The phrase “Web3” has taken the technology world by storm. It is used to describe the next iteration of the internet, which includes the belief of Web3 proponents that decentralized protocols and tokens will be core features of a new system. There are thousands of entrepreneurs and investors betting their time, money and energy that this new iteration will be the future of technology. There are thousands more who believe that the entire Web3 system is unsustainable and simply a way to enrich the proponents.
Regardless of where you fall on the debate, I thought it would be interesting to investigate the question “who owns Web3?” In order to do this, we can look at the token supply breakdown of various projects. First, here is Solana’s initial token distribution (source: Messari):
These two examples highlight a few takeaways. The team’s normally hold between 20-30% of the token supply, private investors are somewhere between 15-50%, which depends on how much of the token was sold before launch. And the remainder of the token supply is used for various activities, including premined rewards, airdrops, yield farming, ecosystem funds, and many others.