WASHINGTON, October 29, 2021 – Blockchain experts debated how prepared the internet is to meet the challenges of the modern world as new, so-called “Web 3.0” technologies continues to progress.
During a panel discussion on “Is The Past A Prologue To The Fight For Web3?” at a Congressional Internet Caucus Academy event on October 21, these experts said that the decentralized financial tools like blockchain are or will be an impetus for many new changes.
Blockchain provides decentralized recording of transactions across many computers for the records of the cryptocurrency bitcoin. Some say blockchain will change the way the internet runs and serve as the basis for Web 3.0, allowing better user security with regards to data tracking. To implement blockchain technology, more users and service providers will first need to show interest in the technology and an internet must be developed where computing is decentralized to individuals’ own consoles.
The Senate introduced controversial language on cryptocurrency to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act last month that has spurred renewed discussion about the blockchain.
That bill includes tax reporting requirements for wallet developers and cryptocurrency miners that blockchain enthusiasts criticize as overly burdensome. There are different opinions about whether these provisions will be addressed via amendment, or included in the measure when it is ultimately teed up for passage by the House.
Panelists at the event reacted to this development by discussing whether proper groundwork is being laid to support future advancements in cryptocurrency.
Cleve Mesidor, founder of the National Policy Network of Women of Color in Blockchain, and Carlos Acevedo, senior director of sales at Brave Software, criticized the preparedness of current internet structures to handle new developments in cryptocurrency. Both emphasized access inequities present with internet structures which prevent certain demographics from accessing functional internet service, which in the case of blockchain computing presents itself as a learning curve for those at a knowledge deficit with regards to Web 3.0.
“Accessibility is something we should be talking about,” said Mesidor.
Kevin Werbach, professor at the University of Pennsylvania, and Andrew McLaughlin, president of Assembly OSM, gave slightly more credit to current in terms of their preparedness to handle cryptocurrency of the future while still acknowledging limitations. Werbach stated that it is important to realize that even with these limitations the internet has accomplished a lot, and even Web 3.0 would not be able to make current web systems completely decentralized and solve all issues at hand.
McLaughlin pointed out that most extreme moral panics concerning cryptocurrency are exaggerated, as dangerous activity such as sharing of child sex abuse imagery is not as widespread within cryptocurrency as it is made to seem.
The session was moderated by Danny O’Brien, senior fellow at the Filecoin Foundation for the Decentralized Web.