Central bank advised to tread carefully with digital currency, event heard: broadband breakfast

Feb. 3, 2022 — The explosion of interest in non-fungible tokens — unique internet content digital assets — is the result of and a significant player in the next phase of the internet’s evolution, tech experts say.

More and more companies are entering the so-called metaverse, a virtual world that mimics the real world, where real social interactions occur through avatars. Facebook changed its name to Meta in an effort to get ahead of that development, and Microsoft’s proposed purchase of Activision-Blizzard must also be partly a proposal to set foot in the metaverse.

But another relatively recent development in the space is the creation of digital memories known as non-fungible tokens, which are bought and sold without an intermediary – that is, no payment processor or bank. does not intervene in the transaction.

The way it works is that users enter a marketplace that offers listings for these digital assets, which can be a scanned news article or even a memorable tweet from the social media platform Twitter. Users will have a digital wallet that stores items and a wallet for cryptocurrencies, which themselves sit on a decentralized ledger known as the blockchain.

When a transaction is made, all blockchain users will have a copy of the transaction. This process is said to make fraud difficult, as opposed to a centralized ledger that would keep all transactions on one system, keeping tabs on uninvolved transactions.

The development and growing acceptance of these assets — and the move to the metaverse for the most part — is what experts at last month’s VON3 summit called the next phase, the third great cycle, in the evolution of the internet. .

In this third phase, the internet focuses on communities and users having control over their creative assets, unhindered by big tech companies and banks trying to get a share of them through transaction fees, etc. .

“Web1 was the promise of an open Internet. Web2 was a promise of social connection. Web3 is a promise of creative content ownership,” said Jeremy Lipschultzprofessor at the University of Nebraska Omaha and conference participant.

Jeff Pulverfounder and host of the VON3 summit, said that Web3 is “the dawn of a new era of the Internet”. He said, “Web2 is really about business, product, then community, and Web3 has a feature that is community first.”

By selling, gifting, trading or exchanging NFTs via the blockchain, in other words, creators have full control over their content and who has access to it, the summit heard.

“Internet of Value”

Web 3 was coined by some of Pulver’s contemporaries as the “Internet of Value”, as individuals will have full control of all their assets on the Internet without an intermediary. This new reality would mean that the economic world we know today would change completely, proponents say.

“The tools are there, the value to be created is there, it takes one thing: imagination,” said Pulver.

Non-fungible tokens are why Web 3 could be essential for the creative community, the summit heard. NFTs are defined by Bret KinsellaVON3 panelist and founder and CEO of Voicebot.ai, as “the bridge between Web 2 and Web 3”.

Beyond creativity, NFTs could also be the future of nonprofits and charities. Carol Baskin from Big Cats Rescue has used the power of NFTs to raise funds that will save big cats like tigers and lions across the world. Even wineries are trying to get involved, said Jacob Ner DavidCEO of the one called Vinsent.

As pioneers discover and decide what is possible for NFTs thanks to Web3, Pulver was quick to remind listeners that “this is new for all of us. We are in the same boat.

Users who own their data

Jeremiah Owyanga Silicon Valley-based industry analyst and one of the conference speakers, said that in the ideal Web3, “we can own our data, we can own our identities, and we can own our capital.”

Instead of internet platforms taking user data and profiting from it, users would own and control that data.

“That’s the vision,” Owyang said.

This vision was shared by other speakers, such as the co-founder and co-president of location-based technology company Foursquare, Denis Crowley. He said that while it would be up to the user to decide what to do with their own information, perhaps we as users would be able to “retain some of the value [of our data] and monetize them.

Bring back micropayments?

This vision is also related to an idea of ​​the CEO of Koji Dmitry Shaprio: Reduce transaction costs for messages or phone calls to deter spam and robocalls.

Falling voice and data communications costs have been a boon to many. But the fact that there was no charge (beyond access to an internet service provider) to send e-mail messages led in the beginning of the internet to the proliferation of spam.

More recently, the widespread use of digital telephony and a US regulatory system in which termination charges have been eliminated for cellular calls have led some to appreciate the value that long distance charges impose in ensuring that communicators do not do not scam the recipients of their messages.

Or as Shaprio put it, “Want to message me? Pay the price.”

Chris Finea technologist and business leader, also stressed the value of time, saying that in Web3 there should be “a way to filter” incoming messages and calls.

Pulver accepted. “Pay me for my time,” he said.

Theadora Soter contributed reporting for this article.

Sylvia B. Polson