- The creator of the internet, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, believes that cryptocurrency is “only speculative” and that this creates a “dangerous” situation
- Berners-Lee told a CNBC podcast that it reminded him of the dot-com boom
- However, Berners-Lee allowed Sotheby’s to sell early internet code as an NFT in 2021
The man credited with creating the internet, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, believes that cryptocurrency is “only speculative” and that this creates a “dangerous” situation. Berners-Lee was speaking on CNBC’s Beyond the Valley podcast when the subject of cryptocurrencies was addressed, with the British scientist comparing it to the dot-com bubble of the late 1990s and the early 2000s. Berners-Lee’s comments may seem a little hypocritical however, given that he offered a physical depiction of the source code that created the World Wide Web to Sotheby’s in 2021 to be sold as an NFT.
Remittances are Crypto’s Only Utility
In the interview, Berners-Lee was disparaging of the cryptocurrency landscape, drawing a parallel between the crypto booms and busts and the dot-com boom and bust, the latter of which was, of course, a direct result of his invention:
Investing in certain things, which is purely speculative, isn’t […] where I want to spend my time.
The only positive application for cryptocurrencies according to Berners-Lee is in remittances, but only if the cryptocurrencies are immediately converted into fiat currencies after they arrive. There are plenty who would agree with this assessment, given that precious few cryptocurrency projects have real world usage.
Berners-Lee Gets into Web 3.0 Semantics
Berners-Lee also commented on the definition of Web 3.0, which he himself predicted during the creation of the internet, calling this smarter and more autonomous internet the ‘Semantic Web’. However, in the interview he was keen to point out the difference between ‘Web3’ and ‘Web 3.0’ – the former refers to his vision of an internet based on decentralized applications (dApps) and blockchain technology, while the latter he sees as a way to give users control of their own data, including how it’s accessed and stored.
Berners-Lee’s seemingly softer approach to this aspect of the digital landscape is perhaps reflective of his decision to gift a physical copy of the code for the WorldWideWeb to Sotheby’s in 2021, where it sold for $5.4 million as an NFT.