Web3 needs a rebrand, says Co:Create’s Tara Fung

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“Cryp­to” is a dirty word, accord­ing to Tara Fung.

Dur­ing a pan­el dis­cus­sion at the Per­mis­sion­less II con­fer­ence in Austin, Texas, the CoCre­ate co-founder and CEO spoke about how the indus­try needs a “rebrand.”

Fung prefers the term “Web3” over “cryp­to” because it “encom­pass­es the tech­nol­o­gy as well as the ethos,” open­ing up new use cas­es, inter­op­er­abil­i­ty, and ownership. 

The Web3 ethos is “that peo­ple should have more own­er­ship,” she explained, “and that we should be build­ing things in a way where there is a com­mu­ni­ty com­po­nent as opposed to a cen­tral­ized enti­ty that gets to decide every­thing unilaterally.”

But the stig­ma of cryp­to stretch­es well beyond blockchain ver­nac­u­lar. Fung said that telling some­one why they should care about cryp­to — a com­mon con­ver­sion tac­tic — is futile.

“If you do,” she said, “you’ve kind of already lost. It should be intu­itive. It should be expe­ri­en­tial first. It should be that this is a bet­ter expe­ri­ence. This is a bet­ter pro­gram. This is a bet­ter, more per­son­al­ized journey.”

“Oh and it’s Web3. OK, cool. But I shouldn’t have to know that in order to appre­ci­ate it.”

Nobody cares how the toilet works

Pres­i­dent of enter­prise at Moon­pay, Kei­th Gross­man, com­pared the cur­rent men­tal­i­ty in cryp­to to con­ver­sa­tions that took place dur­ing the ear­ly rise of per­son­al com­put­ers, when peo­ple cared about “their 486 and their Pen­tium and how much RAM they had.”

“That’s kind of where we are today, in this space,” he said. “We’re talk­ing about the specs.”

“And then the iPod comes out and Steve Jobs holds up a device and says ‘a thou­sand songs in your pocket.’”

When it comes to tech specs today, most peo­ple exhib­it an “I don’t know and I don’t care” atti­tude, Gross­man said. “I just want it to work. And I want it to do some­thing awesome.”

“Nobody cares how the toi­let works,” Gross­man quipped. “That’s sort of how I feel about technology.”

“The point is,” Gross­man reit­er­at­ed, “it 100% needs a rebrand­ing as it relates to how peo­ple under­stand why the technology’s valuable.”

The rep­u­ta­tion­al harm that the cryp­to indus­try has incurred via a litany of scams and nefar­i­ous behav­ior is not unique to the space, Gross­man insist­ed. “Scams take place in any indus­try where money’s involved.”

“I lit­er­al­ly can go through any indus­try where mon­ey can be made, and I could point out bad actors. Are there bad actors in this space? 100%.”

“Does the space need reg­u­la­tion?” Gross­man asked. “Yes, it needs respon­si­ble reg­u­la­tion.”

“Ulti­mate­ly, for mass adop­tion on the con­sumer lev­el though, it’s like the toi­let,” he said. “Nobody cares how it works.”

“The tech just needs to be able to empow­er a bet­ter con­sumer expe­ri­ence.” 

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