I’m a life long tech enthusiast, and I’ve worked in the tech industry for over a decade. I’m a massive #blockchain / #crypto / #web3 / #decentralisation cynic and skeptic. Please, convince me otherwise. A thread… 1/
Full disclosure: I’m a #crypto investor. Because right now I believe in the positive effect of non-cynics on artificially inflating the value of something, and the effect that has on getting other people to jump on the bandwagon. Not because I believe in the tech itself. 2/
Also, I may be wrong. #Blockchain certainly isn’t going away, I just don’t think it’s going to take off and replace everything, or anything much really.
There’s likely aspects I don’t fully understand, or assumptions that may be wrong. If I’ve made mistakes, then let me know! 3/
Like it or not, the world revolves around money. No for-profit corporation wants to run a platform that they don’t have absolute 100% control over. It’s a maintenance nightmare. Probably a PR nightmare at some point too. 4/
#Blockchains are forever. Nobody in the real world wants to use a platform where you can’t edit or delete your old content. Heck, do blockchain platforms even remotely comply with things like GDPR? 5/
Don’t forget, #blockchains such as #bitcoin already include highly illegal material which cannot be removed. Possessing those databases could actually get you jail time. What a great system. 6/
99.99% of people don’t care how something is made, only that it works. That there’s customer support. That they can reset their password. That their data is secure. Most importantly, that it’s as easy as possible to use and understand. 7/
Are there some niche applications where #decentralisation may be the right solution? Probably. Are there mainstream applications for the majority of people where decentralisation is the right solution? Absolutely not. So many cons, very very few pros. It just doesn’t add up. 8/
Maybe the tech is anti corporation and anti #capitalism. So why does everyone promoting it just seem to be trying to get rich? How is that different from traditional shareholders trying to get rich? Anything motivated by money will always have the same pitfalls eventually. 9/
#Web3 is more collaborative between #startups and people.” Sounds to me like startups have simply found a great new source of free labour. Is it really any different to offering workers nothing but shares, who are gambling on those shares having value someday? 10/
“It’s about the community”. Ok, and sure - the communities are awesome. But communities have always existed. #Reddit, #Twitter and #Facebook are communities. Your local neighbourhood is a #community. Communities don’t require #blockchains. 11/
The only difference is that your nan and your aunt haven’t jumped into #blockchain communities, and nobody’s arguing yet, so they probably seem cooler. Right now the community is a positive reinforcement echo chamber - of course that feels good! 12/
What about #cryptocurrencies? Well, banks have been successfully operating digitally for decades. The average customer doesn’t want a system where if you forget your super duper complicated passwords then your money is lost forever. 13/
Stuff like #Bitcoin may always be a store of value. But that’s literally all the Bitcoin #blockchain is good for - storing Bitcoin. It’s a much more complex and less stable store of value than any of the vast array of other existing options for storing value. 14/
The value of #crypto is so volatile that no sane person would ever use it for anything other than investment and trading. Or illegal purchases and money laundering, I guess… 15/
One of the most common suggestions when I ask for examples of how #blockchain can be used in the real world is in the property market - proof of ownership etc. Basically like #NFTs but for actual real life things. Really?! 16/
You think we’re going to build any proof of ownership framework that actually matters on a system where if you forget your super duper complicated passwords, you’re screwed? 17/
And as we’ve already seen with #NFTs, anybody can mint something that they didn’t actually make themselves. In an open system, if I claim ownership of your property on the #blockchain before you do, then it’s mine. 18/
Either the system is #decentralised and open, and anybody can claim any persons property, or it’s closed and managed by a single entity - in which case why go to the hassle of bothering with #decentralisation when traditional systems are so much more convenient? 19/
As for #NFTs themselves… 99.9% of people aren’t art dealers. The average person does not care if they own an image or an album or a movie, as long as they can enjoy it. Preferable as cheaply and hassle-free as possible. 20/
Ownership makes absolutely no difference whatsoever to our experience. Why “own” these specific things when I can already stream unlimited content for a small monthly fee? 21/
“NFTs can be keys to exclusive clubs etc.” Why though? That can be done without #NFTs too. And again, what happens when you lose your passwords, or the founders want oversight, or if that community turns toxic? 22/
How about #incentivised content creation? Wikis or reviews? Well, the second something becomes financially incentivised it usually massively decreases in quality. Anything that can be gamed for profit will be. The fake reviews and content will come. The #bot farms will come. 23/
Voluntary tipping by users for quality content is the only real measure of how good something really is - but that’s a different system that relies on the mass user market voluntarily paying people for content they’ve already shared. That’s pretty rare. 24/
I’m not really sure how to wrap this thread. Maybe I’ll keep thinking of more and more and just keep adding as I go. I guess we’ll see. 25/
All this said, I want to be wrong. I want somebody to show me the thing that makes me go “aha! This is what’s gonna change the world! Web3 is the future! Decentralisation is amazing!!” I just haven’t seen a single argument that comes remotely close yet. 26/

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