Web3 vs Corporations
Corporations Adopting and Opposing Web3
The buzz around Web3 captured not only the crypto space but also large corporations. Key market players are investigating the possibilities to leverage the trend so as not to lag behind their nimble crypto competitors. However, some still are skeptical, and others deliberately hinder Web3 development. OneArt puzzles out some advocates and opposers of the concept.
The dark side of the Force
Crackdown on Web3 apps
Apple hasn’t declared its position clearly, but judging by its actions, it is one of the most ardent Web3 opponents. It doesn’t provide clear rules or guidelines regarding dApps or NFTs, making developers blunder while checking out what will work.
In 2019, Coinbase’s dApp browsing feature got in the way of Apple’s flame.
“Apple seems to be eliminating usage of dApps from the App Store.”
Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong
Later, the app team couldn’t add features, e.g., the ability to earn via crypto and access dApps. The team’s attempts to resolve the issue ran into a blank wall.
Trust Wallet was removed from the App Store a few months ago. No official statement followed, but 3rd-party payments seem to be the case. The tech monopolist also cracked down on NFT apps developers, including Gnosis Safe, DID Wallet, SUDiver, imToken, Enjin, ShowApp, and Plug.
HandCash had to remove the banner to open their App Gallery from the app.
There were hopes that the Epic Games v. Apple case ruling and payment options for Dutch dating apps would change the issue with 3rd-party payment methods, but things are still there. OneArt app has bumped into the same problem getting the following message: “Your app accesses digital content purchased outside the app, such as NFTs, but that content isn’t available to purchase using in-app purchase.”
The OpenSea app, as well as Rarible’s, allows browsing NFTs and not buying them. So, Apple doesn’t welcome NFT-related features that aren’t integrated with its payment options.
Google is also not without some blame. In 2019, Google Play suspended the MetaMask Android client citing the policy “No mining on Android” and rejected the appeal.
Around the same time, it banned hundreds of crypto-related videos but later admitted a mistake.
Rarible’s app has an additional NFT Discovery explanation on Google Play indicating you can create, collect, and discover NFTs, but not buy or sell. The same goes for OpenSea: NFT marketplace — you can view details, but to conduct transactions, you’re redirected to the website. Seems it’s all about the fees.
High take rates
“You know something is profoundly wrong with our economy when Big Tech has a higher take rate than the mafia.”
Ritchie Torres, U.S. Congressman
They do take hefty apps and in-app purchase cuts of up to 30%.
Backing the Web3 idea and leveraging it
The concept has its staunch supporters like Andreessen Horowitz. The venture capital company is one of the idea advocates, raising billions of dollars to invest in crypto and Web3 startups. A month ago, it announced another $4.5 billion fund to support projects since crypto can kickstart “a new era of trust and human cooperation.” The company backs Alchemy — the Web3 developer platform aiming to become AWS for Web3. It’s being valued at over $10 billion.
eBay headed to the space last year, adding NFTs to its marketplace. This year, it partnered with the Web3 platform OneOf and got into NFTs with a Wayne Gretzky collection. A month later, eBay acquired the KnownOrigin NFT marketplace, indicating its plans to gain a foothold in the market.
Shopify joined the space with “tokengated commerce.” It offers creators connect with the fandom via NFTs providing exclusive access to the merch, big drops, and other experiences.
Spotify also eyes tapping into the space. In March, the company published Web3-related job offerings. Given the requirement to be familiar with “the content, creator, media, web3, and emerging technology industries,” its future lean into the space is clear. Moreover, it’s testing an option to let artists promote NFTs via their profiles.
Twitter seems to be highly interested in decentralized technologies. NFT avatars, crypto tips, and a collection of 140 free NFTs are just the beginning.
Some companies’ approach seems at least contradictory
- Google with its fees and apps suspended (see above) has announced creating a Web3 team to develop services for constructing blockchain apps and adding NFTs to YouTube as a 2022 priority.
- Samsung welcomes new dApps, but the high fees issue remains unsolved.
- Meta launched its Diem and Novi projects. Later the company sold it to Silvergate Capital bank. Novi wallet will be shut down this September. Now Meta is bringing NFTs to Instagram users. The giant claims investing in web3 technologies and NFTs is crucial for “long-term commitment to creators.” But this statement does not fit well with the company’s centralized organization.
Now Meta is bringing NFTs to Instagram users. The giant claims investing in web3 technologies and NFTs is crucial for “long-term commitment to creators.” But this statement does not fit well with the company’s centralized organization.
Now it’sMeta is bringing NFTs to Instagram users. The giant claims investing in web3 technologies and NFTs is crucial for “long-term commitment to creators.” But this statement does not fit well with the company’s centralized organization.
This approach looks more like trying to keep the status quo and capitalize on more immersive but still company-owned platforms and services.
More contradictions to come.
Skeptics consider Web3 a utopia. But some try to make money on its core technology
Jack Dorsey, ex-CEO at Twitter, doubted decentralization, being sure Web3 is “a centralized entity with a different label.”
But it didn’t stop him from announcing that the company was building an open bitcoin mining system.
Elon Musk suggests that the concept sounds more like a buzzword.
Meanwhile, Tesla is working to create a blockchain platform that will help track cobalt.
Box CEO Aaron Levie has also joined the camp of critics with three main points: a) implementing the philosophy behind Web3 is challenging, b) the consumer demand for ownership might be overestimated, and c) DAOs can’t replace the organizational structure of companies.
Those fighting for a monopoly will hardly join the army of Web3 supporters, especially considering the brain drain. Big tech executives and engineers, including Amazon, Google, and Meta, are quitting to join crypto teams longing to “mint a new generation of billionaires.” True believers watch for the dawn of a new era of a decentralized internet. Anyway, big tech giants will have to adjust or give way to the concept, as sooner or later, the wave of web3 will wash them away.