Billionaires are battling it out on Twitter. Again. This time it’s a tussle between the Block founder and former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and the prominent Silicon Valley venture capitalist Marc Andreessen.
Their feud, which escalated on Wednesday when Andreessen blocked Dorsey from reading his Twitter posts, has drawn online eye-rolls and comparisons to a schoolyard dust-up, but it raises a serious set of questions around who gets to build the future of the Internet.
Dorsey ribbed Andreessen’s VC firm early this week when he tweeted that so-called Web3 technologies — an amorphous collection of tools and ideas that backers believe could form the basis for a new decentralised Web — have been corrupted by investments and influence of venture capital firms, particularly Andreessen Horowitz.
“You don’t own ‘web3’,” Dorsey tweeted late on Monday. “The VCs and their LPs do. It will never escape their incentives.”
Web3 is “somewhere between a and z”, Dorsey wrote, referencing a common shorthand for the venture capital firm Andreessen co-founded, which goes by a16z.
Seemingly incensed by the barb, Andreessen blocked Dorsey from seeing or responding to his tweets, prompting another quip from Dorsey. “I’m officially banned from web3,” the Twitter co-founder joked.
Andreessen declined to comment through a representative for his firm. A representative for Block didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Dorsey, a bitcoin diehard who said he hopes the cryptocurrency will one day deliver “world peace”, has been working on blockchain and crypto-related technologies at Block and Twitter. But while some of the projects he’s spun up were funded by his companies, they operate independently.
Andreessen Horowitz, meanwhile, has been one of the most prolific investors in crypto and Web3 technology start-ups.
Dorsey believes any truly decentralised technology needs to be fully independent, as he made clear in an exchange with Chris Dixon, another Andreessen Horowitz investor, on Monday night. “It’s critical we focus our energy on truly secure and resilient technologies owned by the mass of people, not individuals or institutions,” Dorsey tweeted. — (c) 2021 Bloomberg LP