In June 2022, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced Web5, a supposed “extra decentralised web platform” that would allow users to directly control their identity and personal data. Dorsey claimed that “this will likely be our most important contribution to the internet.”
About six hours after TBD, a Bitcoin-focused division of Jack Dorsey’s Block revealed its intent to trademark the name “Web5”, the hotly debated plan was declared abandoned in a late night tweet. TBD claimed that it had listened to the community and was “responding to their concerns.”
To avoid misunderstandings about the phrase’s meaning and “ensure that the term is used as intended,” TBD said on Tuesday that it will be seeking protection for Web5.
In order to enable developers to create Decentralized Web Apps (DWAs) with Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs) running on the Bitcoin blockchain, the goal is to create the next iteration of the internet that combines the old Web2 model and the innovative concept of Web3.
According to TBD, the choice to trademark the word “Web5” was made in response to the need to create the first line of defence for its guiding principles, without intending to stop others from using Web5.
As long as members preserve the term’s definition and core principles, TBD announced in a statement that they are working on ways to enable both commercial and non-profit usage of “Web5”.
The decision to copyright a term that reflected the decentralisation ideology was met with a dull response from the community. Many users pointed out that this would go against the fundamental concept of a decentralised internet.
Mike Brock, the project lead for TBD, claimed that they had observed individuals attempting to resell “Web5” tokens on gambling exchanges and individuals attempting to pass-off NFTs as “Web5” as justification for the move, adding that the business was “not going to take that sitting down.” According to Brock, TBD would give control of the Web5 trademark to “an independent group, which is neither owned nor controlled by Block.”
He added that Block receives no direct commercial gain from Web5 but they went for the copyright move because they don’t want scam artists to operate under the Web5 banner. He also said that they aim to establish an independent community organisation or give protocols to standards bodies.
In its final statement, TBD stated that its objective was to “catalyse” the community and enable Web5 to thrive independently of TBD and Block.