Web3 Grifts

Posted on Sat 02 April 2022 in Dispatches • 2 min read

If you haven’t been following the ongoing saga of incredible grift in the so-called web3 space, I highly recommend checking out the work being done by Molly White, whose site Web3 is going just great is a shocking timeline of the various scams and hacks occurring constantly within the broader “crypto” market.

I also highly recommend reading this FastCompany interview with White. She covers a lot of the issues around lack of regulation, and pokes holes in the many attempts of the crypto crowd to find problems that could match their “solution”.

I thought this critique of the DAO concept was particularly insightful.

[FC] Do you think people might eventually find a way to make DAOs functional and useful?

[White] There are lots of existing structures for decentralized governance that have existed in society for far, far longer than DAOs have been around. Look at co-ops, for example. You could even argue that shareholders of most public companies have rights similar to participants in DAOs. Outside of the business world there are all sorts of examples of decentralized, leaderless groups: the Wikimedia movement, for example, or also groups like Occupy Wall Street or Alcoholics Anonymous. I personally find it unlikely that anyone with significant experience in any group like this would ever argue that the goals or mechanisms of these groups could be fully, reasonably represented in code.

DAOs are, I think, one of the best illustrations of the problem with a lot of these Web3 projects: They are trying to find technological solutions that will somehow codify very complex social structures. A lot of them also seem to operate under the assumption that everyone is acting in good faith, and that project members’ interests will generally align—a baffling assumption given the amount of bad actors in the crypto space.

— Molly White in conversation with Mark Sullivan, How a Wikipedia editor became one of the loudest Web 3.0 skeptics

In addition to White’s work, I’d recommend you check out the video below from münekat, which covers the many failings of the Web3 concept, and illustrates the number of bad actors in the space.

Play Video: Web3.0: A Libertarian Dystopia