Web3: Differing Visions for the Future of the Internet at Awwwards

Thunderfoot Team

Everyone’s talking about Web3, but they don’t all have the same idea of what it means.

Earlier this month, we attended Awwwards’ Digital Thinkers Conference, a fantastic opportunity to connect with like-minded professionals and learn more about design best practices, Web3, and the future of the Internet.

While some speakers spoke enthusiastically in favor of the Metaverse, Web3, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), others were more cautious, skeptical, or downright against them. Web3, in particular, continues to be a massive topic of discussion with no signs of slowing down, so I wanted to bring some highlights on the topic from the conference to you below. Let’s dive in! 

The Basics of Web3

But first, if you’re not entirely familiar with Web3, the Metaverse, and NFTs, here’s a brief overview: 

Web3: Takes things further than Web1 and Web2, giving users added ownership and decision-making input. Though Web3 is still being defined, everyone seems to agree on a few things: 

  • Web3 is decentralized, meaning increased privacy, security, and control over data and less censorship and surveillance.
  • Web3 relies on cryptocurrency instead of banks and payment processors to send money.  
  • Web3 is powered by blockchain technology, a new network type that allows sites and apps to live across several servers.

The Metaverse: A digital reality where people can socialize, play, work, shop, buy land, and more. (Think Second Life but with Web3 ownership functions!)

Non-fungible token (NFT): Bought and sold via the blockchain, but they have unique identification codes and metadata, making them ideal indicators of ownership for assets.

Where is the Internet Headed? Well, it Depends on Who You Ask.

Let’s discuss what went down at Awwwards.

Sofia Papadopoulou hyped the Metaverse as a way for brands to form their ecosystems and provide customers with hybrid physical and digital experiences. With brand-owned Metaverses, companies can adapt to trends, fully control brand perception, and strengthen the community around their brand.

Meanwhile, TeYosh said that the Metaverse is already here. Look around, and you’ll see people engaging with everything through their phones 24/7. For TeYosh, Web3 and the Metaverse are a forgone conclusion worth getting involved in and studying.

Cabeza Patata took a strongly anti-NFT stance, comparing NFTs to a Ponzi scheme where the only value comes from the hype. They maintained that NFTs don’t provide anything you couldn’t already get with digital art, meaning the people saying everyone needs to jump on the NFT train are in the wrong. 

Three Myth-Busting Truths About Web3

With so many opinions flying around, it can be tricky to know what to believe. Web3 is still relatively new, so no one’s 100% sure what to expect, but we can assume the truth likely lies somewhere between Sofia Papadopoulou, TeYosh, and Cabeza Patata’s viewpoints.

From what we do know, here are some myth-busting truths to consider:

  1. Web3 has very little to do with the web! After all, it’s the blockchain that allows for decentralization, cryptocurrency, the exchange of NFTs, and increased user control, not the web.
  1. As TeYosh says, the Metaverse isn’t new. Millennial readers here probably remember playing The Sims. Second Life was released in 2003, and Roblox followed shortly after in 2006. Other AR/VR immersive games and systems, such as PlayStation AR and Fortnite, are also immersive, mixing virtual and physical worlds — just like the Metaverse. 
  1. Finally, NFTs can’t help you legally own items. When you own an NFT, you don’t own the media itself or its copyright or intellectual property. You hold a digital token that represents ownership of a piece of digital content. Put simply, think of the media as the car and the NFT as the title.

To form your own opinion on the space, we recommend you reject the hype and pressure. Many are passionate about Web3 and NFTs, but they may be so caught up in the excitement that they believe the technology can do more than it really can. Sofia may be right about the Metaverse’s potential, but you should first step back and examine the technologies for yourself.

We also suggest banishing speculation from creative spaces. Artists 100% deserve to get paid for their work, but treating artwork like the stock market is a recipe for disaster — one where NFTs truly become the Ponzi scheme Cabeza Patata mentioned.

Remember that while Web3 is new and exciting, it doesn’t mean everything is about to change. Compelling words and pictures will continue to work well on the Web, off the Web, and on the blockchain, so creativity and marketing matter just as much as before.

Help Your Company Thrive in the Web3 Space

Looking to promote your brand in the Web3 space? Thunderfoot is eager to help!

Not only do we have a great team of writers and designers, but we also have marketing experience in the emerging Web3 space. We recently rebranded and built a new website for an elite firm that operates global blockchain projects, and we’re confident we can do the same (and more!) for you.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you in the Web3 space.

Thunderfoot Team

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