Jack Dorsey and Marc Andreessen’s Crypto Feud Puts Web3 at Risk

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Intentions aside, things go awry. There are bugs and hacks and there are kinks yet to be worked out.

ConstitutionDAO, a group hastily created to bid on an original copy of the U.S. Constitution, raised about $47 million in November from thousands of investors. But after it lost the auction bid, DAO’s core team struggled to come up with a plan to return investments as contributors bickered in online group chats. The average investment was about $200, but now the investors may have to pay that much in fees to get their crypto back. (ConstitutionDAO did not respond to a request for comment.)

Proponents across the web3 ideological divide have been working to woo lawmakers. Venture capitalists are pushing policy proposals meant to influence officials to embrace web3. Believers in the revolution, like Mr. Selkis of Messari, have compiled lists of politicians to support. But the movement still appears to lack a unified front.

The debate that Mr. Dorsey sparked last month has continued online, though it appears he has begun to direct his attention elsewhere. On Thursday, he started a Bitcoin legal defense fund for developers who face “legal headaches,” and he said Block would get involved with mining Bitcoin.

Andreessen Horowitz’s policy team has been looking beyond Washington, publishing proposals for global leaders on how to become “web3 republics.”

Crypto, however, is not the only issue on every tech billionaire’s mind.

Mr. Bankman-Fried, the founder of the FTX exchange, gave roughly $5 million to the Biden campaign during the last election and said he had already made “a number of donations” to midterm election campaigns. He isn’t planning to flex his considerable financial muscle on behalf of web3. Instead, he said, his concern is “pandemic preparedness.”

There’s a little bit of lazy thinking going on right now in some cases where people will just say, like, ‘Ah, you know, like everything’s going to be better in web3 land,’” he mused. “And I don’t know — some things will be. But you can’t just say the word web3 and then assume that makes things better.”