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Last year, a sudden trend appeared on Twitter, where people were replacing their profile pics with funny-looking apes’ cartoons. Apes sporting cool sunglasses, apes smoking cigarettes or apes with stoned red eyes.
A company called ‘Bored Ape Yacht Club’ was behind these NFTs (non-fungible tokens) and made about $2 million from the initial batch of selling the apes NFTs. Since then, the collection has gone beyond $100 million dollars in trading, with the cheapest apes often going for almost fourteen thousand dollars.
It seemed so silly to many people when Web3 enthusiasts were buying those digital monkeys and spending millions on NFTs in general.
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But, today, the popular concept has penetrated the Indian Web2 platforms as well, bringing other uses with it.
Flipkart recently joined hands with ‘Nothing’ phone to bring their customers into the Web3 playground with the very first NFT drop at Flipkart FireDrops, hosted on Polygon’s blockchain. This can completely revamp the e-commerce experience by unlocking verifiable digital ownership and driving greater community engagements.
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“With this utility-based adoption, people are finally understanding that there are some real-world use cases of Web 3 solutions like NFT and Metaverse,” said Manasa Rajan, CEO, Jupiter Meta. Jupiter Meta is a homegrown integrated Web 3.0 entity that is changing the metaverse experience and providing NFT solutions to companies.
She further added that these are the first signs of adoption, which means that Web3 is here to stay. It now shows its true capability that will improve our experience as users and the way we interact with products, services, and content.
Polygon: An enabler to Web3 space
In the past few months, ‘Polygon Technology’, a decentralised Ethereum scaling platform, has become popular in the Web2 ecosystem. Reddit, Starbucks, Robinhood and Flipkart have the polygon technology to step into the world of Web3. For example, social media network Reddit is now airdropping its Polygon-based “Collectible Avatars”.
Last month, Starbucks announced ‘Starbucks Odyssey’, an NFT-based rewards for members that will allow them to earn and purchase digital collectible assets. Starbucks partnered with Polygon for their NFT loyalty programme.
Of all the platforms, the biggest news was revealed of Flipkart adding PolygonScan blockchain explorer.
“The fact that companies like Reddit, Starbucks and even Meta have implemented our Web3 and NFT features is a great example of increase in the adoption curve and how these technologies are ready to rule the tech industry,” said Arjun Kalsy, VP of Growth, Polygon.
Starbucks has been implementing Web3 technology that will pave the way to engage with its Starbucks Rewards loyalty programme members in exciting new ways—unlocking access to immersive coffee experiences from unique merchandise and artist collaborations and invitations to exclusive events.
When Web3 enthusiasts were excited about NFT, metaverse and other Web3 features, sceptics, especially Web2 platforms, outrightly rejected these ideas and called it a ‘fad’. Two years down the line, these features are now part of the Web2 ecosystem.
Rajan of Jupiter Meta claims that she has developed the world’s first Web3 content platform to future-proof the publishing industry and create new monetisation opportunities for publishers and journalists alike.
Besides, her company is also working on projects with Indian supermarkets, dairy companies and music festival organisers to make the customer experience seamless while using Web3 technologies, such as metaverse and NFT.
From rejection to adoption
“The main reason why Web2 companies are gradually leaning towards Web3 features is the seamless experience and ownership opportunities it provides to their customers,” said Kalsy of Polygon.
The company believes that joining hands with some of the world’s biggest technology and B2C companies has enabled them to showcase the power of Web3 and gain trust among its customers. More and more Web2 companies are now reaching out to Polygon to collaboratively strategise for the implementation of Web3 features on their respective platforms.
Experts assert that while the recent adoption of NFT and blockchain explorer by these companies will give a boost to the awareness about Web3, widespread popularity may still be a while away.
“The onus of making Web3 popular with consumers would rest with the companies,” said Piyush Gupta, co-founder, VOSMOS, a Web3-based digital marketing platform.
He believes that the Starbucks loyalty programme is among the best business ideas. However, in order to make consumers adopt a new programme based on Web3 and NFT, Starbucks would need to make things simple. Easy access and simplicity of usage would be the biggest hurdles for the brand. Having said that, if popular brands are diving into the Web3 pool, there will definitely be more awareness, acceptance and adoption of Web3.
Piyush Gupta further added that the company is constantly working towards transforming more brands as they believe Web3 communities are tight-knit groups of people who can bring about the change by providing peer-to-peer support with no central authority.