Karmen Tang, Alchemy Pay CMO
Last week, it was my pleasure to join a discussion panel at Singapore Blockchain Week 2022, organised by Blockchain Association Singapore (BAS). I joined the panel alongside Megan Li (Regtank), Rohan Juneja (Fireblocks), Travis Teo (Tokenize Xchange), and Yuen Wong (LABS Group) to discuss how businesses and brands can transition from web2 to web3.
It is fascinating to understand the direction in which the internet, finance, and modern culture is going, and the importance that blockchain is having on that evolution.
A New Cultural Direction
Web3 is a movement. This term implies a Web1 and Web2 that came before it. It’s branding for a new era of the internet, with decentralisation, transparency, self-custody and ownership as some of the core beliefs that come with this term.
Over the past year, brands have taken a more measured approach, exploring NFT drops, integrations, and community growth developed separately from their core offerings. What many brands have transitioned into is a model we call web 2.5. They have combined the best of web3 (digital IP and technical composability), with the proven web2 models of development, growth, and advertising. Web2.5 is the adoption of web3 assets like NFTs within web2 infrastructure that allows for strong discovery, user experience, and brand retention. That’s where Alchemy Pay sits — we’re the bridge between web2 and web3, allowing for the ease of flow of funds between crypto and fiat and vice versa. We consider ourselves to be a cryucial part of the facilitating tech driving the growth of web3. Our mission is to help make crypto and a more decentralized web crossover into the mainstream.
Our job at Alchemy Pay is about building backend compatibility with the existing financial system. That starts with allowing people to use local payment methods and credit and debit cards to buy and sell crypto and other web3 products such as NFTS.
NFTs: The Key Web3 Technology
NFTs are becoming a cornerstone technology in the blockchain-based creator economy, which is an emerging ecosystem of monetized content creation, distribution and community built on the blockchain. It empowers creators to build their own micro-economies, with a cycle of value creation among all participants.
In terms of bridging the gap between web2 and web3, NFTs have been a great tool to tie crypto and blockchain to modern culture. Every content creator has valuable IP and high economic incentives to create an NFT.
Defining the Web3 Audience
The problem and opportunities for brands are that there are now two audience types to cater to:
i) Web2 users that are resistant to this change and aren’t ready to set up a wallet or don’t have the resources to do so
ii) Web3 native who understand the language and processes of the technology
So brands entering web3 can expect to retarget and find new audiences to sell to in web3, but they can also expect to attract web3 native users into their web2 traditional products. Thus, cross-selling amongst these different audience brackets.
It’s also important to figure out your brand or company’s audience niche. For example, a recent Reddit report found that the NFT audience is 80% male with above average income. Thus, like any brand, investing time to do market research and knowing your audience is important.
Steps to Web3 Transition
When thinking about how to transition into web3, here are some key steps:
1. Figure out your niche and your audience
2. Define your utility
Will your business benefit from being on a blockchain? Which is the right blockchain (Ethereum, Solana or Avax)? What new revenue streams can this generate and what value is this adding for the consumer?
3. Assemble the right team and tech stack
Is the user experience right for your target audience to use? Do you need to establish digital wallet infrastructure or accept crypto and fiat currency with on and off ramps- reorganise, or figure out how to take custody of your crypto. Do you have the right expertise in-house to manage this transition or do you need to outsource this?
4. Have a clear timeline, roadmap, and GTM strategy.
The key thing is to start exploring now. Blockchain has brought us opportunities to combat the corporate stranglehold of the centrally controlled web platforms. This is a time to explore new possibilities for a more equitable internet, in which new businesses and individuals can emerge. It is up to the incumbent businesses of today to experiment and play so that they too are part of this journey.