Bitcoin supporter Jack Dorsey announced a web platform called Web5, a combination of the centralized internet Web 2 and the decentralized internet dubbed Web3. The product is part of Square’s subsidiary TBD which attempts to create a suite of BTC-based tools to transform the financial system.
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According to its official website, Web5 is an “extra decentralized web platform” that will provide users with power over their identity and their data. The next step in the evolution of the internet, it will aim at removing third parties’ control over their users’ information. The announcement claims:
Web5 brings decentralized identity and data storage to your applications. It lets developers focus on creating delightful user experiences, while returning ownership of data and identity to individuals.
In that sense, Dorsey proclaimed the death of Web3, supported by decentralized finances (DeFi) and blockchain-based platforms, and Venture Capitalists (VC). The latter has been accused of using Web3 to create a narrative and obtain financial benefits.
When asked about the reason to create a “Web5” platform, Dorsey replied with the following questioning the decentralized nature of Web3 products and who actually benefits from them:
it’s basis on single point of failure systems (eth, solano, *) and lies being told to people about who owns and controls it.
TBD’s Web5 product will be comprised of decentralized identifies (DID), decentralized web nodes, self-sovereign identity service, and self-sovereign identity SDK. The link to the DID that will support the Web5 platform points to ION.
Developed by Daniel Buchner, now part of Block’s Decentralized Identity team, ION is a second-layer solution for DIDs supported by the Bitcoin network. This solution operates with the same vision behind Web5: permissionless, open, with no third-party validators, and without a token.
Mike Brock, Product Lead at Square’s TBD, said:
Let me clear this up right now, everybody: No. There are no tokens to invest in with web5 (…).
On the current state of Web5 and its development, Buchner said:
We’re currently finishing out the technical components of Web5 (they’re not far from completion).
Why Do You Need A Bitcoin-Based Web Platform?
As mentioned, this web platform is built to provide two core use cases: individuals will have the ability to “own their data”, and they will be able to “control their identity”. These use cases will be supported by wallets, decentralized web nodes (DWNS), and decentralized web apps (DWAS).
In that way, one user will be able to grant authorization to apps and manage their own data without the need for a third-party company. Wallets will also remove the need for users to remember long passwords, as they can simply use their wallets to unlock the apps and always “carry their data with them”.
According to the official website, this decentralized web platform will operate like TBD, as a public good:
Today’s financial systems leave people behind. We build systems for anyone with internet access. And we’re creating it like the web itself: as a public good. Our projects are open source and, where appropriate, built on open standards.
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At the time of writing, BTC’s price trades at $29,100 with a 3% loss in the last 24-hours.