Jack Dorsey Announces Upcoming “Web5” Platform Built on Bitcoin

Jack Dorsey, the former CEO of Twitter and founder of Block Inc., is working on a new decentralized platform, a so-called “Web5” platform that will be built on the Bitcoin network. The development of the new platform is being led by Block’s bitcoin-focused subsidiary, TBD.

Notably, TBD’s pivot to branding its protocols as Web5 is evidence of CEO Jack Dorsey’s disapproval of the current Web3 ecosystem. Dorsey has publicly criticized the emerging industry, labeling it a “centralized movement” enriching venture capital firms.

What is Web5?

According to TBD, Web5 is a combination of protocols aimed at bringing into the web a missing piece: identity. It mentioned that identity and personal data on today’s web are kept by third parties. The company is designing web5 to give users control over their personal data and identity.

“Web5 brings decentralized identity and data storage to your applications. It lets [developers] focus on creating delightful user experiences, while returning ownership of data and identity to individuals,” the company said.

Web 5 Components

TBD is leveraging Bitcoin as a hub while utilizing four key components to achieve its aim. They are:

  • Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs)
  • Decentralized Web Node (DWNs)
  • Self-Sovereign Identity Service (SSIS)
  • Self-Sovereign Identity SDK (ssi-sdk)

For each user or institution to make use of the new protocol, they would need to possess the following: a wallet to serve as an agent for the user by enabling identity and data interactions, DWN which will facilitate personal datastores holding public and encrypted information, and decentralized web apps (DWAs) that will enable decentralized identity and data storage features.

Using these provisions, the company gave an illustration explaining how a user can control their identity:

“Alice holds a digital wallet that securely manages her identity, data, and authorizations for external apps and connections. Alice uses her wallet to sign in to a new decentralized social media app. Because Alice has connected to the app with her decentralized identity, she does not need to create a profile, and all the connections, relationships, and posts she creates through the app are stored with her, in her decentralized web node. Now Alice can switch apps whenever she wants, taking her social persona with her.”

Unlike Web3, the new protocol will not facilitate the issuance of a governance token. Mike Brock, the Team Lead for TBD, noted that “there are no tokens to invest in with web5.”  Meanwhile, no official date for the launch has been communicated.

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