Have you ever learned to code? If you decide to embark on this path, whether for a hobby or for professional reasons, one of the things you’ll notice is how accessible it has become.

Not accessible in the sense of being easy. Coding is frustrating and requires a lot of mental effort. It is accessible in that there are no barriers to entry. There are free and low-cost learning materials, more courses and resources than you will ever need, and user-powered forums to answer your questions.

You might not stick with it, but there is nothing to prevent you from trying. And of course, this is all happening in the web2 environment, providing an example of how open and accepting web2 is, on a practical, tangibly valuable level.

Web3, with its focus on decentralization and peer-to-peer transactions, should improve the online experience, but it’s important to be alert to whether or not new ways of doing things are actually beneficial, sustainable and offer anything useful on a wide scale.

Moonbirds soar

A recent NFT launch, called Moonbirds, brought to the fore some significant contrasts between aspects of the two cultures, that is, between web2, and its learn to code ethos, and web3, with its crypto and NFT focus.

Moonbirds is a collection of 10,000 pixelated bird NFTs that launched in the middle of April, selling out rapidly at the very high price of 2.5 ETH, and immediately doing huge volume on secondary markets. The current floor price for a Moonbird is around 20 ETH, and the collection is perched out at the top of the volume rankings.

To understand its surge, we must note that it was released by Proof Collective, an exclusive, NFT-focused group that can be accessed through holding the Proof Collective NFT, of which there are only 1000. The current cost of a Proof Collective NFT is a very hefty 83 ETH, although last December, you could have picked one up for around 2 ETH.

Proof Collective has among its members high profile figures from the NFT and web3 worlds, including entrepreneurs, collectors, investors, influencers and artists. The non-fungible glitterati. And, as for assets, the organization owns in the region of 150,000 NFTs, including items from the most valuable collections.

Proof Collective also released its own NFT collection, prior to Moonbirds, called Grails. It featured work from some highly collectible creators, was exclusively available to Proof Collective members, and was free to mint.

Returning to the more recent launch, if you held Proof Collective you could mint Moonbirds, while holding Moonbirds gives access to Proof Collective. Holding a Moonbird also provides access to future Moonbird and Proof Collective projects and drops (including a metaverse-type project called Highrise), and there is a feature akin to a  staking  mechanism, referred to as nesting.

Traces of 2017

Viewed from a distance, what Moonbirds initially seems to offer is membership of a society, and the possibility of acquiring more assets in the future. Additionally, there has been some commentary suggesting that what Moonbirds has done is similar to raising funding for a startup, in which case, holding an NFT gives you exposure to the enterprise.

However, there is a lot that is unclear. Are Moonbirds and Proof Collective simply private clubs that occasionally magic into existence new and valuable assets for their clientele? Or are they startups, but in that case, what are they starting? And, is the creation of NFTs to raise funds for imprecisely defined ventures not alarmingly reminiscent of the ICO bubble of 2017?

Furthermore, while NFTs and web3 promise to be transformative technologies, are they beginning, in places, to appear elitist and walled-off? There are quarters forming that are accessible only to a select few, and it’s those who appear eager to steer the direction that the web will take who are putting price tags on participation.

Tokenized exclusion

A thought-provoking quality of NFTs is that they allow people to buy in and out of networks and communities. This sounds enticing, but realistically, it could also lead down a sub-optimal path. If NFT prices are stratospheric, and NFT groups come across as entities that the vast majority can’t access, then why should that vast majority care about NFTs?

And, if NFTs are a core component of what web3 aims to become, but NFTs start to deliberately exclude people, then where does that leave web3?

This all flies in stark contrast to both the early days of the web, and also to the culture and ambitions around  Bitcoin  .

The web promised and has, for the most part, delivered transparent access to information and resources, acting as a digital leveler that anyone could utilize in exactly the same way as anyone else, regardless of their background.

Bitcoin is at an earlier stage but aims to provide a new kind of money, rerouting power away from governments and central banks, enabling peer-to-peer financial interaction, and again, acting to level the playing field.

This is not to say that either the web or Bitcoin are without their faults, or that they have not both been extremely enriching for certain people. But, they certainly did not put getting rich at their core, and they have never aimed for deliberate exclusivity, or levered exclusivity (which is not the same as scarcity) as a selling point.

NFTs and crypto endure vicious, ignorant and often unfair criticism from attackers who, in some cases, never take the time to actually understand the technology, or to acknowledge any of the positives.

Relatedly, web3 has been called a rebranding of the word crypto that is more palatable to those who are doubtful about crypto culture. That reading is, I think, partly true, but it’s not a bad thing. If it takes a change in terminology to get people on board, then so be it, let’s label it all web3.

However, what should be avoided is onboarding people to web3, only for them to then discover that the crypto critics were right, and instead of a kaleidoscope of beneficial networks, it’s a clique of insiders, trading tickets from within walled gardens. A convolution of inaccessible members’ clubs is not a strong sell to casual users who lead busy lives.

Have you ever learned to code? If you decide to embark on this path, whether for a hobby or for professional reasons, one of the things you’ll notice is how accessible it has become.

Not accessible in the sense of being easy. Coding is frustrating and requires a lot of mental effort. It is accessible in that there are no barriers to entry. There are free and low-cost learning materials, more courses and resources than you will ever need, and user-powered forums to answer your questions.

You might not stick with it, but there is nothing to prevent you from trying. And of course, this is all happening in the web2 environment, providing an example of how open and accepting web2 is, on a practical, tangibly valuable level.

Web3, with its focus on decentralization and peer-to-peer transactions, should improve the online experience, but it’s important to be alert to whether or not new ways of doing things are actually beneficial, sustainable and offer anything useful on a wide scale.

Moonbirds soar

A recent NFT launch, called Moonbirds, brought to the fore some significant contrasts between aspects of the two cultures, that is, between web2, and its learn to code ethos, and web3, with its crypto and NFT focus.

Moonbirds is a collection of 10,000 pixelated bird NFTs that launched in the middle of April, selling out rapidly at the very high price of 2.5 ETH, and immediately doing huge volume on secondary markets. The current floor price for a Moonbird is around 20 ETH, and the collection is perched out at the top of the volume rankings.

To understand its surge, we must note that it was released by Proof Collective, an exclusive, NFT-focused group that can be accessed through holding the Proof Collective NFT, of which there are only 1000. The current cost of a Proof Collective NFT is a very hefty 83 ETH, although last December, you could have picked one up for around 2 ETH.

Proof Collective has among its members high profile figures from the NFT and web3 worlds, including entrepreneurs, collectors, investors, influencers and artists. The non-fungible glitterati. And, as for assets, the organization owns in the region of 150,000 NFTs, including items from the most valuable collections.

Proof Collective also released its own NFT collection, prior to Moonbirds, called Grails. It featured work from some highly collectible creators, was exclusively available to Proof Collective members, and was free to mint.

Returning to the more recent launch, if you held Proof Collective you could mint Moonbirds, while holding Moonbirds gives access to Proof Collective. Holding a Moonbird also provides access to future Moonbird and Proof Collective projects and drops (including a metaverse-type project called Highrise), and there is a feature akin to a  staking  mechanism, referred to as nesting.

Traces of 2017

Viewed from a distance, what Moonbirds initially seems to offer is membership of a society, and the possibility of acquiring more assets in the future. Additionally, there has been some commentary suggesting that what Moonbirds has done is similar to raising funding for a startup, in which case, holding an NFT gives you exposure to the enterprise.

However, there is a lot that is unclear. Are Moonbirds and Proof Collective simply private clubs that occasionally magic into existence new and valuable assets for their clientele? Or are they startups, but in that case, what are they starting? And, is the creation of NFTs to raise funds for imprecisely defined ventures not alarmingly reminiscent of the ICO bubble of 2017?

Furthermore, while NFTs and web3 promise to be transformative technologies, are they beginning, in places, to appear elitist and walled-off? There are quarters forming that are accessible only to a select few, and it’s those who appear eager to steer the direction that the web will take who are putting price tags on participation.

Tokenized exclusion

A thought-provoking quality of NFTs is that they allow people to buy in and out of networks and communities. This sounds enticing, but realistically, it could also lead down a sub-optimal path. If NFT prices are stratospheric, and NFT groups come across as entities that the vast majority can’t access, then why should that vast majority care about NFTs?

And, if NFTs are a core component of what web3 aims to become, but NFTs start to deliberately exclude people, then where does that leave web3?

This all flies in stark contrast to both the early days of the web, and also to the culture and ambitions around  Bitcoin  .

The web promised and has, for the most part, delivered transparent access to information and resources, acting as a digital leveler that anyone could utilize in exactly the same way as anyone else, regardless of their background.

Bitcoin is at an earlier stage but aims to provide a new kind of money, rerouting power away from governments and central banks, enabling peer-to-peer financial interaction, and again, acting to level the playing field.

This is not to say that either the web or Bitcoin are without their faults, or that they have not both been extremely enriching for certain people. But, they certainly did not put getting rich at their core, and they have never aimed for deliberate exclusivity, or levered exclusivity (which is not the same as scarcity) as a selling point.

NFTs and crypto endure vicious, ignorant and often unfair criticism from attackers who, in some cases, never take the time to actually understand the technology, or to acknowledge any of the positives.

Relatedly, web3 has been called a rebranding of the word crypto that is more palatable to those who are doubtful about crypto culture. That reading is, I think, partly true, but it’s not a bad thing. If it takes a change in terminology to get people on board, then so be it, let’s label it all web3.

However, what should be avoided is onboarding people to web3, only for them to then discover that the crypto critics were right, and instead of a kaleidoscope of beneficial networks, it’s a clique of insiders, trading tickets from within walled gardens. A convolution of inaccessible members’ clubs is not a strong sell to casual users who lead busy lives.