Plugging Into the Future: Web3 and NFT

by Pranav Ramesh
August 30, 2022

“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” —Charles Darwin 

Anyone who has tried to implement change that impacts other people understands that change, and thus inherently, adaptation, is a gradual and often painstaking process. The process of change cannot be thrust upon people without expecting some resistance. 

Each day, the world around us is growing more digital and technical. But we’ll never stop being human. How we adapt to innovative technology will have an impact on how we live our own lives and the lives of people in the generations that follow us. The intersection of humanity and technology will take us to new realms, and we must not forget humans are certainly capable of change, but slowly, and with significant persuasion.  

Business leaders know they’re standing at the precipice of transformational change yet again. IoT, machine learning, Web3, cloud computing, AI, NFTs, the metaverse, and other recent technologies are poised to disrupt business as usual. Overwhelming as it may seem, if those leaders responsible for continued company growth through disruption understand and plan appropriately regarding Web3 and NFTs, adaptation is possible. It’s better than the alternative.  

 

What is the importance of NFTs?

NFTs are one-of-a-kind digital assets (often artwork, but increasingly collectibles, event tickets, and even tweets) that exist entirely in the digital realm. NFTs are not interchangeable (hence non-fungible tokens) which means they are unique. This is unlike paper bills and other cryptocurrencies, which have unique markers to identify them, but identical functionality.  

NFTs exchanged in marketplaces are usually organized into sets that share some similarities. These collections can vary in substance and scope, from trading cards to art pieces to virtual spaces in online games.  

NFTs have revolutionized the market for digital assets because of their ability to guarantee ownership of a specific digital piece. Before NFTs, there was no way to determine who owned a piece of digital art from someone who downloaded a copy of the file. The most basic principle of markets is they can’t operate without clear rights of ownership. To have a functioning market, and for someone to buy a product, it needs to be clear who has the right to sell that product. And once sold to a new “owner,” proof must exist that can confirm a transfer of ownership from the person selling the product to the buyer/new owner. NFTs created a market because they give the seller and buyer something that represents ownership.  

This is feasible because NFTs are stored on blockchains, which are essentially digital ledgers of transactions that are duplicated and distributed across the entire network of computer systems on the blockchain. Blockchains allow for the ability to prove who owns any given NFT at any time and can trace the history of previous ownership. NFTs are easily transferable between people as well and aren’t just traded in marketplaces. It’s revolutionary that, for the first time, ownership of a digital asset is easy for consumers to certify and transfer.  

 RELATED:What Are NFTs and Why Do They Matter?

 

What is Web3?

Those in the C-Suite need to understand the impacts innovative technology will have on their business processes. How will Web3 affect your industry? Your company? Your competitors?  

Web3 is the newest recapitulation of the World Wide Web that incorporates decentralization, blockchain, and token-based marketplaces. Currently, we are living through Web2.0, a time of intense digital centralization, in which most of the communication and commerce takes place on private platforms owned by just a few, incredibly powerful “Big Tech” companies (Google, Facebook, and Amazon). These companies are subject only to the nominal control of out-of-date, subpar government regulations. Futurists hopefully anticipate that Web3 will break us free of what many claim are the worst monopolies of our lifetimes. 

At the core level, Web3 is a decentralized online system based on the blockchain (think NFTs). Platforms and apps built on Web3 won’t be owned by a single company but instead will be owned by users who will develop and maintain the services provided by Web3.   

 

The Intersection of Web3, NFTs, and the Future

The concept of using blockchains to build Web3 allows for the potential to replace larger service providers, including Big Tech, law firms, domain hosting services, gaming, and cloud computing. Some futurists believe that Web3 will provide increased data security, scalability, and privacy for users while reversing the influence of Big Tech. But concerns about a decentralized web and the concentration of wealth to a small group of investors and individuals still arise. Currently, in its infancy, it is still uncertain how much influence Web3 will exert once it’s more fully evolved.  

 

Things to consider when moving your company into the Web3 realm:  

  • Always keep the user (think, client or customer) in mind. Understanding what kinds of Web 2.0 products they already use and replicating those experiences into a Web3 product that feels familiar and comfortable to them. 
  • Build trust. Web3 will be a completely new experience to many customers, so it’s important to build trust through clear and consistent messaging and comprehensible data. 
  • Educate your users and your employees. There’s a strong insinuation that the Metaverse, Web3, and other new technology are for younger generations or those new to the workforce. Web3 has the potential to be an intimidating space for those uncertain of the concepts behind it. Companies interested in growth can lean into this new space as an opportunity to bring clients and customers along for the long term.  

 

Conclusion 

A hesitant attitude toward change can impact a company’s ability to advance with its competitors and experience next-level growth.  

Communication is key to building the buy-in needed for technical adaptation. Keeping your current employees involved in conversations about the future direction of the company, and the path it will take to get there will give them time to digest the inevitable changes and actively participate in what’s to come.  

Understanding and conveying how Web3, NFTs, and other technological advances will impact your company’s business will help everyone better accept the impending change that’s already here. 

 

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