Web3: Beyond the promise

Web3 will be the future of the internet. That’s what supporters of the decentralized version of the web believe, even when the hype has died down somewhat. Will Web3 deliver all its promises in the end? “Within a decade issuing digital assets will be as common for organizations as having a website.”

Web3 is supposed to be an answer to an imperfection of the internet. The web has become increasingly interactive over time, but who has benefited so far? Especially the big tech companies, it seems. The more you post and like on Facebook, the more parent company Meta benefits. Releasing your music on Spotify is easy, but per stream you only keep a few cents at most. Even platform companies like Uber and Airbnb are still centrally controlled, so those who contribute the most aren’t rewarded.

On Web3 users and creators themselves are the owners instead of a small group of shareholders. This is because it uses decentralized applications based on blockchain technology. “The potential of Web3 lies mainly in rewarding the input users give – in time or creativity, for example – in a more equal way”, says Bram Kanstein. He is co-founder of Web3 company EARLY ONES. “That can be in money but also in the form of a token, such as an NFT (see the ‘Web3 speak’ box) or voting rights. This is in contrast to free services where you are the product yourself.” As an example he cites decent.xyz, where emerging artists make a portion of their royalties from new work available for users. Those users can buy an NFT from there that entitles them to a percentage of the royalties.

Prove your reputation

“That ownership is also tradable. If I sell a thousand NFT’s with certain access to me as an artist, then that makes me more money than a million streams on Spotify.” Such a token would also allow owners to prove, for example, that they were one of the first thousand fans of an artist. “Imagine the new Lady Gaga starting on such a platform, you could prove your reputation as a music connoisseur that way.”

His platform EARLY ONES is meant for anyone who has a good idea for a digital service or product. “We help to do market research so people don’t have to put hours into development. People who build something new create a listing, a kind of advertisement with us. We offer help with that in exchange for a fee. Other users can give feedback. Users are anonymous, but we can collect data on age, gender, activity and so on. By combining these, creators get a good picture of their potential users without having to do expensive market research themselves. This is how we match users with creators. Everyone who provides valuable input gets a reward in crypto coins.”

Points for comments

“Within a decade issuing digital assets will be as common for organizations as having a website.” That’s what entrepreneur Mieszko Czyzyk thinks. “NFT’s now are often thought of as jpeg files, but they can also be concert tickets or documents. It may not be a very sexy example, but tokens are already being used in the port of Rotterdam to replace the paper documents needed to track containers. They automatically process cargo documents. The law has even been changed slightly to make that possible.” Czyzyk’s company THX Network makes it easy for organizations to launch and use digital assets such as tokens and NFT’s. “There is no need to write code to do so. We bring a complicated and costly development process down to a process of a few seconds.”

One of THX Network’s customers is the United Nations Development Program. “With funding from the EU we built a proof of concept. The platform allows staff and policy officers worldwide to collaborate on policy. Our solution helps to visualize who the users are and what they’re talking about. When people contribute, for example by posting comments or uploading an article, they get points for it.” The THX Network protocol also has its own token. “We introduced that in a legally sound way and it is available through exchanges like Uniswap.”

Tokens offer more and more possibilities. Even WAES consultants have received a real NFT. “We asked our consultants to create a wallet so that we could send them the token”, says Erikson Murrugarra, senior software engineer at the consultancy company. “At the moment it has no monetary value and perhaps a WAES token may not be monetized, but we have to see how it develops. Consultants can decide for themselves how much it is worth to them.” When you are a developer and you are interested in Web3, there are plenty of opportunities, he says.


This is an article from The Spartan, a magazine by WAES.

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