Block subsidiary TBD has announced plans to create a new decentralised web centred on Bitcoin (BTC), underlining the belief of its founder, Jack Dorsey, that the larger blockchain network will play a major role in the evolution of the Internet.
The new project, called “Web5“, represents Jack Dorsey’s Bitcoin-focused effort, which he has been pursuing since he stepped down as CEO of Twitter in November 2021.
The difference with Web3
While Web3 incorporates blockchain technology and tokenization to decentralize the Internet, Web5 envisions an identity-based system using only one blockchain, that of Bitcoin.
Twitter user Namcios described the concept of Web5 in a series of tweets, which described several software components working together to improve the user experience and enable decentralized identity management.
According to Namcios, Web5 uses ION, which they describe as an “open, public and permissionless DID network running on top of the Bitcoin blockchain”.
The Web3 Foundation describes DIDs as decentralized identifiers that enable “verifiable, decentralized digital identity”.
Web5 and the role of Bitcoin
Web5 is essentially a decentralized web platform, or DWP, that allows developers to create decentralized web applications via DID and decentralized nodes, according to the original TBD documents. Web5 will also have a BTC-centric currency network, which reflects Dorsey’s belief that Bitcoin will one day become the native currency of the Internet.
Dorsey’s motivation for pursuing a new Web development model stems from his belief that Web3 would never achieve true decentralization. Block’s CEO has publicly criticized Web3 and the venture capital community that supports its development.
In December 2021, Dorsey tweeted that it is not the individual who owns Web3, but the VCs (Ventures Capital) and their limited partners:
“It will never escape their motivations. It’s ultimately a central entity with a different label,” Dorsey said.