Jack Dorsey Unveils Web 5.0 to Replace Web 3.0
Jack Dorsey, the former CEO of Twitter, has never exactly been an ardent supporter of the web 3.0. In fact, he has always been of the opinion that web 3.0 is nothing more than a VC (venture capitalist) enrichment scheme. Now, very recently at Consensus 2022, he has announced web 5.0 to rival the web 3.0: a new, decentralized internet that would focus on securing user identity and information.
Jack Dorsey’s TBD, the Bitcoin-focused subsidiary of Block Inc. (formerly Square), is now working on this web 5.0 following their mission statement: “We believe in a decentralized future that returns ownership and control over your finances, data, and identity. Guided by this vision, TBD is building infrastructure that enables everyone to access and participate in the global economy”. The technology is to be designed so users can have complete control over their own data instead of handing it over to third parties.
The Growth of the Web So Far
TBD believes that the gradual evolution of the internet is working to put “individuals at the center”. In the very first version of the web, most of the content available was static HTML aside from forums and chat protocols. The social media revolution then brought about the web 2.0, which allows users to connect among themselves with centralized platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
The creation of Bitcoin and the blockchain technology brought about the concept of a decentralized web, slowly moving us towards web 3.0. Web 3.0 is supposed to be built around decentralized applications that tokenize currency and other kinds of content, and also protect users’ identities and data in a trustless fashion.
The Problem With Web 3.0, According to Dorsey
Dorsey has always questioned the decentralized nature of web 3.0, his view being that web 3.0 is actually owned by venture capitalist firms. While announcing web 5.0, Dorsey took another dig at web 3.0 by saying, “this will likely be our most important contribution to the internet. proud of the team. #web5 (RIP web3 VCs 🤫)”.
TBD explains the problem with web 3.0 like this: “The web democratized the exchange of information, but it’s missing a key layer: identity. We struggle to secure personal data with hundreds of accounts and passwords we can’t remember. On the web today, identity and personal data have become the property of third parties”.
How is the Web 5.0 Supposed to Work?
Web 5.0 will be built on top of the Bitcoin blockchain, where data is stored with the user and not the platform itself. While many have made fun of Dorsey’s web 5.0 by asking where exactly web 4.0 went, web 5.0 is actually being described as something that combines web 2.0 and web 3.0, hence the title.
Here’s an official illustration from TBD’s presentation chronicling their vision for the web 5.0, that shows the difference between the current internet and web5.
So basically, in the current web model, individuals are only given accounts by various companies and they are not in charge of their own data. But the web 5.0 takes a different approach, and uses just the Bitcoin blockchain for one specific use case: identity.
But Dorsey’s web 5.0 is a new decentralized web that leverages Bitcoin to put users back in control of their data and identity. The web 5.0 is supposed to be built on top of the Bitcoin blockchain, and therefore will not require any crypto token besides Bitcoin to function.
Web 5.0 is slated to consist of four key components all centered around Bitcoin and the idea of decentralization. The four elements are:
- Decentralized identifiers,
- Self-sovereign identity service,
- Decentralized Web Nodes,
- and Self-sovereign identity SDK.
TBD defines web 5.0 as such, “Web5 is a Decentralized Web Platform that enables developers to leverage Decentralized Identifiers, Verifiable Credentials, and Decentralized Web Nodes to write Decentralized Web Apps, returning ownership and control over identity and data to individuals”.
So, the DWP or the Decentralized Web Platform enables developers to write Decentralized Web Apps (DWAs) using Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs) and Decentralized Web Nodes (DWNs). In web 2.0, PWAs or Progressive Web Apps relay data directly to centralized servers. With only minimal cached details stored with the actual users. But the DWNs will be owned by the users instead of a centralized server, returning ownership and control over identity and data to individuals.
The combination of Decentralized Identifiers and Decentralized Web Nodes produces a Web of DID-secured messaging, data sharing, and credential exchange that can replace one-off protocols (encrypted messaging, photo sharing, etc.) with universal standards for all types of semantic data exchange.
The web 5.0 project is still under development, and any official release schedule has not been announced yet. If this new, innovative approach to decentralized web proves to be as effective as the theory says, it may render any other crypto besides Bitcoin redundant. Either way, I look forward to seeing how things play out in regards to a truly decentralized web!