Block subsidiary TBD has announced plans to build a new decentralized web centered around Bitcoin (BTC), underscoring founder Jack Dorsey’s belief that the largest blockchain network will play a major role in the internet’s evolution.
The new project, called “Web5,” represents the latest Bitcoin-centric endeavor to be pursued by Dorsey since stepping down as CEO of Twitter in November 2021.
Whereas Web3 incorporates blockchain technology and tokenization to decentralize the internet, Web5 is being envisioned as an identity-based system that only utilizes one blockchain: Bitcoin. Twitter user Namcios broke down the concept of Web5 in a series of tweets that described several software components working together to enhance the user's experience and enable decentralized identity management.
According to Namcios, Web5 utilizes ION, which they describe as an “open, public and permissionless DID network that runs atop the Bitcoin blockchain.”
The Web3 Foundation describes DIDs as decentralized identifiers that enable “verifiable, decentralized digital identity.”
Web5 is essentially a decentralized web platform, or DWP, that allows developers to create decentralized web apps via DIDs and decentralized nodes, according to TBD’s prototype documents. Web5 will also have a monetary network centered around BTC, which mirrors Dorsey’s belief that the digital asset will one day become the internet’s native currency.
Dorsey’s motivation for pursuing a new web development model may stem from his belief that Web3 will never achieve true decentralization. The Block CEO has publicly criticized Web3 and the venture capital community that supports its development. In December 2021, Dorsey tweeted that individuals don’t own Web3 — VCs and their limited partners do. “It will never escape their incentives,” he said. “It’s ultimately a centralized entity with a different label.”