Some people don’t use Web3 — or there’s a reason they don’t want to use Web3, and you’d think the issue of progress isn’t really a problem.
A few weeks ago, a group of 1,500 self-described (unknown) “computer scientists, software engineers and technologists” wrote a letter to congressional leaders. Letters in support of responsible fintech policies challenge DeFi principles, showing the need for tight regulation to protect the public.
Surprisingly short for a group that relies on their professional credentials to make a rather provocative statement, the letter makes sure to touch on all the fear metaphors surrounding cryptocurrencies, those who have losses if Web3 continues to grow People will advertise loudly.
In short, they claim it has no protection for individuals, is fraudsters and schemes, and…
“[Cryptocurrencies will be]… never suitable as the basis for large-scale economic activity.”
This is a rather unscientific conclusion from a group that allegedly includes scientists.
Brother, where is my scientific method? (Photo by Sandy Sammy on Unsplash)
The letter represents the sentiment of a small but outspoken anti-Web3 group in the tech industry. Not to mention that most of the unsubstantiated claims in the letter are false, but why are technologists speaking out against this promising new technology? What is the motivation? That’s because, when anything new comes along, there’s always someone who preaches fear and anxiety that it’s going to be scary, scary, wrong.
Some cultures simply choose not to transfer to a certain level of technology.
These tools are not inherently good or bad, but are conflated with intent and behavior. It doesn’t matter if they are educated or skilled, or even if they have a better understanding of the subject at hand. This has to do with who can see only the trees but not the forest, and who can’t?
Also, you always need to ask, if Web3 succeeds, what do these adversaries have to lose?
Even Technicians Often Don’t Understand Technology
Let’s tackle the first question: why techies are anti-tech. Famed author and technologist Clifford Stoll wrote in 1995:
“Visionaries see the future of telecommuting, interactive libraries and multimedia classrooms. They talk about electronic town meetings and virtual communities. Commerce and commerce will move from offices and malls to networks and modems. The freedom of digital networks will make government more democracy.
Nonsense. Do our computer experts lack common sense? The truth (sic) no online database will replace your daily newspaper, no CD-ROM will replace a competent teacher, and no computer network will change the way the government operates. ” — Clifford Stoll
He was wrong. To be fair, though, Mr. Stoll pointed out the problem of unfiltered speech on the internet in the same article. He accurately describes the precursors to the “murmur” that leads to the ease with which we currently spread disinformation on social media, including the inability of a large portion of the public to distinguish fact from fiction.
Maybe some people still think that this advanced technology at the time will continue forever?
While Stoll was able to accurately analyze at least some of the potential effects of technology, he lacked foresight on many of the concepts he described. By volume, he thinks the internet in 1995 wasn’t much fun for shopping, but he didn’t realize that technology wasn’t standing still. Around the same time there were others who really thought the widespread adoption of the internet would have rather nefarious results. A group of writers has published a compendium of articles on these dangers called Resisting Virtual Life. In some insightful articles there are more insidious claims: the Internet will become the “new domination machine” trying to encroach on the public space. Now, history is repeating itself, with technologists joining the naysayers, promising doom and gloom to those working on Web3.
Other Web3 Critics: They’re Not Totally Unbiased
The aforementioned letter to Congress includes signatories that the average person would not recognize, but some prominent tech leaders are making similarly incendiary claims about the technology. In December, former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted:
In other words, Dorsey is saying that the enemy that those working in Web3 think they are conquering is not actually Web3. He expressed his belief in decentralized systems in a follow-up tweet, but asserted that the current Web3, especially Ethereum, is antithetical. Hypocritically, he recently announced a plan to claim to have his own privately held portion of Web3 and make no secret of his huge investment in Bitcoin, which coincides with his comments about Web3. Some might argue that Bitcoin is not Web3, which is beyond the scope of this article, but I find Dorsey’s concept of “Web5” to be a renaming of a bad part of Web3.
In addition to his obvious interest in seeing Ethereum (Bitcoin’s main Web3 competitor) fail, let’s not forget that he also has a strong interest in Web2 companies and the TradFi payment system.
There are many other prominent voices in technology and beyond who have been busy telling us why Web3 is doomed. Emmanuel Awosika’s article “Who Hates Web3?” deftly classifies many of them as “die-hard journalists”, “contrarians”, “doomsday prophets” and “Lutherans” when new technology They always appear when it seems to gain momentum. These labels combine their approach, and perhaps their expertise, but their motivation is also important. Have they expressed their concerns honestly? Or do they have ulterior motives?
Dave Troy, one of the signatories to the congressional letter, is the co-founder and CEO of 410 Labs, which, according to Crunchbase, “produces a suite of socially productive tools and applications that improve Communication and information acquisition.” In short, it creates Web2 applications. Another signatory, Alan Graham, stands for One Click License, or OCL, which sells proprietary technology that sounds a lot like free functionality for smart contracts. There are also random signatories from Amazon, Google, and Microsoft – companies that stand to lose out if their services or technologies are replaced by Web3 solutions.
Separating technology from behavior
Perhaps the main problem with the letter sent to Congress is that it confuses blockchain technology with its potentially malicious use cases. In the letter, the authors stated that “underlying cryptoassets have been the vehicle for unsound and highly volatile speculative investment schemes that are being actively promoted to retail investors who may not understand their nature and risks.” Whether bad actors have invested in A worthless asset to actively try to defraud people of their savings? Steal their credit card numbers? Wire transfer money to a shabby offshore account?
We have not responded by prohibiting asset classes, credit cards or wire transfers. Instead, we focus on preventing malicious use of these tools.
Overregulating or outright banning blockchain technology and encryption to protect people is as absurd as outlawing computers to stop hackers from stealing personal information.
We absolutely should make sure that Web3 builds are safe and secure. We should pass regulations to prevent the abuse and exploitation of others. But we don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.
Well, this technology is worth having. (Source: ImgFlip)
They went on to point to several broad categories of criminal activity involving cryptocurrencies, such as money laundering and ransomware, but did not explain how Web3 technology could make these problems worse than they are now. Apparently, money laundering has been a problem long before Bitcoin was launched in 2009. If the ransom cannot be paid in cryptocurrency, will unscrupulous actors stop locking the network for ransom? I do not think so. Criminal investigators have been able to track fraud and illegal activity on the blockchain for several years, so this is not a problem by any means.
Finally, why would they blame Web3 for our woefully inadequate cybersecurity infrastructure? Let’s digress for a moment and discuss the practical problems we encounter in cybersecurity, such as zero-day vulnerabilities. Zero-day vulnerabilities are vulnerabilities or bugs in software not yet known to the public or software developers that can be exploited by hackers to break into a network or database. A well-known example you may have heard of is Stuxnet. These security holes are often found in software sold by Web2 companies. There have also been reports that the U.S. government purchased “zero-day” code exploits to use on underground markets as cyber weapons, rather than making them known to developers and the public. However, according to the author of the letter, Web3 is the problem that really needs to be stopped to mitigate ransomware attacks. Isn’t it a zero-day vulnerability in Web2 software?
They also confuse the technical part
“Blockchain technology cannot and will not have mechanisms to reverse transaction or data privacy, as they are contrary to their fundamental design,” the letter’s authors said. This indicates a complete misunderstanding of the technology and how it is used. Yes, blockchain is by design an immutable ledger, but that doesn’t mean it can’t improve known fraudulent activity. Network members stepped in several times to replace stolen funds (e.g. with Jump Crypto and Solana), and then the famous Ethereum hard fork in 2016, where the community agreed to reimburse users for ETH lost in a hacked transaction.
Blockchains Can Fork (Photo by Jens Lelie on Unsplash)
Here we also note that transaction reversals in traditional finance are not universal. If you are scammed by a scammer who has already sent money to the Bahamas, there is no way to “reverse” the transaction. Investors in Bernie Madoff can tell you that there is no chance of a trade reversal in their case either. The point is, just because the blockchain itself is immutable, that doesn’t mean we can’t provide as good or better security and fraud mitigation in Web3 as TradFi through policy, regulation, and improved technology.
The second part of their claim that data privacy on the blockchain is impossible is completely false. First, no personal data is automatically tied to a wallet address. That’s the essence of a trustless system; you don’t need any personal information to transact with someone. Your wallet address can only be associated with an identity if you choose to expose that connection. There is also no personal data inherent in smart contracts. In fact, blockchain technology can be used to enhance data privacy by creating decentralized identities (DIDs) that allow users to control who knows their personal information.
New rules: Technology is only 13 years old
Here’s the end: “Despite being in development for over 13 years, it has serious limitations and design flaws that make it unusable for nearly any application that handles public customer data and regulated financial transactions.” Here, they essentially It is to say that blockchain technology has had enough time to be perfect and has proven unsafe to use by the public. Amazingly, these technologists forget that the Internet was at least 25 years old before its wide-ranging public applications were just beginning to be explored.
Sometimes technology takes time to develop. (Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash)
As for the regulation of blockchain-based transactions, most centralized exchanges such as Coinbase, Gemini, and Binance adhere to Know-Your-Customer (KYC) standards. The regulation of transactions on decentralized exchanges is of course more difficult, but it is also happening. To say that regulation of financial transactions in Web3 is impossible is to ignore a lot of what has already happened.
Thankfully, there are plenty of techies out there who believe in Web3 and see the possibilities it brings, rather than being scapegoats for societal challenges.
Marc Andreessen, the inventor of Netscape and a renowned technologist, once said: “We can actually predict that in 30 or 50 years, the entire global economy will be running on the blockchain.” In a quote from this sentence On the Bankless podcast, he talks about being the best and the brightest in the world and actually thinks about all the problems with Web3 and is participating in the innovative opportunities to solve them. Andreessen saw the opposite of what was written in the letter—there are many known uses and many as yet undiscovered uses. He also has no doubts about our ability to overcome security and fraud challenges, given that he sees the possibility of a global economy running on Web3.
Gavin Wood, computer scientist and co-founder of Ethereum, who coined the term “Web 3.0” in 2014, had this to say at the World Economic Forum in 2022:
“It’s not about Bitcoin anymore, it’s not about crypto anymore, it’s not [just] about smart contracts anymore, it’s not about DeFi anymore. It’s like we’re starting to understand that this is a broad platform for building Web2 can’t new services built.”
That’s how you see the trees – to understand the enormous potential that Web3 brings to the world in new ways that are impossible in a centralized global economy. People who can only see trees, like those who write letters, lack vision and only see problems. As the leaders of Web3 lead our economy through this forest to new frontiers, some will join them to see new horizons, and those who stay will be busy trying to cut down old trees.
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/rebuttal-to-web3-critics-you-non-technical-technicians/
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