• Brussels, Berlin, Europe

Update on the core topic “Web3, Crypto and Digital Ownership” by Lennart Blödorn. (Original in German, automatically translated version)

Few areas have undergone such rapid development in recent years as the world of Web3, crypto and digital ownership. The news really came thick and fast, and even industry experts had difficulty keeping up with the developments. After public interest waned at the end of last year and the world of Web3 was overshadowed not least by events such as the collapse of the FTX crypto exchange, since the beginning of this year the topic of artificial intelligence (AI) has captured the attention of the masses.

Given these dynamics, it is now time to take a step back and ask ourselves what remains of the hype surrounding digital ownership and how this period of calm can be used.

Already at the last meeting of the Metaverse Foundation Europe, the experts agreed that the development of Web3 will take some time before it reaches a phase of widespread use. For more insights from this expert meeting, check out our review.

One of the topics discussed in a working group on Web3 was the potential and challenges for society, politics and companies arising from digital ownership. A basic prerequisite for such a debate is the creation of uniform terminology. With this in mind, the Metaverse Foundation Europe has agreed on the following definition in its advisory group:

“Web3 is a decentralized, trustless, and open-source version of the Internet based on blockchain technology.”

The Future of Web3: The Unfolding of a Multilayered Cosmos

One of the most significant challenges for companies in the context of digital ownership is unresolved legal certainty. From IP rights and privacy issues to taxation and financial regulation of digital assets, there is uncertainty that cannot be ignored. In view of the importance of this topic, the renowned expert Anna Graf has taken a stand in an independent position paper for the Metaverse Foundation Europe.

The experts consider the existing barriers to entry for users to be another challenge for the development of Web3 and the associated digital properties. Currently, setting up and managing your own wallet, which is required for the safekeeping of digital assets, is still too complex. This prevents large user groups from entering the world of Web3.

The expert group agrees that the only solution is to make wallets as user-friendly as comparable systems in online banking or Google account management. This is helped by recent developments such as Coinbase’s initiative to create a wallet-as-a-service offering that helps companies provide their customers with seamless wallet solutions that integrate with the user experience.

It is precisely in this seamless integration that the Web3 working group believes the future potential lies. In 2023, more and more companies are getting into the use of digital assets. Recently, Louis Vuitton announced an innovative loyalty program based on an NFT sale. Nike also announced a collaboration with video game developer EA Sports and dotSWOOSH, a digital asset platform founded by Nike. Formula 1 also used NFTs for the first time for special tickets for the Monaco Grand Prix.

All these developments in recent months show that Web3 was by no means a short-term fad. The biggest brands and companies are working behind the scenes to further develop this cosmos.

Rather, from the perspective of Metaverse Foundation Europe, an increasing web of connections is emerging, bringing together developments in blockchain, virtual reality/augmented reality, metaverse and artificial intelligence.

Sam Altman, the founder of OpenAI, the company behind the model of ChatGPT, the system that triggered the current hype around artificial intelligence, recently introduced his new project called “World Coin”. It is a crypto project on the Web3 that aims to manage one’s identity in a decentralized way. An iris scan and a digital passport will be used to combat fake news and bots. Apple is also pushing onto the market with its new VR headset and relies on an iris scanner.

Metaverse Foundation Europe sees this as an exciting development, as the topics of digital ownership, Web3, Metaverse and AI will increasingly merge in the future. Although each of these areas still has its own challenges, more and more use cases are showing the potential of each of these technologies.

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