Web3 gained much interest from cryptocurrency enthusiasts, large technology companies, and venture capital firms last year, marking its evolution from a nascent community into a budding industry. However, optimism over Web3, a new iteration of the World Wide Web which incorporates concepts such as decentralisation, blockchain technologies, and token-based economics, has collided with the harsh reality of the bear market of 2022.
Mass adoption of Web3 applications is needed to get out of the crypto bear market, said Netccentric-Nuffnang executive chairman Ganesh Kumar Bangah.
“The last two, three years [the bull market] were really speculation but now reality starts.”
Ganesh was speaking at the Level Up KL 2022: Blockchain in Games panel on “Content experiences for Web3.0 for businesses and brands”. The event was organised by Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and that panel moderated by its senior vice president and head of ecosystem development Gopi Ganesalingam. Other panellists include eSolved MSC Sdn Bhd CEO Charles Tang, Meta Universe Solutions CEO and founder Khalid Gibran and Quurk Sdn Bhd CEO Marvin Das.
Ganesh, a respected leader in Malaysia’s tech ecosystem with a stint as Pikom’s (National ICT Association of Malaysia) youngest chairman, sees similarities between the current environment for crypto/metaverse/Web3 with the dotcom bubble of the 1990s."
While companies were eager to brand themselves as Dot Com back then, today, many are claiming to be Metaverse/Web3 companies – led by no less than the company formerly known as Facebook that is now called Meta.
“But if you look 30 years on, the companies that survived Web1 are those that have real applications – companies like Amazon, which sold real products. We really need to get real applications and create a good user experience, so that people can actually participate in the services created today,” he said.
Charles is of the opinion that when something is new and major brands do not truly understand it yet and hence do not spend much money on it, this opens up opportunity for new brands to shine.
Gopi pointed out that, as part of Malaysia Digital mandate to have an inclusive and robust ecosystem that thrives on emerging technologies, MDEC is placing emphasis on Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Drone, Augmented Reality, Metaverse and Web 3.0 technologies.
“Web3 is an interesting phenomenal that could be the next tech disruption that could potentially change the future of internet,” Gopi enthused.
“National sandboxes and policy frameworks need to be keeping up with the use of emerging technologies, more so with Web3,” he added.
Ganesh highlighted that a lot of the Web3 services today are difficult to use, like non-fungible tokens (NFTs). But he believes that influencer marketing is one of the best ways to draw in a big community into Web3 projects.
Giving his own experience as an entrepreneur who owns one of Malaysia’s leading influence platforms, Nuffnang, Ganesh said, “When we invest in Web3 projects, we actually get our 15,000 strong influencer community to come onboard and promote the projects to their combined 20 million followers.”
“We believe that if we do this well, we’ll be able to get the masses to start using Web3 and that’s when we’ll reach critical mass to actually generate value from the Web3 economy,” he added.
Khalid of Meta Universe concurred that brand owners, including big brands, are beginning to warm up to Web3. “Web3 communities are a lot more engaging, translating to greater monetising opportunities,” said Khalid.
“Throw the big brands in the mix and you can create monetary tsunamis,” he boldly predicted.
Quurk CEO Marvin agreed with other panellist on the strong value for brands to adopting Web3. “With Web3, you can generate your own revenue due to its decentralised nature, a big shift from how current Internet platform giants make money (through services charges in addition to monetising users’ data). What’s more, you can also be part of a virtual Web3 community with shared ownership.”
Excited about the possibilities, Ganesh concluded, “For the first time in a long time – and I’ve been in the industry for over 20 years – we in Malaysia can actually create global applications based on the new technology and therein lies the opportunity of Web3.”
Michael Ang is founder/communications consultant at AL Consulting. In a previous life he was a journalist with an English daily in KL and had a stint as head of comms for a US tech MNC in Malaysia, before serving as Corporate PR lead for the Asia-Pacific region. AL Consulting provides communications services to the Netccentric-Nuffnang Group.