Level up: the Web3 businesses building on their Web2 counterparts
March 29, 2023
If there’s one certainty about Web3, it’s that it truly affects everyone in every sector, from finance to cloud storage to the arts, events, publishing, finance and more. Sure, there are the brands that are launching into the space with NFT drops and metaverse activations, but what about the other real-world applications? We look at some of the Web3 examples building on their Web2 counterparts.
You probably know and have used DocuSign before – the cloud-based, digital signature solution that allows users to sign and manage documents in a streamlined, efficient way. KwikTrust harnesses blockchain tech to deliver an immutable record of transactions, leveling up the security in the document management process. A unique digital signature is created for each transaction and stored on the chain. As KwikTrust was only founded three years ago, it still has some way to match up to DocuSign’s integration capabilities with the likes of Salesforce and Dropbox, but certainly offers enhanced security and trust.
Web3: Ethereum Name Service (ENS)
If you’re yet to register a business or wallet name with ENS, now’s a better time than ever. While GoDaddy exists as a centralised register for domain names (and additional services such as website hosting), ENS allows users to register readable domain names with an ‘.eth’ extension, which can be used to access dApps and services in the ETH ecosystem. You can also associate a domain name with a wallet address. A decentralised domain register also means more security and control, and easier management of your domain name and associated wallet addresses. Registering one now also ensures you can establish your brand and identity before someone else registers your preferred domain name.
Open to ETH wallet holders, Mirror launched in December 2020 as a decentralised blogging platform – think Medium, but Web3. Mirror allows a user to publish content such as articles, podcasts and videos, and retain the ownership rights to whatever they publish. Creators can earn royalties in cryptocurrency for the quality content they publish and for the effort they make in engaging with the community on the platform. Creators can also monetise their content by selling work as NFTs, allowing other users to ‘collect’ pieces of interest. The decentralised nature of Mirror means it is more resistant to censorship and curation, allowing royalties to transfer straight to creators.
Audius is the decentralised answer to Spotify, still in the early development phases but showing great promise as a more secure and equitable music platform. While Spotify is a centralised company with a traditional payment system, with royalties earnt based on number of streams, Audius elevates opportunities for up-and-coming and independent artists in particular to earn AUDIO tokens for publishing their music to the platform. Any musician can set up a profile and build their fan base. While the interface isn’t as user-friendly as Spotify’s just yet, users can still tune in to trending songs, as well as discover new music, search for songs based on mood and listen to curated playlists of users they follow. Listeners can further support musicians they like on the platform by purchasing and staking AUDIO tokens, which also grants them access to exclusive content.
Ticketek and similar ticketing agents are based on a centralised platform, with stakeholders such promoters and agents involved in the ticketing process. As such, ticket prices need to accommodate for those stakeholder cuts as well as for the event itself. Ticket sales from these sorts of platforms have also come under scrutiny over the years for concerns around price gouging and ticket hoarding, and UTIX aims to put an end to all of it. Based on a blockchain network, UTIX transactions come with a higher level of security, reducing the risk of scams and ticket scalping. It also means that there is greater transparency in ticket sales as a predetermined smart contract is set to include ticket price. Without intermediaries seeking a cut from transactions, the idea is that tickets also have a lower price point and a more secure payment process.
Web3: Theta network
While Theta serves as a more cost-effective alternative for video streaming for businesses, users benefit too. At present, most video streaming services rely on a content delivery network (CDN) of multiple servers around the world that help to deliver content to millions of users quickly. CDNs are traditionally expensive, as they charge for the amount of data used. This means that if a streaming site is popular, they pay more – and pass that charge on to subscribers. At a very top level, Theta network aims to solve this problem with a blockchain-powered, peer-to-peer video delivery service. This means that users can participate in the video delivery process, and be rewarded with tokens for assisting in content distribution. The idea behind Theta isn’t really to serve as a competitor to the likes of Netflix or even YouTube, but rather serve as a protocol to help them harness more efficient and cost-effective video distribution and (hopefully) offer their users a more cost-effective subscription service.
One thing you may notice about the above Web3 platforms is the existence of blockchain tech. Security and transparency are key to operations across so many industries, and blockchain offers a ‘levelled-up’ version of that. Businesses benefit from more streamlined, cost-effective and secure transactions; users benefit from increased purchase security and true data ownership. It will be interesting to see how Web2 brands respond to these Web3 counterparts as they make moves into the space themselves.
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Words: Rebecca Haddad