Inclusivity In Web 3.0: Interoperability Of Culture

CEO at NewCampus, a modern business school in Asia. Exploring the intersection between the future of work and learning with an Asian twist.

In 2021, the value of NFT sales was estimated at $22 billion, which is a quantum leap from the previous year’s $100 million. That would pique anyone’s interest. With the first splash into NFTs, the intersection of art, culture, tech, community and finance greets you with all these new terms that easily fly over your head. To be honest, as someone who deals consistently with Web 3.0 in my line of work, the idea that this turns off the curious makes me sad, especially knowing that Web 3.0 was always meant to be a more diverse, inclusive and equitable space than its predecessors. It’s unfortunate that those who stand to gain the most are the ones that have the most difficulty in entering the metaverse: the underrepresented, the ill-informed, the ones who lack the means.

Facing The Inclusivity Issue Head On

There are quite a number of NFT projects that seek to change this, some more overtly than others. 

One approach is to make NFTs more accessible through the appeal of artwork. For instance, as an investor in Supernormal, I’ve observed that since it’s based on the work of famous South Korean illustrator, Zipcy, it is marked by different art styles, genders, races and emotions. Even if you aren’t in the NFT space for profit, the variety of human identities portrayed in the images can capture the interest of those who purchase digital assets for art’s sake. 

Another option is to appeal to different demographics. An example of this is Boss Beauties’ website. I’m not just talking about aesthetics but also what content is featured and how it’s organized. Where most projects focus on the collectability or trading aspect of NFTs, at Boss Beauties, NFTs are more a tool to advance the advocacy of empowering women to be at the forefront of tech and leadership. This alternative approach to marketing an NFT project is rather refreshing in my opinion.

Pricing is another area being targeted. For some projects like Portugal-based Women Tribe, they’ve set the floor price of their new mints very low, barely covering gas fees. Another project, Oni Squad, which I invest in, is known to drop gas fees to give chances for more people to begin their journey in Web 3.0. While self-serving, Twitter is full of tweets shilling projects through contests where the winner gets an NFT transferred directly to their wallets. Without measures like these, it’s the usual suspects — the crypto wealthy — who I believe will get ahead in this new world. Wouldn’t that be a shame?

Interoperability Of Culture

One of the tenets of Web 3.0 is interoperability, which is usually referred to in the tech sense where tokens can be used for different purposes. I’ve seen some NFT projects band together to form alliances. By doing so, they’re indirectly tackling the issue of inclusivity by making it less prohibitive (cost-wise) to enjoy more of what the metaverse has to offer.

For example, the founders of the Honolulu-based NFT project Fomo Mofo, in which I invest, shared that part of their road map includes giving access to their version of the metaverse to other like-minded communities. The team has identified concerts, meetups, art galleries, dance parties, treasure hunts and opportunities to give back not just for Fomo Mofo holders but for other NFT holders who share similar values with their thriving community as well.

I’ve also observed that some NFT projects are dealing with concerns like keeping smart contracts secure or preventing social hacks. Instead of dealing with the issue on their own, I believe that when interacting with other project leaders, problems can be solved better and faster. Partnerships among NFT projects allow members to see more of the metaverse, witness different ways of doing things, pool resources and have more interactions with different people you might have not met if you stuck with your own community. That opens a world of opportunities. 

Trait Sniper, a project I advise and one of the first NFT ranking platforms from Vietnam, supports fellow enthusiasts and collectors to get into presale whitelists for upcoming projects. On average, we partner with a new project every two days, allowing them to have their launch spotlit on the main landing page.

Collaborating with other communities in Web 3.0 requires the founders to have both an open mind in embracing new working styles and open arms to take in new communities. This not only magnifies value for holders of the NFT over time but can also collectively lift the ecosystem in a non-competitive way.

Final Thoughts

Inclusivity is said to promote the creation of better products or services — in the case of NFTs, artwork and utility. Inclusivity is also a factor in creating safe spaces and less toxic communities where members are not afraid to voice their opinions and perspectives. Keep in mind these key points:

• People enter the NFT space for a variety of reasons, including leisure, as an investment or out of curiosity.

• The barriers to entry in Web 3.0 are access, appeal and understanding.

• Inclusivity can be achieved internally, within a community, as well as externally to it.

• Communities can work together to achieve greater things.

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