I advised a colleague today to research web3, because I think it may be the most interesting InsurTech technology of the year. I don’t think that glomming cryptocurrency and smart contracts onto the web is a good use of technology at all. The idea is especially dubious, and that is the reason it is interesting to me. I honestly think that web3, along with the cryptocurrencies that make it possible, are based on a long con.

Web3 appears to be something to make cryptocurrencies, which are useless—except as a speculative asset or a way to pay the criminals who ransomware-attacked you—useful. Web3 will require you to have a digital wallet to pay for and log into any website with a web3-type paywall. The rest of web3 is just another name for smart contracts, which—as far as I can tell—are an interesting idea that has not caught on very well in real-world applications.

Perhaps the scope of both my research and my imagination is too narrow, but I don’t think web3 is going anywhere outside the venture capital community, at least not for a very long time.