Data sovereignty, identity, and Web3 101
In this week’s episode of Ventures, my guests David Harding, Solomon Cates, and I discuss all-things identity and data sovereignty leading up to - and within - the present Web3 era. We tee-up a framework to think about identity verification and data warehousing, cryptocurrencies vs. Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs), Identity Assurance Levels (IALs), Presentation Attack Detection (PAD), and how to think about building Web3 applications with a realistic hybrid of both centralized and decentralized identity verification and control services.
I’ve had a number of conversations lately with friends and colleagues dipping their toes into the crypto/Web3 space and learning concepts like blockchains, NFT, DAOs, etc… with fresh eyes.
This has been encouraging.
For one, how I talk about this world has changed over the past 5+ years. In the early days it was all about coin offerings and technical conversations about blockchain technology. Then we had the DeFi/Stablecoin movement. Then NFTs had a wave. Now DAOs are all the rage. I’m guessing next year will be a wave for Web3 social media protocols and metaverse experiences.
But even taking a further step back, what is Web3 and why is it so exciting?
Fundamentally, “crypto” introduced Distributed Ledger Technology (kicking off w/ Bitcoin), which spawned the creation of scarce digital tokens. Cryptocurrencies, like bitcoin, were just a subset of tokens that could do a lot more than just be used for money. NFTs today are just a small hint at what different types of tokens can do. For example, tokens also allow DAOs to be created.
This new set of technology and concepts, layered into basic web protocols (Web1), plus sophisticated databases, user-generated content, and identity silos (Web2), have now created a movement of self-sovereign ownership of data and identity, extending all the way to mathematically provable ownership and governance of protocols and decentralized applications (Web3).
So, in one sense, Web3 is just the new Web. It changed. Technology evolves, and so does the Internet. Soon, Web3 will just be The Web again, and perhaps sometime down the road a new distributive technology (I’m guessing AI + brain-machine interfaces), will launch a Web4 wave.
Either way, it’s an honor and privilege to be able to build and invest in this space. As I said in an all-team meeting today dedicated to Web3, I care about Web3 inasmuch as it helps humans flourish around the globe. I’m not super interested in the “crypto casino”, the latest NFT drama, or the ideological visions of utopia outside a realistic hybrid with traditional nation-states. Instead, I’m keenly interested in how Web3 can unlock a new collective force for good.
Again, I’d warmly welcome you to join us at BanyanDAO. Mark your calendars for an April 29/30 training event to level-up from Web2 to Web3 from a product architect/design/management perspective. More details soon. Join us in Discord if you’d like to learn more and/or help us put on the event.
Have a great rest of your week!