News - Web3 - The new future or a waste of time?

By Ted Maas

Web3 - The new future or a waste of time?

Web 3.0

Is Web3 a dream that will not come true or will it be the future of the Internet? Two recent reports shed light on the current state of the crypto-internet. The conclusion? A message of hope.

Decentralized, open, participatory: Web3 wants to revolutionize the Internet. But after a brief hype in 2021, there is mostly disillusionment. Whether NFTs, DAOs and Airdrops, the Internet of tomorrow is a chaotic mosaic of projects and philosophies. Unfortunately, it often goes hand in hand with scams and scams. Two recent reports shed light on the current state of Web3, and inspire hope.

Worldwide, curiosity about Web3 is growing.

More than 15,000 respondents from 15 countries: Consensys (the company behind MetaMask) and YouGov, a leading opinion research institute, published a comprehensive report on Web3 this Monday, speaking of a shift from "user" to "builder." The rationale: a "international awareness of crypto and finance" and a "strong desire for ownership" - both physically and on the Internet.

Almost all (92 percent) of those surveyed have heard of crypto or Web3. 37 percent believe in the potential of crypto as the future of money and 31 percent believe in digital property rights, such as NFTs. Nearly 70 percent believe they should have property rights over their content created on the Internet. 79 percent want more control over their data. All promises that the new Internet wants to deliver on.

Web3 more popular than ever with major brands

Traditional companies remain bullish for Web3. This Monday, Coinbase, the largest exchange in the US, also published a major report on the new Internet. The message: the world’s most successful companies - the Fortune 500. Mercedes, Prada etc. have started Web3 initiatives. According to the survey, 83 percent of the Fortune 500 plan to do the same.

The model of success is provided by athletic footwear manufacturer Nike: with its own Web3 studio and NFT platform, Swoosh. It has generated US$186 million in sales, more than almost all other brands combined. Even more impressive is its social media engagement: over the past two years, Nike’s top three NFT collections generated 1.5 billion impressions - as many as Nike itself. And 800,000 mentions. Almost seven times more than Nike. So Web3 turns out to be a social phenomenon despite the criticism of many people.

The recipe for Nike’s strategy: tight-knit communities and diverse offerings. Users can explore galleries, discover other members’ virtual creations and profiles, and view and share their NFT collections. In terms of total revenue, NFTs still account for less than 0.1 percent of Nike’s revenue. And engagement outside the crypto community has so far been barely visible. Plenty of room for improvement, then.

Too good to be true?

Both reports were commissioned by companies with an economic interest in seeing Web3 in a positive light. Therefore, caution is warranted regarding the results. For critics such as journalist Molly White, Web3 is primarily a marketing tool, with no social benefit: "People couldn’t hear the word crypto anymore, so they started selling Web3 to them," She sees Web3 as the next buzzword after blockchain and AI. One thing is certain, the next year will be crucial for Web3 adoption.

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