Wallets As Profiles
Crypto To Web3
A new technology or product cannot be successful without feedback and iteration. You build something for someone to use, listen to what they say, improve your product, and repeat the process forever. To reach where we are today, the crypto ecosystem has completed many feedback loops.
Over the last few years, cryptocurrencies have shifted to digital assets, BTC to stores of value, ETH to a modular blockchain, and — of course — crypto to Web3. As important as the utility of any underlying asset is the story and narrative behind it. One of the next narrative changes could be a shift of “wallets” to one of a “Web3 profile, identity, bio, digital inventory, etc.” As wallet capabilities are massively increasing, we want to discuss the importance of rebranding crypto to Web3 before diving into the future of the Web3 profile.
Changing The Narrative
It has become evident, that a positive narrative is developing around the crypto industry, which is often referred to as Web3. Several of the pioneers of this movement have been Chris Dixon and Packy McCormick, whose thoughtful threads and Not Boring newsletters have continued to promote Web3’s broad application and education. It’s easy to imagine what a new version of the web would look like, which is one of the key reasons for Web3’s acceptance compared to crypto. Tokens can be adopted from the new Web3 architect in order to expand, build cultures, and create wealth similar to what Web2.0 allowed. The ability to compare and imagine is one of the most powerful mental models we use, and Web3 embraces that tendency, whereas “crypto” was previously perceived as something vague and intimidating.In comparison to familiar web2 concepts for those outside the industry, web3 is certainly here to stay and enlarges the surface area of crypto-enabled possibilities.
Wallets To Web3 Profiles
Our engagement metrics are telling the story, we’re beyond skepticism about crypto, and we’re imagining how Web3 can impact the world.
In the future, wallets will be transformed into Web3 Profiles (identities, browsers, bios, etc.).
You can easily envision a tweet saying “it went from wallets and opaque private keys” to “profiles and a consistent login across Web3 to manage/safeguard digital assets” (of course, security, interoperability, ZK-tech, social recovery, key management, and other wallet developments will affect this).
Wallets Need A Rebranding
The next wave of adoption, creation, and interoperability will be driven by decentralized app stores, profiles, browsers, and identities. Our traditional idea of wallets should become obsolete once you realize the potential of crypto and NFTs. Everything involving money is now framed as a conflict between the 99% and the 1% because we’ve reached a point of perception. There is no question that this is a contributing factor to the current backlash against NFTs. It is regrettable that some companies receive backlash and engagement when they adopt NFTs. This hostility might be alleviated by highlighting NFTs’ broad application in empowering creators, athletes, musicians, businesses, and individuals through a Web3 profile that signals support, allows individual ownership of data, and fosters community with NFTs and social tokens.
With the rebranding of wallets into profiles, the power could be further enhanced through the use of tokens, both fungible and nonfungible. Wallets can easily be transformed into profiles using the same imagination and comparison factors that drove the Web3 narrative. The easiest comparison is to think of a Facebook (Meta) profile.
Art, songs, and DAOs are represented by NFTs based on your interests and likes. Best friends are now social tokens that show your belief in people. Through NFTs and in-game economy tokens, games, gaming assets and experiences are now ownable, portable, and transferable. By utilizing the meritocracy of the blockchain, achievements, reputations, schools attended, and certifications are now verifiable on-chain. With NFTs and tokens, you can now access communities and groups you belonged to instantly, gated to holders of specific tokens in order to limit spam and increase skin in the game. In terms of Web3, the concept of a wallet is unlimited.
It will be necessary to broaden the value and scope wallets provide as more applications are built, infrastructure is improved, and new ways to capture data and value are created. There is a good quote from Ryan Selkis who said: “The backbone of the Web3 economy and wild world of DAOs are your personal wallets, which are sort of like your personal data vaults…in five years, people might look at the current wallet landscape and sneer at how primitive we were, but some solutions show how we’re getting closer to a time when our wallets can double as universal identifiers and data managers…and the crypto wallets getting built today, will be as integral to your life’s operating system as your cell phone.” We’re at the beginning of this new transformation and building blocks are starting to assemble, so let’s not limit the imagination of what a wallet can do and focus on what a Web3 profile can enable. Create the applications that empower users against the incumbents through tokens and NFTs and shift the narrative of what your Web3 profile can enable. John Palmer wrote, “the Internet is now a place where everyone has an inventory. The existence of programmable, interoperable digital objects will fundamentally change the logic of the Internet.” At the moment we’re just a the very beginning of what wallets will be able to do and we can only imagine the broad application and utility of what a digital profile will come to represent and enable.