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Software engineer Molly White created the website Web3 Is Going Just Great in December 2021. Last year, the idea of “Web3″—a revolutionary new internet built on blockchain technology, which purported to be democratic and censorship-free—exploded on the scene, as Hollywood celebrities flaunted their Bored Ape NFTs and venture firm A16Z invested billions in crypto-related endeavors. But White was having none of it. Amid the hype, she set out to expose what she calls “an enormous grift that’s pouring lighter fluid on our already smoldering planet.” Her site and companion Twitter feed document the flops, scams, hacks, and scandals rife within Web3. White posts updates nearly every day and is meticulous in her citations.
To hammer home the cost of what she describes as a “harmful industry that’s doing damage to a lot of vulnerable people,” her site also features a “grift counter” that tallies the money lost by investors wooed by Web3 evangelists. The current total as of early August? More than $10.2 billion.
In January, White discovered a commercial hawking million-dollar shares of a yet-unbuilt island called “Cryptoland,” and her assessment of it led to its removal from YouTube. She responded to the New York Times‘ sprawling tutorial “The Latecomer’s Guide to Crypto” with an annotated version offering caveats and opposing viewpoints. Earlier this year, she led a campaign that persuaded the Wikimedia Foundation to stop taking crypto donations.
Web3 Is Going Just Great currently has more than 100,000 followers on Twitter, but “the dream scenario,” White says, “is if it didn’t have to exist.”