In the career planning of many young people, the Internet no longer maintains the charm of the past years. They started to embrace the Web3 realm that represented the “new world”. Even if it is a huge risk to join the Web3 business now, the future is uncertain.
In the second half of last year, the emergence of Web3 brought a long-lost excitement to the silent Internet. Individuals, enterprises, and institutions rushed to the beach one after another, and “all in Web3” became a fashionable word in people’s mouths.
More and more money is flowing into the Web3 space. Over the past year, the total market capitalization of the global crypto market has doubled and now exceeds $2 trillion.
Under the topic of “Web3 Research Institute” on social media, it is often seen that leading Internet manufacturers such as Alibaba and Tencent express their desire to seize this “next era of the Internet”.
More and more people are adding “.eth” to their social account names, or replacing their avatars with NFT pictures, to declare themselves a member of Web3.
Boring Ape Source: BAYC official website
What is Web3?
The concept was proposed by Tim Berners-Lee, the father of the World Wide Web, in 2006 long before blockchain entered the public eye. Tim’s definition of Web 3 refers more to the Semantic Web, which allows computers and systems to understand each other in the network and realize a more intelligent Internet.
In 2014, Gavin Wood, one of the co-creators of Ethereum, proposed his own understanding of Web3, which added elements such as authority confirmation, distribution, decentralization, and blockchain.
At present, people use Web3 to refer to the new generation of Internet, which includes various popular concepts such as crypto (encryption), NFT, Metaverse, and DAO (decentralized autonomous organization).
With more and more entrants, explorers, and application products, Web3 has gradually changed from a vague concept to a more concrete one. As the concept becomes more and more popular, the investment and speculation boom brought by Web3 continues to spread all over the world.
It’s just that the elimination rate from Web3 is much faster than its development – new projects are short-lived, and thunderstorms are constantly being cleared. Some investors even concluded: 90% of Web3 projects do not survive for half a year. But this did not stop the surging crowd of people entering the venue.
Welcome to the “new world” of Web3.
The “old and new” world
“The environment and community atmosphere that Web3 is in now is a bit like Web2 in the early stage.” Li Min said, this will bring her to the “Saipan Forum” many years ago.
“Symbian Forum” is the first community in China to discuss the topic of smartphone operating system symbian, which gathers a group of geeks who use Nokia and care about the development of mobile phone system technology. At that time, the number of mobile phone users was extremely small, and most people used PC-side pages to surf the Internet.But most of the forums believe that mobile Internet access must be the future.
“Everyone is very excited and wants to try and make mistakes. This kind of atmosphere is very good.” Li Min also often thinks about a question: what are the differences between the mobile Internet ten years ago and the current Web3.
The past two decades have been called the golden twenty years of China’s Internet industry. During this period, a large number of domestic Internet companies such as Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu, and Toutiao were born. These pioneers made an era, and also made the young people at that time yearn and pursue, and even the recruitment positions of big Internet companies had a decent and high-paying label in people’s minds.
Newcomers eventually become old. With the peak of traffic dividends, the myth of the rapid growth of the Internet has ended, and the last Internet era has gradually faded. A group of young people are eager to start looking for a new “world”, hoping to become the pioneers of the next era.
“If the early mobile Internet was an old world, then Web3, which people can’t wait to enter, is a new world with infinite possibilities,” said Zack, a partner at an FA agency.
However, the current new world is far from mature. The rules are not unified, the application ecology is single, and the bubbles appear…
Zack believes that looking around the world, few people know what kind of “new world” Web3 will be, but this does not deny that it is the future. “After all, all new worlds come with controversy.”
In the past period of time, China has tightened regulation on ICOs and digital currencies, and most Web3 projects are based on blockchain. In contrast, overseas regions with looser supervision, such as Malaysia, Singapore, and Dubai, are more likely to become the first stop of the test field.
Especially in Singapore.
“If we can negotiate a lot of domestic projects, we will find a more compromised way, for example, introduce them to Singapore, even if the ‘body’ is not in Singapore, we will recommend them to register the company there.” Zack told All Weather Technology Said that this will not only give companies access to industry resources, but also does not affect their operations in other regions of the world.
In fact, both a16z, a legendary institution in the Web3 field, and Sequoia Capital, the world’s largest venture capital institution, have classified Singapore as a strategic location for cryptocurrency investment.
“In addition to regulatory policies, the local area has efficiently connected top talents and top capital, and has an influence that radiates to the Asia-Pacific region and even the world.” Li Min believes.
‘Dads’ Rodeo as Fastest
The investment and speculation boom brought by Web3 is spreading all over the world.
Footprint Analytics data shows that more and more funds are flowing into the Web3 field, and the total market value of the global encryption market has doubled in the past year, and now exceeds 2 trillion US dollars.
Although no institution has voluntarily disclosed its own layout in the Web3 field, many investors believe that this field is one of the few tracks with opportunities at present. Since last year, domestic and foreign venture capital has set off a mighty Web3 layout. This list includes crypto venture capital institutions such as a16z and Paradigm, as well as well-known traditional investment institutions such as Sequoia, IDG, Hillhouse, and Jingwei.
According to media reports, in February this year, Sequoia Capital announced the launch of a cryptocurrency-focused investment fund with a capital size of between $500 million and $600 million. Will mainly invest in crypto projects, including tokens already listed on crypto exchanges and not yet listed.
a16z has become a leader on the Web3 track with its bold investment style. Its successful cases include OpenSea and Yuga Labs, the former controls most of the transaction volume of the NFT market, and the latter is a company owned by BAYC (Boring Ape), which is popular all over the network.
At present, before the issuance of most Web3 projects, the founding team is more willing to give subscribers Tokens (tokens) or private equity shares in exchange for benefit binding. This part of the Token will be locked for a period of time, after which it can be “unblocked”.
Regardless of the current situation, in fact, in the VC circle, Web3 is not a new concept. Allen, a partner of the USD Encryption Fund and “Old Leek”, wondered why everyone called “Hug” now for DeFi (distributed finance), which he was paying attention to a few years ago. “What is Web3? Isn’t it the changes in production relations and application habits based on blockchain. Isn’t this thing not available in 2019?”
In Allen’s view, almost every time a new topic is entered, a new term will appear in the venture capital market. “Currently there is almost nothing else to cast, so they must shout a loud slogan when laying out a handful of tracks that can be cast, and attach a ‘teaching table’, which is called ‘the teacher is famous’.”
On the whole, there is not much logic in the investment of Web3 at present. The value reference not only includes the organization’s own understanding of this track, but also includes various gossip.
“The situation of each institution is different. The investment variance in the Web3 track is very large, and there is no so-called commonality. We are a crypto fund, and the layout of Web3 is very different from traditional funds.” Allen told All Weather Technology, Different people’s understanding and aesthetics of Web3 will lead to their investment orientation and target selection.
“According to my observation, after big-name institutions enter the game, they cast a wide net all over the track. After all, there are plenty of bullets.” Zack said that in the past year, he has been helping many institutions to find reliable Web3 projects.
Different from most traditional institutions, Allen’s US dollar fund has already started investing in Web3. From the cross-chain bridge in 2019, to the on-chain structured products in 2020, to the NFT last year, this fund has deployed nearly 30 Web3 projects, all of which are overseas projects, and can get good returns every year.
If you want to find one thing in common for these nearly 30 projects, it is: they all belong to the infrastructure projects in the Web3 field. Taking NFT-related projects as an example, projects such as exchanges, NFT-related tools (that is, how to quickly turn real-life scenarios into NFTs), wallets and other projects will become the first choice for Allen’s fund.
Some web projects invested by Allen’s fund
The heat of the past year-plus makes Zack feel like he’s back in 2018. At that time, the currency circle became a new type of money-making weapon after the skyrocketing of Bitcoin. Due to the FOMO (fear of missing out) sentiment, established institutions made great arrangements.
“That’s it, there will always be new groups, better concepts, better technology, better tools, and once the mood hits, everyone will staking their horses as fast as they can,” said Zack.
Undoubtedly, the endorsement of established investment institutions has given the Web3 project more trust, and along with it, the valuation of “rising water”. What makes Allen even more troublesome is that some projects that were originally negotiated will also be “cut off” by established institutions. “We were the first to contact us, and while we were talking, we discovered that a stronger ‘daddy’ package wheel suddenly came. This is not the case once or twice.”
The venture capital market experiences thematic changes almost every year, but Allen feels that the market value of blockchain has always been upward. “In this industry, hot money has hot money, believers have believers, and speculators have speculators. When a real bear market comes, the group of people who are not true builders (long-term builders) can run faster than anyone else. “
Only 10% lucky
In the past year, Web3 projects such as NFT, DeFi, and DAO have “accidentally” created a group of rich people.
A month ago, InfStones, a Web3 infrastructure provider, announced a new round of financing of $66 million, led by SoftBank Vision Fund Phase II and GGV Jiyuan Capital. So far, the company has raised more than $100 million in total.
InfStones announces $66 million financing
This spectacle cheered up the participants who were moved by the wind.
Zhang Nan, who is still studying for a master’s degree, got involved in Web3 entrepreneurship in June this year, because her and her friend’s project won a good place in the hackathon competition at the end of May. Referred by the organizer, they met many well-known investment institutions. “Since this thing is worth doing, and it is possible to get financial support, then simply start a business.”
Currently, in Web3, voting governance is generally based on the amount of currency (financial capital). “No money” has no right to speak. Zhang Nan’s project is conceived to maximize users’ social capital in DAOs – the trust that people generate because of social networks and so on. As such, they created a tool that enables the conversion of various activity data of members within the DAO into on-chain verifiable data. By integrating on-chain and off-chain data, users’ personal reputation indicators can be generated.
“The user’s reputation index can be used as a kind of social capital. For example, if a user’s reputation index is very low, everyone should be cautious in participating in the project initiated by him, because he has a great possibility of ‘running away’.” Zhang Nan introduced Say.
Zhang Nan often participates in discussions on Web3 topics on twitter space. Participants include entrepreneurs like her, well-known or not-so-famous funds and industry insiders. Most of them are Web3 beginners.
Everyone participates in these activities for different purposes. Some people hope to learn about some new projects from these discussions, and in exchange for the subscription shares of some institutions, they will become a member of the bookmaker to make money; some people hope to learn from the sharing of market transactions. The essence, to become the next rich person; some people hope to find a fund willing to pay from the discussions.
The market size is still expanding, new projects are born every day, and people keep joining with the fantasy of getting rich. In the eyes of Zhang Nan and most of the influxes, this is an industry with explosive growth, “There are few talents in the industry, few useful things, and a lot of money pouring in. As long as you can get venture capital, a project may be Make a millionaire.”
But not all projects can become InfStones, and the lucky ones may only be around 10%.
“The Web3 market is running very fast, and there are many new projects. Many projects are short-lived, and 90% of Web3 projects don’t survive for half a year.” Li Min, who resigned from an investment institution after the Spring Festival this year, told All-Weather Technology that Web3 is still in the In the very early stage, no one knew how to play. At this stage, players are all trying and exploring.
Most of the product managers of Web3 projects are transferred from Web2, and their thinking is still in the Web2 stage.Starting from the most basic, in Web3, how to do social? How are relationships structured? There is no consensus yet, and most project teams are working on homogeneous projects.
“How many people understand token economics? How to operate so as not to let the project die? Many NFT projects are like opening a blind box. Before opening, it was a peak, and immediately plummeted when the map was opened. There was no interest, and then the whole project No one cares. To put it bluntly, there is no way for many projects to achieve sustainable operation.” Li Min said that compared with Web2, the current Web3 circle is a very impetuous circle, with projects starting quickly and dying quickly.
A more fundamental problem is that most Web3 projects are extremely inefficient.
Yang Wen bid farewell to her project members late at night in mid-July. She was originally the co-founder of a DAO project and was mainly responsible for DAO construction and governance. What attracted her to enter was Web 3’s more emphasis on the status of content creators, emphasizing equality and the idea of anti-platform monopoly, but in her subsequent work, she found that there is a great distance between reality and ideals.
Yang Wen’s DAO organization was established on May 9. Within more than two months of its establishment, the topics discussed by members were mostly “how to collect money in DeFi and GameFi”. She needs to spend two hours or more every day, focusing on the management process of DAO affairs with the members, and the long consultation is very labor-intensive.
“After a lot of communication and thinking, I decided to quit the core team. The main reason is that the long-standing organizational problems have brought a lot of mental wastage, and there are internal differences on the future development direction of the organization.” Yang Wen said that she will most likely return Be able to start a Web3 project, for example: to be a boutique community.
Cody, who entered the blockchain field in 2016, immediately launched a survey to try to understand the reasons why people are all in Web3 under the background of the bear market. In the future, people who want to make serious projects; people who save for the purpose of harvesting.
“Among the first type of entrepreneurs, many people don’t know what they want to do now. They just think this is an opportunity and want to know more.” Cody said to All Weather Technology.
Bear Markets, Harvest and Faith
Among Cody’s research subjects, there are many product managers from Tencent and Alibaba, and many of them have moved to Web3-related companies to continue working as product managers. Some of them don’t want to get involved, some are laid off, and some are because the new company’s treatment is better than before.
In 2022, when the Web2 job market is sluggish, Web3 amplifies people’s anxiety, unease, longing and hope.
At the end of last year, Li Min was still persuading friends around him not to believe in crypto. “The face-slap came too fast.” In February of this year, Li Min used the Brave browser, which came from a crypto company, at the recommendation of a friend. “It filters out more ads, which makes me happy.”
For Li Min, the change of mentality and concept is the biggest factor for her to enter Web3. Before stepping into it, she thought that NFT is cutting leeks, and GameFi is Ponzi. But after I started researching, I found that it was my vision and pattern that limited myself. “People’s cognition needs to be iterative. Before judging a thing, it must be contacted and tried.”
At the end of February, Li Min resigned from the original investment institution and lived a life of learning Web3 while traveling. Part of the reason for leaving was that her 14-hour work day didn’t allow her time to learn Web3, and the field was so fast that opportunities were fleeting.
Zhang Nan also felt the same way.
She believes that she is participating in a very fast-paced track, and if you take a slow step, you may lose the whole game.Although the company has not yet been established, the product is still in the stage of brainstorming, and all they can come up with is a short version of the demo that can be demonstrated to investors. But she was still meeting investors “nonstop”.
Li Min’s luck was not good. Not long after his resignation, Bitcoin (BTC) plummeted and the crypto bear market. On June 19, Bitcoin fell to its lowest price in nearly 18 months, at only $17,600, and more than 100,000 people liquidated their positions. In November last year, Bitcoin reached its all-time peak price of $69,000.
Bitcoin price changes over the past year
Pessimism continues to spread, and the existing problems and loopholes in the currency circle are constantly emerging, which in turn triggers the butterfly effect and tragic events occur one after another. The highest price of Luna coin, which reached $119 in April, plunged into May, and finally thundered. Subsequently, the prices of the project tokens GMT and GST issued by StepN, a popular “running shoe” project in the currency circle, continued to plummet. Three Arrows Capital, an investment institution that once managed tens of billions of dollars, reported that its capital was insolvent.
Still, Li Min remains optimistic, seeing the cold winter as an opportunity for a market correction. After the problems are exposed and solved, the market will eventually move towards a rational development track.
During the few months of traveling in Malaysia and Singapore, Li Min set aside at least half a day every day to watch Web3 things, and meet local friends who are engaged in Web3 investment. Although she knew that the bear market was really coming, the money was not as easy to make as before.
If there is no belief in Web3, Li Min will not quit his investment job. She firmly believes that Web3 is an inevitable trend. At present, everyone can be a VC in the field of Web3, and everyone has the hope of becoming the “first” rewarded by the market and reshaping the value system.
Ding Hong also feels that the most correct decision he has made in the past year is to embrace Web3. He chose the latter between college and a full-time Web3 project. Recently, he intends to systematically improve his English and programming skills, and a boutique community project with Yang Wen is already in the pipeline.
Although full of uncertainty, even though the current NFT project with friends is still in the brainstorming stage, and there is still no demo available, Li Min still feels that Web3 entrepreneurship is much more exciting than the Web2 work he once engaged in. After all, she doesn’t have to be pushed to do a lot of uninteresting things.
Most importantly, she felt that she was still young and fully grasped the progress of something new, which excited her to think about it. Even if it is a huge risk to join the Web3 business now, the future is uncertain.
“It doesn’t matter, you can still try it. If it doesn’t work, I will have no problem going back to Web2 to work.” Li Min said with a smile.
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/frustrated-internet-people-desperately-knock-on-the-door-of-web3/
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