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What is Web3? Several definitions have emerged, and they all have one thing in common: the new chapter of the World Wide Web is based on blockchain technology. As we all know, blockchain technology is much more than Bitcoin. The blockchain umbrella also includes decentralization and token-based economics, including NFTs.
Related: Learn More About Crypto, NFTs, and Metaverse
One of the more fascinating aspects of Web3 is that it plays a huge role in changing the status quo in the way people around the world live their daily lives. This can be attributed to many things such as changing times, trends and user preferences. There’s also the fact that Web3 is more inclusive than its predecessors, and the innovators behind it are making their mark on the human-centric internet at scale.
Inclusion is fueling interest and innovation in Web3
According to a recent study by the Harris Poll, “While only 16 percent of U.S. adults own cryptocurrency, 18 percent of Black Americans already do. For Latinos, the figure is 20 percent.” Additionally, about 44% of people who own cryptocurrency are people of color. In 2021, actor Hill Harper launches The Black Wall Street, North America’s first black-owned digital wallet and financial capacity-building technology, to help meet the needs of black Americans. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Black and Hispanic blockchain leaders, educators, marketers, and market makers have been working hard to outperform other groups through the adoption of blockchain technology.
Interestingly, age was not a factor in Web3’s success. This can be seen in the case of 7-year-old Rebekah and Esther Obi, known as O’twins. They created a 20-piece NFT collection of shapes and colors and sold out their founding NFT collection, called Colors and Shapes, in just an hour. They are just part of the movement of mothers to bring their children into NFTs.
Nonprofits get creative in the midst of war and the Covid pandemic, raising money in new ways, like when the Make A Wish Foundation sold NFTs as a way for charities to accept cryptocurrency donations after the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade , or Save the Children Ukraine responded by accepting digital asset donations.
When it comes to NFTs, gender is not a barrier either. Emmy-winning producer Cindy Cowan, known for her work in Hollywood, is chief strategy officer at Mogul Productions, a decentralized film financing platform that believes women should support other women in the crypto business .in a recent appearance Badass CEO Podcast, Cowan detailed her work revolutionizing NFTs in the notoriously sexist music and film industries. In her well-known NFT work, her friend, world-renowned Marvel and DC Comics artist Rob Prior ignited his drawing during a live broadcast, and as a result it reappeared as an NFT on the Mogul platform as a 24-hour auction. The NFT was eventually sold for $200,000.
Overcoming barriers to women in Web3
The innovators behind Web3 are far from an exclusive club of “blockchain brothers.” As creators, builders, and leaders in the field, women are making a full impact on Web3. I recently hosted a radio show on Twitter Spaces discussing women and inclusion in Web3. The episode features iconic fashion designer and bestselling author Rebecca Minkoff, along with Refinery 29, Goop’s Alison Wyatt and startup consultant and angel investor Girlboss.Women get together to launch Female Founders Collective (FFC) Female founders are encouraged to educate and help each other to thrive in Web3.
During the discussion, it became clear that the number one pain point for FFC female founders was getting venture capital. When less than 2% of funded founders in Web2 are women, there is a significant opportunity to find alternative funding sources for women in Web3. Comparing 2% of funded women to the opportunities for female founders in Web3 and NFTs, it’s not so much venture capital as it is public financing.
A mistake many female founders make is that they all have to launch a series of NFTs on OpenSea, but Rebecca Minkoff’s vision for the FCC is to educate women and what methods work for different companies, and where NFTs are valuable and focused on practicality. “Does an NFT unlock the experience? You know, is it a portable NFT or a virtual trial and service? I think founders have to think about a lot of different aspects,” Minkov told me. Web3 will change statistics, and she wants to make sure women know what these tools are and how they can best grow their businesses.
NFT photographer Lori Grace Bailey joined the discussion to talk about the potential of Web3 by encouraging other women to show up and get involved, as she believes all women have the opportunity to expand their reach in the space. Netki’s COO Dawn Newton likes Web3’s promise that women can de-democratize these platforms and create equal access by getting other women to join NFTs. Regarding unconscious bias, Lisa Friedman believes that there is unconscious bias. We have to learn how to capture it in ourselves, our teams and our actions. We have to learn how to give people of different backgrounds the opportunity to define what they can do and show it. Then, based on outcomes, not unconscious biases, decisions are made about who should be in the negotiation and in what capacity.
Related: Web3 is annoying, but it doesn’t have to be
While Web3 is certainly more inclusive than its predecessors, there is still a lot of work to be done. As a group, we’re still on the cusp of Web3’s build-out phase as it’s laying the groundwork for it to become globally popular within a decade.