Web3’s Decentralization promise in the crosshairs of Critics

Web3, the new generation of the World Wide Web, which I’ve recently covered here, beckons to a decentralized environment where users will have much more autonomy and control over their data and access to a variety of services. The main advantage is that the use of these applications would happen without the need for intermediation from a company, especially from the technology giants.

Using blockchain technology, the services will be operated via autonomous smart contracts that would self-execute, automatically distributing values as tasks are performed. It is what some call the “internet of services.”

By controlling their own transactions and data, users will be able to decide, for example, whether they want to see ads or not. In this way, companies would have to look for alternatives to run their campaigns and advertise their products. The proposal is promising.

While many engineers and specialists focus on the development of solutions and systems to make this new reality viable and we, users, eagerly wait for Web3, there is a stream of critics who question the viability of this new stage of the internet and the possibility of an ecosystem without intermediaries.

Many critics believe that Web3 is just a way to boost the market for tokens and cryptocurrencies. One of the biggest critics is the professor at New York University – NYU,    Scott Galloway . He says that the term Web3 is vague and nebulous and what will come is a re-centralization – a change of actors with the emergence of new intermediaries. This is because 9% of the accounts on the Ethereum blockchain concentrate 80% of the market value of NFTs. And in Bitcoin, 95% of the value is in 2% of the accounts.

Criticism also comes from names like Jack Dorsey, founder of Twitter, Elon Musk, Tesla and Space X, and the creator of Web2, Tim O’Reilly.

Evolution in cycles of centralization and decentralization

In addition to skepticism about the prospect of a more autonomous and democratic environment, critics point to increased risks of cybercrime and the excessive cost of developing decentralized networks. There are those who argue that, throughout history, we have alternated cycles of decentralization and re-centralization.

The emergence of personal computers decentralized computing architecture. Subsequently, there was centralization with the development of an operating system by Microsoft. Then came the open-source software, followed by a new wave of monopolization via big data, the databases owned by tech giants.

The controversy must continue, and it is healthy that it exists. Criticism often brings up relevant issues that deserve to be addressed. The divergence of opinions will certainly contribute to the new level of the internet bringing benefits to all.