Solving Solved Problems

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 1 min read

Ben Thompson in a subscriber update:

There was an incident with not totally legit NFTs being sold on OpenSea, and OpenSea blocked their sale. However, since the blockchain is not tied to OpenSea, one could go elsewhere to sell these NFTs. The unique power of crypto, right?

This, according to crypto advocates, is evidence of the allure of Web 3: because the blockchain is open and accessible by anyone, the stolen BAYC NFTs and the PAYC rip-offs can be sold on another market, or if one cannot be found, in a private transaction (leave aside, for the sake of argument and the brevity of this update, the question as to whether the fact that these transactions are irreversible is a feature or a bug).

But Thompson goes on…

Here’s the thing, though: this isn’t a new concept. What is the first answer given to anyone who is banned from Twitter, or demonetized on YouTube — two of the go-to examples Web 3 advocates give about the problem of centralized power on the Internet today? Start your own Twitter, or start your own blog, or set up a Substack. These answers are frustrating because they are true: the web is open.

As I've said a bunch before, I think that crypto will have a place in the future, but I think the applications of it right now feel like they're solving solved problems worse than the existing solutions.