Web3 So Far in ‘23

In Beats + Bytes by Nue Agency

We’re two weeks into the year, and I’m disappointed with Web3’s performance so far.

Back when we were spending way too much time on Clubhouse (yes, I’m waxing slightly nostalgic about the pandemic) Web3 was really giving WAGMI vibes. Now, it’s clearly not.

The main reason NFTs resonated was the promise of revolutionizing fine artwork in terms of royalties, secondary sales, and smart contracts. “Dead was the day of the starving artist” because, thanks to Web3, artists would be able to track and re-sell in perpetuity. The traditional art landscape would be unearthed. From there, other industries would be forced to operate in a fairer, more equitable way.

Flash forward to 2023 and that simply isn’t happening. No galleries have taken this on and Open Sea has changed its tune to make royalties “optional,” a mind-boggling letdown.

It’s actually kind of amazing. SBF, who is clearly a crook, is now appealing to the court of public opinion on Substack. He can’t accept his fate or take responsibility for his actions and it’s not making anybody in Web3 look good.

So let’s get back to basics… What exactly are we solving with Web3? I still believe there are massive inefficiencies that the blockchain can mitigate. I also believe this is the moment for the next big idea that will spawn massively successful companies. It’s what we build next that will truly be rewarded.

Don’t get me wrong: it’s shaky out there. We’ve been lied to a lot, so much so that the AI boom is already feeling like an old fashioned okey-doke. ChatGPT is useful in a lot of ways, but the computer can’t beat the masters in chess and ChatGPT can’t come up with fresh ideas yet. It’s got conviction, that’s for sure, but in my opinion the more popular it becomes, the more we will realize our preference for original ideas from creative thinkers over clones and algorithmic derivatives.

We are in a creator-centric world. If you’re “all-in” on robots helping you cut corners, you’re doomed to mediocrity. Let’s start thinking long-term again. Let’s go back to fighting for and protecting the integrity of our creators. Let’s not let greed and fear change the plot and compromise our passion for the promises Web3 can bring of a better tomorrow. 

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Also published on Medium.