In this essay, Haseeb Qureshi of Dragonfly Capital explains why he thinks the focus on decentralization can be overhyped. He looks at why decentralization can be important but then makes it clear, by dissecting when it is important and when it’s not, and to whom it does and doesn’t matter, that it isn’t the be-all end-all goal for every endeavor. He talks about which questions we should be asking beyond just, “is it decentralized,” and also explains why that question doesn’t even make sense.
If you’ve spent any time at all on crypto Twitter, you’re familiar with the web3 narrative. It goes like this: in the beginning, the web was “truly decentralized.” Against all odds, the World Wide Web won against the corporatist designs of companies like Microsoft, and cyberspace became the territory of hobbyists and hackers. The Internet was henceforth enshrined as a neutral platform. And any publisher, no matter how small or powerless, was free to set up shop in their own corner of the Web.
Now in Web 2.0, 93% of searches happen through Google, 64% of browsers use Chrome, and 79% of social advertising dollars go to Facebook. A handful of companies now effectively control cyberspace.