Web3 & crypto has become a massive phenomenon with very big claims made about its actual and potential impact. At the same time, there is an exceptional level of disagreement about these claims, even on basic points or definitions. The topic is highly controversial and even polarizing, with strong pro and anti camps.
Finally, and relatedly, this topic exists at the confluence of several major areas of thought: computer science, economics, political economy, law. These topics are a) complex b) largely synthetic not analytic. As a result, few people have enough time and/or expertise to really delve into them sufficiently, especially those who would normally play a major role in our collective sensemaking such as journalists. In short, this is a topic that is difficult to analyse and do collective sensemaking for.
We have created an online resource library located at web3.lifeitself.us. The tool provides a framework for making sense of important issues in the area. The foundation is a guide featuring explanations of over 100 key concepts, and a Zotero library of useful background readings.
On top of this is a structured exploration of the key claims made by proponents of Web3. We steel-man these claims through conscious, critical and open-minded dialog with a diverse set of experts. We then tease out the underlying hypotheses and assumptions and engage in rigorous and constructive critique. We have already explored Bitcoin becoming the new gold standard, crypto’s relationship to securities regulation and aspirations of blockchain being a route to post-state technocracy among others. Finally, we look at the overall aspirations of the Web3 movement and examine how these might be achieved, whether through improvements to blockchain based approaches or by other means
Concurrently, we are launching a webinar series specifically targeted to policymakers and other key strategic decisionmakers, providing a forum to understand and discuss the most pressing issues around web3 and crypto today.