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Better infra, regulatory clarity needed for Web3 to take off

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Of late, Web3 is the trending buzz on the internet.

Essentially defined by a decentralised ecosystem built on the blockchain, the transition of the internet from the Web2 to Web3 envisages an online space that is free of monopolies. In Web3, consumers can own digital assets and be part of the system. “Web3 is intended to give any participant in the web their own autonomous power and control,” say analysts.

All the fanfare around new Web3 technologies metaverse and NFTs (non-fungible tokens) have popularised the idea of Web3 and local brands have already started exploring the space. Tata Consumer Products, for instance, hosted a Holi party on the metaverse while Tanishq launched its new bridal collection Rivaah on the metaverse.

Much of the action around the metaverse and the larger Web3 space is confined to restricted marketing blitz as of now. It is still some time away for brands to be able to scale their presence on Web3 and build effective models to engage with consumers.

Vishal Jacob, chief digital officer at Wavemaker India (WPP’s media agency), that crafted brand integrations for metaverse events says that an established digital infrastructure and clarity around regulations will be imperative for Web3 to gain ground. A simple example can be that of a brand mooting dropping NFTs on marketplaces or say using NFTs to unlock the metaverse. To be able to do that, brands would at least need a crypto wallet.

“Right now, I don’t think a lot of brands have that in place. There could be legal complications for that because the regulations are not very clear at this point. That could be a deterrent for a lot of brands,” says Jacob.

Besides, the infrastructure capabilities lack the maturity and scale to support Web3 applications adequately. “The rendition and the user experience on the phone with regards to 3D imaging as well as creating an immersive experience isn’t really there as yet... bandwidth and processing power is needed for the phone to give a very immersive experience. At this point in time, it is not really strong and it might take a little while to get there,” says Jacob.

Once these two factors are resolved, both consumer and brand adoption will get a fillip. “There are a few brands that have made early moves like Tatas and ITCs of the world... but I think the larger shift will happen only when consumer adoption happens on a large scale and regulations are made far more clear,” says Jacob.

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