Consumers aren’t happy with Web 2.0 but lack Web 3.0 understanding

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Research conducted by the National Research Group (NRG) finds that most consumers aren’t happy with Web 2.0 but lack Web 3.0 understanding.

When asked about their views of the web over the past five years, consumers believe that it’s become more commercialised (80%), addictive (79%), and encouraged people to treat each other more cruelly (69%).

Furthermore, 7 in 10 Americans say they no longer feel in control of how their data is used online. 53 percent are concerned technology will erode their rights and freedoms over the coming decade. And that, in particular, is driving the development of Web 3.0.

Web 3.0 will differentiate from its predecessor by moving away from centralised and monopolistic services towards decentralisation and user-centricity.

(Credit: NRG)

While there’s a clear appetite from consumers for Web 3.0, just 13 percent of consumers think they know what it is. Over half (54%) have never even heard of the term at all.

Among those who have heard of Web 3.0, 81 percent believe it will positively impact their overall happiness and wellbeing.

The role of cryptocurrencies and NFTs in building Web 3.0

Cryptocurrencies are powering many Web 3.0 decentralisation efforts and Americans – as the numerous recent Super Bowl ads indicate – are increasingly comfortable with buying and selling such digital assets. 

57 percent of consumers said they have bought, or would consider buying, cryptocurrencies.  However, Bitcoin is the only cryptocurrency that more than half (57%) of consumers have heard of.

Interestingly, rather than Ethereum – the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap – being the second most widely-recognised cryptocurrency, it’s Dogecoin with 39 percent awareness (closely followed by Ethereum at 33 percent).

While Bitcoin is designed to be a digital currency or store-of-value, Ethereum and others are platforms capable of decentralised Web 3.0 applications and minting non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

39 percent of consumers see crypto as a type of security – comparable to stocks and shares – while 18 percent see it as a form of currency and 15 percent as a commodity. 37 percent bought it due to their belief that it will have a positive impact on society.

On NFTs specifically, 40 percent said they have bought or would consider buying them.

Most current NFTs are very speculative assets, but long-term more could emerge that provide real value when used to prove ownership of anything from metaverse items to potentially even things such as land deeds.

Marlon Cumberbatch, Senior Vice President and Global Head of Insights at NRG, said:

“There is clearly a lot of competition in the NFT space. If brands want to stand out, they need to offer consumers something with real long-term, intrinsic value. NFTs need to become more than just another asset in a diversified portfolio.

Brands should focus on identifying the unique and compelling experiences that NFTs can enable – whether by exploring partnerships in the metaverse, creating loyalty programs with unique perks or exclusive content, or by nurturing a community around their NFT collections.”

Last year saw numerous headlines around cryptocurrencies and NFTs in addition to celebrity backing/promotions from the likes of Tom Brady, Snoop Dogg, Matt Damon, Paris Hilton, KSI, Mike Tyson, Jamie Foxx, Kim Kardashian, and many others.

That seems to have driven awareness around the Web 3.0 technologies with 71 percent of consumers now reporting they’ve heard about NFTs. Just 28 percent think that crypto is in a bubble.

However, it’s clear that further adoption of Web 3.0 technologies will require more education about them and their benefits.

“There’s a real and measurable desire out there for a new version of the internet that pushes the pendulum the other way, putting power back in the hands of consumers,” wrote the NRG in their report.

“However, the average consumer has, at best, only a cursory understanding of how Web 3.0 technologies can help achieve this goal.”

You can find a full copy of the NRG’s report here.

(Photo by Sergey Zolkin on Unsplash)

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