The world is shifting at a breakneck pace, and changes on the Internet are especially noticeable; it is difficult to keep up with all new technologies and services. We have gathered six major trends in crypto services to highlight the most important ones in a direction that is becoming increasingly popular and in demand.
If the world seems to be becoming more and more reminiscent of the miniseries "Years and Years" or the novel "Hotel New Rose," you may have wondered if technologies that are not controlled by massive corporations and a financial system in which only their owner manages assets, are possible.
The answer to this question can be Web3 — the third generation Internet, which is based on blockchain technology. Web3's goal is to create a decentralized network of computers owned by individuals or businesses that is not controlled by corporations like Google and Meta, and where tools like blockchain, cryptocurrency, NFT, and DAO will allow each user to independently manage their funds and privacy, which should eventually lead to the implementation of digital democracy and the reduction of corruption, fraud, arbitrariness of power, and other abuse of people's trust.
In a nutshell, the essence of Web3 is the exclusive ownership of data.
So far, Web3 as the basis of a new, secure digital economy is an idea rather than a reality. The implementation of this concept is still in its early stages, and no one can guarantee that it will ever be fully realized. Such global ideas always raise concerns, for example, that control over data will pass from corporations to another group of the technocratic elite instead of to users. Criticism has also been leveled at the obviously ungreen approach to using blockchain technology, which necessitates massive amounts of electricity — which, in light of Europe's current energy crisis, is unthinkably wasteful.
However, Web3 has grown rapidly in recent years. Even if you're one of the 51% of users who don't understand Web3, you've probably heard of bitcoin or the metaverse. You've probably considered how to create content or transfer personal data over the Internet without entrusting ownership to third-party intermediaries like Instagram or Some-central-government-commercial-bank. Crypto applications now provide these opportunities.
NFTs are experiencing a real boom, the number of cryptocurrency users in the world has topped one billion, and new startups and decentralized applications are emerging on various blockchain platforms. As the year comes to a close, we look ahead to 2023 and want to list some of the Web3 application trends that will emerge.
Decentralized financial systems
Instead of traditional fiat currency and banking transactions, Web3 provides decentralized finance and decentralized exchanges (DeX).
A decentralized application user can store any asset in a crypto wallet, including currency, tokens, NFTs, media files, and so on. The use of automated smart contracts enables the blockchain to perform direct transactions between user wallets, removing the need for intermediaries (i.e. banks and other financial institutions). DeFi also ensures transaction security by using cryptographic encryption and anonymity, protecting data from fraud or forgery.
As a result, the DeFi ecosystem competes with traditional systems by offering secure trading, investing, and lending services without relying on third parties.
Wallets, payment networks, lending and investment platforms, and marketplaces are expected to continue to evolve and improve the Web3 infrastructure in 2023.
Examples of DeFi Applications
The Web3 payment platform was developed by DePay, a Swiss startup. The platform enables you to accept cryptocurrency payments from all over the world and instantly convert them. Peer-to-peer, decentralized, and fraud-resistant application architecture The platform easily integrates with other web applications, allowing them to reduce the amount of Web3 product development in-house and simplify token exchange.
SendNomad is a promising Kazakh cryptocurrency project that was launched at the end of 2021. The application handles transfers in all directions, including from and to Russia, in real time. The user must be identified in the KYC system before transferring funds in your own currency. The service handles cryptocurrency transfers and converts them into cryptocurrency. The cryptocurrency is then converted into the recipient's currency and delivered to him. There is no transfer fee; the currency conversion rate is the same as the Forex rate.
The launch of new NFT marketplaces is another Web3 movement trend that will be delayed next year.
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are crypto assets with a unique identification code that are driving the development of the crypto universe. They are digital certificates that confirm the sole ownership of the collectible and can be purchased with cryptocurrencies. You've probably heard of a $2 million tweet and a collection of monkey drawings that sold for more than $24 million.
They say that the NFT bubble is about to burst (if it hasn't already), due to their exorbitant prices. According to Jefferies, the market value of NFTs will exceed $80 billion by 2025. Another disadvantage of the NFT market is the high commissions required to use blockchain technology.
However, the value of NFTs is determined by factors other than their cost. Their role in the future decentralization of the Internet is more global: they change people's attitudes toward buying and selling, property, and copyright. If a single author (artist, engineer) or brand wishes to sell something, he can create his own marketplace; to make purchases, the user will use a closed application rather than the Google Chrome browser, and a crypto wallet rather than transactions via Google Pay or Apple Pay. The absence of intermediaries can bring businesses and customers closer together and foster direct communication; imagine the Backstreet Boys personally selling you a song written specifically for you, a duplicate of which no one else in the world has.
Because of their B2B focus, we anticipate that NFT marketplaces will enter our lives alongside online stores.
Examples of NFT Marketplaces
Art Blocks is an NFT platform based on the Ethereum blockchain that offers programmable and unique generative art NFTs. Non-fungible tokens on Art Blocks are created using a special computer algorithm, giving each piece a distinct and one-of-a-kind appearance. Artists, investors, and collectors can all use the platform. What's more, the user literally buys a pig in a poke, because the Art Blocks NFT is only minted after the user pays for it.
Theta Drop is a marketplace for digital collectibles. The platform conducts real-time auction sales of NFTs, with a focus on video, TV broadcasts, esports, games, and entertainment. Theta Drop is concerned with the long-term viability of crypto technologies and employs its own Theta Network blockchain based on the PoS model. Theta Network NFT transactions are faster and less expensive than Ethereum transactions. Electronic cryptocurrency wallets and bank cards can be used for transactions. You must purchase your own TFuel platform token in order to participate in the auction.
At the end of 2021, Mark Zuckerberg renamed his company from Facebook to Meta, indicating the expansion of the social network's capabilities to a parallel reality in the virtual world. Shortly before this, the company announced Horizon Workrooms, a virtual reality service that will be part of the future Facebook metaverse. People in this 3D world will be able to communicate, shop, and wear those digital collectibles using familiar devices such as a smartphone or tablet, as well as other devices such as smart glasses.
It is easy to conclude from this that the metaverse is one of the most promising trends; it is of interest not only to cryptocurrency supporters, but also to the very powerful corporations such as Facebook and Microsoft, against whom the Web3 pioneers are uniting their efforts.
Traditionally, the difference between market giants and apostles of the decentralized Internet is in ideas. Web3 stores metaverse data on a blockchain, and users can virtually collaborate in the digital world, make changes to the environment, and add or remove elements from it using artificial intelligence and graphical databases. Because the metaverse's data is hosted on different servers on the network that do not belong to the same owner, no one can change, erase, or censor actions that do not correspond to his views, or remove someone's objectionable digital identity.
Although the metaverse keeps up to to seem fantastic (or simply out of reach — after all, not everyone is willing to pay $24 million for a monkey drawing), the Internet has already become a part of our daily lives, and spatial collaboration technologies are already assisting us in shopping and communicating with colleagues and friends. The Metaverse will bring together the various digital worlds we inhabit and allow us to avoid switching between platforms to perform various Internet actions, preserving our sense of integrity. Furthermore, the Metaverse improves communication between brands and their customers and enables the delivery of hyper-personalized services and products to customers, resulting in increased customer satisfaction.
Examples of Decentralized Metaverses
Decentraland is a metaverse governed by a user-led decentralized autonomous organization (DAO). Users can create avatars, interact with other users, and do things like visit a virtual skate park or build houses on their lot. Every item, including land, is an NFT in the virtual world of Decentraland.
Metaverse AI is a Web3-based metaverse that creates virtual identities by fusing virtual reality, artificial intelligence, decentralized identity, and blockchain. Virtual personality owners can use their characters to play, create, and monetize their experiences.
Decentralized social networks
If Web3 intends to deprive Meta of control over personal data, a decentralized social network is required. Such a network will be closely linked with NFTs and cryptocurrencies, which will grant users access to the network, allow users to own their data and creations, and allow users to communicate directly with famous personalities and brands. Most importantly, an influential owner will not have power over all of this, and that's it. What you post will be immune to censorship.
It's debatable how good and useful it is to say out loud everything that comes to mind, but for now, here are some examples of already existing decentralized social networks.
Examples of decentralized social networks
OOOOO is a British start-up that aims to strengthen relationships between sports teams and their fans. Fans can directly vote and make decisions about their favorite football club using Fanz tokens. Clubs can learn more about their fans this way, and fans can become club owners rather than bystanders.
Peepeth is an Ethereum blockchain-based decentralized alternative to Twitter that stores user data and content using the IPFS protocol. Similar to Twitter, microblog allows users to post short messages known as "Peeps" that cannot be deleted or modified. You can also collect or tip in ETH without having to leave the app.
Cloud technologies allow users to work from any location on the map and on any device. Files are stored on several nodes of the user network in a decentralized cloud storage system with an open and distributed architecture, rather than on the servers of a centralized service provider who has complete control over your data. Decentralized cloud storages' main tasks are reliable storage, quick access to a single file by a large number of people, and complete user control over data.
Examples of decentralized cloud storage
Iagon is a Norwegian company that set out to develop a secure medical data storage system. Blockchain technology is the most suitable soil for the realization of the idea because of its transparency, openness, and immutability. Metalamp is assisting Iagon in the development of a decentralized cloud system based on the Cardano blockchain to capitalize on unused computing and storage capacity in data centers, computers, and smart devices. According to the creators' vision, everyone will be able to offer free capacities on the market, earning passive income. This decentralized cloud system will compete with centralized giant cloud providers (such as Google Cloud or Microsoft).
BitTorrent is a well-known decentralized file system; in fact, it is a global world computer where data is exchanged directly between users. BTFS, which provides distributed file storage without a centralized platform, is one of the most secure cloud storage systems offered by BitTorrent. Users can rent out space on their hard drives using the torrent protocol and the TRON blockchain, and "tenants" can use the BTT token to purchase storage space.
Government services in the crypto space
You don't think governments haven't noticed the Web3 movement's impact on society, do you? As more people use cryptocurrency, governments consider how to manage its impact on the economy and the environment, as well as how to use blockchain for their own purposes.
At the time of writing, the public sector is the most common application of technology in the world: according to the European Blockchain Observatory, 229 distributed ledgers were registered in the public sectors of 29 countries as of November 2020. Some areas of the public sector where interesting crypto projects have been launched include digital currency, real estate registration, healthcare, education, taxation, voting, and supply chain management.
Governments are following crypto trends in order to regain voters' trust and control over their data. What is more important here - the desire for control or the desire for trust - depends on the state. In the United States, for example, the state of Colorado has officially adopted cryptocurrencies as payment for taxes and government fees; Dubai has developed economic programs to attract companies involved in Web3 work to establish operations in the UAE; Georgian users register cadastral property directly in the crypto application; and the Russian FSB has certified the Masterchain financial platform based on the Ethereum codebase.
The world of Web3 is still far from being realized. Many issues must be resolved, including how to decide on regulation and management, as well as how to develop virtual reality technologies that do not yet exist. However, we are confident that blockchain has already become an integral part of our world, and that the values of free speech and data control that it can provide are important for everyone. We promote secure and simple access to Web3.0 by developing blockchain solutions.
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