Don’t let a bear market get you down, Web 3.0 is still eating the world!
Web 3.0 is eating the world! This isn't some presumptuous hyperbole, it is a fact and there are already countless signs of how it's taking over the way we work, live and earn online.
Cast your mind back to the 90s, the world was seeing the so-called dot com bubble. The internet industry boomed as investors poured funds into dot com companies such as eBay and Amazon. At their peak, the combined market value of the 280 internet business stocks sat at a whopping $2.9 trillion and this was in the 90s when many people still didn't have computers in their homes. Of course, we know this bubble burst and ushered in a huge crash and many job losses. However, before things went bad they were really, really good and ultimately we now know that the internet didn't just vanish.
So even when dot com companies were thriving and the internet looked like a free for all of opportunity, there were still critics. From Finance to Business, Education, Entertainment, Science and Government, almost every sector had a negative opinion on the future of the internet. Of course, these have all been violently debunked!
An especially satisfying case brings us to this article written in 1995 by Cliff Stoll, an Astronomer and cybersleuth. He makes many assertions that are jaw-droppingly awkward when read today:
“I don’t believe that phone books, newspapers, magazines, or corner video stores will disappear as computer networks spread. Nor do I think that my telephone will merge with my computer, to become some sort of information appliance.”
“What will the electronic book look like? Some sort of miniature laptop computer, I’d guess... Try reading electronic books. They’re awful.”
“Video-on-demand, that killer application of communications, will remain a dream.”
These predictions seem cringe now, but in 1995 Stoll's perspective was common. Many distrusted and disregarded the internet and all it could become.
Doesn't this sound a lot like the Web 3.0 detractors of today?
Fast forward a few years to 2016 and we have the UN declaring internet access a human right. Here in 2022, there are over 5 billion of us using the internet out of an 8 billion strong global population. And as you can see the number has grown drastically year on year for the past decade.
So we can all agree, that the Web isn't going anywhere. The investment risk was very apparent in early Web 2 and is still present in Web 3 but the opportunities are ample.
We are all living in a web-centric world, the issue however is who owns that world and ultimately how this impacts all of us. Enter Web 3.0, the opportunity for us to own our identities, data and maintain privacy in the digital realm.
Blockchain technology promises us a more equitable route to the digital world we all want to exist in and it's only the beginning because Web 3.0 is growing every day.
The “Electric Capital 2021 Developer Report” analyzed data from nearly 500,000 code repositories and 160 million code commits across Web3 and found that Web 2 developers are rapidly jumping ship to Web 3. 65% of active developers and 45% of full-time developers started working on Web3 in the last year.
$17.9 billion (Crunchbase) was invested in around 1300 Web 3.0 startups in 2021. That number dwarfed the $2.1 billion invested in 790 web startups back in 2020.
Startups, however, aren't in this alone. Mastercard, Samsung, Paypal, Alphabet, and Microsoft are all getting involved, investing in multiple Web 3.0 businesses like Alchemy, Blockchain.com, Ledger, ConsenSys and Dapper Labs.
Additionally, some of the biggest names in business are both implementing Blockchain technology and building on it. For example, Visa, Shell, Coca-Cola, Mcdonald's, Shopify, and Amazon are among the names of those building with and on the Ethereum Blockchain.
The examples really do go on!
Take IBM, they are leveraging Blockchain tech to empower grocery chains like Kroger and Walmart to implement blockchain into their food handling processes. Supply chain management is one of the most promising use cases of Web 3.0 and the blockchain. Walmart worked with IBM to implement distributed ledger technology or DLT to successfully track the origins and freshness of pork from China and mangoes from Mexico.
Microsoft is leveraging the blockchain to solve previously difficult or unsolvable problems. Specifically, working with accounting firm EY and shipping giant Maersk to create the first blockchain-based marine insurance platform.
American Express has announced a partnership with crypto wealth management platform and wallet provider Abra. Launching a new card that will allow users transacting in U.S. dollars to earn cryptocurrency rewards on their purchases through the Amex network.
E-Commerce giant Overstock is another example, becoming the first major publicly-traded retailer to accept cryptocurrency.
Kodak, the formerly failing photo business has been resurrected from the dead due to the power of the Blockchain. Their platform KODAKOne uses ledger technology to protect the copyrights of images and videos enabling creators to establish their identity and prevent piracy and infringement. The 130-year-old company is also playing in the token space creating its very own KODAKCoin as a currency for licensing and purchasing images.
Whilst everyone isn't fully invested, many leading businesses are considering how they can benefit from Web 3 technology.
Pfizer is looking to the blockchain to help ensure the safety and security of its medicines.
Auto sector leaders such as Ford, BMW, General Motors and Renault are investigating the best use of Blockchain via a Consortium called 'The Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative' or MOBI. They are looking into how the blockchain can support self-driving car security.
Web 3.0 is rapidly being adopted by both scrappy innovators and established leaders alike. We can expect to see Web 3.0 infiltrate the way we use social media next.
The current web 2 version of social media delivered on two-way communication and empowered creators to build platforms, but none of us can own what we've helped build. User-generated content drives these platforms and in return, they give us the ability to connect, market and communicate directly with friends, family and customers. Whilst there has never been a cost associated with using social media it is a common understanding that if you're not paying to use a product, then you are the product.
So as users, we create all of this value, yet we don't benefit or even own our digital identities. Web 3.0 presents an opportunity for decentralized, community-owned social platforms. Users of this type of social network will be more like partners and so will share in the value creation whilst participating in governance and the running of the platform.
In practice, this looks like a content creator on a decentralized version of Facebook, Twitter or YouTube retaining more control of their digital identity and being rewarded for the activity and value they create on that platform. Examples of where this is already happening include Deso org and Lensprotocol created by the founders of AAVE.
We can also expect Web 3.0 to infiltrate even the most critical areas of government in the form of voting tech. Many Web 3.0 enthusiasts feel that soon blockchain technology will be leveraged for secure, online voting in government and private elections. An incredible opportunity to combat some of the integrity and accessibility concerns around voting. There are still many detractors for this specific use case but speedy and consistent innovation in the space is likely to remove any doubts as time progresses.
On a more lighthearted note, Web 3.0 is even powering the entertainment industry. The growing popularity and fame of certain NFTs combined with the commercial rights utility available creates an exciting and novel opportunity. A prime example is Seth Green using his once stolen then bought back Bored Ape as the main antagonist in a series he is developing called "White Horse Tavern. Green paid over $200k for this Ape initially and then an additional $260k in ransom to recover his main character.
The commercial rights utility of the Bored Ape Yacht Club collection has seen the characters used for Burger joints and Magazine covers. Green's tv show is just the first of many potential commercial rights opportunities NFT collectors will be able to make use of as their character NFTs grow in popularity and visibility.
Web 3.0 is eating the world, and for those ambitious, smart and hungry enough there is unlimited potential in this space.