Video Of The Week: What Is Web3?

Juan Benet, founder and CEO of our portfolio company Protocol Labs, developer of the IPFS and Filecoin protocols, gave this talk last fall.

I like Juan’s statement, about 10mins into this talk, that “what Bitcoin did to money, Web3 does to everything.” That is obviously a very big statement/ambition, but I agree with it.

Here is Juan’s talk:


Comments (Archived):

  1. Mike

    A lot to think about and a good summary for those of us who don’t live this every day but want to stay plugged in. Verifiable, peer to peer transactions. Autonomous, decentralized systems, peer managed systems. Interesting to see where this all goes. I am sure it will wildly exceed expectations in some areas and fail miserably in others. I’m not convinced “currency”, as traditionally defined, will be the best use case in the long run. Who knows. I would love to not have to remember user names and passwords for 20+ sites.

  2. Richard

    In Summary: Web3.0When someone tries to convince youCentralized Data (specialization) – Decentralized Profits (corporations)Should be replaced byDeCentralized Data (no specialization) – Centralized Profits (no entry without the payment)

  3. Mac

    That had to have been an entertaining pitch deck.

  4. Richard

    The conspiracy theory of the decade is that the personal costs of your data in the databases of large companies is greater than the costs of keeping your data decentralized.#always check what people are selling before you listen to their doom and gloom scenarios

  5. sigmaalgebra

    As Yoda said, “Always difficult to see, the future.” He was mostly correct.(1) IncrementalIt appears that mostly our planning for the future is effective only incrementally, that is, we will stock picks and shovels in our general store if we have a lot of gold miners eager to buy.(2) LuckIt appears that our opportunities for success, e.g., Intel, Microsoft, Cisco, Google, Amazon, Facebook, are due to luck: That is, e.g., years before any of those companies were successful, IBM had people studying the future of computing and each year writing thoughtful 10 year forecasts that never made clear significantly in advance the opportunities of Intel, …, Facebook.When IBM did the PC, no way did they see that its descendants would include the current Microsoft, Intel, … Facebook.Early on IBM did Prodigy with Sears. Sooooo, they tried to combine on-line social computing with on-line selling of the products of Sears. So, they were on the way to both Facebook and Amazon. Those two, on-line social and on-line retailing, WERE easy enough to see in advance, but the infrastructure, hardware, software, communications, from servers to clients, were not ready, and IBM did not believe in the opportunity enough to make them ready.E.g., for how far away the current infrastructure was from IBM’s Prodigy, back then, IBM had at their Watson lab for general purpose use by the researchers six of their more powerful mainframes. The AMD FX-8350 for $100 in a mid-tower case behind me as I type this has 8 cores, 64 bit addressing, and a clock speed of 4.0 GHz and, thus, is about 35 times faster than all six of those mainframes.For more, now the chip designers are screaming down to 10, 7, 5, 3 nanometer feature widths to get more cores per processor and higher clock speeds for less electrical power for mobile and IoT (internet of things) devices, and this work is just incremental.Yes, IBM was thinking about smaller line widths, thinking about it enough to install a cyclotron as a supply of X-rays for chip lithography. So far on the race to 3 nanometers, the light source is still just EUV (extended ultraviolet) and not X-rays.Lesson: We see how far away the current and now near term needed infrastructure, e.g., 3 nanometers, was from the initial vision of Prodigy, even when IBM did see the need for X-rays well in advance (the chip fabrications still have not made progress enough to need X-rays).Microsoft’s first intentions were to “put a computer on every desk” and nothing like the current Microsoft. The first successes were just incremental, basically, getting rid of the typewriters — just old DOS totally blew the typewriters out of the water with their doors blown off. There was a LOT of increased economic productivity in just getting rid of the typewriters.That the descendants of DOS would be Google, Amazon, etc. just was NOT understood. Instead, each step was incremental and opportunistic with suppliers stocking picks and shovels once gold miners were arriving at dawn with baskets full of money.(3) Successful PlanningIt is possible to plan a big, new future successfully. To do this, look at a need in a big market challenging to satisfy — a current biggie would be one pill taken once to cure any cancer — and find some new technology powerful enough to meet this need.Once the entrepreneur CLEARLY sees BOTH this need and the new technology, the rest should be routine. A great example was the WWII Manhattan Project — big need (end the war with total surrender) with sufficiently powerful, new technology, that is, atomic fission of carefully selected heavy isotopes.Szilard, etc. were right for the right reason right at the beginning. A HUGE difference was that the basic physics had just become known, and then, as Einstein saw in just minutes on a visit from Szilard, Wigner, Teller, the rest was possible from just relatively routine work.So, one approach to successful planning is to have some solid, verifiable math and/or science that provides the power to make the rest routine.In this way we can set aside and do much better than the incrementalism and luck described above.