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Web3 Never Looked Better 🤩

State of Crypto by a16z

GM DOers!

Are you ready for the awkward web3 conversations coming up over the holidays?

I’ve been in crypto & web3 for a while, and never have I been able to avoid uncles, aunts, and cousins asking if I’m still dealing with magic internet money. 

With that in mind, I thought you might want to arm yourself with some straight facts about web3, so you can combat the inevitable critics that’ll flow your way.

If they’re coming at ya, show them this newsletter, in which I’ll share some of the key insights that a16z presented in their latest State of Crypto report. We’ll go over:

  • Web3 myths

  • Web3’s unique offerings

  • How web3 solves real-world problems

  • The state of web3

  • The state of the US in crypto 🇺🇲

Let’s get it.

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Crypto Myths

Let’s get rid of the 2 most common crypto myths.

First up, “crypto is only used by criminals.”

In fact, only 0.24% of crypto transactions have been used for illicit purposes last year. 

Secondly, “crypto is bad for the environment.”

Sure, Bitcoin still has some work to do to improve, but check this out.

Ethereum – where the actual web3 activity occurs – only consumes 0.0026 Terawatt hours (TWh) every year.

Its environmental footprint is much smaller than that of other technologies. 

Web3’s Unique Offering

Blockchains are simply new kinds of databases that can do some things that current technologies can’t. 

A few examples include:

  • Decentralization via tokens

  • The ability to own your data as an internet user

  • Verification of digital content in an AI-driven world, distinguishing real from fake and tracing origins

  • Fair compensation for data contributions by consumers and creators

These are obvious benefits for us web3-natives. But for the average normie, it’s rocket science. So if you’ll try to pursue your uncle with the 4 points above, he’ll for sure remain skeptical about web3, saying there’s no real-life use-cases.

So show him this instead – a list of IRL web3 use cases.

Web3 Solving Real-World Problems

Reducing Platform Fees: Today, big tech companies can charge whatever they please, because nobody can compete with them. Apple charges up to 30% in fees on purchases made in mobile apps by consumers.

That’s insane.

Crypto challenges this by offering lower take-rates and increased consumer choice.

Revolutionizing Remittances: With $647 billion spent yearly on remittances, crypto could save up to $40 billion in international transaction fees.

It costs people 6.25% on average to send money across borders. Via crypto, the costs are pennies. 

Data Ownership on Social Media: In web3, users own their data, from posts to networks, transferable across platforms.

Identity Management: Platforms like Spruce enable users to control their digital identities, as seen with mobile driver licenses in California.

Direct Artist Monetization: Platforms like Sound allow artists to monetize directly with fans, bypassing traditional streaming service constraints.

Transparent Carbon Credits: Flowcarbon aims to streamline the voluntary carbon credit market, directing more funds to environmental projects.

Decentralized Social Networking: Farcaster allows user-driven content moderation, promoting unbiased social networking.

Innovative Telecom Solutions: Helium is transforming 5G accessibility and costs through decentralized wireless infrastructure.

Collaborative Storytelling: Story Protocol and Adim foster open collaboration in storytelling and character creation, ensuring IP protection and creator compensation.

And this is only scratching the surface… We also have household web2 brands like Ubisoft, Reddit, Nike, Adidas, Lacoste, Moncler, and so many others using web3 for various things.

We share this constantly on Twitter, so make sure you follow us.

But let’s head into some actual data and charts to see where we’re at in crypto.

Price Predictions for the Bull Market 

Where will the bull market top this time? That’s the question!

In our recent PRO report, we look at various metrics, charts and historical data to predict the top for $BTC, $ETH & $SOL.

The State of Web3

Out of 330 million Americans, 12% (40+ million) own crypto. And that’s growing. 

Check this out. Despite volatile crypto prices, the actual active web3 users have been on a consistent rise since 2018. 

From 2020, the total number of active users grew from ~2.5 million to over 17 million. This is the most significant chart in web3 right now. 

Unlike the past bear markets, this time, we actually grew in active users despite a horrendous couple of years.

This shows that there’s stuff to do in web3 today, outside of just speculating on tokens.

There are apps and technologies that people actually use regardless of market conditions. 

Additionally, there’s a growing body of crypto research since 2017. We’ve reached over 21k crypto-related publications which contribute to new ideas of how this space can evolve.

The State of the US in Crypto 🇺🇲

Unfortunately, the US has been losing its lead in web3.

The amount of crypto developers is down from 39% 4 years ago to 29% today (left chart ). 

This shows that there’s either growth in developers across the globe, or that US developers are moving abroad.

Similarly, there’s less US citizens interacting with crypto. 

22% in 2019 → 15% today. 

This is partly because of all the restrictions that U.S. citizens face. E.g., they can’t access certain airdrops. Stupid. 🤦

At the same time, data shows that developers are building outside of US time zones, indicating that they're either not Americans (bad) or that they're building with firms outside of the US, most of which are in the UK (even worse).

Unlike the US, the UK is actually providing some regulatory clarity regarding cryptocurrencies. They even have an official article about the basics of crypto on the government website. 

Meanwhile, the US is suing the biggest American crypto companies (Kraken and Coinbase) for violating laws that don’t even exist.

Instead of fighting innovation, the US should embrace it because they’re perfectly positioned to benefit the most from the future of crypto. 

Here’s the last web3 benefit I’ll state today before letting you off: Stablecoins. 

USD stablecoins make up 99% of the total stablecoin market. 

Onchain dollars can strengthen the USD by putting it on blockchain rails, which allows people to distribute it worldwide in seconds, at insignificant costs.

Here’s the truth. If you want to send USD from the US to Europe, it’ll take seconds and cost pennies via a web3 wallet, using an Ethereum L2.

In comparison, it’ll take days and cost you tens of dollars to send $100 via banks from the US to Europe. 

We chatted about stablecoins at more length in a recent podcast. Tune in on your favorite platform.

YouTube | Spotify | Apple Podcasts

Thanks for reading. And remember, you're strong, you’re powerful, you’re alpha!

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Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and not financial advice. Conduct your own research and consult a financial advisor before making investment decisions or taking any action based on the content.

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