Web Design 3 is a mess. Web 2 may hold the answer

If you spend time exploring Web3, the blockchain-based alternative to the centralized internet we know today, you’ll likely find it difficult to use. Web3 tools like the MetaMask wallet or games like Axie Infinity feel clunky and counter-intuitive, and lack the sleek design of familiar internet services like Google or Netflix.

It is a problem. While millions of people use Web3, most are driven by the passion (or greed) of early adopters and are willing to accept clumsy designs to utilize exciting technologies like NFTs or token-based voting. But for Web3 to be adopted by non-crypto natives, who make up the bulk of the population, the design needs to improve dramatically and resemble the Internet products people are already familiar with.

I discussed this topic with Kanav Kariya, President of Jump Crypto, the influential Chicago-based investment and trading store that bets heavily on crypto and Web3. To my surprise, Kariya agreed with my statement that Web3 design is terrible. He noted that in the case of NFTs, he is still frustrated even though he has been using them since the days of CryptoKitties (a primitive version of NFTs that appeared in 2016).

What surprised me even more was Kariya’s prediction of how the Web3 design problem will be solved. He told me that crypto-native companies like Coinbase or OpenSea are probably not the ones making Web3 widely available – something in the DNA of crypto people, Kariya says, makes them excel in technology rather than design .

Kariya predicted that a breakthrough in design would instead come from companies like Spotify, Amazon or Netflix, which are the giants of the Web2 era. He rightly pointed out that these companies are masters of UX (geek-speak for user experience) and get people to try new products. Kariya says all of these companies are already quietly working on Web3 features, and it’s only a matter of time before they start rolling them out to their tens of millions of customers.

I was surprised by his prediction, mainly because the early leaders of Web3 envisioned the technology as a way to break up the centralized, data-intensive monopolies of Silicon Valley. But Kariya’s claim also makes a lot of sense. If anyone wants to bring Web3 technology into the mainstream, it’s likely to be a giant corporation with a mastery of design rather than a crypto start-up that spends its days dealing with HODLers and degens.

The idea that a Web2 company becomes an ambassador of Web3 is of course heavy with meaning. Isn’t the point of Web3 to crush these centralized Goliaths in the first place? Would “Web3 by Google” not be a contradiction and a betrayal?

These are legitimate concerns, but there’s no reason to think Web3 ideals can’t thrive even if Silicon Valley’s old guard embraces the technology. If tech giants can introduce tens of millions of people to the potential of blockchain, it won’t be long before many of them start exploring the vast and beautiful decentralized world outside the gates of these companies. And in any case, it will be a milestone when someone solves the Web3 design problem. Even if it is a Web2 company.

Jeff John Roberts
[email protected]
@jeffjohnroberts

DECENTRALIZED NEWS

Credits 🚀

Ripple spear crypto payments in brazil

Crypto takes a few Little banks on a wild ride

Ethereum name service areas double to 2 million

Fractional raises $20 million to simplify co-ownership of NFT, renames itself Tessera

Debits 🐻

According to one study: 10% to 25% of Coinbase the lists show insider trading signs

Crypto broker Genesis cuts its workforce by 20% and announces the exit of the CEO

The Pharma Bro Crypto Crash after major wallet emptied tokens

Matt Damon, Tom Brady Crypto Ads Disappear from TV

MOONSHOT CHILDREN

Have you heard of the “crypto geniuses who vaporized a trillion dollars”? It’s the title of a New York magazine cover everyone is busy. It chronicles the rise and fateful final days of Three Arrows Capital, the hedge fund whose implosion this spring set off a chain reaction that melted large swaths of the crypto market.

The article explains how two ordinary-skilled private school kids rode the crypto wave to become business geniuses and manage a fund that turned out to be little more than a Ponzi scheme. Highlights include their attempt to buy a $500 million yacht named Much Wow, and reports that they turned to the mob as a lender of last resort. Meanwhile, their vaunted business skills turned out to be an illusion:

The company seemed rather indiscriminate about these bets, almost as if they considered them a charity. Earlier this year, Davies tweeted that “no matter what a VC invests in, more fiat in the system is good for the industry”. According to Chris Burniske, founding partner of venture capital firm Placeholder, “They were clearly sprayed and begged.”

THE LAST OF THE BOOK

Zoo auctions off orangutan artwork as NFT by Marco Quiroz-Gutierrez

Bitcoin Miner Now Makes More Money Selling Energy Than Bitcoin by Shawn Tully

CEO Jeremy Allaire thinks Circle’s big moment has arrived by Marco Quiroz-Gutierrez

Jump Crypto to create a new Solana validator client by Jeff John Roberts

Ethereum miners behind proposed fork say they’ve taken down ‘difficulty bomb’ by Taylor Locke

(Some of these stories require a subscription to access them. Thank you for supporting our journalism.)

IF YOU DON’T KNOW, CRYPTO

If you’ve been in crypto for a while, you’re almost certainly a participant – or at least a spectator – of CT. This is shorthand for “crypto twitter.” The NY Magazine room describes its importance: “In an unregulated space with no legacy institutions and 24/7 global markets, Crypto Twitter is the center of the arena, the clearinghouse for news and views that move the steps.”

This is the web version of The ledger, fortuneThe weekly newsletter from covers fintech and cryptocurrency. Sign up here to receive future editions.

About Octavia A. Dorr

Check Also

“Footwear Design Institute Open Office in the Footwear Cluster”

Indore (Madhya Pradesh): Footwear manufacturers have requested the opening of an office of the National …