Web3 is here to stay. While the debate continues on whether blockchains, crypto, or even NFTs will be around much longer, those who understand the impact of this technology are asking a different question. Instead of “Will these technologies last?”, they are looking ahead at how they will inevitably impact our future.
The conversation around Web3 usually stops at surface-level topics or obscure predictions, while its practical implications are dismissed as an afterthought. Preparing for the future doesn’t necessarily mean selecting which outfit you want to wear in the metaverse; it means recognizing the presence of Web3 in the everyday parts of our lives and picking up on subtle shifts that can serve as clues to where we’re heading.
Here are four predictions on how crypto and blockchain technology will transform the world as we know it and reshape our future.
Redefining power and identity
One of the biggest shifts culturally that we will face is a shift in our digital identity. Michael Calce, Founder and CEO of Decentraweb, says that a user's identity, specifically in the metaverse, will be directly “tied to their wallets,” meaning that what people purchase and how they engage with brands will be on an open ledger for the world to see where they spend their time and money.
Couple that with structural changes to the way our interactions are governed – moving away from centralized power and toward the distribution of it – and there will be less censorship. Calce states, “There will be DAOs that allow the members of a metaverse to make decisions about what they’ll accept and what they won’t – the power will be in the hands of the community, the collective.” The hope is that this distribution of power will give a voice to anyone with a crypto wallet, giving them a say not only in their own dealings but in the governance of the whole group.
Whatever way you look at these structural changes, they’re happening. We need to be ready to not only meet that change but take charge of the way it happens.
Creating better opportunities for creators
Although blockchain technology has seen its fair share of critics, it has undeniably offered a solution to many of the challenges we face. Alex Nicholls, CEO of SWALLOW, says that while the general population may be steering clear at the moment, “I think they will come around quickly and accept Web3. After all, who knows how the internet works, or Bluetooth, or wireless, let alone what's behind a light switch or under the bonnet of a car?”
One of the problems that Web3 is addressing is wealth distribution and ownership. A major benefit of blockchain technology is that it lends itself to global scalability with regards to digital property ownership and royalty distribution. Nicholls adds, “Right now, an artist in any discipline can mint an NFT with original ownership and royalties hard-coded into the contract, ensuring that the creator is paid every time that NFT is sold, forever.”
Who can argue with that? Throughout history, artists have been underpaid and overlooked. Web3 is not just about advancing technology, it is providing a welcome disruption to creative industries.
Bridging digital and real-world utility to elevate value
One of the many perks of smart contracts is the unlimited potential of utility. As the space advances, businesses and project founders will be forced to creatively add value to their digital assets, specifically in the form of physical goods. Nimantha Siriwardana, Co-Founder and CTO of Metacask, says, “The untapped value of physical assets (not classed as securities or commodities) is huge. Real estate is leading the way, but beyond that, there are many industries that can benefit from this technology – events and ticketing, supply chain, luxury goods, and more.”
Siriwardana says that the world of collectibles is an example of a space that is being transformed by NFT technology. He notes that these new digital assets are “providing a real utility – associating provenance and proof-of-ownership records, along with creating access and liquidity for users and collectors. The benefits don't end solely at ownership.”
It is interesting to consider this within the context of building brand engagement and the variety of services that will emerge as companies attempt to meet consumers growing expectations.
Traditionally in the entertainment scene, fans' decision-making power has been limited to the decision to consume something or not. The most elaborate choice they are usually given is which option to watch from a marquee board or an endless scroll of shows on their favorite streaming channel. If they watch something and love it, they may hit a ‘like’ button or leave a review.
It has been rumored that it will be a norm within entertainment industries to bring its viewers into the creative process by giving them a voice in the direction production takes. Pannathorn Lorattawut, CEO of VUCA Digital from the CROWN Token Project, believes that “fans will not remain simple fans. They will be co-owners and co-creators of the media they choose.”
Web3 is tearing down the barriers between those in power and those being dictated to and creating a new world where all voices can be heard. Whether you are on the floor of a production studio or in the comfort of your home, you will be able to confidently look at your screen and say, “I made that.”
The future is our imagination
The future of blockchain technology may seem unpredictable. When we look at it through the lens of human behavior, it is clear that, although the tech is constantly evolving, we as human beings remain generally the same.
Crypto, blockchain, and other Web3 developments have the power to bring about the change we have long advocated for: equality, access, and connection. Where will it go from here, and what problems will it solve? That’s up to us.