Make up your own mind.

Want to find out more about web3? Yeah, me too.

Web3 is a polarizing issue. It’s difficult to find balanced views on the topic, which means you have to traverse the two extremes to form your own view.

Here is a collection of Web3 resources to help you understand more about the ‘next generation of the internet’. Take your own tour to see what destination you arrive at. I summarize my position at the end.

1️⃣ Start with this episode of the Web3 Breadowns podcast about the Ethereum Name Service (ENS). If you’re familiar with the concept of DNS, this is nice way to start your journey.

2️⃣ Next go to the Chris Dixon episode of the same podcast: The Potential of Blockchain Technology. At the end of the episode, Chris sums up Web3:

“It’s about power and money on the internet. Who has that? How has it governed? How is it controlled? How does the money flow? What’s the economic model? Those are really important questions. This is why crypto and blockchains matter.”

Note that Chris Dixon is a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), an influential company investing in crypto and blockchain.

3️⃣ Now that you’re primed, the next thing to do is read Moxie Marlinspike’s article, My first impressions of web3. Moxie is the founder of Signal and he’s a respected person in tech. His article raises some criticisms about the web3 space so it caused quite a splash when it came out in January 2022.

While you’re in the zone, you can read some responses to Moxie:

  • Vitalik Buterin’s response (co-founder of Ethereum). “Moxie’s critiques in the second half of the post strike me as having a correct criticism of the current state of the ecosystem, but they are missing where the blockchain ecosystem is going.”
  • Suzuha’s On Web3 Infrastructure.
  • Mikeal’s In response to moxie’s awesome nft.

4️⃣ Next it’s story time. Back to Web3 Breakdowns podcast for the fascinating tale of when a DAO tried to bid for the United States Constitution: The Week Crypto Bid for The Constitution.

5️⃣ Keeping that in mind, let’s head to YouTube for Line Goes Up – The Problem With NFTs by Dan Olson. This is 2 hours of your life, but you can watch it on 1.5x playback speed. The video has chapters so you can jump around. Pay attention to his perspective on the Constitution DAO, as well as his points about IP and copyright.

6️⃣ Following on from that nicely is Can the law keep up with crypto? with Professor Tonya Evans on the Decoder podcast. She covers copyright law and how to enforce smart contracts in DAOs in real life.

7️⃣ For a view from the other side, have a look around Molly White’s website Web3 is going just great. Also check out this interview with Molly: How a Wikipedia editor became one of the loudest Web3 skeptics.

8️⃣ Prepare for the delicious ear onslaught that is Balaji Srinivasan. He is a general partner as Andreessen Horowitz (a16z). He spoke on The Knowledge Project podcast, episode 134, The Network State. This is an epic episode, almost 3 hours. I listened on 1.5x playback speed. It’s totally worth your time—Balaji is a deep thinker and compelling speaker.

9️⃣ Finally, round it all off with one of the most viewed TED talks of all time: How the blockchain is changing money and business. This is from by Don Tapscott, founder of the Blockchain Research Institute, from back in 2016.

That’s it. We’ve arrived. Where did you land?

My views

I think that the internet my 4 year old daughter interacts with tomorrow is going to be very different from the internet I’m using today. Blockchain technology is going to play a big part in that - and I would argue it’s already happening. That’s a lot of toothpaste to get back in the tube.

To continue the journey, I recommend the TechCrunch newsletter and podcast.

Image credits: Hexagons by duncan c on Flickr