Article Welcome to the Age of the Builder


June 27, 2023


Joseph Lubin

Welcome to the Age of the Builder

At Consensys, we believe the web3 paradigm will awaken and empower the builder in everyone.


Reading time

4 min.

In 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto invented a new kind of global ledger, the blockchain. In doing so, he invented a fundamentally new kind of trust — decentralized trust. Satoshi flipped the societal trust vector upside down by shifting the trust paradigm from a top-down model, administered by authorities and their intermediaries, to a bottom-up, power-of-the-people-model based on a global open database that logs all transactions, enabling anyone to directly inspect what happens and when. Fast forward to the present day and this paradigm shift of progressive decentralization, known as web3, is already rightsizing or replacing intermediaries in industries like entertainment, where that mediation is extracting outsized value or wielding consolidated power. 

The web3 paradigm shift we’re witnessing starkly contrasts with the business models of the last century, where corporations have operated in adversarial relationships with their customers, extracting as much value as possible in exchange for as little as possible. In many ways, the business model of the web so far has been a hangover from the dominant business model of the 20th Century: manufacture products for sale and advertise to create (often artificial) demand. What’s more, social media and AI algorithms have made this business model even more toxic and dangerous to society.

Decentralized protocols and decentralized organizations will finally usher in the native business model of the web, which will be community-centric and user-empowering in contrast to the exploitative models of web2.

In recognition and reaction to such exploitative practices, we at Consensys have observed over the years how the power that once resided solely within centralized corporations is becoming progressively decentralized by the diverse creativity of the growing web3 ecosystem.

Everyday our ecosystem builds the technology to enable a world where trust is decentralized, creators maintain control over their works, the power of finance becomes accessible to all, and individuals have much more control and influence over the systems upon which their lives and identities depend. We are building a world where we are not just passive consumers on the web or worse, products monetized by social media companies.  Finally we will all be active builders of the web, realizing its long anticipated potential. 

We have come to understand that in order to see the web3 paradigm shift through, a broad spectrum of talents, skills, and experiences are required. It has become clear to us that the builders in web3 are not only software developers, researchers, and entrepreneurs. They are artists, writers, musicians, protocol politicians, educators… Each bringing a unique perspective to form the collective essence and ultimately, wisdom, at the core of web3 and an increasingly decentralized future. 

Everyone in web3 is building and thus, we celebrate them as a Builder. Whether it's an NFT, a collection of them, a dapp, a DAO, a policy, a protocol, or a well-informed vote — the builder spark is alive in each and every one of us. It is existential: I build, therefore I am.

I build, therefore I am

Joseph Lubin

Consensys will not lead the paradigm shift to a much more decentralized future. Designating leaders seems antithetical. We will endeavor to steward it, alongside the growing number of stewards in our ecosystem and beyond. Stewards prioritize the collective benefit and wellbeing of the system in which we are all embedded. In concert with all of you, we will collectively create the world we want to live in. And we will energize this movement by awakening and empowering the builder in all of us. 

Today we unveiled a new Consensys brand identity, designed to awaken the builder spark in everyone. Through this new dynamic brand, Consensys is framing what it means to be a builder and highlighting the belief that we are not passive users on the web. We are the builders of the next generation of the web, web3.

The insight “if the service is free, you’re the product,” that describes many big tech business models is no longer acceptable. For too long big tech has capitalized on the complacency that the media-advertising-industrial-complex of the early 21st century has instilled in order to run their business model on steroids.

The Consensys brand evolution represents a belief that there are no passive consumers of culture. There are no passive members of decentralized community. And there are no passive users of web3. There are only builders and participating members. Our new brand is an alignment with our core values, our ambition, our ecosystem, and our mission is inclusive of everyone we engage with. But don’t think our new brand is based on conviction alone.

Bridging the information gap to onboard the next million builders 

Today we've also published a global survey on crypto and web3 that is ripe with data insights our new brand will be a beacon of. The survey is an in-depth analysis of public opinion about crypto, blockchain, and web3 from over 15,000 respondents, across 15 countries worldwide. The survey tells us where we are, post the negative events of 2022, in which certain actors co-opted the idea of decentralization and used it as a marketing tool to exploit naive consumers.  We who employ decentralization as a design principle thank those exploiters for drawing attention to our industry, and must now educate the world on how the tools of decentralization can and will serve as foundations for better, more equitable systems in all industries.

Key insights reveal a high awareness of the systematic shortcomings of the web2 model like lack of privacy and ownership, but that people around the world still don’t associate the solution to these issues with web3. 

While 92% of respondents reported an awareness of cryptocurrencies, only 8% were familiar with the concept of web3. 82% of respondents said privacy is important to them, 77% would like more control over their identities online, and 70% want ownership of their data:

arrow-bottom-right icon Image Source: Consensys Web3 & Crypto Global Survey 2023

Web3 & Crypto Global Survey 2023 Image

This survey shows us that there is a clear opportunity to bridge the information gap and double down on the promise of web3 to shift control to builders. It’s time to show the world that digital ownership and greater economic and political agency is everyone’s right and will be facilitated by blockchain and crypto, and that crypto is the future of money and a wide variety of programmable digital assets. Access the full report here to keep learning. 

And it’s not enough to simply talk about these actions. We knew upon revealing our new brand and this survey that creating a forum for people to engage with web3 and get started was the next step.

A global virtual hackathon for builders to Shift+Control

This is why we’re also launching today our first-ever global, virtual hackathon, Not Another Virtual Hackathon. The Not Another Virtual Hackathon is a virtual space anyone – no matter who you are or what your skillset is – can attend to learn, build, and join the web3 community. Why the name? 

Because just like our brand, this hackathon is inclusive to every single kind of builder. Whether you’re coding, minting, designing, or just want to learn, there’s a place for you. 

The hackathon runs from July 6th to September 6th with open enrollment throughout to ensure ample time for builders to connect with the global web3 community and ship the next set of disruptive dapps. Sign up here and join us for the opening ceremony on July 6th.

The future is yours to build. Let’s Shift+Control.