In recent months, there has been a resurgence in the usage of the term “web3”: a nebulous term that (like it or hate it) has suddenly become a banner for much of the innovation happening in the space of blockchain and distributed ledger technology. The term has been around for a while (since 2014 when Gavin Wood originally coined it), but now it seems to have, for better or worse, reached critical mass.
With this has come a large amount of discourse and criticism. The field of discourse has seemingly been almost perfectly split in two: first, the “blockchain likers”, who are a broad group of individuals ranging from dogmatic “moon boy" traders to seasoned cryptographers like Dan Boneh who are working on the core technology associated with the field. On the other side, there are the “blockchain dislikers”: people like Stephen Diehl (who himself actually works on a private blockchain), who consistently produce highly reflexive, reactionary, and dismissive critiques.
These critiques are usually unmoored to anything actually happening in the blockchain space, and unaware of the technological development and cultural vision. This bifurcation is extremely harmful for the health of the emerging technologies: these technologies are not going to go away, so if your only answer is dismissal and anger, you’re actually just ceding the power to decide what these technologies will look like in our world. This pattern of discourse creates a negative-sum feedback loop that does a disservice to all.