Lauren Ingram, the founder of Women of Web3, discusses all things blockchain, crypto and metaverse with host Charlotte Henry. She explains what on Earth Web3 actually is, why female voices matter as it is developed, and what the impact on the media industry could be.
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Lauren Ingram on Twitter
Charlotte Henry on Twitter
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If you have read the tech press recently you will have seen a lot about web3 and the metaverse. There's no exact definition of Web3, but it can (very loosely) be thought of as a decentralised version of the internet that uses blockchain technology. It includes elements like cryptocurrencies (such as Bitcoin) and NFTs - unique, tradeable digital assets. The Web3 Foundation explains a bit more, describing "a decentralized and fair internet where users control their own data, identity and destiny."
That sounds rather idealistic and, in many ways, it harks back to the earliest days of the web - a world without endless scroll, social algorithms and giant companies hoovering up user data.
I've always been wary though, and in recent times there have proven to be numerous issues in the Web3 world. We've had crypto crashes, thefts and just the general sense that so much of it is bit of a con. When you look at the metaverse, immersive digital worlds, it all just looks rather..well, naff. I also can’t get beyond the “why do we actually need this?” barrier. That always exists with new technology and is often overcome, but the reality is that there remains a dearth of real-world use cases for Web3 at the moment.
That's not to say there is not good work already being done and exciting potential for the future. There clearly is. And some of that will happen in the media space. Gaming, which is very much part of the media world, is an obvious place where digital assets and metaverses are already booming. I can see more and more music artists launching NFT collections to accompany the release of new music, as Muse did recently. That will mean something to the biggest fans, in the same way that collecting album artwork did previously. For podcasters, there are potential new opportunities to generate revenue from your show via micropayments that are automatically made while you listen to a show (as discussed with Dave Hamilton last week).
Lauren Ingram, the founder of Women of Web3, is determined to ensure that female voices are heard as this new world emerges. That is hugely important. We know that so much existing technology has been created through the male gaze and that diversity tends to lead to better products and outcomes. It was great to get her views on some of the issues around Web3. (We've actually known each other for years - we went to school together!)