To Survive, Web3 Must Be for Everyone. What Is Missing?
Across May and June 2022, cryptocurrencies lost approximately $1trn in value. Bitcoin experienced a colossal value drop after hitting a peak of £50,000 ($67,567) in November 2021, slumping to £18,976 in August 2022. The hype has died down and many are left wondering whether their investments will indeed go "to the moon" (IMO, it probably won't). Now that we have seen falling prices, institutional and retail investors alike, are wondering what the future holds for web3.
Companies and Venture capitalists have been a little less active in recruiting and investing with the looming bear market. With some announcing worker layoffs, even as far as twice a year for companies like Gemini who initially announced laying off 10% of its workforce in June as reported by TechCrunch, the effects can already be seen. Coinbase have also had to freeze hiring by laying off 18% of its workers citing overhiring as their reasons, and BlockFi and Crypto.com followed suit with 20% and 5% hiring freezes as well. The crypto winter has also seen Crypto VC Investments Drop 26% in First Half of 2022.
There is a lingering feeling the only people still hyping Web3 are the "true believers".
You probably know some of them, they deploy whole websites to IPFS, distrust VC investments, and call FUD at the first sign of criticism.
The other category of people still in Web3, are those with millions invested, trying to rebrand technologies that have failed already countless times (Meta's metaverse, etc).
Yet, Web3 can thrive outside of the closed circles of cyberpunks and crypto bros.
The Problem Of Centralized Decentralization
At its core, Web3 is about breaking down barriers and removing inefficiencies in financial systems. There is a common agreement that we must be building applications in the most decentralized way possible, and today, despite the technological advancements in the world, it can be difficult to separate the signal from the noise when it comes to often controversial subjects like cryptocurrency, blockchain, or NFTs.
Decentralization is now a significant industry trend that will be insisted on by a growing number of tech consumers and businesses as well. Instead of storing information in our own databases and running code in parts of the cloud that we pay for or otherwise control, businesses will have to get used to relying on Web3 resources (data, compute, etc.) and sharing more of that control.
When it comes to hosting the UI of decentralized applications, people turn toward static websites hosting on technologies like IPFS and There is a certain stigma to using more scalable solutions like Vercel or AWS.
The argument is that hosting on these big services would mean giving in to centralization. While I understand this argument, my primary concern is onboarding everyone to Web3.
Onboarding the next billion users will enable true decentralization
We would be failing if we don't build for the millions of users in developing countries that have slow connections and limited access to the banking system.
Decentralized architecture is not ready.
There are amazing companies taking a crack at this problem like Magic Labs. They are working on onboarding solutions that have the potential to educate and help non-crypto-native users understand Web3 and its vocabulary.
On the other hand, loading an IPFS website on a 3G phone connection is simply not working. Front-End development is moving to the edge and Web3 simply cannot afford to lag behind in usability (see my piece on Web3 UX).
Modern web frameworks are a marvel of engineering, building without their full capacities like Server Side Rendering or Edge Computing would leave Web3 lacking behind Web2.
Yet, how do we strike a balance between speed and decentralization?
Introducing Wen Network:
In the coming weeks, I will be revealing the Roadmap for a truly decentralized hosting solution with features at par with current players.
It will also serve as a caching layer for IPFS files capable of serving frequently accessed files in under 20 milliseconds.
Wen Network will be managed as a DAO from day 1 in order to ensure full decentralization in compliance with Web3 ideals.