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Inrupt in the New York Times

It’s great to have Solid seen as a “cure to what ails the internet,” but let’s talk about Web3 vs. Web 3.0.
John Bruce, Inrupt CEO and Co-founder
March 20, 2024

Last week we celebrated the 35th anniversary of the World Wide Web. Our CTO, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, marked the anniversary with an open letter reflecting on his original vision for the web and the ways in which we’re falling short of that vision.

Tim closed his letter by urging us all to support the many innovators who are working determinedly to make sure the next phase of the web can “reach its full potential and provide the foundations for creativity, collaboration and compassion.”

Of course that’s the core of our mission at Inrupt, too. So it was exciting to see Inrupt’s momentum covered in a New York Times column on the web’s 35th anniversary: Yes, the Internet Is Broken, but What Does a Fix Look Like?

Columnist Peter Coy explains:

Berners-Lee is developing and proselytizing for a new system that gives each person his or her own personal online-only data store, or POD for short. The PODs let people decide how their data is managed, used and shared. The Flanders region of Belgium has already authorized PODs for all of its citizens, Berners-Lee wrote. He co-founded a company, Inrupt, that’s built on the concept of PODs and the computer servers associated with them.

Unfortunately, the column also proves we’ve still got a lot of work to do to help people understand what the web with Solid will be like. The Times makes the common mistake of conflating Solid with “Web3” — a moniker that has become synonymous with blockchains and cryptocurrencies.

Of course Solid doesn’t involve blockchain. And it doesn’t suffer the same commonly understood pitfalls of Web3 that the Times column repeats.

In fact, last year, our VP of Product Oz Olivo wrote an InfoWorld article explaining the real requirements of the next phase of the web. (Which you can call Web 3.0, not Web3, if you must.) Here it is: Web 3.0 doesn’t need a blockchain revolution

But if you need a summary, Tim — as usual — said it best and briefest:  ‘Web3 is not the web at all’

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