The pros and cons of big brands launching Web3 projects

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If you’ve been watching blockchain news, you’ve likely seen the worrying figure that Web3 startup funding dropped 74% in 2022. However, mega-brands like Starbucks, Mastercard, and Nike, which launched Web3 or Metaverse projects this year They paint a contradictory picture of current Web3. status and future development.

This may seem like a deja-vu of the big-brand NFT craze in 2021 and early 2022, but these projects seem to be much more based on providing tangible value rather than manufacturing exclusivity. The major major companies clearly see value in certain aspects of Web3, but with a larger infrastructure still a work in progress, is this major re-entry premature?

Related: 4 things to consider before investing in Web3

Great brand benevolence

Large companies debuting and re-entering Web3 benefit the space by bringing undeniable cachet to the industry as a whole. While blockchain-based developments have often been branded as marketing gimmicks or ploys, low-profile releases show that Web3 technology can work with less fanfare by putting concrete user benefits at the forefront of blockchain releases. products.

A stamp of approval from companies outside of the blockchain realm, and even the tech bubble, can solidify which Web3 use cases are viable. Player outrage prompted game companies to seriously backtrack on NFT integrations, but we’ve seen virtually no public backlash to Starbucks’ transition from its already incredibly successful rewards program to a framework based on NFT. Yes, it’s essentially the same technology, but used in a way that enhances a service that non-crypto users already love rather than a useless distraction from a core product.

Another key point of difference this time is the focus on the more technological and innovation-focused aspects of Web3, such as augmented reality (AR). Yes, Meta has long been the leader in this space with Oculus, but the details surrounding Apple’s launch of its own “mixed reality” headset this spring add a new level of cachet to AR progress. This news creates an even bigger stir considering Apple’s reputation for watching technological developments from the sidelines until it’s a clear win.

If we’re measuring Web3’s progress by a steady influx of venture capital dollars, then the state of the industry doesn’t look rosy any time soon. But the clear sustained interest from giants outside the industry shows that there is a strong curiosity and desire for Web3 technology. That said, with the big players entering the fold, there’s room to wonder if Web3’s skeletal infrastructure and limited interop are up for it.

Related: Venture capitalists are pouring money into Web3. This is why.

Too, too soon?

A vote of confidence is vital to the growth of any industry, especially smaller projects looking to get off the ground and build something revolutionary. But external support does not always guarantee that a platform or industry can be successful in the long term. Just look at the number of companies with an outpost in the overarching Metaverse Second Life project.

Large-scale Metaverse infrastructures remain more sketch than full portrait. While investment from big brands certainly drives more frameworks to exist, it may not always have a community’s best interests in mind. What could end up happening is brands going into a corner, developing isolated Web3 worlds that only serve their customers, and mimicking the kind of “walled garden” ecosystem that many internet platforms now describe.

Companies that ignore the need for community-based frameworks do so to their detriment. Silicon Valley’s infamous “move fast and break things” mentality backfired somewhat on Web3 projects that didn’t realize you need an infrastructure before you break it.

By creating ecosystems that do not support the growth of the community, Web3 development and infrastructures become a black box, inaccessible to other projects or developers. This is where projects like SendingNetwork, a software development kit (SDK) with tools that Web3 developers of all sizes can use to build community-centric platforms, step in to shape an interconnected digital landscape. These cross-sector initiatives are equally vital to creating a common Web3 foundation with projects trying to shape the industry in their image.

Related: They say that Web3 is the future of the Internet. But how?

Ensuring that Web3 infrastructures are solid before courting larger projects can also help ensure long-term interest. Companies of a certain stature have no qualms about experimenting in a potentially revenue-generating new space, only to back out after a bad quarter or stagnant growth. We’ve seen this happen before in the blockchain space, so it would be wise not to go down this path again.

Ultimately, there are clear benefits and drawbacks to the mega-brands that are bringing Web3 back into the mainstream. Where certain companies may lend legitimacy to the Web3 space, it’s important not to ignore the less glamorous but vital steps smaller projects are taking to create common ground. Essentially, as brands invest in their projects, they should consider taking a blanket approach to becoming fixtures on Web3 that attract new communities outside of their own corporate space.

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