Improvise, Overcome, Adopt: The State of Crypto and Web3 Mass Adoption
Cryptocurrency, right? That’s all it’s good for, right? Wrong.
To those not in the crypto know (and who harbour media-fuelled doubts about its legitimacy), crypto is still just about creating an alternative currency. They believe that crypto is nothing more than an attempt to replace fiat with magical internet money. A libertarian wet dream laced with counterpower fantasies about seizing the means of exchange from powers that be and thus refuting the tax-built society they impose upon us.
Nothing could be further from the truth (although such instincts still form a core part of the crypto community), and no graver assumption could be made about the direction crypto is going, and the ownership economy it will unlock.
The Ownership Economy
This ownership economy has the ability to radically change the landscape of the modern world as we know it. The seeds have already been planted. The crypto community now just waits for them to grow. Although DeFi, DAOs, NFTs, Play-to-Earn gaming and their like are all in their infancy (and subject often to the same scorn that greeted the original Bitcoin).
However, for all these nascent technologies to maximise their potential, there needs to be adoption. Just as a building is more secure the wider its foundations, the wider the user base, — and more accepting the retail public are of the new crypto technologies powering Web3 — the higher these innovations can rise.
Current Web3 adoption is gathering pace, even among the established players. Gamespot just released their Beta Wallet, Coinbase has begun providing on-chain access directly in their app. Even Robinhood, the scourge of all that is holy in the crypto space, has opened a DeFi wallet.
Until now, many retail users’ exposure to crypto is the neon casino of the centralised exchanges. The temptation to view crypto as nothing more than a flash in the pan investment possibility — a gold rush on steroids — is almost encouraged by the way CEX’s are set up to take in users’ money.
This is not a polemic against CEXs. They offer streamlined, simplified investment experiences and the large companies in the space, like Binance and Gemini, have done wonders for general interest — and education — in crypto as a whole. Investing in crypto is not easy — the blockchain arcana of traditional access routes to crypto defies easy parsing, and specialist knowledge is required to interact with DeFi with any measure of confidence.
Moving assets truly on-chain, for the average user, is still a work in progress. As utility for crypto develops, which we’ll explore in this article, it will soon become a deluge — as people realise the opportunities these tokens unlock, and have the easy access they need to take advantage of them.
Line Go Up!
There also exists, still, an over-investment in price action as the chief goal of a coin, and even diehard crypto holders talk about that day they’ll eventually sell their bitcoin for a million dollars apiece. APYs are usually trumpeted as the prime feature of any given coin, and trading as the be-all and end-all. With this prevailing attitude, it’s no wonder we see such calamitous swings in price, ‘money Legos’ being trampled on by the big brothers of inflation, war, and plague.
What Crypto Can Actually Do
Utility is so much of a buzzword by now as to be close to a meme. Yet true utility, incentive that goes beyond simple value acquisition, will be at the centre of mass adoption on the retail level. Gamespot’s wallet will, for example, expose the gaming hordes to crypto (although one suspects a strong overlap already exists).
Yet if Gamestop uses its wallet to offer discounts on games, NFT collectibles tied to purchases, and more, then it’s possible the crypto involved in that utility will gain value. And, although persona non grata in this space, if Elon Musk’s SpaceX tickets to Mars can only be bought with Dogecoin, then that dog ain’t going anywhere except into space.
Play 2 Earn and NFTs
Crypto utility can go more than beyond just goods exchange, though. Play 2 Earn gaming and its accompanying metaverse is a prime example of this. The ability for users to own their gaming assets, trade them, add to their value through their playtime, and own a piece of the gaming landscape they spend much of their lives participating in, will herald a new era in the way we approach virtual entertainment. This is just one part of the ownership economy that crypto is empowering.
NFTs are another way that concepts of ownership and the possibilities for digital assets are becoming realised. We already see the digital art world has exploded in the NFT-boom of 2021.
Although owning a monkey picture might not seem like much to some, the implementation of back-ended utility and the chance for new ecosystems to grow out of initial NFT distributions makes for a compelling investment space (with a hint of manic, febrile gold rush as everyone figures out what’s what). A space where tokens can, in time, unlock portals to virtual dimensions as yet undreamed. The metaverse is this concept writ large, and huge auctions for virtual property are taking place as the land grab for the metaspace is underway.
Soulbound Tokens — Black Mirror or Recognition?
Speaking of change, Vitalik Buterin has also recently proposed SBTs, or soulbound tokens. These tokens would function like degrees on a resume. Except, as well as being institutional awards, they could represent achievements of any description, and accolades of every variety.
If you worked at a company for ten years, for example, they could issue you a SBT in recognition of that service. Maybe if you mowed lawns all summer, a neighbour could send you an SBT that proves it. Or maybe Vitalik himself, if you helped him up the stairs with his luggage, could send you an SBT that indicates he thinks you’re a good guy. These unforgeable, non-transferable, bespoke tokens of recognition could go a long way towards showing people your progression in life, both personal and professional.
DAOs and Work
On the subject of the professional, another trend in Web 3 adoption is the growth of DAOs, and the new conception of the world of work they unlock. The ability for users to earn natively on-chain creates a new understanding of how labour and capital interact.
If a token that someone is earning through their efforts represents a direct ownership stake in the DAO they are working for, then the labour force is accumulating assets as they go, with ‘stock options’, so often available only to early-entrants in a startup or upper management, suddenly a fundamental part of the everyone’s financial earnings. This leads to better goal-alignment, and more equitable distribution — if done right — of the profits of labour in all its forms.
New Money: Stablecoins and DeFi
It may be simple money that truly opens up Web 3 adoption, however. Stablecoins are more malleable, convertible, deployable and, with adoption, fungible, than any current fiat could ever be. Stablecoins are perfect for international remittance. As infrastructure develops, stablecoins are a faster way to pay anyone, anywhere. Crypto natives already revel in the joy of paying their friends in stablecoins rather than fiat.
Soon, as stablecoins (which currently only represent a fraction of the world’s money supply) continue to grow, and more places accept them, payment will be easy worldwide. Stablecoins also have the ability to create instant complex banking services for areas of the world that are sorely underserved by the current financial system.
At Onomy, the ORES, a stablecoin protocol for the minting of stablecoins, will allow users to distil value into stablecoins that represent national currencies of choice, allowing payments, remittance, credit markets and more to seamlessly happen between those connected in Web3.
DeFi — The World Beyond
Finally, and perhaps most imminently, and — to many — most importantly, we have DeFi. Decentralised Finance, underpinned by the immutable smart contracts that govern it, offer a way for complex financial transactions, instruments and market behaviour to occur in an environment that requires no overbearing jurisprudence or manipulation and deception by big players.
If you make an agreement with a project using a smart contract, they can’t welch on the deal if the terms are fulfilled. No corporation can lawyer up and sue you if the agreement you had goes against their advantage. DeFi creates a world of Open Finance, where everyone is the bank and all involved reap the rewards of the capital being used to make the global economy tick. The efficiencies of the blockchain in capital management, allocation, reallocation, and investment consortiums has only just begun, but its open nature means banking, Forex, remittance, payments, and more is no longer held hostage by the scions of high finance.
Improvise, Overcome, Adopt
Web 3 adoption is growing. A crypto is more than just currency. Yet obstacles remain. True on-chain trading environments that are accessible to all are still not available and easy to understand for the common user. Onomy plans to change all that. We are creating an on-chain trading environment that feels as good as, if not better, than a traditional CEX.
We want users to take full control of their funds in the ownership economy, and use our wallet to store their NFTs, SBTs, DAO tokens, and more — all in one easy place. Our Hybrid DEX, deployed natively across partner chains, and replete with custom-bridges to all major blockchains, will create a finance hub where all tokens are ready to trade. In this hub, users can mint stablecoins, participate in DeFi, and truly immerse themselves in the future digital economy where everyone owns a stake.
Onomy Protocol is a layer-1 Cosmos chain powering a multi-chain & intuitive DEX that combines AMM liquidity pools with an order book UI facilitating market, limit, and stop orders, alongside FX markets via its stablecoin minting system, and multi-protocol asset management through the multi-chain Onomy Access wallet.