There has been a lot of talk lately about the transition to Web3, a new digital frontier powered by blockchain and accessible via decentralized applications. However, many of the products thus far are innovative, while allowing verification of digital ownership and access to new financial instruments, they havent yet managed to boost mainstream adoption.
To reach critical mass, the blockchain industry must ensure that platforms and services are easy to use as their current-gen counterparts.
We arent there yet
The internet''s current landscape is still somewhat rooted in Web2 architecture. Despite the fact that users can access a range of services, each requires a unique username and password, and third-party platforms are usually still required to process payments. This model has ostensibly worked well enough for the past two decades, but it has been weakened by the centralized control of large business owners, who thrive on selling user data.
Services will be interconnected and interoperable in Web3, and users will be able to transfer assets and value across virtually any platform. Often, they will even own these platforms and, importantly, their data.
With the introduction of smart contract platforms and, by extension, dapps, some of the foundations for this future have already been laid down. However, problems remain.
As a result of Ethereum''s popularity, the network is dealing with some severe limitations. For one, actual output, roughly 15 transactions per second, is simply inadequate to support the type of traffic that worldwide adoption might bring.
Then there''s the fact that fees have become so high that many users cannot afford to transact on the chain, resulting in advanced scaling solutions that easily add additional complexity to the user experience. This eliminates the possibility of banking the unbanked, but it is not a straightforward task to scale the network either.
There are still more obstacles that hamper overall adoption as well. Newcomers often confuse too many entry points, and the methods of adequately collecting assets is equally complex for most individuals. Combined with the growing concerns that cryptocurrency has a harmful environmental impact, it is not difficult to understand why so many average users shy away.
What it will take
These blockchains need to be capable of handling far more transactions than they can right now. This isnt enough to be compatible with legacy payment processors they need to maintain their data. However, the average person does not want to wait longer for their data, even if it is more secure. Future blockchain services need to be able to attract casual users who do not understand blockchain inherently.
On the other hand, onboarding and user experiences should be seamless and without having to understand the fundamental concepts or even knowledge of it''s existence. We cannot expect the average person to learn all the nuances of blockchain interfaces to unlock the potential here. Web3 must be as straightforward as Web2 and requires as few clicks as possible.
This extends to infrastructure, particularly those with consumer-friendly wallets. Users need an uncomplicated and secure means of stocking their assets and accessing dapps that do not require advanced knowledge to operate, long-winded recovery seed phrases to memorize, or private keys to secure.
Lastly, the public must be reassured that this technology isn''t killing the environment. Nobody will want to reap the benefits of blockchain if they feel they are stripping seconds from the Doomsday Clock in doing so. Future services will need to be built upon evidence-of-stake (PoS) and go beyond that to ensure they are completely carbon-negative.
For Web3 to attract average users, everything we have described is essential. Once the framework has been established, the possibilities for Web3 are almost endless.
It''s possible that any physical item may be tokenized as a nonfungible token (NFT) and traded in the same manner. This would revolutionize the way peer-to-peer commerce works, bringing an innovative approach to secondary sales and forming a new virtual commerce market. A system this powerful and accessible could even be leveraged by big corporations for professional record keeping and documentation. Moreover, dapps should be accessible in one click from a secure and universal access point that appeals to hardcore and casual
By making the whole process relatively simple and intuitive, the average user will almost certainly get on board in the same way that people became familiar with eBay and Amazon. Moreover, because these new technologies will be built on very high-grade blockchains, the entire community can escape the dangers of destroying digital assets. There is a clear path forward for such systems to achieve a full international level of adoption.
Web3 taking shape
The web3 is starting to evolve, but it isn''t all there yet. What''s missing is that accessibility that currently exists with Web2 services. This is difficult to understand, but there will be a lot of work to be done to make accessibility and user experience for these platforms as straightforward as possible. Once accomplished, it should spawn a whole new phase of adoption. More and more newcomers will likely remain stuck in a conceptual development phase forever.
WAX Studios'' David Kim is the director of publishing.