Web3 is coming – there’s no doubt about that. However, we’re still in such early stages that it’s impossible to tell what it will ultimately look like. The small decisions we make every day will continue to shape it.
Right now, one thing is abundantly clear: privacy will be an absolute necessity.
Last week, a group of leaders in the blockchain privacy space came together to discuss the importance of privacy in Web3.
The list of participants included Manta Network co-founder Shumo Chu, who brought up a number of valuable points about privacy on Web3.
One of the key issues Chu raised in the discussion was the threat posted to Web3 by Facebook.
Many members of the crypto community are already uncomfortable with Facebook’s metaverse plans. Some people are even speculating that Facebook’s centralized metaverse is a threat to the decentralized ecosystem.
For instance, despite Facebook Libra having one of the best smart contract programming languages (you might have heard of Move, the Rust-based language created by Facebook for developing customizable transaction logic and smart contracts), there is one glaring issue: people don’t trust Facebook.
Unfortunately for Zuckerberg, it turns out that you can’t just hire a bunch of engineers and demand that they “build something decentralized” just to have it run by one of the biggest, most centralized platforms in existence.
Chu’s second big problem concerns Apple.
Despite his love for Steve Jobs, Chu described him in the panel as “kind of a control freak”.
Chu is not wrong: anyone who knows anything about Jobs knows that he had a lot of control over the way that Apple was run.
In an interview, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison said himself that Jobs “wanted to control every aspect. Including how you pay for an item in a store. Or what it looked like in a box.”
Apple’s raging success meant that Jobs also had a significant amount of control over how users ended up experiencing the Web2 ecosystem. For instance, the Apple app store has repeatedly been referred to as a “walled garden” as a result of its closed ecosystem of hardware and software – a design aspect that many other tech corporations took inspiration from and have copied over the years.
However, despite the innovations that these decisions have lled to, there is no question that its role in stifling innovation and artificially driving up prices has been much greater.
If we want to avoid such mistakes in Web3, we must start acting now to prevent them. And like Chu has said, this will involve building a radically different ecosystem to that one that was created by – and is still incredibly dominated by – large corporations like Facebook and Apple.