As the hype surrounding NFTs, crypto, the blockchain, and the “metaverse” has intensified this year, the term “Web3” has entered the lexicon too. If Web 1.0 involved visiting static webpages and Web 2.0 is marked by centralization, with most of our commerce and communication happening on a handful of powerful platforms, Web3 represents a different online movement — one that’s decentralized and based on the blockchain.
Web3, its believers say, empowers individuals, so instead of accessing the internet through the likes of Google, Meta or Amazon, users own and control pieces of the internet, and are theoretically offered better user privacy protections, since there’s no longer a centralized platform serving as an intermediary or gatekeeper for user data. Of course, Web3 is still nascent, so this egalitarian vision of the future will likely shift in practice, particularly as venture capital firms and other large organizations begin to invest in it and necessarily centralize the technology.
In fact, some venture capital firms are already pouring money into Web3 startups, and Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian launched a $100 million Web3 growth fund last month. “Web2 boss hates web3? We have hundreds of open job positions,” Andreessen Horowitz’s Chris Dixon tweeted.
In their mission to stave off FOMO (the fear of missing out, in this case specifically being late to spotting a trend in tech), Web2 companies and even non-tech companies are beginning to post open positions for Web3 roles, indicating that at least in one tangible way, the future of the internet is already here.
Inevitably, Web3 has come for dating apps. Bumble is hiring a Head of Crypto and Web3 to “lay the foundation to support and inform Bumble’s crypto strategy, with a particular focus on next generation community and creator economies.”
Warner Music Group is making a blockchain play. In the job description for its Vice President, New Business & Ventures, Web3 Strategy role, the company plays up the importance of its NFT content strategy and indicates the importance of the blockchain for future “commercial opportunities and direct-to-fan touchpoints.”
As Business Insider reported in October, video game retailer GameStop has been assembling a team of employees with NFT and Web3 titles, including posting listings for three product marketing directors for its NFT platform, three NFT software engineers and two Web3 gaming heads. This follows the May launch of the company’s GameStop NFT website.
Reddit’s Web3 Staff Backend Engineer, Crypto will be responsible for making blockchain technology at Reddit scale to its hundreds of millions of users, along with “designing new incentive models for decentralized networks and building the right tools to empower people and communities to take control of their lives online.”
Unsurprisingly, payments companies are hiring to get in on Web3 and anticipated mainstream crypto and blockchain adoption too. Stripe is seemingly going all in on the future of the internet and hiring a crypto team to help build the “future of Web3 payments,” after ending support for Bitcoin payments a few years ago.
At least one media company, too, is taking a bet on Web3. Time Magazine is hiring a Web3 Infrastructure Engineer to help build out the infrastructure of TIMEPieces — a new NFT initiative “that brings together artists, collectors, and fans for increased creativity, collaboration and mutual benefit.”