The inventor of the World Wide Web (WWW), Tim Berners-Lee, called cryptocurrency ‘dangerous, speculative, and a gamble’ in an episode of CNBC’s Beyond The Valley. As the co-founder of the startup Inrupt, Berners-Lee and John Bruce, have been speaking about reshaping the landscape of the internet. Berners-Lee has expressed his dissatisfaction with how the web has turned out, and he is on the path to making the future of the web more similar to his original vision.
Berners-Lee envisions the much-awaited Web 3.0, a web decentralization project called Solid, as the future iteration of the internet. This is his own take on shaping the internet that will give people more control of their data. “It’s not blockchain,” he says, suggesting that blockchain technology is not as fast or secure as required.
Solid, the web decentralization project developed by Inrupt, is described as a technology for organizing data, applications, and identities on the web, which “enables richer choices for people, organizations and app developers by building on existing web standards.” He describes blockchain as suitable for some things, but Solid is not one of them. He explained that blockchain protocols are “too slow, too expensive and too public,” whereas “personal data stores have to be fast, cheap and private.”
In his opinion, Web 3.0 is vastly different from Web 3. Web 3 runs on a few technologies, such as blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and non-fungible tokens. He goes on to discuss his views about digital currencies:
“It’s only speculative. Obviously, that’s really dangerous. If you want to have a kick out of gambling, basically.”
The inventor of WWW goes ahead to compare the buzzing cryptocurrency to the dot-com bubble. Seeing that it crashed after internet stocks without a solid business behind them were highly inflated, crypto enthusiasts can be fairly warned. He explains that since cryptocurrency is not backed by anything and has no assets linked to it, cryptocurrency is “obviously dangerous”.
He believes that investing in cryptocurrency is investing in something speculative. According to Berners-Lee, crypto has positive sides, but the downsides are too big to ignore. For instance, he adds that digital currencies could be useful for remittances if they are immediately converted back into fiat currency when received. “Don’t keep the currency, get rid of it, put it back into USD immediately,” opines Berners-Lee. He finds cryptocurrency purposeful since it can be used to immediately transfer money to your family.
With Web 3 being the future of the internet that everyone awaits, Berners-Lee’s words provide some valid perspective for many. Has Web 3 been a catch-all phrase with no meaning all this time? Or is it the decentralized internet that finally takes the power away from tech giants like Google and Meta for real?
“It’s a real shame in fact that the actual Web3 name was taken by Ethereum folks for the stuff that they’re doing with blockchain. In fact, Web3 is not the web at all,” he quoted.