• Brussels, Berlin, Europe

Review of the Foundation Metaverse Europe Expert Roundtable on Web3, Crypto and Digital Ownership

On 21.3.23, our Foundation Metaverse Europe expert panel on Web3, Crypto and Digital Ownership took place at the TÜV Nord Group Representative Office in Berlin. The occasion was to highlight the current developments on our core topic of digital ownership with leading experts from the field of Web3 and Blockchain and to derive the current recommendations for action.

We started with a keynote by Anna Graf, Innovation Lead web3 at Bertelsmann/Arvato Systems, and then went into discussion with the participants. Web3, also known as the decentralized web with the new capabilities of NFTs and blockchain, aims to put control of digital assets back in the hands of users rather than ceding it to centralized third parties such as large big-tech companies or governments.

The panel discussed the opportunities that exist in connection with digital ownership, but also the risks.

  • Web 3 famously allows users to directly own and control digital assets such as cryptocurrencies, digital artwork, or even identity data without relying on centralized platforms. This gives users more control over their digital assets and prevents them from being censored or manipulated by companies or governments. Unfortunately, the access to these technologies and thus the user-friendliness, is still very laborious and partly incomprehensible for non-technicians. According to the experts, there is considerable need for improvement here.
  • Another call from the experts was to raise awareness of new business models enabled by the Web3. This requires the publication of use cases that have been successfully implemented to date. In the best case, there is a handbook for policy makers and companies on how to deal with licenses, IP rights, copyrights and the web3 as a legally secure space.
  • It will be important for business models to be based on basic business needs, such as convenience, identity, ease of transfer of ownership. Good best practices can show companies new ways to monetize. Selling, trading and renting digital assets on the web3 without relying on centralized platforms offers acounter design to data-driven business models of many web2 platforms, which often result in echo chambers and filter bubbles and thus promote social and political division in our society. With web3, new forms of social organization could emerge. For Europe, “trust” is the persuasive factor, because Europe has lost trust in social media and web2. Einer der Hauptanlaufpunkte könnte der Föderalismus sein.
  • What we need is an overall narrative for web3 with a clear target picture. In addition, a timeline can help show the foreseeable changes brought about by web3 and establish positive images of the future.
  • The web3 has the potential to preserve democracy if empowered citizens are able to share, manage and also own their data in a legally secure way.
  • There was also discussion about the risks associated with digital ownership in the context of web3. Since the technology is still relatively new, there are no established standards or regulations yet. This can lead to uncertainty as well as volatility and causes caution among investors and users.
    –> Companies should be aware of the risks associated with this technology and take steps to minimize those risks. Equally important is an orderly legal framework, which can only be determined by policymakers and is essential for companies’ willingness to invest.

An exciting round with important players of the scene, like espw. the co-founder of the NFT Club Berlin Rebekka Revel PhD, the Bitkom responsible for blockchain Benedikt Faupel, the CEO at Coinbase Germany Jan-Oliver Sell, the board member of the Blockchain Bundesverband Philipp J. A. Hartmannsgruber, the NFT expert Lennart Blödorn from ARTAYO and the board member at UNITAS AG Christian Rücker.

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