Why is Tim Berners-Lee skeptical of a blockchain-based Web3

Sir Tim Berners-Lee has been suspicious of the efficacy of a Web3 based on blockchain technology and continues to gamble on his own vision with the decentralized platform «Solid», which he claims would be the one that really restores users' full sovereignty over their data.

Jul 3, 2022 - 10:31
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Why is Tim Berners-Lee skeptical of a blockchain-based Web3

Berners-Lee shares Web3's ostensible purpose of moving Big Tech data to users, but he has gone about it in a different way. While Web3 is built on blockchain technology, Solid is developed with regular web tools and open specs. Private data is saved in decentralized data containers known as "pods," which can be hosted wherever the user desires.

The applications that can access their data are then determined by the users. This concept, as implemented by Berners-Lee (and other renowned technologists) in the Solid platform, is meant to provide interoperability, speed, scalability, and privacy.

Something that, according to Berners-Lee, will not be achievable with a blockchain-based Web3: "when you try to create those things on the blockchain, it just doesn't work."

Solid VS. Web3

Berners- Lee claims that Solid serves two distinct functions. One is to prevent firms from utilizing our data for unintended ends, such as voter manipulation or clickbait generation. The other is to give opportunities for people to profit from our knowledge.

For example, health care data may be exchanged among trustworthy services to improve treatment and promote medical research. Our Facebook, LinkedIn, and Flickr friends could view our photos without having to submit them to each network, and always with our express permission.

This harkens back to Berners-initial Lee's intention of making the web a collaborative tool. "I wanted to be able to solve problems when part of the solution was in my head and part of the solution was in your head, and you were on the other side of the planet connected through the Internet," he says. "That's what I envisioned the web being used for. It grew in popularity as a publishing medium, yet everything is not lost."

The World Wide Web is facing serious challenges 32 years after the "father of the WWW" wrote the proposal for a system for the distribution of hypertext or hypermedia documents interconnected and accessible via the Internet, which would be the germ of the worldwide computer network that we use today.

The modern Web's difficulties are caused by its reliance on technological behemoths and their servers. Users are unable to access material or communicate with one another if the major platforms go down.

Furthermore, you have control over the content, as well as the personal data that is collected in bulk and not always transparently. Not to add fakes, misinformation, censorship, government cyber espionage, and a desire to violate network neutrality.

Post by Bryan C.