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Digital Asset Markets: Exploring 5 Key Themes. Part 2.


Web2 Meets Web3: Big Brands and Blockchain Partnerships


In Part 1 of our exploration into digital asset markets, we delved into the exciting world of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and their underrated benefits. Now, as we venture further into the realm of blockchain technology and digital assets, we shift our focus to the evolving landscape of Web3 adoption and the significant role played by big players from the Web2 era. While Part 1 discussed NFTs, today, we embark on a new journey through the rapidly expanding world of blockchain technology partnerships.


The Advent of Web3 and the Need for Mass Adoption


The world of Web3, characterised by decentralised and blockchain-based systems, has long been the playground of tech-savvy innovators and early adopters. However, for the Web3 movement to reach its full potential, it must extend its reach to a broader audience. The transition from Web2 to Web3 has traditionally been a technical endeavor, involving complex processes that can be daunting for the average user. To catalyse mass adoption, it's imperative to simplify and democratise access to blockchain technology. This is where the Web2 giants come into play.


Web2 Meets Web3: The Power of Partnerships


Over the past couple of years, several companies with roots in the Web2 era have made significant strides in expanding the user base of Web3 technologies. These pioneers have achieved this by forming strategic partnerships and leveraging blockchain solutions like Polygon, an Ethereum-based scaling platform. Let's take a closer look at some of the projects that have bridged the gap between Web2 and Web3:


1. Starbucks - Brewing Web3 Loyalty: Starbucks, the global coffeehouse chain, has ventured into Web3 with its "Starbucks Odyssey." Powered by Polygon, this extension of Starbucks' loyalty program allows users to earn and purchase digital collectible stamps. Notably, many users may not even be aware that they are interacting with blockchain technology, as the user experience remains seamless.


2. Reddit - Empowering the Community: The popular social platform Reddit joined the Web3 movement by allowing its users to mint 40,000 non-fungible token (NFT) avatars on Polygon's blockchain. These avatars, purchased for prices ranging from $10 to $100, serve as users' Reddit profile avatars. This initiative resulted in the creation of millions of new crypto wallets, expanding the Web3 user base.


3. Nike - Virtual Fashion with .Swoosh: Nike, the sportswear giant, introduced its ".Swoosh" platform, which offers virtual apparel in the form of Polygon-minted NFTs. Users can don these virtual sneakers, shirts, and other clothing items on their Web3 and metaverse avatars, blurring the lines between the digital and physical fashion worlds.


4. Salesforce - Blockchain-Powered CRM: Salesforce, a prominent customer-relationship management (CRM) platform, partnered with Polygon to enable its clients to create and manage NFT-based loyalty programs on the blockchain. This innovative approach to loyalty programs harnesses the security and transparency of blockchain technology.


Abstracting the Blockchain: A Key to Mass Adoption


One noteworthy aspect of these partnerships is that they abstract the complexity of blockchain technology from the end-user. Many customers using these services may not even realise that they are interacting with blockchain technology. This simplification of the user experience is a crucial step toward encouraging mass adoption. As Web2 companies successfully integrate blockchain solutions, they bring Web3 closer to the mainstream, making it accessible to a broader audience.


The Giants of Web2 Enter the Fray


Big players like Google and Amazon have also recognised the value of blockchain partnerships, specifically in the realm of node operation. Amazon Web Services has partnered with Avalanche, and Google has forged a connection with Solana. These strategic moves highlight the growing importance of blockchain technology in the Web2 landscape.


Why Are Web2 Brands Embracing Web3?


The question that arises is, why are these Web2 brands embracing Web3? The answer lies in the desire to enhance user experiences and customer relationships, attract the tech-savvy Gen-Z digital natives, and explore alternative sources of revenue. The world is evolving, and Web2 companies are adapting to stay relevant in this ever-changing digital landscape.


Looking Ahead to 2023


With the positive momentum surrounding Web3 adoption continuing in 2023, we anticipate that more big brands will follow in the footsteps of Starbucks, Reddit, Nike, and Salesforce. They will develop their blockchain initiatives and partnerships, ultimately contributing to the broader adoption of blockchain technology.


To sum up, as we move deeper into the digital age, the fusion of Web2 and Web3 becomes increasingly evident. The Web2 giants have recognised the potential of blockchain technology to improve user experiences and unlock new revenue streams. Stay tuned for more insights into the dynamic world of digital assets in our ongoing series.


Contact SAXE Global for more insights or consultation here.

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