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Leader Insights | What is Web 2.5?

What is Web 2.5

We’ve all heard about Web3 and its many virtues, but what is web 2.5?

Since the dawn of DeFi summer 2020, we’ve seen projects flock to the Blockchain space by the thousands. Despite all the interest, across the board we’ve seen far greater failures than successes.

While characters such as Jack Dorsey are soliciting Web 5, our approach has been to view things modestly in the context of Web 2.5. 

So what does Web 2.5 mean?

Web 2.5 is the combination of Web3 tech and talent with Web2 UX/UI user bases, and – quite frankly – business acumen.

Having worked with over 300 projects from pre to post TGE, the common mistake is that despite having some of the best tech, projects lack an understanding of the user’s journey and what the onboarding process for each user profile looks like.

Furthermore, the foundation of any business’ success is revenue. Most projects fail upon launch, relying too much on staking rewards. 

Simply put, the next generation of Web3 projects will have Web2 UX/UI and users that aren’t required to cross the hurdles that currently exist for Web3 retail.

The next 100 million Web3 users probably don’t care about the L1 wars of Sol VS ETH vs BNB. The next retail users care about whether it’s faster? Cheaper? Better than the Web2 solution they use now?

Case Study – OriginTrail

A good example of what Web 2.5 can be is a project called OriginTrail.

When looking at their partners and awards you see fortune 100 names like Walmart and Oracle. Which begs the question how did they get these clients?

Simply put, their solution – in the context of supply chain management – is better than the existing Web2 solutions. Coming from someone who has a degree in SCM, the transparency and fidelity of data that Blockchain can deliver has always been evident. 

How To Web 2.5?

Anyone who has been in this space for a while is aware of the stigma that the Web2 guys have towards the Web3 guys and vice versa.

This transition starts by setting aside our differences and reaching across the aisle to build a better Web3 environment for the next generation of retail adoption. 

The key points we recommend evaluating when considering KPIs are as follows:

  • UX/UI – Is the user experience for your product in line with the Web2 equivalent?
  • Solution – Does DLT represent the foundation for your solution or is it merely Web3 to capitalize on trends (“Sell me this Pen”, “It’s an NFT”).
  • Revenue –  Will your business have a revenue model that can sustain operations?
  • Partnerships – Meaningful partnerships with Web2 brands conveys legitimacy and helps facilitate the new retail adoption vs cannibalization of the current (small) Web3 user base. 

In summary, I see the next generation of projects representing Web 2.5 ideals in a more interoperable and agnostic Web3 environment. Undoubtedly, much of this is contingent upon the continuation of tooling up the open source Web3 code available, as well as projects providing more open protocol solutions that benefit the entire ecosystem. 

We are still at a point where we have not and likely will not start to reach critical mass until next cycle (next Bitcoin halving cycle begins ~May 2024). That being said, the opportunity to create Web3 tech framed in Web2 UX/UI is needless to say immense. It will be interesting to see how things play out and see who capitalizes on this gap in the market. 

Please note this is an opinion piece, in no way shape or form should this article be considered soliciting financial advice.

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