The Hollywoodization of crypto is a moral disaster

which web3 are you referring to?

The idea that a web based on openness should be sneered at because of power use and rugpulls and therefore we should go back to hugging twitter and facebook seems a bit off.

Some things are rugpulls, some things are straight out ponzis, some projects will change everything for the better. You guys all sound like the gov worried that encryption is military hardware in the 90s and that privacy and security are not things that everyday people will need online.

Things are very early at the moment. That’s when all the cruft, illegal shenanigans and outright garbage are allowed to persist. But I’d really recommend you guys start thinking about the future when the good projects have recognition. Web3 as an idea and EVENTUAL implementation is radically superior to what we work with presently. Look for projects that talk about openness, scalability and economic incentives, while simultaneously NOT employing the usual language of ponzis and rugpulls = high-APR, airdrops etc.

Web 1.0 was based on open standards but wasn’t very accessible to dumb people. Web 2.0 was way more interactive for people with even the most rudimentary tech skills, but is based on walled gardens. I’m still struggling to get a handle on what web3 really is, but almost every single project I’ve seen so far falls into one of four categories:

  1. Vaporware
  2. Ponzi schemes
  3. Dog-eat-dog laissez faire dystopia
  4. Attempts to replicate (and similarly capture) a Web 2.0-like walled garden but by burning logarithmically more electricity because they use blockchain instead of a normal centralized database.

Can you show us a single example of a web3 project that holds real promise in terms of openness, scalability, and economic benefits to average users?


There was an anti-establishment, anti-capitalist vein to crypto early on, I remember Douglas Rushkoff promoting the idea of a decentralized private currency years before bitcoin.

But NFTs???

I saw an interview with investor Jeremy Grantham, someone who’s been in finance since before many of us were born, where he bemoaned that Wall St. doesn’t make anything physical, and less and less is it still involved in investment in real business/industry, so much of what Wall St. does is create confusing and opaque financial inventions (the infamous “credit default swaps” of the 2008 sub-prime mortgage crisis) that generate money from money.

That sums up crypto to me. A Picasso painting has some value as a physical object, even if it’s not necessarily worth the $1million it sells for at auction, but NFTs and crypto are people buying and selling “aether.” It only has value because of salesmanship, someone convincing you it has value, the “Emperor’s New Coin.”


I think early on, there was a hope that NFTs could do for digital art what copyright law did for written works after the invention of the printing press. Before the printing press, unauthorized copying of written works wasn’t a problem because it was prohibitively expensive and probably did the author a favor. The printing press changed everything. Likewise, paintings and other visual art work pre-digital didn’t really need that much protection. Creating a copy of the Mona Lisa that was indistinguishable from the original was all but impossible. But today, creating a perfect copy of digital art is trivial. In fact, the concept of the “original” piece has lost all meaning. So I think at first some people thought “hey, maybe NFTs could serve as a functional analogue tor digital art to the original physical art. That clearly hasn’t worked out, but I might forgive someone who got into NFTs very early for thinking this might work. But by the time Morello got into it, this was already obvious. I think he just fell for the hype.


The mish-mash of cryptocurrencies, NFTs, “metaverse” VR/gaming plays, DAOs, smart contracts and blockchain fairy dust that VCs, banks, the corporate media and Web 2.0 ghouls like Zuckerberg are currently pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into to convince us that this is the inevitable future. The one predicated on the Libertarian ideal that every action one takes on the Internet (and in life in general) should be a purely financial transaction; the one based in the Libertarian business ethic that zero-summing someone less smart, less educated, and/or less sophisticated than you in any transaction is the right and proper thing to do; the one based in the Libertarian goal of reconstructing some form of the gold standard as the basis of those transactions; the one tarted up with the usual false Libertarian promises of trickle-down benefits for all that are often completely contradicted by the functionality of the tech itself.

That is the Web3 the people with the resources to make it happen want to see. That is the Web3 that many technologists like myself who’ve been involved in Internet development since the 1990s think will be even worse than the social media and apps walled-garden horror show that is Web 2.0.

As for “a Web based on openness”, that’s always been possible with open standards and hosts committed to Net Neutrality. Blockchain doesn’t magically change that, especially since it’s grounded in the primacy of individual property rights rather than a shared commons (blockchain is best suited as a basis of a small subset of low-trust and low-velocity – but not necessarily low-centralisation – applications, i.e. not the Web). Scalability is going to be hampered by proof-of-work, because we can only burn so much carbon on these “free”-market fantasies and because the alternatives to solving math problems – if they can be implemented – always take us back to a small group of tech-savvy early-movers running the show (as the article I linked to above discusses, this was even the case with P-o-W Bitcoin from the very beginning). As for “economic incentives”, they’re going to be extremely unevenly distributed – pennies for the proles, millions of dollars for the equity lords.

I’ve been fooling around with blockchain stuff since 2010, mainly out of intellectual curiosity (there are probably several hundred BTC out there in a wallet I’ve long lost the credentials to access – easy come, easy go). If I had fewer ethics or was more desperate for money, I have the expertise to get in what I now acknowledge is a monster of a scam. As it is, I’ll bend those skills in my own life to avoiding Web3, which I’ve concluded has deep and fundamental flaws and is ultimately a sad commentary on the limited imaginations of those who promote it and the limited prospects of those who see it as their only and last chance to enjoy a life of financial security and comfort.


What? Who was braindead enough to think that? Digital Art is just as protected by copyright as those written works.


Yes, but with physical art, the value has always been with owning the original. Sure, there’s some value to be had in selling reproductions like prints, but it’s fundamentally different than novels. With digital art, however, there really isn’t an original. There’s no inherent value in owning the original, because there isn’t one. Not in the same way that there’s an original of a physical painting. So that whole market that exists in the art world of buying and selling original works of art just doesn’t exist with digital art. So I think early on, some people thought NFTs could recreate that artificially. And that’s what they’ve tried to do.

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a single one?

Yes, very much so:
Like I said, it’s very early though. But at least there are project such as this one that are about building the tech around economic principles of value and especially openness; rather than smart contracts and defi.

Web3 via Saito can incorporate advertising as a form of subsidizing user-experience, but the user always holds rights and power over their data/access— And, it is primarily not bound to advertising the way web2 has basically tied itself by the hip to owning your data in order to serve you ads.

These are some of the basic components for web3. All web3 initiatives claim to honor this target, but saito is the only one that can scale while doing so – and also is run by a group very interesting and extremely open individuals, with no trace of rug-pull, tech bro or libertarian nonsense clouding everything.

Tellingly, the people and institutions trying to foist Web3 on us never include projects like fediverse social media platforms or Berners-Lee’s Solid ecosystem or privacy-centred services like Proton’s. As open and user/consumer-friendly as these projects are, the the money and PR crowd don’t see any potential for big-buck property rights and captive audiences in them.


Right now that looks like it fits @micah’s vapourware category (I know, I know … “early days”, anydayrealsoonnow). It’s not clear from their Web site if there’s a problem of scale that desperately needs solving, if blockchain technology is the best solution to that problem, or if “proof of scaling” will work any better than the other proposed alternatives to proof of work.

I’m sure that the people developing this one project are smart and idealistic and want to focus on value and scale rather than becoming fiat currency multi-millionaires. Which is why I’m also sure this project currently stands outside the priorities of Web3 as promoted by celebrities.

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“Owning the original” and “copyright” are mostly orthogonal concepts. They can be sold separately.

And a novel (in ebook / ASCII) and digital art have identical issues. Bits is bits. How many books now even HAVE a hardcopy original, vs composed completely electronically.

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it is early, but it is functioning. A functioning gaming area running as a proof-of-concept at Saito Arcade for example. NOT crypto play-to-earn ponzi, just legit games running on-chain. I’d suggest reading their wiki about it, as what is happening behind the scenes is not obvious.

The problem of scale is very much a present discussion in the blockchain space and it is debated all the time. Everyone is very aware of it, but people have very different ways of thinking about it. A lot of it comes down to volunteerism (especially by rich VCs or early adopters that got in cheap) needed to allow networks to function at scale, and saito makes a point of attacking that and showing a very different solution. I’d suggest with your ideas about the entire space to go to their telegram and chat them up. I think you will get some interesting responses.

There are multiple projects attempting to solve the scale issue.

My point was that we shouldn’t allow the get-rich-quick and ponzi people that make up a vocal portion of the space [or rather the media’s interpretation of the space] represent the coming changes that are already in the pipeline.

I and others here are discussing Web3 in terms of the one being foisted on society by the portion of the space that’s not only vocal but has the money and influence to shape and define the media and cultural narrative – the portion that’s able to pay Matt Damon and Goopy and rest of the celebrity endorsers millions of dollars to hawk their scammy products and services. It’s not our job to allow or disallow them from defining Web3 as they like, but it is our job to point out how awful it will be if they get their way.

Perhaps a project like can help by saying it explicitly isn’t a Web3 project to distinguish itself from the grifters.

Again, I don’t see much of a scale problem with the Internet or SaaS in general, and if there is one I don’t see trustless blockchain solving it better or more efficiently than any other technology.

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So, in the present, which is real and exists, the crypto markets are scammy scams full of scamming, which everyone admits and agrees

BUT, in the FUTURE, which is unknowable and currently exists only in somebody’s imagination, it will be all different, and good, and it will be good that it’s different because holy shit look at it now

Glad THAT’S all sorted out :roll_eyes:


In addition to what others have said, the very premise of Web3 is pretty shaky. As dshr points out in their devastating talk on the topic, there’s no trustless, decentralized model of consensus that doesn’t tend towards centralization (and among the most traditionally powerful players) by its very nature.

  • In proof-of-work models, it’s as simple as purchasing more work capacity and pooling to leverage economies of scale. In Bitcoin, for instance, 10% of miners control 90% of the mining activity, and just 0.1% control nearly half of it.
  • In proof-of-stake you just need to create a junta that owns half the wealth and you have absolute control.
  • Proof-of-space falls victim to similar economies of scale that we see in proof-of-work.

So even though these permissionless models are supposedly distributed, we have what amounts to centralized authority, without any sort of control placed on who is at the center and how they got there. You’re better off going with something centralized by design: permissioned approaches to blockchain are energy-efficient and reliable, and you get the benefit of the players at least potentially having some say in how the centralized authority is formed, instead of waiting around to see who can throw the most money or hardware at the space.


You know there’s a bubble when the pretty people show up.


I’ve asked before. No dice.


Is it time for another Fyre Festival already


It’s not obvious to me how the blockchain helps with this at all. I’m not in a GDPR jurisdiction unfortunately, but the state has considerable power to poke into corporate databases and ensure that my rights over my data are respected (Example: Tim Horton’s). The blockchain can’t do anything about off-chain database even if the data comes from the blockchain.


Fozzie Bear Reaction GIF

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