As part of a recent conversation to present a Web3 proposal to execs, the following concern was raised: “How can we convey the concept of Web3 to folks in a deck? It took me a long time immersing myself in this ecosystem before I understood why it’s different.”
I realized that crypto and web3 challenge many assumptions, and many of them might be silly and just plain wrong. However, there are some aspects that might prove revolutionary. People seem to scoff at these concepts though, dismissing them off-hand and scoffing at explanations.
Here’s something that might set you off: Most people who criticize cryptocurrency can’t explain how money actually works. They intuitively just know that cryptocurrencies are not money and simply cannot be stores of value. Those of you who fall into that category, please explain what money is - why is it valuable? How does it work?
Although I do not truly understand cryptocurrency (I know enough to shoot myself in the foot) or claim to be an expert on money (but I have read the books and the Interwebz), I do hold the opinion that one can still hold a line of reasoning that has value even though they might not be fully believed or understood by themselves. I read up about Bitcoin in 2014 and wrote about my investment thesis on Bitcoin. I wasn’t fully convinced back then that Bitcoin would succeed, simply that it had a shot of gaining enough mindshare and acceptance to make it so, and if that’s the case, what would I do about it? For better or for worse, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have emerged as an alternative store of value in today’s economy.
It’s interesting to me how NFTs and Web3 appear to trigger the crypto community in a similar way. For example, see this reddit post titled: “NFTs… great technology, wasted on art” which includes this snippet “HOWEVER, I hate the fact that the VAST MAJORITY of capital and resources is being directed towards NFT art and isn’t being invested into expanding NFT technology to expand its uses.”
Also see this interview summary with Vitalik Buterin by benzinga.
Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin was interviewed by TIME in a cover story, labeling him the “Prince of Crypto.”
In the interview, Buterin said there are increasing dangers with cryptocurrencies, including overeager investors and soaring transaction fees.
“Crypto itself has a lot of dystopian potential if implemented wrong,” Buterin said.
The Ethereum co-founder went on to take an apparent shot at Bored Ape Yacht Club, an NFT collection that was minted on the Ethereum blockchain in April 2021.
“The peril is you have these $3 million monkeys, and it becomes a different kind of gambling.”
Buterin said a lot of people are buying yachts and lambos, but he hopes that in the future crypto is used for fair voting systems, urban planning and universal basic income.
“If we don’t exercise our voice, the only things that get built are the things that are immediately profitable.”
It is important to note that Vitalik’s opposition is actually more nuanced - he wants the economic model to fund public goods and better humanity. I agree!
I don't hate apes, I just want them to fund public goods!— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) March 22, 2022
It is therefore important to consider how we might see the successes of the NFT ecosystem and consider how it might be adapted or scaled up to effect meaningful societal changes - look past the monkey pictures and ask what are the mechanisms that make it a viable ecosystem and consider how we might use this incentive framework in a more productive manner. Also appreciate that you stop saying that people pay hundreds of thousands and millions for overpriced JPEGs. 👇
People get upset that JPEGs are being sold for over hundred thousand dollars, and then after explaining utility to them, they shrug and say: "still don't get it."— yewjin.eth🦇🔊 (@yewjin_eth) April 22, 2022
Edit 2022-05-16: The interwebz is upset with web3: Web3 is just expensive P2P (netfuture.ch) (hackernews).