Tim Berners-Lee, British computer scientist and the creator of the World Wide Web following his work in 1989, has criticised blockchain and Web3, saying that individuals should ‘ignore’ them as they aren’t viable solutions for building the next phase of the internet.
Speaking at the Web Summit event in Lisbon, Berners-Lee stated, “It’s important to clarify in order to discuss the impacts of new technology. You have to understand what the terms mean that we’re discussing actually mean, beyond the buzzwords.”
“It’s a real shame in fact that the actual Web3 name was taken by Ethereum folks for the stuff that they’re doing with blockchain. In fact, Web3 is not the web at all,” said Berners-Lee.
Web3, similar to the term ‘metaverse‘ has come to describe a hypothetical and decentralized version of the internet that will not be dominated by behemoth companies like Microsoft, Google and Amazon. And although it’s still being perfected, Web3 will involve various technologies such as cryptocurrencies, NFTs and blockchain.
Berners-Lee has his very own web decentralization project called Solid but believes blockchain isn’t the solution. “Blockchain protocols may be good for some things but they’re not good for Solid. They’re too slow too expensive and too public. Personal data stores have to be fast, cheap and private.”
Adding that individuals should “Ignore the Web3 stuff, random Web3 that was built on blockchain. We’re not using that for Solid,” he said.
The web creator also added that Web 3.0, which is his own proposal for reshaping the internet is often being conflated with Web3. According to TechCrunch, Berners-Lee’s new startup Inrupt has raised $30 million in funding and is aiming to give users full control of their data including how it is stored and accessed.
Berners-Lee went on to add that our personal data is being garnered by numerous Big Tech companies like Meta and Google and these companies use that data to “lock us into their platforms.”
“The result was a big data race where the winner was the one corporation that controlled the most data and the losers were everybody else,” he said.
Berners-Lee’s new start-up aims to address the above issue in three ways:
• A global “single sign-on” feature that allows anyone to log in from anywhere.
• Login Ids that let users share their data with others.
• A “common universal API,” or application programming interface, that allows apps to collect data from any source.
Other notable billionaires who have criticized both Web3 and the metaverse include Tesla CEO and Twitter owner Elon Musk, and Mark Cuban who said “there’s is no rhyme or reason to it yet.”