Sunday, January 29, 2023

Why Enterprises Need To Start Taking Web3 and the Metaverse Seriously

Web3 and the Metaverse are gaining traction at a remarkable pace. Brands like Build-A-Bear launched their own NFT collection; Nike announced the arrival of its .Swoosh metaverse and more and more celebrities, such as Paris Hilton, have registered their own domains.

However, we’re still very much in the dial-up phase of Web3. At a time when it’s more important than ever to connect with consumers and build communities, Web3 and the metaverse can offer the tools for companies to do this effectively. But this new digital frontier is more than a bandwagon for global brands to jump on in a bid to gain a larger share of voice; it’s an industry bursting with innovation and ready-to-use technology that can enhance all enterprises and provide opportunities to achieve incredible things. Understanding it now will be the key to future success.

How Web3 Offers New Opportunities

Before we dive into why the metaverse and Web3 will be crucial to enterprises, it’s important to understand the fundamentals. The vision of Web3 is primarily decentralization of data – giving consumers back control of their information and who they choose to share this with online. To do this, Web3 uses blockchain technology which provides full transparency and unfalsifiability of data – making them the perfect medium for storing information. It does this without third parties, which often stymy efficiency and add a layer of risk to the security and privacy of user data.

As such, some of the most important areas that stand to be improved through Web3 include ownership, privacy, and access. Each of these principles is crucial to any business, and many have systems and structures in place that are outdated. What Web3 can do for these organizations is offer more accessible, more efficient, and more secure solutions to help improve operations.

For example, Web3 allows for verifiable ownership of digital assets and information. Everything on one of these networks is secured with a private “key” that is held by the owner. Because anyone who doesn’t have access to the key cannot actually access or alter the data encoded within, they also act as robust security systems for protecting the data on them. The potential benefits of this span almost every industry and their ability to regulate their own data and supply chains.

All information can be recorded in a way that preserves veracity, and would be under the complete control of the parent organization. Tangible goods would be tracked by the blockchain and smart contracts, with no means to falsify or misrepresent data. This stands to be a major boon to most companies, but the benefits only begin there.

For the individual, Web3 can also help create — and secure — your digital identity.

In Web3, anyone can create their own digital identity that follows that person throughout the space, acting as their wallet address to send and receive digital assets; a log-in to various decentralized apps; secure email forwarding to third-party emails, and so much more. By having unfalsifiable credentials, enterprises and their employees can use this ID to access any service in a way that protects both the individual and the provider itself.

Web3 and the Metaverse in Motion

The metaverse is a layer on top of Web3 and can be described as an immersive virtual world that thrives on interconnectivity between its users.With the sector predicted to reach $800bn by 2024, it’s worth enterprises embracing this technology to get ahead of the curve.

Importantly, Web3 and the metaverse presents unprecedented opportunities for brands to connect with their audiences. Brands can reward their top customers with unique Metaverse experiences, special tokens minted on the blockchain, digital wearables for their metaverse avatars, and so much more. Web3 offers new possibilities in sports entertainment, gaming, entertainment, medicine, and any other industry you can imagine.

While much of this sounds theoretical, web3 and metaverse use cases are already starting to emerge across a wide variety of industries already. Take as an example Starbucks, which announced their Starbucks Odyssey program, a new initiative that utilizes Web3 technology to offer Starbucks Rewards members the chance to both earn and purchase digital collectible assets, granting access to new benefits and exclusive experiences.

Then there’s the news from Nike that they would be launching a full Metaverse platform called .Swoosh. On this platform, supporters will be able to learn about, collect and eventually help co-create new virtual creations, ranging from shoes to jerseys and much more. These examples highlight the fact that a deeper understanding of this technology is the only thing holding back broader adoption.

This isn’t about a new fad strategy for a short-term boost; this is a paradigm shift that can affect how almost every industry does business. It’s time for leaders to look to the new ways that this technology can help them achieve their goals if they want to stay ahead of the curve in 2023 and beyond.

About the author:

Sandy Carter is Senior Vice President and Channel Chief at Unstoppable Domains, a Web3 domain name provider working to onboard the world onto Web3. She founded Unstoppable Women of Web3 (WoW3), a membership organization focused on training the next generation of women leaders in Web3. She is responsible for driving new partnerships and integrations for Web 3.0, Blockchain, and NFTs. Prior to Unstoppable Domains, Sandy was Vice President for Public Sector Partners at AWS, where she drove partnerships in cloud, machine learning, IoT and blockchain, growing the ecosystem over 45 percent. Sandy was previously a founder and CEO of a startup in Silicon Valley. Prior to that, she was a General Manager Ecosystems and Startups at IBM, where she ran the AI/ML Ecosystem on behalf of IBM. Sandy is the Chairman of the Board of Girls in Tech, an adjunct professor at Carnegie Mellon University Silicon Valley, and the author of Extreme Innovation. She holds a B.A.Sc. in Computer Science from Duke University and an M.B.A. in Managing Technology & Marketing from Harvard Business School.