My First Impressions Of Moxie Marlinspike's Impressions Of Web3

in LeoFinance11 days ago (edited)


Moxie Marlinspike is a person I admire a lot. I don't know him personally, but I know and use one of his products, the Signal app. You should use it too, by the way, if you actually care about privacy and anonymity.

Yesterday, Moxie wrote on his blog a piece called My first impressions of web3.

What follows are my impressions on his impressions.

The first, and the most consistent feeling I'm getting from that article is that Moxie is mistaking ETH for NFT. I know he knows the difference, and I'm putting some thick touches here, to prove a point, but when he talks about web3, he only takes into account Ethereum. His entire experience with NFT (which is arguably one of the biggest part of the web3 movement) is on the Ethereum ecosystem.

As we all know, this ecosystem is also one of the oldest on the crypto space. In time, on top of the decentralized layer, some centralized players appeared, to reduce friction. OpenSea, for instance, is a centralized platform, built on top of a blockchain, and, to a certain extent, so is MetaMask, as it relies on centralized API providers, like Infuria, to deliver account and transaction information.

Based on this situation, Moxie's point is that all decentralized ecosystems eventually evolve into centralized platforms.

The fundamental reason for this is, and I quote: "people don't want to run their own server". Again, I can relate, but only to a certain extent. It was true that web1 started with the promise of an exacerbated autonomy, where you were at the same time the maintainer of the web server, and the author of the blog, and you also ran your own DNS server, and email server, etc. I know, because I've been in that role, for many years. I still know how to do it. And yes, after a while, it becomes boring.

But the world evolves. Not only by Moore's law, which led to an aggressive miniaturization (and affordability) of computing power. But also the UI / UX paradigms are evolving continuously. I don't see why "people" won't be able to run their own "server" in their phones, provided the current UI / UX obstacles are removed. We're not there yet, but this is not impossible per se. Just because we don't have the mental ability to see something like this happening right now, it doesn't mean it's impossible to happen at some point.

Another weird point (that stems from this limitation to Ethereum as the only platform for web3) is the actual cost. Yes, we know that ETH fees are insane. But ETH is not the only NFT blockchain-capable there. To keep things in an age where both Moxie and I feel comfortable, Ethereum is the Netscape Navigator of blockchains. It was revolutionary at that time, but it was eventually replaced by thinner, more performant browsers. Same thing is happening to Ethereum right now. There was first a centralized response, the Binance Smart Chain, which took a serious bite out of ETH market cap, but now we see truly decentralized contenders, like Solana or Cosmos. Granted, they are functioning under slightly different paradigms (Cosmos, for instance is more of an ecosystem of blockchains working together, than a single blockchain). But they are truly decentralized and the transaction costs aren't prohibitive.

Not to mention the fact that in this very space, Hive, there is already an NFT layer, not to be ignored. It's not as big as Open Sea, but it has zero costs, it runs on a more decentralized structure, and so on.

And with that I think I reached my final thought: the fact that one of the most important builders in the software world today doesn't have the ability to see beyond a certain hype tells one thing: the train has left the station.

The level of innovation and creativity is at the disruption level, where generational expectations are nuked.

It's a brave new world exploding under our own eyes, and if we blink, we may lose the most exciting parts.

Photo by Shubham Dhage on Unsplash

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I don't see why "people" won't be able to run their own "server" in their phones

I think it's a thing that could be done and wouldn't surprise me if it's a thing that's coming/is already here and we just don't know about it. Seems tow ork for the people in my head-universe anyway XD

unfortunately I have no idea how they do their technology, but it seems pretty cool

Centralised front-ends used to access decentralised protocols is the key to Web3.

Making those protocols interoperable is the ultimate icing on the cake.

Unfortunately, like we see here, most don't really take it to this level.

But right now I'm just enjoying all of the mainstream crypto media discussion around Web3.

The discussion will get the depth we need eventually.

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