How would you define web3? Why do you think there is so much confusion about what it means?
Surprisingly, even after “being in web3” for some time now, I still find it challenging to define what web3 truly is.
To some people, it is solely about technology such as peer-to-peer networks, distributed ledger technology (blockchain), or smart contracts. Some add the sentiment of using this technology towards privacy, transparency, and decentralization. I have even heard arguments from skeptics that “web3” is a marketing term for blockchain or cryptocurrency.
To me, web3 is a movement towards building community-owned/operated entities (protocols, DAOs) or utilities (cryptocurrencies, NFTs, tokens, etc.).
Unfortunately, web3 has a bunch of new terminology and technologies attached to it, such as decentralization, tokens, NFTs, blockchain, wallets, etc. Due to the amount of technical jargon and new ideas, it makes it hard for most people to understand the big picture of web3.
How did you get into the crypto space?
I joined the crypto space by accident in August 2021. I was approached by Decentology CEO and founder, Nik Kalyani, to attend a boot camp to learn Cadence or the programming language of the Flow blockchain. These three weeks would be my first formal introduction to crypto and blockchain development. After the boot camp, I worked briefly as a developer advocate at his company, where I spent time documenting my journey from web2 to web3 development. Currently, I am working as a developer advocate at thirdweb where I help in areas of community and product to help developers build in web3.
What is your advice for someone looking to enter the space personally or professionally?
The advice I have for people entering the space personally and professionally would be to keep an open mind to both the positives and criticisms. Let your curiosity guide your research and question absolutely everything- good and bad.
Where do you see the web3 space heading?
Shortly, I see many startups and protocols surfacing that will tackle building new platforms, providing developer tooling, and creating efficient & scalable protocols. In the distant future, I think organizations such as DAOs will surface more frequently, cryptocurrency will be widely adopted, and the overall digital and commerce landscape will change in favor of the consumer.
What are some of the biggest obstacles web3 faces in the next few years?
In its current state, web3 faces challenges primarily in mainstream user adoption. Utilities such as NFTs and cryptocurrency are either misunderstood or dismissed. Crypto scams and malicious actors hog the spotlight in the media. The user experience and interfaces for non-technical users are often sub-par. Web3 education is still grass-roots and not widespread in our current educational institutions. There is a mixed vegetable soup of new terminologies that are hard to digest. The list goes on.
I have hopes that over the next decade, we will be able to provide a better experience for both builders and users of web3 technologies.
What’s it like being part of a DAO? Good things about it? Bad things/things that could be better?
Being part of a DAO is currently a euphoric experience. If you are part of a DAO at this very point in time, you are shaping a potential option for the way we organize communities. In other words, you are part of history. Currently, my favorite DAO I am involved in is Developer DAO which is led by some incredibly passionate leaders in the Web3 space.
The best part about DAOs is seeing how enthusiastic people are when aligned around a common goal. Having a voice in your DAOs decisions is very empowering. In addition, the unintended networking effect of simply joining a DAO and finding others to build with or recruit is refreshing.
The worst part of DAOs, I put it very bluntly, is that a lot of DAOs are poorly organized, making it challenging to stay up to date. One of the biggest problems I see with DAOs is efforts to keep up with transparency result in an unintended side effect of information overload. One way to solve this is with improved DAO tooling. I stand by the idea that using Discord and other tools in conjunction should only be a temporary solution till we create better platforms to accommodate DAOs.
This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.