Tech

Jack Dorsey blocked on Twitter by Marc Andreessen after Web3 comments

Key Points
  • The block comes after Dorsey criticized the venture capital industry and made several remarks about Andreessen Horowitz in particular.
  • The entrepreneur said "Web3" — a potential new decentralized version of the internet based on blockchain — would be owned by rich VCs like Andreessen instead of "the people".
  • "I'm officially banned from Web3," Dorsey tweeted Wednesday alongside a screenshot showing he had been blocked by Andreessen.
Jack Dorsey, co-founder and chairman of Twitter and co-founder & CEO of Square, speaks on stage at the Bitcoin 2021 Convention in Miami.
Joe Raedle | Getty Images

Jack Dorsey has been blocked on Twitter, the social media platform he co-founded, by renowned venture capitalist Marc Andreessen.

The block comes after Dorsey criticized certain corners of the venture capital industry and made several specific remarks about the firm Andreessen co-founded, Andreessen Horowitz.

This week, Dorsey has expressed multiple views on "Web3" — a potential new decentralized version of the internet based on blockchain. Perhaps most notably, the entrepreneur said Web3 would be owned by rich VCs like Andreessen instead of "the people".

"You don't own 'web3,' he tweeted. "The VCs and their LPs do. It will never escape their incentives. It's ultimately a centralized entity with a different label."

Then, on Wednesday, Dorsey tweeted: "I'm officially banned from Web3," alongside a screenshot showing he had been blocked by Andreessen. His tweet prompted several other Twitter users who have also been blocked by Andreessen to share similar screenshots.

Andreessen, who has made billions off the back of early bets on companies like Facebook, has backed a number of companies that are working on technologies that could one day underpin Web3.

Andreessen also invented, with programmer Eric Bina, the first widely used, point-and-click web browser, which eventually became Netscape.

Andreessen Horowitz has a page on its website called "web3 Policy Hub," with the subhed: "We Deserve a Better Internet."

"We don't have all the answers, but we're eager to work with policymakers, civil society, and other partners to define an affirmative vision for how to use these powerful new tools to benefit society," the VC says.

The firm did not immediately respond to a CNBC request for comment on Thursday.

What is Web3?

Web3 remains a hazy concept, but the idea is that it will be powered by the blockchain, the technology behind many major cryptocurrencies and nonfungible tokens, or NFTs. A plethora of entrepreneurs around the world are trying to design and build the technologies and protocols that would support Web3.  

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Top analyst on Web3 and venture capital's role in the space

Advocates of Web3, which would follow Web1 and Web2, believe today's online platforms are too centralized and controlled by a handful of large internet companies, like AmazonAppleAlphabet and Facebook parent company Meta

When Tesla CEO Elon Musk asked his 67.4 million Twitter followers if any of them had seen Web3, Dorsey hinted that it's already under the control of Andreessen Horowitz.

"It's somewhere between a and z," said Dorsey, who stepped down as Twitter CEO last month to focus on his payments start-up, Block, formerly Square.

Web3′s army of supporters want to see the power of the internet put in the hands of the people, not VCs. They believe it's too big and important for a small number of companies or investors to manage. Today the internet is vital to the global economy and plays a role in powering everything from nuclear facilities to hospitals.

Marc Andreessen, co-founder and general partner of Andreessen Horowitz
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Beyond the internet, there's also a big push to decentralize finance (DeFi) that is being led by cryptocurrency entrepreneurs and fans of coins like bitcoin and ether.

Dorsey, who has raised money from VCs for Twitter and Block, is himself is a big proponent of bitcoin and his Twitter bio is simply "#bitcoin" followed by the bitcoin symbol. However, he's less keen on other cryptocurrencies.

Late on Wednesday, he replied to a Twitter user saying he's not necessarily anti-ethereum, a technology powering the cryptocurrency ether (ETH) and thousands of decentralized applications including several that have been backed by Andreessen Horowitz.

"I'm anti-centralized, VC-owned, single point of failure, and corporate controlled lies," Dorsey said. "If your goal is anti establishment, I promise you it isn't ethereum."