Why decentralization is not the ultimate goal of Web3?

The transition from Web2 to Web3 is inevitable. But as the demand for decentralization gains momentum, several important questions are being raised about the current state of blockchain technology and the promised “decentralization”.

Vitalik Buterin responded with a confession that “a lot of it comes down to limited technical resources and funding. It’s easier to build things the lazy, centralized way, and it takes serious effort to “do it right.” Or, Jack Dorsey’s recent tweet in which he claimed that it is actually the venture capitalists who own the networks that exist today.

Their comments make it clear that with the status quo, popular blockchains seem a long way from realizing their decentralized dreams. Asking the question, who will actually own the future of the Internet?

Related: Web3 Developer Growth Hits an All-Time High as the Ecosystem Matures

Will Web3 live up to its promise?

Even before Moxie and Jack called Web3 for it to become what it once set out to replace, several incidents occurred that left many people questioning the ecosystem’s decentralization. Take for example the case of several legacy layer-1 chains. While many advertise themselves as decentralized, recent events have clearly shown how existing layer 1 protocols are not truly decentralized.

Whether it was the Ethereum Infura debacle of 2020, where the network had multiple outages, ultimately leading to an “accidental” hard fork due to mysterious behavior of the core development team, the persistent and consistent outages on Solana, or the AWS failure that disabled dYdX . If you look closely, you will discover many cases that raise the crucial question: are blockchains really decentralized today or is the power these networks provide still in the hands of a few individuals?

Related: Which Blockchain Is The Most Decentralized? Experts answer:

Apart from that, Web2 is now at its peak in terms of centralization. From data monitoring and censorship of social media platforms to banning users for no valid reasons, there is no shortage of issues for Web3 to solve. Making it clear that achieving decentralization in the next iteration of the web is more important than ever.

Still, the future remains uncertain due to the seemingly huge and arduous undertaking of ensuring that the next version of the Internet is controlled by its users. As chains today require more and more resources to participate, most are either ineligible due to capital constraints or lack the skills or motivation to succeed due to the complexity of running a complete node.

Alternative L1s are a short term solution at best

While Solana, Avalanche, and even Polygon were initially introduced as solutions to the high costs on other blockchains, the trade-off they made came at a price. Cheap fees, while great for users, are funded by sacrificing decentralization. The Solana Network has seen a lot of bot activity simply because it’s cheap to do so.

But the costs won’t stay low forever. In fact, fees on networks like Polygon and Avalanche are starting to rise as demand for them increases. Offer a network where users can transact at a lower cost and they will come. More demand requires housing more transactions in the same block space as before. Eventually, users start competing for block space, leading to higher rates.

Simply creating new tier-1s that sacrifice decentralization without establishing long-term costs certainly cannot be the answer.

Radical Rethink

Scott Galloway recently jumped to criticize the Web3 train as well. And he was right about a few things, most notably the lack of diversity in the industry. Still, like others, he didn’t come up with any real ideas about how things could be done differently. Rather than consider whether maybe everyone could one day run a server, he simply echoed Moxie’s conclusion that “people will never run their own servers.” Then there are those who say, why would anyone use Web3 when you have to pay for things?

There are no free lunches.

We have become accustomed to not paying with cash. The price we pay is now a lot higher. We pay with our privacy, we pay with only limited access to information and the kind of information certain institutions want us to see. We pay without being free.

I believe that for Web3 to succeed, we must first rethink what costs we are currently incurring and what it would be worth to us to actually have control.

Related: Data Privacy Concerns Are Rising, and Blockchain Is the Solution

We will also have to rethink what we consider a server. Is it true that people will never run their own servers? I strongly disagree. Why do we limit ourselves to thinking that servers as we know them won’t change? Why do we think that one day our phones will not be as powerful as a server?

Let’s rethink our assumptions and what we think is worth paying for.

Decentralization is a means

Although it often seems that in the blockchain industry the ultimate goal is decentralization. However, I would argue that decentralization is a means to an end. Only when a network is truly decentralized can it be censorship resistant.

And when a network is censorship-proof, information can travel freely and people can connect and transfer value without borders. That’s why it’s such a powerful force. It gives us back the freedom we are currently paying for using Web2.

In order for Web3 to control the people and provide access without excluding anyone, it needs to be decentralized. So decentralized that there is no central control point. Only then will Web3 help fulfill human potential and enhance freedom.

I believe that if we radically rethink our assumptions, if we question what servers look like and create an environment where we work together to enable true decentralization, Web3 will provide us with a better version of the Web as we know it.

This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move carries risks, and readers should do their own research when making a decision.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed herein are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Coin-Crypto.

Jonathan MacDonald is the chief marketing officer at Minima, a fully decentralized network. Jon has experience working with senior executives at many companies we all know today: Apple, Heineken, IKEA, Google and many more. He is a contributor to many publications and has written a book that is a Sunday Times Bestseller. Now Jon is on a mission at Minima to allow everyone to connect freely.

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