July 28, 2022

Why Web3 is Needed More than Ever

The world is literally on fire. Europe, Asia and parts of America have all experienced record temperatures this summer, causing wildfires and devastation. 

The world economy too, is running hotter than anytime in living memory. War wages in Europe, inflation continues to climb, energy supplies are dwindling, and food shortages are becoming the norm. 

Last, but certainly not least, civil rights are in retreat. Women’s autonomy is under threat–half the world’s female population lack the ability to make choices about their own bodies–and democracy has been in decline in every continent for over a decade. The outlook for humanity is grim. 

But amidst this backdrop represents a unique opportunity. An opportunity for Web3 to step forward and help re-imagine the world as we know it. 

A broken system needs a new way of thinking 

Crypto was born out of a crisis. When the Bitcoin whitepaper was released in 2008, the world was in the midst a recession the International Monetary Fund described as the most severe economic and financial meltdown since the Great Depression.

While the world has moved on, the issues that caused the depression still remain. The financial system that underpins this world has maintained its monopoly. The world’s global elite exert more control than ever. Governments have been ‘too slow’ in tackling the existential threat posed by climate change. And marginalised communities struggle to have their voices heard at a local and global level. 

While there is no silver bullet to these issues, there are solutions, many of them being worked on in the Web3 space. But they are in their early stages, and need help. They need talent, money and voices from all walks of life to take part in shaping how this technology works. 

Web3 was designed as an antithesis to what came before. At its heart is a vision to decentralise power and control, and help level the playing field when it comes to inclusion and participation. But those ideas are fragile, and need protecting. It’s one of the reasons I joined NEAR, and why I believe this project can contribute to this change. 

One part of the puzzle  

The technology that sits beneath NEAR is revolutionary. It has managed to find a working solution to the blockchain trilemma, creating a blockchain that is secure, scalable and decentralized. It’s also sustainable, achieving climate neutral status for two years in a row. 

Built on top of that are more than 700 diverse projects from across the world. From education projects in Africa, to humanitarian aid projects in Europe and conservation projects in Latin America. 

Alongside these projects, there is critical work being carried out to reimagine and repurpose what we mean when we talk about ownership, community and incentive. 

Projects like Brave, Youminter, NEARPay and Tamago are rethinking what ownership means beyond the Web2 world of middlemen and rent seekers. 

The NEAR Hubs program is bringing empowerment and inclusion to regions historically overlooked when new technologies are in their nascent stages. 

Last, but not least, projects like Sweatcoin, and Open Forest Protocol are radically rethinking how to incentivise people to make changes in their lives for the benefit of everyone else’s. 

But NEAR is just one piece of this puzzle. We believe that in order for change to happen, we need more voices, more ideas, more radical thinking to help take on threats to our very existence. 

Now is the time to build. Now is the time for change. 

If you want to learn more about NEAR, come and see us at NEARCON, or attend one of our regional events, or join our community

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