The future is Web3 was the consensus at a high-powered panel discussing the subject at Hong Kong’s FilMart on Wednesday.
Weighing in with their knowledge and experience were Evan Auyang, group president, Animoca Brands; Jenefer Brown, executive VP and head of global products and experiences, Lionsgate; Lucas Cheung
managing partner, Hong Kong, Gusto Collective and Jaeson Ma co-founder, 88rising, OP3N and EST Media.
For the benefit of the lay people in the audience, Ma provided a handy definition of what exactly Web3 is. Ma explained that web1 was a phase where people could search for and read content, web2 is where companies were able to publish content and web3 is all about ownership.
“Now people are able to actually publish content, but also prove that they are the ideas, originators, authenticators of that content. And so Web3 really is about the ability for people to own what they create on the internet,” Ma said. Continuing the explanations, Cheung described blockchain, one of the building blocks of Web3 as “a decentralized public ledger,” while Brown simplified NFTs or non fungible tokens as unique digital assets and Auyang the metaverse as a virtual space where users are able to perform many functions.
Providing an example of a practical use of Web3, Brown pointed to Lionsgate’s “Saw” franchise where fans with digital wallets were gifted a set visit to Mexico. “The ability to have a direct line of communication and access to our fans, that is something that we don’t have currently. We have social media, we do social listening, but the ability to gift them, reward them, loyalty, that’s all really exciting,” Brown said. “I love the idea of opening an opportunity for our fans to create alongside with us and it’s a win-win.”
Looking to the future, Ma said, “This is not a fad, it’s a technology. The technology is here to stay but its application is yet to be seen. We’re going to see more utility, like Starbucks adding a membership rewards program that’s backed by blockchain.”
Auyang said that in Hong Kong he is pushing very hard to rejuvenate the discourse around Web3 and he has seen several diverse initiatives in China around the technology.
Brown said that the U.S. is not the leader in the Web3 space. “We’re looking at the rest of the world, we’re looking at what’s happening in Asia, and Latin America, and even Europe, there’s been a lot of movement made, and a lot of countries around the world, in terms of regulation. But the SEC in the United States really hasn’t acted yet. For us, for our business, our films or TV series that are global – the challenge is looking at every country where we have a fan base and figuring out how to create in such a way that we can go to the furthest extent that’s that’s allowed in that market, and customize. So there may be things we can’t do in the U.S. that we can do in Asia or in Europe or in other places,” Brown said.