Web 5: The Web 3.0 Killer?

Web 3
June 16, 2022

Jack Dorsey - everyone’s favourite homeless looking billionaire and Bitcoin maxi, recently announced his plans to launch Web 5. But what the heck is Web 5? What happened to Web4? And should you be worried about Web 3?

Let’s dive in to find out!

Web 5 Is Here But What The Heck Happened To Web 4?

On June 11th 2022 Jack Dorsey announced that his firm TBD, a subsidiary of Block, is building an “extra decentralised web 5” on Bitcoin.

That’s right. Jack said bye bye to Web 3, skipped straight past Web4 and went straight to the end game with Web5.

It’s well known that Dorsey is a Bitcoin maximalist and has been publicly critical of Web 3 in the past - suggesting that VCs own most of Web 3.

“RIP web3 VCs,” Dorsey tweeted.

Dorsey has been critical of Web 3 relying on VC funding. And Web 5 appears to be a tongue in cheek way of publicly addressing those concerns, whilst simultaneously distancing himself from Web 3 as much as possible!

Jack Dorsey on Web 3 and why he's building Web 5

So what’s the pitch?

Well the idea is that while Web 3 aims to tokenize everything, Web 5 will only use one blockchain, Bitcoin, for one specific use case: identity. And there will be no tokens!!!

Web 5 is made up of software components that let developers focus on building user experiences while enabling decentralised identity and data storage for their apps.

Cue technical jargon on Web 5!

It’s composed of:

  1. Decentralised Identifiers (DIDs) - Built with Sidetree and ION (Identity Overlay Network) which work together to provide a means to locate a decentralized identifier (DID), find the public key to validate a holder controls the DID (private key) and provide a destination to find additional information about that DID. Sidetree is a blockchain-agnostic layer 2 protocol that was designed to support a globally scalable, immutable append-only log with no central provider or authorities to be censorship and tamper resistant.
  2. Decentralised Web Node (DWN) - a mechanism for data storage and message transition that participants can use to locate data linked to a given DID.
  3. Self-Sovereign Identity Service (SSIS) - SSI addresses the difficulty of establishing trust in an interaction. In order to be trusted, one party in an interaction will present credentials to the other parties, and those relying parties can verify that the credentials came from an issuer that they trust. In this way, the verifier's trust in the issuer is transferred to the credential holder

There’s a lot to unpack here, but what it essentially means is that Jack is trying to build the infrastructure for a new set of web platforms that will enable users to control and own their own data - all whilst staying true to his vision of a world where Bitcoin is the only cryptocurrency…

Per TBD’s website:

“The most important information we need to own is information about ourselves. Today, our identities and log-ins are controlled by increasingly centralized entities.

Before we can build a new system in which people are in control of their digital and financial lives, we need to start with fixing identity.

The great power of the internet has been the democratization of information.

With decentralized identity, TBD is reinventing the account model of the internet – to empower people to own their identities, unlock access to financial services, and regain privacy and control over how their personal data is used.”

What Is Web 5?

Web 5  is an open source platform that enables developers to build products and services on decentralised technologies.

Who’s behind Web 5?

TBD was launched in July 2021 with the focus of building an open developer platform with the sole goal of making it easy to create non-custodial, permissionless, and decentralised financial services. And of course, it’s built on Bitcoin.

The company itself is a subsidiary of Block that was formed with the goal of making the decentralised financial world accessible for everyone.

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