January 10, 2022

The Case Against Web3

Shaan’s got covid (ouch.) – so I’ll be taking over the email this week (Ben). Reply to let me know what you think!

In Today’s Email:

  • The case against Web3

  • What happens to your crypto when you die

  • The Australian Open's NFT

Why Web3 Won't Work

“Moxie”, the founder of Signal (the privacy focused Whatsapp) published a blog post pointing out some issues with “Web3”

You should really read his blog post (I promise it’s worth the 10 minutes), but if you only got 2 minutes, I got you.

In general, he’s lukewarm on Web3 for a few key reasons:

  • Decentralization is a cool idea, but over and over again we’ve seen that normal people don’t want to run their own servers. That’s why people just use services that run servers for them (Eg gmail, WordPress, Shopify etc) because it’s easier

  • Distributed apps are f**king hard to build, because something truly decentralized is hard to actually change and can remain stuck in time

  • Every product and company with actual usage and adoption in web3 is centralized – Opensea, Coinbase, etc.

My take:

  • Moxie brings up some great points that are generally really hard to argue against

  • He’s a developer, so he's focused on the technical architecture. But what makes web3 great is that it lets you own digital assets (Bitcoin, eth, nfts etc) and use them in smart contracts.

And if you wanna read takes from two people way smarter than me, here’s what Vitalik and Brian Armstrong (the founder of coinbase) had to say

Tweet Of The Day

Meek Mill hinting he’s going to drop a mixtape that requires a eth address 🤔

What happens to your crypto when you die?

I have kids. I have crypto. I have 8 seed phrases and 6 wallets (no, really).

How tf are my kids supposed to get to my crypto when that day comes?

Fortunately a few startups are trying to solve this problem.

For example, Sarcophagus is a decentralized, open source dead man's switch.

Basically, it works like this:

1/ You decide who gets your crypto when you die

2/ When you croak, an archeologist runs a piece of code to find your encrypted files

3/ When they find it, they get paid a bounty

4/ Only the eth address can unlock the files

Or, if centralized is your cup of tea, Hapi Finance is in YC right now and they produce crypto wills with a simple set up and process – just choose your beneficiary and keep checking in to prove you’re alive and when you’re not, they transfer the assets for you.

The Australian Open's 🎾 NFT is dope

Everyone is launching NFT projects. Not everyone is doing something interesting with them.

The Australian Open is selling 6,700 digital tennis balls, with a twist

Each tennis ball actually represents a 19×19 centimeter plot of the tennis court that's randomly assigned

When a winning shot from any Australian Open match hits one of the plots, the NFT's metadata will automatically change

And if your NFT hits on one of the 11 championship points, you’ll be getting the actual tennis ball from the event (i bet rally road will wanna buy one of these)

Now, that’s an NFT that’s actually interesting. Next up, every time that your plot gets hit you get a share of the prize $$$

Crypto Funding News (Startups to Watch)

1/ Goldfinch raised $25M from a16z to power its DeFi lending protocol for borrowers in developing countries

2/ Livepeer raised $20M from Tiger Global to build a Decentralized video network

3/ Nifty Island, raised a $20M seed round from Arrington XRP Capital to build an online world that invites players to create personalized islands that function as the metaverse equivalent to Facebook pages

– Ben aka mr. fungible

GM, Say it back!

P.S. Keep the feedback coming our way, we're reading everything