Web3: Read, Write, Own

Emilie Choi, Chris Dixon, and CZ discuss some of the drawbacks of on-chain technology and the innovations necessary to propel blockchains and cryptocurrency into the future.

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Topics include: Community Owned and Operated • How Crypto Powers Web3 • Guaranteeing True Ownership • Why Web3 Matters • The Network Effect


[SUSPENSEFUL MUSIC] CHRIS DIXON: So I think of Web3 as a movement. It's a movement of folks who are technical and interested in the architecture of the internet and how the power and control and money on the internet is distributed. It loosely brings together people with interests in software entrepreneurship, innovation, in many cases, media, video games, whatever their specific interests might be. - One of my first meetings with Chris Dixon, he told me that there are a lot of lessons to be had from looking back at the history of Netscape. His lesson to me was that first, we had Web1, read only. COMPUTER: Welcome. - The second phase, Web2, I like to frame as read and write. People got to interact more within that whole structure. Users in many cases became the product, and central companies essentially dictated the rules about how those users should interact and also held all of the data and content that those users created. Web3 expands upon read, write, and own. With tokens, a user can participate in some form of ownership. [FUTURISTIC MUSIC] - The way I look at it is the modern era was broken into roughly three stages. The first stage, roughly 1990 to 2005, I think of as Web1. And the key feature of Web1 was that it was governed by open protocols. So the very word world wide web, and you think about systems like email, these are open protocols. So the web is a protocol called HTTP. The email is a protocol called SMTP. These were protocols invented by academics and governments. The limitation, though, was that a lot of-- and this, I think, has a common pattern with when major new technologies arise-- is that a lot of the behaviors were kind of imported from prior forms of media. So specifically, if you look at a lot of 90s websites, they look kind of like brochures or catalogs. And so-- and most of the interaction was sort of coming from the publisher to the consumer. And so what we like to say is Web1 was read only. Mostly, you were consuming information. So then around the mid-2000s, a wave of entrepreneurs appeared who started to really explore the idea that the web could be more than that, that you could be, as we say, now read write, that the information could come not just from the, quote unquote, "publisher" but from the users themselves. And that was the rise of Twitter and Facebook and YouTube and all other kinds of, quote unquote, "user-generated content services." And so it made the web truly interactive, kind of a multi-way discipline and really unlocked the true kind of unique power of this new medium, something you really couldn't do with TV and magazines and other prior forms of media, that it led to consolidation of power and economic control in the hands of somewhere between 5 and 10 companies-- Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple, et cetera. And what that meant is if you're a creative person or you're a developer or you're an entrepreneur, instead of building on open sy...

About the Instructor

Since Bitcoin’s launch in 2009, crypto has offered the hope of a stronger, more democratic financial system. And it’s raised plenty of questions as it continues to evolve. Now experts and skeptics at the center of the conversation are sharing a straightforward look at how this ecosystem is changing. Learn the basics, dive deep into the world of blockchain and Web3, and get the breakdown on what you need to know now.

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Chris Dixon, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, Emilie Choi, and Paul Krugman

Get critical intel on the evolving landscape of crypto. Learn the basics—or dive deep into the issues—with noted experts and skeptics.

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