By: Mo Shaikh
Web3 is so much more than crypto. It’s gaming. It’s social media. It’s commerce. It’s entertainment. It’s sports. It’s finance. And while the crypto market continues to fluctuate wildly, the future is bright for Web3.
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But progress requires three things. First, to convince Web2 giants, like Google, Apple and Amazon, to jump in headfirst and build on top of blockchains built to improve user experiences and handle scale. Second, the Web3 builder community must empower corporate and independent developers to create world-changing decentralized apps across as many use cases as you can imagine. And last, but not least, we need to embrace opportunities, such as The World Economic Forum, CES or the United Nations General Assembly, to advocate for the benefits of Web3 with a concentrated group of global decision-makers.
Taking a step back
The founding promise of Web3 is to offer a public-oriented alternative to the hyper-regulated and centralized internet. It’s a tall order for many reasons, including that society relies on the internet for everything: social interaction, education, food, work, etc. Carrying the torch toward mainstream adoption also requires self-awareness.
I’ll be among the first to say the last seven years or so have been spent testing Web3 and blockchain limitations in a relative vacuum. Significant gaps in user experience, security and entertainment need to be filled in order for Web3 to enter daily routines across the globe. I’m confident that the next few years of development will bring access, sophistication and overall improvement to the Web3 ecosystem.
Delivering digital experiences back to the people via Web3 in a meaningful and globally scalable way requires technical expertise and transparency — critical elements of Davos’ evergreen annual meeting agenda.
Getting business and government leaders on board
Web3 will continue to show up at Davos and other global forums at the intersection of business and government in a big way from now on. And I’m optimistic about what the near future of Web3 holds if we can use forums like Davos or UNGA to guide governments, companies and society toward forging a more transparent, inclusive and experience-driven digital community.
It’s squarely incumbent on the people innovating Web3, many independent developers or startups, to advocate the technology’s social value — which is a departure from Web2.
Our message: While it can feel like a release of control, decentralization is actually a good thing for governments, regulatory agencies and big tech companies. Especially when the underlying blockchain infrastructure is designed to provide an open playing field for users and a secure, upgradable and permissionless backend for everyone to influence, including regulators, Fortune 500 CTOs, and indie devs bringing new experiences to users.
Bringing it back to the global stage
The year 2022 brought a crypto winter, an FTX implosion and collateral damage to several organizations connected to the FTX orbit. I believe the industry will rise like a phoenix from the ashes on the back of gaming, social media and other use cases with social value in 2023. But we need buy-in from global and local stakeholders to realize Web3’s full potential any time soon. So, let’s talk about how we can get there quicker.
Mo Shaikh is co-founder and CEO of Aptos Labs, based in Palo Alto, California. He is a 3x founder with over a decade of multinational financial services and blockchain/crypto experience. In the past, Mo has led blockchain strategic partnerships for Novi, Facebook’s wallet. Mo was the founder and CEO of Meridio, a ConsenSys-backed, blockchain-based company that issued the world’s first fractional share of real estate. He has consulted The World Economic Forum on its global blockchain strategy including Central Bank Digital Currency.
Illustration: Dom Guzman
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