- From making real money, to advanced security, GameFi, DeFi and others, Web3 is becoming a game changer in technology
- This is the first time that the creative industry will have the opportunity to reward creators, they can pass whatever they have created to several generations
- NFT is an interior part of Web3 technology and they will empower Nigerian youth more than any other opportunity that is out there because most Africans are very creative people
- Our traditional folklore can be used to create a lot, we have all kinds of traditions that can be turned into NFTs
Web3 has become a buzzword but the knowledge of it is still minimal.
Lots of people invest in crypto because it’s trending and others are investing in it. This is a similar case for Web3.
In this regard, a chat with Chuta Chimezie, Founder of Blockchain Nigeria User Group (BNUG), stood as an eye-opener to not just the difference between Web1, Web2 and Web3, but the relevance of Web3 to youth, opportunities that lie in early stage investment, advice required before diving into crypto and new business models emerging as a result of the Web3 innovation.
Can you please explain Web3 to a newbie?
Web3 is the most recent progressive web technology that enables users to ‘own assets on the internet’ — that’s the key word that every other thing we do on Web3 encompasses.
Unlike in Web2 when we create assets and trust centralised authorities to manage them for us. For instance, when you create something on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, you practically give it to the controlling platform. They take control of the data and entire asset that you have created and of course you don’t earn from it.
In Web3, you not only have control, but you can also monetise and earn from it over and over again.
Secondly, in Web2, we give out too much information and that leads to incidents such as leakages, hacked information, among others, that affect people later. In Web3, you only use cryptographic hash functions to sign transactions without giving much information about yourself.
Again, Web3 supports GameFi — Game Finance; you can play games and earn assets that can be converted to real money, rather than earn points like it was done in Web2.
It also includes decentralised finance — DeFi — which enables the creation of decentralised applications that run on the web without a central server.
Finally, the other aspect of Web3 is the metaverse, which is a virtual world that is gated and runs on the internet protocol. Users have an extension of themselves in the form of avatars and those are as real as the owners they represent; they can own houses, properties, artworks and many more.
All of these are coming together to make Web3 a real game changer in technology. Each of these features have attracted lots of investments from VCs and companies that are betting big on Web3 doing extremely well in the coming years.
What is its relevance in the life of youth today and how can its adoption boost a country’s economy?
There are so many ways. Primarily, Nigerian youth are struggling to find opportunities and the opportunities existing in our world are gradually closing in, of course considering that our economy is performing badly and even those who have jobs in traditional businesses do not have any kind of safety on their jobs.
Web3 provides every Nigerian user the opportunity to build on future technology that can guarantee them to earn today and tomorrow.
We are fortunate that we have the internet. Because of the internet, we automatically have the same opportunity to know and learn about what is happening anywhere else in the world at the same time that anyone else is learning about them.
That will help us to easily pick up the necessary skills and tools, get used to them so that we can have career opportunities, because companies that are hiring the most are technology companies, especially those building in these innovative areas.
Nigerians should build themselves properly, it doesn’t matter where they are, they can work and earn from any part of the world. When they are employed in some of these companies, they can earn a global standard enumeration.
Nigerian youth can create a whole lot of wealth using some of these technologies, especially creative people such as visual artists, performance artists, and others. This is the first time that the creative industry will have the opportunity to reward creators, they can pass whatever they have created to several generations.
In my introduction, I didn’t mention NFTs. NFT is an interior part of Web3 technology and they will empower Nigerian youth more than any other opportunity that is out there because most Africans are very creative people. We have folklore that people can gratify — our traditional folklore can be used to create things, we have all kinds of traditions that can be turned into NFTs.
There’s so much we can do, when it comes to art and creativity, Africa rules as far as the world is concerned so it’s an opportunity for us Africans to leverage.
Big Opportunity in Web3 Early Stage Investment
Finally, for those who are a little bit averse to investing in the early stage — a lot of people who have invested at this stage have made money.
When you hear about an NFT project that is launching and you buy into it with little amount of money, that project or artwork that you bought into can become something that can change your life in just a couple of weeks or months because someone else might see the value and want it from you, then you sell it at a standard price every other person is selling it. So, that early stage investment is also a big opportunity.
Would Web3 still be highly relevant in the next 5 to 10 years? Or would it be like the iPhone that when a new one comes out, the use of the previous reduces although still relevant?
Big companies like Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, Google and others that invest in technology are not just gambling, they do comprehensive research before they make their move.
Facebook has invested over $30 billion in this, recently, Microsoft purchased a company that makes VR Set, some companies like HTC have transcended from making phones to VR Set. This means the metaverse is not fizzling out anytime soon.
This gives Nigerians an opportunity to scale even in their environment
Nigerians going abroad are those who think they would get a better opportunity to earn money. But also, there are lots of Nigerians in the blockchain and other sectors here, who are making as much money as those physically going there. Earning more does not justify your moving out of the country.
A lot of people involved in technology will find out that what you’re travelling out of the country to find, is right where you are. You can leave a standard life irrespective of the failed economy and infrastructure of Nigeria. Anyone with sufficient finance can create their own environment wherever they find themselves, even if they face issues, it wouldn’t be an everyday thing.
Travelling out also has its own disadvantages including high tax amounts. This is not the case here in Nigeria, where virtual workers are not so recognised hence high taxes are not placed on them because the Nigerian policies and regulations are not ready for that.
Fear of investing in crypto because of naira fall
Naira has been on the downside for over 15 years and this year alone, it has lost another 30 to 40%. It’s a reality but when it comes to crypto, you’re required to have proper understanding and proper knowledge.
There’s a law that says: “do not invest in what you do not understand” because the chances of losing money is very high. So, the first thing that everyone needs to do in crypto is try to learn as much as possible before diving into it.
After learning, the next thing is to invest only an amount that you can afford to lose. When you have understood how the market functions, the fundamentals that drive the market, and you are able to get the market strength appropriately, then you can increase your risk.
In other words, you can increase the amount that you are investing, bearing in mind that high-risk assets have the potential to produce high reward and low risk assets have the potential of giving you low risk. So, you must have a balance and invest in some high risk and also in some low risk assets.
Never put all of your money into crypto.
What are the kind of new business models web3 will bring?
So many business models are already emerging. Most Web2 types of businesses are being rebuilt on Web3. For instance, I met a couple of young guys who are building a ticketing platform that is on Web3. It will allow users who speculate that a conference or event will be in high demand later on, to transfer their tickets to other people if the event is still ahead of time, sell at a higher amount and make a very good profit out of it.
We also have people building applications using Web3. I met some young folks who transferred Yoruba folklore into a game people can play. There is NFT marketplace and so much going on — GameFi, SocioFi, DeFi, and many more. These opportunities will continue to abound.