Today, we received a new episode of “Tech against Tech: Crypto Edition.” This weekend, the debate among the IT elite about owns what in the Web 2.0 and web3 worlds raged on. Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and a16z, the investment group best known in recent years for its capital deployments into the blockchain area, were once again involved in the squabble.
Dorsey has opted to speak out more openly about his views after renaming his finance business Square to the more crypto-friendly “Block” after ripping the ripcord from his perch above Twitter. In addition, he has opinions. The well-known IT executive is a renowned Bitcoin supporter, which would seem to fit in perfectly with a16z’s overall crypto bullishness. No, it does not.
We delved into the early Dorsey vs. a16z debates here, but for those of you who want a quick recap, we have included a synopsis below. Dorsey’s views on Bitcoin are based on his conviction in the benefits of decentralization, Bitcoin is a system that is quite decentralized. Its originator is no longer involved, it is not controlled by a single organization and despite the lack of a traditional leader or outside investment, the project’s community has managed to keep working on it.
What about web3, the blockchain initiatives tout the power and relevance of decentralization as well? Because ownership — and hence power — has accrued in the hands of foreign investors, including a16z, Dorsey believes that web3 is indeed centralized. This is because, unlike Bitcoin, web3 firms are snatching up venture financing at an alarming rate, implying that many decentralized initiatives are accumulating huge external investors in their central holding corporations – centralization cubed, if you will.
In a series of tweets between December 20 and 22, Dorsey’s complaints about ownership, web3, and the role of external capital in supporting so much of the crypto industry came to a head, with the well known Twitter user taking potshots at venture capital in crypto in general, and a16z in particular. Here is an example of flavor: Those are combative words. So, what is the most recent event? Yesterday, a16z resident and habitual Twitter blocker Chris Dixon retorted to Dorsey’s argument with the following.