Web3: Wallets Needed

I wrote a post recently as to why web3/crypto matter. A logical follow on question is: why aren’t we further along, given that Bitcoin is over ten years old? Part of the answer is that blockchain technology is complex and there is still a lot to figure out. But another part of the answer is that there is a chicken and egg problem to be solved that has echoes of the historic adoption of the web itself.

I remember well discovering the web in a lab at MIT due to the Mosaic web browser showing up on a workstation that I was using for one of my stats classes. But at home people faced a conundrum. They had heard of the web but how could they get on it? For that they needed a web browser and where was that going to come from? Today there isn’t a phone or laptop or desktop that doesn’t ship with one or more browsers pre-installed, so it is easy to forget this initial problem. Most people had never used something like FTP and so asking them to figure out how to do so in order to download a browser was a non-starter.

As it turned out there were two solutions to this problem. The first was AOL mailing CDs to pretty much everyone. That of course was aimed at keeping people inside AOL’s walled garden, but AOL software did include a web browser. The more important solution, however, was Microsoft bundling Internet (Read more...)