A little reverse thinking about Web3

My own understanding is that the motto “Trust But Verify” in the blockchain world is a concept that is difficult to apply to ordinary people.

Editor’s note: The following recommended reading article is only a primer on this topic. Web3 is far from perfect, there are still many shortcomings to overcome, and there is a lot of room for improvement. PANews has recently recommended several articles on related topics. Now these articles have a new label, namely Web3 Speculation. On the web side, when reading this article, there is a recommended reading on the right side, and you can see other articles on the topic of Web3 Speculation. Discuss articles. We welcome to hear different voices. If you have any opinions about Web3, you are welcome to click the register button in the upper right corner of the PANews page to publish and share your thoughts with the crypto world. Looking forward to seeing your thoughts.

One of the best critiques of web3 I’ve read recently is this one:

Founder of Signal: After developing two dApps, I found that Web3 may be a false proposition

I haven’t seen anyone talking about this article on Chinese social media (it’s already very popular on Twitter), so let’s just sort it out.

The author Moxie told a very interesting story: he made a picture by himself like everyone who tasted NFT for the first time, mint it into NFT and sold it on opensea. But he noticed that the NFT itself did not check the picture, and essentially just stored a link to the picture address, so he specially set the server of the picture to show different appearances for different IPs. What you see on opensea and what you see after you buy it will be two different pictures. What you see on opensea is a cool digital art picture, and what you see after you buy it is a piece of shit.

(His point of departure is not to lie, he is just verifying that this situation can be done. Yes IPFS like services can avoid this, but no one is forcing you to use IPFS for NFT.

Then the fun thing happened, opensea as a centralized platform quickly delisted his NFT. But it doesn’t matter, since NFT is based on an immutable blockchain, he at least owns this NFT, right? But something magical happened: the NFTs in his own metamask fox wallet also disappeared.

why? Because the little fox wallet does not directly scan the blockchain, but only scans the API of opensea. So after Opensea is taken off the shelf, although technically this NFT is still there, it cannot be seen in the wallet. The little fox does this because it is obviously the most convenient, centralized services (such as opensea) are always more efficient, and verifying the “truth” stored on the blockchain is expensive.

The author pointed out very profoundly: the key here is not that opensea “does evil” (as a centralized platform that wants to be listed, opensea has the right to choose what works can be put on the shelves) nor the laziness of metamask, but the whole here reflects an impossible Avoid the trend of sliding from decentralization to centralization: the blockchain is indeed immutable, but no one really works directly on the underlying blockchain (too troublesome), and everyone will naturally rely on various ecosystems. Off-the-shelf tools, and these tools will naturally tend to be centralized in order to compete for efficiency. As ordinary users, we can obviously run an Ethereum node on our computer, but few people really do so, we just use the little fox directly. The little fox directly calls the API of opensea for the same reason.

In other words, blockchain does not solve the problem of centralization of the final interface to ordinary users. In theory, web3 is ultimately used by ordinary people like your parents. If your parents find that something is missing in their wallet, you should explain to them: Ah, your things on the chain are actually still there, it’s just you These commonly used wallets refuse to display it, but it doesn’t matter. Will your parents accept it?

The author has two paragraphs that I think are very beautiful:

  1. Platforms always evolve faster than protocols. The complaint people have about web2 is that platforms are always bullying, but the basic idea of ​​web3 – building a decentralized protocol – doesn’t really compensate for that. In the end the competition is almost always web2 under the guise of web3.
  2. Users are lazy, users don’t want to run a server by themselves, just like in the age of email, everyone can set up their own email server but still prefer to put a lot of privacy directly in gmail. What web3 needs to do is to ensure the verifiability of information even when the infrastructure is likely to be centralized (you can use opensea, but you must have a way to easily know if opensea is lying to you).

My own understanding is that the motto “Trust But Verify” in the blockchain world is a concept that is difficult to apply to ordinary people. Sounds ok, but not operational. If web3 can’t find a way to break through the barrier between nerd and ordinary people, it is likely to become an enclosure and self-high in the end. As the author said in the text: you can still say today that it is still early stage and it is normal to have problems. But if in practice you’ve been going in the opposite direction, you can’t expect the early problem to go away eventually, because it’s probably written directly into the genes.

Buterin just wrote a great response to this article, and I’ll add the gist here. For the original text of V, see his tweet.

Regarding “Web3 may be a false proposition”, V God and others have something to say

The problem Moxie points out consists of two arguments: centralized web3 services are easy to use but untrustworthy (especially since there is hardly any cryptography-based verification, Moxie ironically says that who would have thought that the vast majority of services in the cryptocurrency space simply No encryption), and the decentralized bottom layer is too far from the user. V says: This is the status quo, yes, but it’s not what web3 should be. The real web3 world should have a continuous transition spectrum. There are a lot of transition states between the easiest to use centralized platform and the hardest to build a server yourself to adapt to different application scenarios, but the middle part is missing today. .

This lack is a legacy of history. The blockchain world is too young, and people started out based on wanting to make something that can be used. Of course, the fastest path is to build the most centralized service, and talents are readily available. (Here V makes a remark that is almost destined for criticism: Until four years ago, the industry as a whole had little money. There must be a lot of bystanders saying: Bah.

V’s belief is that this missing transition must be established and, as Moxie’s critique suggests, relies strongly on cryptography.

(But my understanding is that this belief of V is essentially the same as his belief about PoS. So it must be very controversial in itself.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/a-little-reverse-thinking-about-web3/
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