FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images/Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Elon Musk and Jack Dorsey are well-known for their vocal support of cryptocurrencies.
But that doesn’t mean they’re also all-in for other decentralized tech.
Both billionaires have especially come out against Web3 — Dorsey cautions that it may be seized by corporations.
Elon Musk and Jack Dorsey are not shy about shouting their crypto fervor from the rooftops.
The virtual currencies have gained traction recently, especially in the last couple of years during the pandemic, and two of its biggest online champions have been the Tesla and former Twitter executives (and multitudes of their peers).
But proponents of it as they may be, that doesn’t mean they’re for all decentralized tech, or technology that operates without a central authority. The pair have notably been vocal about their skepticism around the likes of nonfungible tokens (NFTs,) Web3, and the so-called metaverse.
NFTs are blockchain-based digital tokens symbolizing a person’s ownership of something, and Web 3 is what some say is the next iteration of the digital world, which will also live on a blockchain. That’s all in contrast to the websites of today run by mega “Web2” tech corporations like Google or Amazon. That will theoretically give people more autonomy over their online presence.
Then there’s, of course, the metaverse: the hottest buzzword of the moment describing what many technologists say will be the eventual updated internet, where everyone plays, lives, and works in a virtual space using VR and AR equipment.
Dorsey and Musk aren’t having any of it.
Musk may have once offered one of his tweets for sale as an NFT in May 2021, but in December, he mocked NFTs for essentially “jpeging the dollar” and said Twitter’s NFT profile pic feature was “annoying.”
He has said “Web3 sounds like bs” and that it’s “more marketing buzzword than reality right now,” though noted that who knows what the future will bring. And he’s told The Babylon Bee that he doesn’t know if he buys “into this metaverse stuff” and doesn’t see why someone would want to strap “a friggin’ screen to their face all day.”
Then there’s Dorsey, who got into a major tiff with famed Silicon Valley investor Marc Andreesen and others recently over one of his biggest qualms with Web3: the potential corporatization and centralization of it instead of the people holding the power.
“You don’t own ‘web3,'” he tweeted in December. “The VCs and their LPs do.”
Andreesen — whose firm Andreesen Horowitz has waded straight into the world of decentralized tech, investing in the metaverse and Web3 — blocked him after Dorsey made an apparent direct jab at a16z.
“Has anyone seen web3? I can’t find it,” Musk tweeted on December 20. Dorsey replied: “It’s somewhere between a and z.”
—jack⚡️ (@jack) December 21, 2021
Dorsey has also derided Meta’s vision of the metaverse, agreeing with a tweet that called it “dystopian.”
With the rise of crypto and talk of NFTs, Web3, and the metaverse also came the hype, but Musk and Dorsey’s dissociation with the latter three perhaps makes an important point: there’s more noise around the latter three.
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