But the Cambridge director of Link Ventures was surrounded by a group of entrepreneurs, investors and opinion leaders who believe we are on the brink of a technological revolution. And they met the night before a conference designed to cement Boston’s place in a new industry based on crypto technology.
The event was called the Imagination in action Web3 Summit† It took up the top floor of the MIT Media Lab last week and was the first of six similar events to take place over the next two years in Boston, San Francisco and Davos, Switzerland. Werner, who compiled the guest list, said several times during the day that people who travel to each location at least once chia pet†
“Web3…there’s a lot we need to figure out,” he said during his opening address. “Is it hype? Is it real? Is it a mirage? We are here to explore the possibilities.”
He said his web3 summits would be very different from crypto conferences like Consensus, which he said drew “snake oil-like salesmen” to Austin, Texas last month.
“We don’t want to be so famous,” Werner said.
In fact, the summit was more Allen & Co Sun Valley Conference-esque. But while that conference, hosted by an investment bank, convenes the internet moguls like Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg, Werner wants his top to sign the top people building web3, a future version of the web based on blockchain technologies and principles.
The big difference between web2 and web3 is who owns – and benefits from – data. Web3 advocates want to build an internet where individuals have more control over their own data and how it is used.
“We think the next Google or Amazon could be two people who met here today,” Werner said.
The atmosphere of this summit was different, compared to other crypto-related gatherings which are usually dominated by young boys in t-shirts, hoodies and baseball caps. This one felt a bit more conservative and included older men wearing shirts and khakis.
And while other conferences are known for parties that last a long time into the early hours the event at MIT started before 9am and ended around 6pm
“I have not met a single crypto brother and I am thankful for that,” one person wrote in a feedback form after the event.
At this point, no one knows where web3 will go — or what role MIT or Boston will play in the future. But at least some people can walk away with a chia pet.