If you follow cryptocurrencies, you will have noticed the term web3 coming to prominence. Sometimes web3 is simply applied as a convenient synonym for cryptocurrency and works as a kind of rebranding. If crypto doesn’t hold the nuance your project is hoping to carry, then switch to web3 instead, which sounds more respectable and less risky.

However, applied more accurately, web3 has a distinct, specific meaning, and if we transition into web3, then new, crypto-native tech ventures may step up and play important roles.

What Exactly Is Web3?

The web3 descriptor refers to a proposed next iteration of the web which is in the process of being developed. Web1, the earliest version of the web, was for the most part read-only.

Web 2 followed and was allowed for reading and writing, or content creation. This is what we have now, whereby anyone (or in reality, anyone granted permission) can create blog posts, upload videos to YouTube, or post social media content, and users can establish their own online presence.

Web3 is similar to web2 but allows for ownership. Instead of relying on gated applications which, ultimately, control our content, on web3 we have ownership of our own digital property. Web3 utilizes blockchain technology to do this and is intended to be decentralized, meaning tech entities (or anyone else) cannot place restrictions on the online environment.

Will Web2 Giants Make the Switch?

Facebook has been the web2 powerhouse most explicit in its manoeuvring, going as far as to rebrand itself as Meta (the metaverse is a web3-related concept), and releasing videos showcasing its pivot into metaverse development.

A hitch for Facebook, though, is that while the company has enormous clout in the current landscape, and Mark Zuckerberg clearly knows the industry inside out, it is one of the most conspicuous examples of exactly what web3 advocates are angling away from.

In fact, take any of web2’s main players, and you’ll find restrictive, rule-bound platforms, on which content creators (meaning users) have no stake in the underlying platform itself, and where freedom to publish is entirely at the whim of whoever happens to be in charge of terms and conditions.

Web3 represents not simply a technological shift, but a shift in ideology away from the controlling and overly centralized, but highly efficient network that web2 has evolved into.

Perhaps the traditional brands that might best excel in web3 are those not from the tech industry who are choosing to collaborate with newly emerging categorically web3 entities.

We have seen Adidas team up with Bored Ape Yacht Club, while Nike acquired, and adapted to, the digital collectibles brand, RTFKT. Away from sports and streetwear, there are further examples of fashion venturing into crypto/web3 from the likes of Dolce and Gabbana, Tiffany, Burberry and many more.

The art world also seems to have a savvy instinctive grasp of where web3 might be leading, likely due to NFTs being picked up by artists as an experimental mechanism to sell and distribute work.

Notably, Sotheby’s auction house established Sotheby’s Metaverse, and Christie’s has created Christie’s 3.0. Both of these novel platforms are centered around NFT art.

Which Web3 Projects Are Leading?

There are many new crypto-native organizations, and a key question is which of them can stand out in and shape web3. To get some hints, we need to look especially towards the world of NFTs, from which several key players have emerged.

Yuga Labs

Established in 2021, Yuga Labs created the unapologetically gaudy Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection, arguably the only NFT project yet to have broken into mainstream awareness.

Yuga is now working with the metaverse development outfit, Improbable, but it is also astute to how traditional media operates, signing as a client with the tech investor and music industry manager, Guy Oseary, who also happens to have Madonna on his books. And, the long-standing pop icon herself has plunged into NFT ownership this year by purchasing, naturally, a Bored Ape.

Proof Collective

Having been co-founded by influential web entrepreneur Kevin Rose, Proof Collective establishes a link from web2 to web3. Proof is heavily art-oriented, and appears far more tuned in to the NFT world and its culture than, for example, Facebook/Meta.

Earlier this year, Proof launched Moonbirds, a 10,000-piece NFT collection whose holders gain access to the Proof/Moonbirds ecosystem, but also, perhaps, more importantly, hold a stake in a big-name and potentially disruptive web3 venture.

Wenew

For those immersed in NFTs, Wenew is of note because it was co-founded by Beeple (real name Mike Winkelmann), the artist behind the most expensive NFT ever sold to a single owner. For those less familiar with the ins and outs of NFTs, Wenew may be of interest due to its being co-founded with Guy Oseary, who, as noted, is associated with Yuga Labs.

Wenew is an NFT platform, which perhaps sounds unremarkable as a description. However, Wenew stands out for, besides its founders, who also include Michael Figge and Tim Smith, the scope of its partnerships, taking in real-world sports (tennis star Andy Murray) and high-end fashion (Louis Vuitton and Gucci), side-by-side with the currently still niche NFT project 10KTF.

Can Web3 Be a Level Playing Field?

As mentioned, a central premise of web3 is that, unlike web2, it should not be controlled by outsized entities who exercise centralized power. As such, we might reasonably infer that dominance by a small number of large projects should not occur.

However, take a look at the NFT market, and we already see a handful of famous collections within which market dominance is concentrated. In the emerging web3 proto-network, there is extreme volatility and flux, but it may transpire that human nature and market forces lead to informal centralization, even within technically decentralized environments.

If you follow cryptocurrencies, you will have noticed the term web3 coming to prominence. Sometimes web3 is simply applied as a convenient synonym for cryptocurrency and works as a kind of rebranding. If crypto doesn’t hold the nuance your project is hoping to carry, then switch to web3 instead, which sounds more respectable and less risky.

However, applied more accurately, web3 has a distinct, specific meaning, and if we transition into web3, then new, crypto-native tech ventures may step up and play important roles.

What Exactly Is Web3?

The web3 descriptor refers to a proposed next iteration of the web which is in the process of being developed. Web1, the earliest version of the web, was for the most part read-only.

Web 2 followed and was allowed for reading and writing, or content creation. This is what we have now, whereby anyone (or in reality, anyone granted permission) can create blog posts, upload videos to YouTube, or post social media content, and users can establish their own online presence.

Web3 is similar to web2 but allows for ownership. Instead of relying on gated applications which, ultimately, control our content, on web3 we have ownership of our own digital property. Web3 utilizes blockchain technology to do this and is intended to be decentralized, meaning tech entities (or anyone else) cannot place restrictions on the online environment.

Will Web2 Giants Make the Switch?

Facebook has been the web2 powerhouse most explicit in its manoeuvring, going as far as to rebrand itself as Meta (the metaverse is a web3-related concept), and releasing videos showcasing its pivot into metaverse development.

A hitch for Facebook, though, is that while the company has enormous clout in the current landscape, and Mark Zuckerberg clearly knows the industry inside out, it is one of the most conspicuous examples of exactly what web3 advocates are angling away from.

In fact, take any of web2’s main players, and you’ll find restrictive, rule-bound platforms, on which content creators (meaning users) have no stake in the underlying platform itself, and where freedom to publish is entirely at the whim of whoever happens to be in charge of terms and conditions.

Web3 represents not simply a technological shift, but a shift in ideology away from the controlling and overly centralized, but highly efficient network that web2 has evolved into.

Perhaps the traditional brands that might best excel in web3 are those not from the tech industry who are choosing to collaborate with newly emerging categorically web3 entities.

We have seen Adidas team up with Bored Ape Yacht Club, while Nike acquired, and adapted to, the digital collectibles brand, RTFKT. Away from sports and streetwear, there are further examples of fashion venturing into crypto/web3 from the likes of Dolce and Gabbana, Tiffany, Burberry and many more.

The art world also seems to have a savvy instinctive grasp of where web3 might be leading, likely due to NFTs being picked up by artists as an experimental mechanism to sell and distribute work.

Notably, Sotheby’s auction house established Sotheby’s Metaverse, and Christie’s has created Christie’s 3.0. Both of these novel platforms are centered around NFT art.

Which Web3 Projects Are Leading?

There are many new crypto-native organizations, and a key question is which of them can stand out in and shape web3. To get some hints, we need to look especially towards the world of NFTs, from which several key players have emerged.

Yuga Labs

Established in 2021, Yuga Labs created the unapologetically gaudy Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection, arguably the only NFT project yet to have broken into mainstream awareness.

Yuga is now working with the metaverse development outfit, Improbable, but it is also astute to how traditional media operates, signing as a client with the tech investor and music industry manager, Guy Oseary, who also happens to have Madonna on his books. And, the long-standing pop icon herself has plunged into NFT ownership this year by purchasing, naturally, a Bored Ape.

Proof Collective

Having been co-founded by influential web entrepreneur Kevin Rose, Proof Collective establishes a link from web2 to web3. Proof is heavily art-oriented, and appears far more tuned in to the NFT world and its culture than, for example, Facebook/Meta.

Earlier this year, Proof launched Moonbirds, a 10,000-piece NFT collection whose holders gain access to the Proof/Moonbirds ecosystem, but also, perhaps, more importantly, hold a stake in a big-name and potentially disruptive web3 venture.

Wenew

For those immersed in NFTs, Wenew is of note because it was co-founded by Beeple (real name Mike Winkelmann), the artist behind the most expensive NFT ever sold to a single owner. For those less familiar with the ins and outs of NFTs, Wenew may be of interest due to its being co-founded with Guy Oseary, who, as noted, is associated with Yuga Labs.

Wenew is an NFT platform, which perhaps sounds unremarkable as a description. However, Wenew stands out for, besides its founders, who also include Michael Figge and Tim Smith, the scope of its partnerships, taking in real-world sports (tennis star Andy Murray) and high-end fashion (Louis Vuitton and Gucci), side-by-side with the currently still niche NFT project 10KTF.

Can Web3 Be a Level Playing Field?

As mentioned, a central premise of web3 is that, unlike web2, it should not be controlled by outsized entities who exercise centralized power. As such, we might reasonably infer that dominance by a small number of large projects should not occur.

However, take a look at the NFT market, and we already see a handful of famous collections within which market dominance is concentrated. In the emerging web3 proto-network, there is extreme volatility and flux, but it may transpire that human nature and market forces lead to informal centralization, even within technically decentralized environments.



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