In this blog post, we’ll analyze the current landscape and go through the five main hurdles slowing down Web3 mass adoption —and how to solve them.
How Long Will Web3 Mass Adoption Take?
In recent years, the adoption rate of new technologies has sped up.
Let’s look at an example: it took over 50 years for traditional telephones to reach massive adoption. Smartphones, in turn, saw an 80% adoption rate in around 20 years, and tablets went from nearly 0% to 50% adoption in five years or so.
The difference is striking, and there are many reasons behind it. On the one hand, modern technology does not require as much infrastructure for implementation as past innovations —you know, life electricity grids and telephone wires that needed to be installed for things to work.
On the other hand, consumers are becoming much more tech-savvy and are not afraid to adopt new technologies that can quickly improve their lives.
But can we actually compare Web3 to a smartphone or a tablet? Not really. Web3 encompasses several technologies and solutions that are still being developed. It involves an entirely new ecosystem and new dynamics that people will need to get used to, and there are many obstacles to overcome first.
So, although the rate of technology adoption is speeding up, Web3 mass adoption might take several years, if not decades.
Let’s discover what’s slowing it down.
Top 5 Obstacles Slowing Down Web3 Mass Adoption
1) UX and UI
The user interface (UI) is the main interaction point between a user and a computer, website, or application. It’s essentially what they see when they access and use an app or service. In turn, user experience (UX) refers to the quality of that interaction, and it’s what drives users to stay and engage.
Web3 is lacking in both.
Most decentralized apps, metaverses, and crypto wallets, among other Web3 projects, have an incredibly poor UI, with outdated graphics, disorganized layouts, and an overall unappealing look.
On top of that, Web3 has a huge user experience problem. The ecosystem is unnecessarily confusing, and people who want to explore it soon feel discouraged by the complexity of the “solutions” it offers.
To overcome this challenge, Web3 developers and innovators need to focus on building user-friendly, jargonless, and more accessible solutions. This could do wonders for a space that desperately needs to onboard more users to gain momentum.
Interoperability is a hot topic in Web3 right now. It essentially refers to how one blockchain or ecosystem connects and interacts with another.
Suppose you’re in Nike’s metaverse, and you buy some cool NFT sneakers for your avatar. As things are now, you wouldn’t be able to use those sneakers in another metaverse because there’s a massive loophole in interoperability across ecosystems. They are not connected, and their assets are not transferable.
In the digital realm, people want to have the same level of mobility and transferability they have in real life, and developers need to answer this demand. Think about it: would you buy a pair of shoes you can only wear at home? No.
The same applies to Web3.
The space needs to work hard to overcome the issue around interoperability, looking for ways to expand the reach of solutions instead of limiting them. In the case of new projects, it would be wise to work with interoperability as top of mind. Not only will that enrich the ecosystem, but it’ll also give them a competitive edge.
3) Real (and Clear) Utility
Another obstacle to Web3 mass adoption is providing and communicating real utility. While early adopters of Web3 are concerned with solving complex problems, people just want a complete solution that will make their lives easier somehow.
And as Web3 is still being developed, there’s no definite utility on the horizon. So, people still don’t understand what they get to gain from this new era of the internet.
This problem becomes bigger if we think about Web3 communication. Right now, it’s difficult to see real value in Web3 because no one can explain in simple terms what people stand to gain from it —either now or in the near future.
Jargon, acronyms that no one understands, and endless documentation won’t do the trick. To foster wider adoption, Web3 projects need to give users a nice and digestible overview of what this is all about.
4) Web3 Regulation
As it stands, regulation around Web3 is all over the place. It’s either inconsistent, inapplicable, or non-existent, and there isn’t a clear set of rules governing the core technologies of this emerging ecosystem.
But since the main pillar of Web3 is decentralization, the waters are completely split when it comes to regulation: some people believe that there should be a least a general framework for Web3 operations, while others want no intervention from the government at all.
This is clearly an issue because it places an additional burden on Web3 projects trying to build innovative solutions. It forces them to walk on eggshells around regulation that is still pretty unclear.
So, the ecosystem could benefit from a more united front in terms of regulation. This would enable innovators to advance their projects under a clearly defined framework.
People still don’t trust Web3-related technologies. Unfortunately, NFT and crypto scams have damaged the reputation of an ecosystem that hasn’t even fully developed. We’ve seen several cases in the news, and the number only seems to go up.
Although it’s true that there are many scammers in the space, there are also many people working to provide honest solutions to real problems. And it’s time to start highlighting them to build trust.
If users don’t trust the ecosystem, they will steer away from it, and mass adoption of Web3 will never fully arrive. People will only accept Web3 solutions if they see they have real utility and they feel they can trust them with their data, their funds, and their online identities, so we need to start working towards that.
The Road Ahead
Despite these obstacles, a lot of progress has been made, especially in the last few years. NFTs and crypto have gently pushed the ecosystem into the mainstream, but there’s still a lot of work to be done.
Web3 mass adoption won’t happen until these challenges are resolved.
When will that happen? Only time will tell.
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