Satoshi Nakamoto released bitcoin over a decade ago, and since then has inspired builders such as Vitalik Buterin to build Ethereum. The ability to add code to a blockchain has been considered a revolutionary concept to many in the web3 community.
In the last year or so, Ethereum has absolutely taken off and has spawned a new class of internet citizens. Coming from all different kinds of backgrounds, they rallied around this new chain. A chain that, for many, revolutionized their life in a truly mind-boggling fashion.
The ethos of Ethereum has always been open, and permissionless. Instead of corporations and the 1% owning everything, it is owned by all of the users. A platform where the unit of measurement isn't a business, but an individual.
In the realm of Twitter, where much of the crypto community resides, there is a battle going on. A line has been drawn, and a fence erected; crypto enthusiasts on one side, and web native citizens on the other. My goal is to articulate where the tension comes between these two parties.
As a disclaimer: I work at a blockchain company, and that has changed the trajectory for my life in a truly massive way. I catapulted from under the poverty line to the top 1% of earners for my age in the course of a year. Let it be known I am biased and do not apologize for it.
However, before I started my crypto journey, I was teaching myself to code. Trying desperately to get a job as a web developer. I met some of the most welcoming people I've bumped into on the internet in these discords.
I met my first developer friends in these communities. And while I don't hang around in these corners of the internet anymore, I have a huge amount of respect for these people, and bump into them regularly in my Twitter feed.
These communities represent diverse people that come from many walks of life, and are all unique in their own ways. However a unifying trait among all of them, is the majority are either skeptical, or outright hostile towards the technology and community of crypto.
There is a divide between these two groups. The red-pilled crypto natives have seen truly life-changing amounts of money, and see a bright future for those who follow in their footsteps. They envision a world where people literally get dropped money for being users of products that participate in this ecosystem. They are being educated in the most radical way on how the current financial system works. They see now that these opportunities exist in the current iteration of the internet. But are locked-out out of participation due to geographical location, socio-economic status, or political legislation.
They speak daily in revolutionary vocabulary. A new iteration of the internet. A new way of being. Rebuilding the corrupt system they see from the ground-up. Everything is spoken in absolutes, and critique is shoved aside and labeled as small-minded, or ignorant.
The current incumbents are pragmatists. They are working every day on the tools that billions of people and businesses rely upon. They are incredibly passionate about the web, and want to see it thrive. They see the talk of web3 and wonder what's wrong with web2? Is web2 even a thing? I thought it was just the web?
Certainly one would expect to see a myriad of improvements if we were going to call it web3. What they see instead are zealots, defending their religion of blockchain tooth-and-nail. They are told they simply don't understand the technology. People with cartoon avatars of animals telling them they're ngmi.
And the technology in question? A distributed ledger that contains money with no real-world backing, touted by those who have already made millions off of the platform. A ledger that runs on everyone's computer. Spending tons of electricity for unnecessary redundancy.
Maybe they've dabbled in psychedelics and can get behind the idea that all money is made up anyways. And the aforementioned cons have some unforeseen pro to them.
But upon digging into the technology, one rapidly comes into some troubling questions. This "web3" technology is supposed to revolutionize the financial system, but costs $150 to send a jpeg with some pointer that you own it?
This sounds more and more like the four letter word that gets under any crypto enthusiast's skin. It sounds like a scam. Web3 starts to sound like Web 0.5 more and more by the second.
I think that there needs to be some voices in the middle. There are concerns that need to be addressed now and not later. Conversations need to be held where people on both sides of the aisle can admit where there are trade-offs. From those conversations we can make tangible progress. Progress that creates a more inclusive, and less radicle environment for everyone.
What's always excited me about web3 is the potential to build a new system where EVERYONE is included. Systems that are built by the people, for the people. Systems that work regardless of where you are in the world, or what corrupt laws are in place. A system where you can rely upon your fellow individual, and not some billion dollar US corporation. A place where anyone's voice can be heard, and seen. A system that distributes power and control instead of consolidating it. That's what excites me.
I don't care to tell you that you could make $1M from 15k if you invest in whatever coin or NFT. I don't care to tell you that SHIB to the MOON!!!
On the other hand, I don't care to hear you dunk on harmless, well-intentioned messages like 'gm'. And I certainly don't care to have a VP of Google or Facebook tell me that what I'm doing is a scam or morally wrong.
I do care to talk to you however! Yes you reader. Whatever your opinion is, if you can communicate it clearly, respectfully, and with as little bias as you can, I'm willing to meet you half-way and do the same.
Preferably in public spaces so others can see, but in my dms is fine as well. You can find me @nheindev on the bird app.