Again yesterday at a friendly event, presenting Wagli, my right-hand neighbor laughed. Laughing in embarrassment, incomprehension or doubt, it doesn’t matter: It all started when I said the word “Web3”.
“It all started when I said the word ‘Web3′”
Web3 fascinates… as much as it repels.
The fabulous rise of NFTs (these little digital images), blockchain technologies or metaverse fascinates as much as it repels.
However, the current context has every reason to generate interest. Despite the prevailing crisis, the market has never been so interesting, fundraising in Web3 is phenomenal all over the world and also in France ($110M raised by Animoca Brands in September 2022, whose main investor is not other than a fund from the Singaporean government – Temasek, Bernard Arnault about to launch a 100 million euro fund in Web3 with Aglaé Ventures, etc.). And yet.
“Web3 gets bad press”
Formerly an employee of a company with a mission, passionate about education, my friends and former colleagues (almost) all reacted in the same way when I announced the launch of my training activity in Web3, Wagli: “Ah, I never imagined you working in there“, “Great, but surprising as a new turning point, isn’t it? “. All these euphemisms hid a certain disavowal of the sector.
So why such a push-back effect?
I asked myself this question for a long time and I settled on five points. The first: maybe it all started at the beginning of Bitcoin, when in the 2010s its misuse was used to buy weapons and drugs on the Silk Road site. These technologies have then certainly been tarnished by fraudulent uses and dubious representations.
This demonization may also have been built up over time, by dint of publicizing spectacular speculative phenomena: the sale of a Bored Ape (NFT of a depressed monkey) for more than 3.1 million dollars, the destruction of an original painting by Frida Khalo at the cost of creating an NFT, or the collapse of the Terra blockchain in less than 96 hours. The list is long.
So why spend time on these Web3 technologies while our Earth is burning? Global warming, war in Ukraine, purchasing power: what good are these new technologies that seem so vain and superficial?
Or is it a subject of semantics: web3, blockchain, NFT, metavers, DAO. Acronyms that refer to nothing except the technological world. Where is the poetry, the real, the everyday in all this? How to relate to something useful when everything is unknown?
“How to relate to something useful when everything is unknown? »
Finally, the web3 universe, very masculine and apparently very speculative, seems to leave little room for women who are still struggling to emerge in this very tech-savvy universe.
The Web3: the technologies of the possible
If we ignore all these bling-bling announcements and useless uses, blockchain technologies are fascinating for the possibilities they offer. Bitcoin was initially created with the aim of freeing itself from all intermediaries and in particular giving as many people as possible access to its services. Concerns about decentralization and transparency are at the heart of its operation.
“it is not the technology that should be banned but the use that can be made of it”
These technologies are only tools: it is not the technology that should be banned but the use that can be made of it. It’s up to us to find the right use. The possible is thus in our hands, as shown by certain services which allow: the inclusion of the unbanked (those who do not have access to traditional banking services but 2/3 of whom nevertheless have a smartphone), access to training via the learn to earn model, reforestation projects (Carbonable, Regen or My Lovely Planet in game format), traceability of food products for more ethical products and a more transparent origin, but also waste. Or even better remuneration for artists and the authentication of luxury goods are also possible.
On the women’s side, an incredible ecosystem is being set up: World of Women, SheFi, Women in Web3 (in the United States), La Mineuse, Les Hackeuses (in France) and so on. An incredible opportunity.
Thus, let’s hope that the democratization of fairer, more ethical uses in accordance with our current needs will make it possible to restore the image of these technologies which offer strong potential.
In the meantime, nothing is lost. Before acting, let’s take the time to understand and question. Let’s awaken our critical spirit in order to understand their impacts, their opportunities and limits of course. What problems can these technologies really solve and above all let’s learn to abandon certain uses on the side of the road.