Key to take
- Jack Dorsey’s TBD has announced that it will build a decentralized web platform on top of Bitcoin called Web5.
- While Ethereum and Web3 have focused on tokenization, Web5 will focus heavily on identity management.
- Dorsey said he believes Web5 will be his team’s most important contribution to the Internet.
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Jack Dorsey’s TBD plans to bypass existing Web3 concepts by building its decentralized web standard known as “Web5” on top of Bitcoin.
Bringing the decentralized web to Bitcoin
TBD ten announced plans to create a decentralized web platform called “Web5” on the Bitcoin network.
Web2, Web3 → Web5 pic.twitter.com/klzqJ4yvBm
– To be determined (@ TBD54566975) June 10, 2022
Instead, most competing projects chose to work with the Web3 concept, which provides an approach to building blockchain-based web applications. Web3 relies heavily on Ethereum and other chains that support smart contracts, which are well-suited for tokenized programming and payments.
As such, Dorsey’s Web5 project stands out because it seeks to build its components on top of the Bitcoin network, a strategy that is not normally considered ideal for blockchain-based applications.
More technically, Web5 will focus on identity rather than tokenized payments. To do this, TBD plans to build a decentralized web platform (DWP) that will allow developers to create decentralized web applications (DWA) with decentralized identifiers (DID) and decentralized web nodes (DWN), according to a TBD web presentation.
The platform will primarily use ION, a Bitcoin identity layer developed by Microsoft and the Decentralized Identity Foundation.
In a practical sense, Web5 aims solve the problem of protecting personal data online without selling that data to third parties. The project aims to “bring decentralized data identity and storage” to web applications while returning ownership of the data to users.
Web5 will be developed by TBD
TBD is a newly established company of Dorsey’s Block, Inc. in order to focus on the development of the Bitcoin infrastructure.
Block itself, best known for its Square payment application, has also expressed plans to launch a Bitcoin hardware portfolio and decentralized exchange in the future.
However, Dorsey now points out that Web5 could be a bigger effort than those other plans. He said in an a tweet that Web5 “will probably be [my team’s] most important contribution to the Internet “.
Dorsey, who has long criticized Web3, took advantage of Web3’s investments by writing “RIP web3 VCs.” Dorsey himself has been the subject of backlash over his Bitcoin maximalism and criticism of Ethereum.
Dorsey was also instrumental in helping Twitter adopt cryptography before he resigned as CEO of the social media company last year.
Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece had ETH and several other cryptocurrencies.