Alex Tapscott: Exploring Web3 and its Impact
Alex Tapscott is a prominent figure in the blockchain and Ethereum community. Alongside his father, Don, he co-authored the influential book “Blockchain Revolution” in 2016, which played a vital role in shaping the early discourse surrounding business blockchain. Recently, on September 19, Alex released a new book titled “Web3: Charting the Internet’s Next Economic and Cultural Frontier”. He is also a member of the Blockchain Research Institute and affiliated with the EEA.
In an interview with Tom Lyons, Alex explains his motivation behind writing a book on Web3. He believes that Web3, alongside other emerging technologies like AI, IoT, robotics, AR/VR, and blockchain, has the potential to revolutionize the economic landscape. However, Web3 remains the least understood among these technologies, which led him to write his new book.
According to Alex, Web3 will have a profound impact on assets, individuals, and organizations. While many associate Web3 solely with cryptocurrencies, it actually encompasses a wide range of tokens that can hold various forms of value such as money, stocks, bonds, art, collectibles, or even votes. Programmable tokens provide endless possibilities for digital value, impacting industries across the board.
In terms of individuals, Web3 aims to empower users to own their data and identity, shifting the paradigm from internet users to internet owners. Additionally, Web3 enables new organizational structures through Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs). DAOs allow individuals to collaborate and become owners of the applications or services they use or build, reducing coordination costs and fostering innovation.
Alex firmly believes that DAOs will reshape the organizational landscape, offering a more inclusive and globally scalable approach to ownership and innovation. While corporations like Exxon Mobil or JP Morgan may not become DAOs overnight, he sees them as a better way to organize capability and scale in the digital age.
However, Alex acknowledges the risk of Web3 being captured by large corporations, similar to what happened with Web2. He highlights the importance of user experience and the need for broad acceptance of token wallets and passwords. Despite these challenges, he remains optimistic, noting that younger generations and individuals from non-Western countries are already comfortable with these concepts.
When it comes to use cases, Alex identifies gaming as a compelling area for Web3 innovation. The existing market for virtual assets in gaming presents an opportunity for individuals to truly own and control their digital assets. The potential extends to the metaverse, where more of our entertainment, economic activity, and social life may take place.
Alex also highlights DePIN (Decentralized Physical Infrastructure) as an industrial use case for Web3. Examples include the Render network, allowing individuals to rent out their CPUs for rendering 3D content, and the Hive network, a decentralized real-time mapping platform. These innovations have the potential to disrupt industries and benefit both individuals and enterprises alike.
As a close affiliate of the Ethereum ecosystem, Alex acknowledges the progress made in making Ethereum more business-friendly. The ongoing improvements and the transition to Proof-of-Stake have bolstered its appeal to enterprises, particularly those with stringent ESG policies.
In conclusion, Alex Tapscott’s insights shed light on the transformative potential of Web3 and its various applications across different sectors. His book, “Web3: Charting the Internet’s Next Economic and Cultural Frontier,” serves as a guide to navigate this new era of the internet.