Also known as Web 3.0, web3 is what advocates describe as a version of the internet that is decentralized and based on blockchain. It has come under increasing scrutiny from some marquee-name tech leaders this week, who have questioned how it may function or be governed, if at all.
Tesla ( (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc Report) CEO Elon Musk recently tweeted out a 1995 David Letterman interview with Bill Gates and likened web3 in the then-lack of understanding about what the internet could do.
After stepping down from Twitter ( (TWTR) - Get Twitter, Inc. Report) last month, Jack Dorsey has been focusing his energy on cryptocurrency and new methods of payment as CEO of Block ( (SQ) - Get Square, Inc. Class A Report).
But he managed to ruffle some serious feathers with a Monday afternoon tweet saying that large venture capitalist firms that are currently pouring money into the concept will be able to control what form it takes.
As an early backer, venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz has already poured over $3 billion into various crypto and web3 initiatives.
"You don't own 'web3,'" Dorsey wrote. "The VCs and their LPs do. It will never escape their incentives."
Former Coinbase ( (COIN) ) CTO and a16z general partner Balaji Srinivasan tried to argue that web3 could protect against the corporate and political influences that affected Twitter in more recent years.
"Twitter started as a protocol, the free speech wing of the free speech party," Srinivasan wrote alongside a series of 2009 articles that theorized about Twitter's free speech potential. "Then corporate & political incentives led to deplatforming & censorship. Web3 offers the possibility, not guarantee, of something better."
Dorsey dismissed the interpretation as "false" and said that Twitter always functioned as a corporation, while web3 "has the same corporate incentives, but hides it under 'decentralization.'"
He also shot down a separate interpretation by Craft Ventures' David Sacks.