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On June 10th, Jack Dorsey announced a new project being built by Block’s bitcoin-focused business unit, TBD. That project is known as “Web 5” – a so-called “extra decentralized web” that “puts you in control of your data and identity.”
What could the Block Head have in mind with this new creation? Also, what happened to Web 3?
A Decentralized Data Storage Solution
When Jack Dorsey announced Web 5 over Twitter, he said it would be Block’s “most important contribution to the internet.” The link he provided took readers to TBD’s website, where the simple explanation of Web 5 was given.
The goal of his platform is to secure personal data on the internet without handing it over to third parties. Using decentralized identity and data storage, it will return ownership of such informational items to individuals.
In a related pdf, the company explains that such technology can help build “a new class of decentralized apps.” An example would be a decentralized Bitcoin exchange tbDEX – another of TBD’s projects.
In fact, the Bitcoin network will serve as a foundational piece of this technology, combined with other decentralized tech. These include decentralized identifiers (DIDs), decentralized web node (DWN) technology, and a Self-Sovereign Identity Service (SSIS) for creating verifiable credentials.
“The Decentralized Web Platform enables developers to write Decentralized Web Apps using Decentralized Identifiers and Decentralized Web Nodes, returning ownership and control over identity and data to individuals,” explains the document.
As the team explains, one benefit of such a service will be allowing users to securely and conveniently share data across various apps. It will avoid the trouble of having to enter one’s data every time he migrates between social or music platforms.
Differing From Web 3
TBD also describes Web 5 as a “new evolution of the Web that enables decentralized apps and protocols.” This sounds very similar to the concept of web 3 – a more decentralized internet of apps built on smart contract blockchains.
However, Dorsey’s platform will be built on Bitcoin, whereas web 3 is primarily highlighted as Ethereum native. Furthermore, as TBD highlights, decentralized identifiers involve “no special utility tokens or subjective consensus.”
Jack Dorsey is heavily opposed to Web 3, having previously deemed it to be venture capitalist controlled. In December, he was blocked by a16z co-founder Marc Andreessen on Twitter for his comments.