Web2's New Alternatives
Web2 vs. Web3 Companies
As the whole idea of Web3 becomes mainstream, the reality of blockchain technology is changing a range of industries and therefore competing with a variety of companies. Per a tweet from Soren Muller, here are a list of companies that you’ll recognize in the traditional “Web2” business, and their known competition in the Web3 world.
We would like to thank Ethan Powers for contributing this article.
Spotify and Audius
Spotify is one of the most recognizable names when it comes to the music industry. It’s an easy-to-use free app that let’s you stream music for free, with options to pay for various plans to listen ad-free, as well as offline. In this article from USAToday, we learn that artists earn less than $0.01 per stream, and contracts with their labels and rights can affect this as well. Another interesting thing about Spotify, is that the company has never actually made a profit. Despite attaining ad revenue and being the arguable #1 or #2 music platform only to apple, their stock price hasn’t consistently increased since its inception, they never generate any annual profits.
Per CoinMarketCap, Audius is a streaming service that is built on the Solana Blockchain. “Audius was launched to remedy the inefficiencies of the music industry, which is plagued by intransparent music rights ownership and intermediaries standing between artists and their audience.” What Audius is, is a streaming service that aims to improve the monetary rewards given to artists. While still in its early phases, the ideas here are NFT Compatibility, which could be ideas like owning an NFT from an artists will grant you to listen to unreleased songs or hear songs before they’re officially released. Another interesting idea is the rewards of $AUDIO, the native token of the company with a circulating supply of 1 billion coins. The idea here is that the more streams and followers an artists attains, the more $AUDIO tokens they will earn, and assuming the value of the coin steadily rises, means they will have generally higher rewards for their work, all driven from the likes and listens of fans who stream their music.
Dropbox / Data Storage and Filecoin /
Dropbox is a recognizable name in the tech industry, and the name itself essentially implies their business. Using Dropbox, you have a central file hub. Photos, videos, documents etc., can be stored here. Apple has iCloud, Google has their Drive, Microsoft has Onedrive. There’s central data storage all over. In the 21st Century, it’s perfectly reasonable and understandable to have a central space to store files you want and be able to keep track of them.
Can you store files on the blockchain? Absolutely. Filecoin is probably the better known data storage system in the Web3 world. However, the difference here is that, following the ideas of blockchain, you guessed it, Filecoin is all about decentralization. The big thing here is decentralized data storage, not centralized storage. Click on FileCoin’s website, for a short presentation on the company. Generalizing FileCoin: Instead of relying on one centralized domain for data storage, users can store data with other users, often negotiating on competing prices. Individuals can set up technology hubs where they can become equipped to hold users’ data and will act as a validator amongst the network when checks and verifications of block information happen. Per CoinMarketCap, there’s some important vocabulary here: being Proof-of-replication and Proof-of-spacetime. In a general summary, PoRep is a mechanism the providers use to show that individual data is stored as individual data with a certain storage level to it, essentially meaning copies can’t be made. PoST is essentially a mechanism in the Proof-Of-Work concept. Any data that’s given / received will come with a time stamp on the transaction. The idea here is that moving the data in the storage wouldn’t be possible, given when the data was accepted, the time stamp came with it and moving it would be at a time that wouldn’t match on the ledger. FileCoin allows for a decentralized data storing network at competing prices, and those who do store the data can earn incentives and rewards which consist of earning $FIL, their coin.
Upwork and Braintrust
Upwork is the Web2 version of finding contracting jobs from IT to marketing, writing, and much more. One can make a profile here and begin hunting for contracted jobs through the network. Once jobs are attained, they work on the job as given through a contract, finish it, and are paid for their work. Then, as desired, repeat that.
Braintrust however, brings that to the blockchain. With a much more tech-focused workbase, they look to connect individuals to companies looking to hire, but they also take away a lot of fees given out, so the contracted worker is able to, and will take home more of their share of their payment. They also have their own coin with the same name but abbreviated ($BRTRST). Users can invite others to join the Braintrust network and be part of a much more community-focused network. Built on the Ethereum blockchain “BTRST token holders, through voting with their tokens, are able to control the future of the network, decide which categories it expands into, how disputes should be resolved, what platform fees should be, and other network governance topics.”
Banking and Blockbank / Baanx
Blockbank and Baanx are two companies that are both based in the fiat and non-fiat currency world. Fiat currency is cash. We can hold it in our hand. Non-fiat currencies are cryptocurrencies – we will never physically have them, they’re purely digital. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t combine the two. Both of these are next-gen banking companies that can combine cash, and crypto. Both can be exchanged for one another, and you can track your crypto wallets and cash accounts with the apps they offer, as well as stay updated on real-time crypto prices. You can swap currencies within the app, track your portfolio, and stay up to date on what’s happening with the currencies that you can buy. While they do offer actual cards as well, it’s simple to convert any crypto you have directly into those accounts.
GoDaddy and Unstoppable Domains / ENS
In the digital world, websites like Wix, Wordpress, and GoDaddy come to mind when it comes to websites. From website designing, templates, layouts, sales incorporation, and domain names and registration, this too will soon be recognized in the blockchain world.
Want to get “registered” in the Web3 space? Look no further than unstoppabledomains. From .crypto, to .blockchain, there will be a new way to get a domain for the next generation of internet. A few partnerships that stand out are: Brave, Moonpay, blockchain.com, Yearn, 1inch, and The Graph to name a few. If you’re using a site or area in the Web3 community already, this is your go-to for domain registering. However, if you’re looking to build in Ethereum, take a journey over to ENS – Ethereum Name Services. Here, you can register a wallet, website, and more, and have that .eth ending.
PayPal / CashApp and MetaMask / Wallets
Sending money to someone? Cash, Venmo, Paypal, Cashapp would be the most common things that come to mind, at least for the younger generation. They’re free, easy to use tools that are super convenient. Owe your friend $5 for some food? Venmo them. Someone doesn’t have cash on them? Cover them and they’ll Cashapp you. But that’s the old way. Those are 3rd party ways. If X want to send money to Y this way, there’s a bunch of processes that have to happen. They have to open a payment app, pay the person, have the app verify it, have the bank verify it, then have the receiver’s app verify it before it’s sent. Granted, it’s an easy process and is usually completed in a matter of minutes, almost always in the day the transaction is made.
Crypto Wallets make that a whole lot easier. The only verification happening is on the blockchain. What happens here is a wallet-to-wallet transaction. X can send crypto to Y, and the only thing that happens is a verification of wallets, and usually a transaction fee on the blockchain before the money is sent. MetaMask, the staple of crypto wallets is the most popular one. There’s also wallets through various exchanges like crypto.com and Coinbase, Solana has a Phantom Wallet, and there’s many more than can hold many more currencies, where transactions often happen in a matter of seconds or minutes. For lightning fast transactions, the Natrium wallet of ($XNO) is one that deserves more recognition in the space.
Facebook and Steem
Meta, formerly Facebook is of course one of the digital media platform giants. Each user has their own account to share photos, videos, thoughts, and just about anything they want to for their public or private feed to see. However, social media and content creation is part of the blockchain already.
Steem (not the video game store) is social media on the blockchain. The most important thing about this is the way Steem aims to share rewards amongst content creators. Generally, as a content creator on social media you can earn money, but it’s usually a small % of rewards compared to the bigger picture. Steem aims to change that, and increase rewards for content creation and use of their social media platforms. From their website, Steemit and DTube are two popular platforms built on the blockchain, and are aimed to be blogging and video platform sites. When one uses these and their content become more popular and upvoted ( similar to Reddit,) they will earn rewards from the Steem token pool that will be given to them. Steem even has a blockchain game, Steem Monsters, and a platform called Utopian for funding projects. They want to change social media, and give the money back to the content creators for using their platform. Rewards are given through the Steem coin, ($STEEM). Steem also prides itself on handling more transactions than Bitcoin and Ether, as well as offering not just social media platforms, but a marketplace as well.
Youtube and Aioz
Youtube: The single-handedly most popular video sharing website on the internet, and advertising giant for individuals and companies, where you can easily target any demographic you want – everyone uses youtube.
Aioz however, is a decentralized video sharing platform that, like most of the other Web3 companies on this list, have a rewards system for those that watch videos. Although in testnet, Aioztube is essentially like a new youtube – it’s a video sharing platform. While it also offers rewards for watching videos and ads of the ($AIOZ) coin, there is a file limit right now of what can be uploaded, and it’s still very much a developing project. An interesting thing to note here is the fact that it focuses on CDN: content delivery network. Instead of having a centralized hub for the streaming services, they aim be decentralized and have a spread-out network of files. “The AIOZ Network significantly lowers the cost of establishing trust and distributes bandwidth resources efficiently across geographies, sectors, and conventional bandwidth service providers. However, it’s still very much in development."
Chrome and Brave / Decentr
Google – the face of the internet. “Google it.” Google maps. Google photos. Google drive. A tech giant and easily one of the most well-known brands in today’s world whether you’re young or old. Easily the most well-known web browser there is.
Brave however, is a blockchain-based web browser that allows for rewards, as well as safety. Per their website “It blocks privacy-invasive ads & trackers. It blocks third-party data storage. It protects from browser fingerprinting. It upgrades every webpage possible to secure https connections. And it does all this by default.”
Brave is aggressively promoting their safety, ability to prevent data tracking, and overall ensure use of the internet as safer and more secure. Brave, like most blockchains, also its own coin or token. Named the Basic Attention Token ($BAT), users can opt into a rewards program that will allow them to earn rewards of this token by viewing ads. Instead of having to view them all the time, all over the internet, users can now elect to view them in exchange for rewards. This of course is not mandatory. Along with the web browsing, Brave also has their own wallet which can be equipped with the browser, and also promotes simple password transfers, Built-in IPFS integration, and much more on their website. They also boast over 50 million users.