Platform Lock-in

One of the most pervasive issues in web2 is that the large platforms all intend to lock their users in with both soft and hard mechanisms. The most common one is to simply lock your data within the platform. Instagram, for example, has all of your images along with communications between users and their contacts. If they wanted to leave the platform, there is no simple way to keep such social contents created by the users throughout their activities, which instead become only valuable to the platforms.

Unfortunately, many web3 platforms are copying from the same monopolistic playbook in the web2 regime. In terms of identity management, although they allow users to create pseudonymous identities which can be used to explore metaverse worlds, engage in DeFi, or create the next web3 use case, they attempt to lock the users to such pseudonymous identities. For example, users on Decentraland can not bring their same identity to Sandbox or vice versa, the same way as the Meta (Facebook) metaverse would not enable its users to use their platform identities in other metaverse system, at least not before it is sure to gain a monopolistic advantage.

It’s critical to note that identity provides access to owned assets and values. When identities are locked-in, so are assets. The permissionless and boundless networks of value sharing envisioned and promised by blockchain technologies is thus severely handicapped.

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