The computer scientist believes that we should “ignore” this concept when considering a future iteration of the Internet.
For some, Web3 is seen as a new version of the Internet, offering a decentralized and fair Internet based on blockchain, the technology behind NFTs and cryptocurrencies. As such, it opposes the current Web 2.0, which is dominated by Gafam. But the concept has also been criticized by several tech personalities, such as Tim Berners-Lee, founder of the Internet.
At the Web Summit, an annual event in Lisbon, a British computer scientist said we should “ignore” Web3, according to CNBC. “It’s really a shame that the real name Web3 has been taken by the people of Ethereum for what they’re doing with the blockchain. In fact, Web3 is not the Internet at all,” said Tim Berners-Lee. He believes that the term “Web3” is too often confused with “Web 3.0”, his own project to restore the Internet. With the help of his startup Inrupt, the computer scientist wants to return control of data to Internet users.
To this end, the company uses Solid, a web decentralization project launched by Tim Berners-Lee in 2015. It allows users to store their information in decentralized data stores called modules, through which they can control access to them. For the founder of the Internet, Blockchain protocols are useless for his project. “They are too slow, too expensive and too public. Personal data storage should be fast, cheap and private,” he said. He sees blockchain as a non-viable solution for building a future version of the Internet.
Tim Berners-Lee isn’t the first techie to criticize Web3. This also applies to Jack Dorsey, the former CEO of Twitter, who launched a decentralized social network called Bluesky. “No one owns Web3. It is owned by venture capitalists and limited partnerships. He will never escape their instigation. Ultimately, it is a centralized organization with a different name,” Jack Dorsey said last year. Elon Musk, the current CEO of Twitter, has also demonstrated on several occasions that Web3 doesn’t convince him, such as calling it “bullshit.”