serve as venture capitalists funding the Web3 apps. This becomes obvious from the tweets that announced his TBD project, which is set to run on his new extra decentralized network.
The tweet in question showed the phrase "RIP Web3 VCs" in brackets, in an apparent reference to his loathing of the involvement of venture capitalists in many Web3 projects.
The lack of a remarkable novelty in Web5 has drawn the ire of many stakeholders. Some have taken issue with this unilateral capture of the Web5 name, given that all previous web versions (Web1 and Web2) were clearly defined and assigned their nomenclature via a global consensus of stakeholders and only after they were in operation.
For instance, Web1 is the first version of Tim Berners-Lee's world wide web, which was marked by a race to produce the best web browsers and their fundamental workings before social media became a thing. Web2 became known as Web1 + social media or the so-called social web in which the internet is a platform that spans connected devices, as elucidated by Tim O'Reilly in 2005. Web3 incorporates distributed ledger technology and its products into the workings of Web2. Gavin Wood, founder of Polkadot, in 2014 developed this concept when he was Ethereum's Chief Technology Officer. Dorsey's Web5 remains a project in development, and there is nothing on the ground that can be used to assess his utopian tenets.
Should Dorsey’s Web5 concept be trusted?
It is my opinion that the concept of Web5 should show a clear addition to whatever work has gone into bringing the internet to where it is today, which is at the Web3 stage. It should not be a case of an individual abusing his influence in the space to appropriate the concept without clearly showing what improvements to Web3 his project is bringing to the table.
Dorsey presided over a company, Twitter, with its fair share of criticisms. One of its most ardent critics has been Elon Musk, who bought the company and took control of its leadership. Musk has variously criticized the opacity surrounding the verification processes Twitter uses to ensure ads are not delivered to bot accounts. Dorsey never really came clean on how the company handled such matters. There have also been complaints about the rather one-sided censorship it applied to those seen to be opposed to the company's liberal ideology in the last years of his tenure.
With such a history, one wonders if Dorsey's Web5 is just a marketing gimmick or a genuine attempt to improve on Web3. Does he have the moral compass to be at the forefront of a version of the web he says will promote extra decentralization? Time will tell.
Author: Brendan Beeken
Moni Talks Founder and Chairman Brendan Beeken is an entrepreneur, commercial strategist, investor, and philanthropist. He writes on a wide range of subjects, including cryptocurrency, decentralised finance, blockchain, business advice, and professional wellbeing, for news and business websites, as well as Latest Moni and his personal site, brendanbeeken.com. Brendan draws from his own research and more than two decades of personal experience in business to offer a unique insight, perspective, and commentary on diverse subjects. He is passionate about making the cryptocurrency space more accessible and encouraging safer and more responsible trading and investing. Brendan's LinkTree is https://linktr.ee/brendanbeeken.