Web3 Use Cases, Keys to Adoption, The Importance of Women Leadership in Web3 (and More)

September 9, 2022

We recently hosted a “Women in Web3 and Blockchain Webinar.” The webinar was moderated by Raman Frey, Founder of Good People Dinners and Camp Earnest. We featured a panel of women leaders:

  • Cindy-Anne Lewis, Global Head of Marketing at Capgemini Engineering and Lohika​
  • Tegan Kline, Co-Founder & Head of Business at Edge & Node​
  • Olga Mack​, Author of Blockchain Value & Vice President, CEO at Parley Pro, LexisNexis
  • Chelsea Rustrum​, Founder of Blockchain for Good​
  • Michelle Abbs​, Founder & CEO at Web3 Equity ​
  • Yasmine Morrison, Early-stage Investor at Florida Funders

In this blog post, I’ll summarize key points made by the panelists.

Use cases of Web3

Raman asked the panel to describe interesting use cases of Web3.

Tegan mentioned The Graph, “an indexing protocol for querying networks like Ethereum and IPFS.” She noted that The Graph is enabling decentralized applications (“dapps”) including NFTs, gaming, DeFi, the metaverse and Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (“DAO”).

Another use case cited by Tegan is the Ethereum Name Service (ENS), a distributed, open, and extensible naming system based on the Ethereum blockchain. 

Looking into the future, Michelle shared her excitement for the day when health records, educational records and passports are stored on the blockchain. Because today’s systems are bureaucratic and archaic, Michelle notes that it will take a long time before we get there.

An existing use case that Michelle finds fascinating is Fan Controlled Football. “With tokens and NFTs, fans vote on who’s on the field and which plays they run,” said Michelle.

What factors are hindering Web3 adoption?

Raman asked the panel to discuss factors holding back further adoption of Web3. 

Chelsea noted the poor user experience on the application side. She said that there’s a lack of practical applications for end users. Without the availability of “killer dapps,” Web3 is less accessible to the mainstream. In other words, we need simple and accessible dapps as the onramp to Web3 and few of these are in existence today.

Chelsea mentioned Couchsurfing as a service that shares the core principles of Web3. According to its website:

“Couchsurfing is a global community of 14 million people in more than 200,000 cities who share their life, their world, their journey. Couchsurfing connects travelers with a global network of people willing to share in profound and meaningful ways, making travel a truly social experience.”

Chelsea admires the Couchsurfing model in which hosts own the platform (or pieces of it) and guests are compensated. She sees a future in which money is not as important as value. Today, money equals value, but according to Chelsea, “In the future, we can share cars, homes and other things. We can share our hearts in a more meaningful way. Transactions look a lot different in the future economy.”

Yasmine cited three factors that are hindering Web3 adoption:

  1. Infrastructure. We’re still very early. In the same way that computing consolidated around a core set of operating systems (e.g., macOS, Windows, Linux), Web3 needs to also consolidate around a core set of technologies.
  2. User experience. Web3 is currently too difficult to use. We need a user experience that’s so easy that parents can use it.
  3. Regulation. We’re still in a gray area around regulation. We need to build a Know Your Customer (KYC) infrastructure in order for Web3 to go mainstream.

Does Web3 need regulation?

For increased adoption of Web3, Olga noted that some amount of regulation is needed. “What’s bad for a marketplace is uncertainty. The laws that we have on the books today are not enough to provide certainty.” 

Olga said that as long as uncertainty exists, people will hesitate to build services and applications. The benefit of rules, said Olga, is that they provide predictability, which will let people feel more comfortable building Web3 applications.

Tegan provided a counterpoint and said that uncertainty has allowed the space to prosper. Tegan said that if we regulated Web 1.0 or Web 2.0 too early, innovation would not have occurred – or, innovation would have taken place outside of the U.S. Tegan added that lack of clarity can be good for individuals, as they can experiment and beat large corporations to the punch.

Why is it important to have women leaders in the Web3 industry?

Raman asked the panel to discuss the importance of women leadership in the industry.

Michelle said that the early days of Web3 mean that we have an opportunity to make things more inclusive from the start. According to Michelle, “It’s important to start building the infrastructure now with everyone’s voice. Then we don’t have as many blind spots that get baked into the architecture that we have to spend the future fixing.” 

According to Tegan, we need more women in the industry and more diversity overall (i.e., in addition to gender diversity). Tegan said that for the industry to advance and grow, we need every skill set that exists in the world, as well as diverse perspectives.

If you run a company, Tegan said, “It’s not OK to just take money from men. You have to add women to your cap tables. You have to go out and seek women investors and hire women leaders.” 

Providing Web3 education

Michelle spoke about the mission of Web3 Equity. According to its website, “We pursue gender equity in web3 by increasing knowledge and providing a network & resources for women investors, collectors, and creators.”

Michelle noted that education is essential to gaining mainstream adoption. Web3 has a lot of technical and mysterious terms and phrases – Michelle noted that we need to explain the terms and demystify them. At social events she organizes, Michelle prefers to do hands-on learning where attendees bring a laptop, open a crypto wallet, etc. 

“We teach them what is a cold wallet, what does it mean to safely store things and how to read an Etherscan contract. We go through all these various aspects,” said Michelle. 

Real-world blockchain example

Raman asked Cindy-Anne to share a real-world example of how Lohika and Capgemini Engineering support Marco Polo Network build software solutions on blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). Cindy-Anne gave a shout-out to Lohika’s incredibly talented software engineers who have vast experience building on the blockchain.

Marco Polo Network manages a global trade finance platform and we implemented an open API-driven platform powered by R3 Corda, a permissioned and highly secure blockchain platform that is ideal for financial markets. Our engineers participated in design and architecture decisions, implementation, testing and running it in production. The outcome is that the new v2 platform now runs 35,000 times faster.

What will be possible in Web3

In a lightning round to close out the panel discussion, Raman asked the panel to answer the question, “What will be possible in Web3 that was impossible in Web2?” The answers:

  • Yasmine: bureaucracy will be sorted out in a good way
  • Chelsea: shared ownership for everything, everywhere, all the time
  • Michelle: we don’t know, but we’ll soon find out and it’s exciting
  • Olga: solving privacy as something we can choose
  • Cindy-Anne: creating more opportunities in emerging markets
  • Tegan: You can be a market maker on Uniswap today from anywhere in the world without asking for permission (i.e., this is different than the regimented process required to become a market maker on Wall Street)

On-Demand replay

Watch a recording of the panel discussion: