Oskar Okuno's Blog

The Web3 that we don't need

12/01/2022

'It seems to me like a perfect storm of tech, greed and smart people.'

'Texture with negative space'

In blockchain tech community there are a lot of really smart people working on very technically sophisticated solutions to very complex systems and problems. They are trying to fix the issues of today while anticipating the issues of tomorrow. They also have the financial backing of the value of the cryptocurrency that is flowing on top of the blockchain technology they are working on.

We have a communication issue

What's the value added?

The tech people only focuses on the technical solution. The financial people only focuses on the speculation market. Both are pointing in a positive direction. So from their perspective they can't fathom why they are receiving so much criticism.

Yes, blockchain technology is cool, but it does not meet the expectation it sets on itself.

The cristism boils down to: What's the value added? It seems like the for the majority of the solutions currently on the market, there would be a negative value for switching to blockchain technology. There may be a new, nische, market for blockchain technology. This is were the divide between blockchain lovers 🥰 and haters 😤 are the greatest. Web3 is pitched to be a revlutionary technology which is going to replace the current state. This bold claim requires ground breaking technology. Looking from the outside, there is nothing that even remotely meets that standard when it comes to blockchain technology. This is the heart of the issue. Yes, blockchain technology is cool, but it does not meet the expectation it sets on itself.

It is a solution in search of a problem.

The main innovation is the distributed leger. Yes, it removes central control, in theory. Yes, it requires more resources than a traditional database, but that's the trade-off. However, is this a technical solution that is interesting for most mobile apps, SaaS, social media, websites, games and other technical services and products out there? No, not really. The current problems are not solved with this technological innovation. It is a solution in search of a problem.

Can't Separate Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Speculation

I view blockchain technology as separate from the value of cryptocurrency. But, I don't think they can be separated. They are driving each other forward. The hype of blockchain leads to an increase in value of cryptocurrency. The increased value of cryptocurrency leads to an increase to the hype of blockchain. And the circle goes on... There is a promise of future market adaptation of blockchain/cryptocurrency technology. This is where web3 comes in. I want to make a distinction between blockchain and web3. From a technical point of view it's a suttle one, but from a community point of view it's a differentiator worth noting.

Definition of blockchain technology and the people working in this space

These are all very smart people, working on a grand vision with high principles. It's a very admirable cause and an exciting future, if it ever would be realized. It's a space that has been around for at least 14 years, since Bitcoin emerged 2008 (I guess you can say it started earlier or later depending on your definition, but this is what I am going with here). Over the years a lot of innovations has happened, new blockchains have emerged with different technical solutions. New solutions on top of blockchains have emerged like smart contracts and NFTs. Here is where web3 definition stsrts

Definition of Web3

I see web3 as an evolution of the blockchain and cryptocurrency community. With a very important addition, the non-techy, financial speculative persons. There was a realization that a lot of money could be made in this space. Add som fomo and trending social media posts. All of these people were very influencal. They had capital and good reputation. But, in order to sustain the flow of cash, the technology needed to be inflated. Big promises were made that can't be backed up with the reality of the technology.

Possible Future

This is my prediction: When investors realize that blockchain and cryptocurrency will not reach the anticipated market adaption, we will see a meltdown in investments in companies working on blockchain technology and the hype over blockchain will be over. Blockchain and cryptocurrency will still be around of course, but the talk about web3 as the next step in the evolution of the web will die out. DFi, or "Decentralized Finance" will still be around since that's the main application of blockchain technology, interacting with the transactions on the ledger. But, that's the limit and were mass adoptation of blockchain tech will end.