Backpackers Tokyo

Moxie Marlinspike (Hacker News):

web3 is a somewhat ambiguous term, which makes it difficult to rigorously evaluate what the ambitions for web3 should be, but the general thesis seems to be that web1 was decentralized, web2 centralized everything into platforms, and that web3 will decentralize everything again. web3 should give us the richness of web2, but decentralized.

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However – and I don’t think this can be emphasized enough – that is not what people want. People do not want to run their own servers.

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If something is truly decentralized, it becomes very difficult to change, and often remains stuck in time. That is a problem for technology, because the rest of the ecosystem is moving very quickly, and if you don’t keep up you will fail.

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One thing that has always felt strange to me about the cryptocurrency world is the lack of attention to the client/server interface. When people talk about blockchains, they talk about distributed trust, leaderless consensus, and all the mechanics of how that works, but often gloss over the reality that clients ultimately can’t participate in those mechanics. All the network diagrams are of servers, the trust model is between servers, everything is about servers. Blockchains are designed to be a network of peers, but not designed such that it’s really possible for your mobile device or your browser to be one of those peers.

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This was surprising to me. So much work, energy, and time has gone into creating a trustless distributed consensus mechanism, but virtually all clients that wish to access it do so by simply trusting the outputs from these two companies without any further verification. It also doesn’t seem like the best privacy situation. Imagine if every time you interacted with a website in Chrome, your request first went to Google before being routed to the destination and back. That’s the situation with ethereum today.

Joe Groff:

Maybe people don’t want to run their own servers, but they also don’t want to run their own clients. Part of the allure of iOS, Chrome OS, etc. was centralized admin—immutable OS, automated updates, etc. Could server software do that too, without centralized hardware?

Brandon Skerritt (via Hacker News):

I think was this a fair article that accurately portrays some parts of web3 at this given moment in time.

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I just thought I’d write this and explain what’s being done to fix this and go further.

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There is some genuinely cool tech being worked on here, but due to the monetrary aspect there are scams up to my eyeballs. And those scams make the whole industry look bad.

Alex Ivanovs (via Hacker News):

I will say that by no means am I discounting passionate people who work in this space. Blockchain and security is something I can advocate for. Because it has a promising future to help keep our digital identities sealed. This is interesting to me.

But in its current state, Web3 is as disorganized as it is complex and difficult to grasp. Why would the average citizen of the world care about strings of numbers, hash rates, proof of stakes, sharding, or digital inception of pixelated art.

Adi Robertson:

In the online auction market OpenSea, you can pay around $600 to buy a portrait of a robot in streetwear — and, if you’re lucky, a stake in a new media empire.

The robot is called a TARS, and it’s part of the Voguverse, an elaborate 37th-century mythos involving space arcologies, a nuclear war, and interstellar travel. The portrait is one of countless digital assets being sold as non-fungible tokens, or NFTs. But by pairing its fictional universe with a blockchain-based ledger, the creators think they can tap into a new way to tell stories.

As NFTs explode in popularity, entrepreneurs are imagining an entire media industry that’s built around them. At its most ambitious, the vision is sometimes dubbed a “decentralized Disney”: a world of fictional crossovers like the Marvel Cinematic Universe and its many spinoffs but where different characters and creative properties are owned by a panoply of fans, not a single company.

Lukas Schor:

Apple is blocking a release of our @gnosissafe mobile app because we display NFTs in it. After 2 weeks of back-and-forth, I felt that we need to talk publicly about this to raise awareness.

Ben Thompson:

One of the reasons that crypto is so interesting, at least in a theoretical sense, is that it seems like a natural antidote to Aggregators; I’ve suggested as such. After all, Aggregators are a product of abundance; scarcity is the opposite. The OpenSea example, though, is a reminder that I have forgotten one of my own arguments about Aggregators: demand matters more than supply.

To that end, which side of the equation is impacted by the blockchain? The answer, quite obviously is supply. Indeed, one need only be tangentially aware of crypto to realize that the primary goal of so many advocates is to convert non-believers, the better to increase demand. This has the inverse impact of OpenSea’s ban: increased demand increases prices for scarce supply, which is to say, in terms that are familiar to any Web 3 advocate, that the incentives of Web 3’s most ardent evangelists are very much aligned.

Previously:

  • Apple Forces CoinBase to Remove Support for DApps

App Store App Store Rejection Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency iOS iOS 14 iOS App Non-Fungible Token (NFT) Privacy Web

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