Updated: Dec 7, 2021
What the hell is Web3?
Web1 was the first phase of the Internet (roughly 1990s - early 2000’s). This era was mainly about providing online content and information. Mostly static pages in read only format – think Netscape Navigator, Internet Explorer and Yahoo. They were built on open protocols, decentralized and value accrued to the builders and users.
Web2 is the version of the internet most of us are familiar with and use today (roughly 2005 -2020). While Web1 was static and “read-only,” Web2 was “read-write,” and interactive. This era quickly became centralized and giant corporations like Amazon, Google, Facebook and Apple dominated and cornered value.
Web3 (current) combines the decentralized, community-governed ethos of web1 with the advanced, modern functionality of web2. This is the future we are rapidly moving towards, a future where the internet is owned by the builders and users orchestrated through tokens.
The case against centralized platforms
Almost all of their modus operandi is the same – provide a free platform, spend loads of marketing money to recruit users, and as their adoption grows due to the network effects, they begin to exercise power over the users by acting as gatekeepers, harvesting user data and auctioning it to the highest bidder (advertisers) to earn super normal profits. Apple takes a 30% cut, YouTube nearly 50% and Facebook / Instagram – all 100%. And what do the creators get? Likes 👍, Yikes! While centralized platforms are in the business of accruing value to their shareholders, decentralized platform want to accrue value to their users and builders. This is at the core of web3 - restoring value back to where it belongs. High rent seeking intermediary businesses are ripe for disruption by web3.
Future proof - Web2 to Web3
Most of you would know that TikTok was banned in India in June 2020 post which Chingari, a local app became the go to platform for short format video content. The platform today boasts of 3.6M daily users, 33M monthly active users, has 50M videos already created with over 156M content views daily. While Chingari was incorporated as a web2 company, it realized that in order to gain a competitive edge and future proof, it needed to transformed itself into a decentralized web3 company. They recently issued the $GARI token which is a gateway into the blockchain for users of the Chingari platform.
Web2 platforms like TikTok and Instagram being centralized are not monetarily lucrative for creators as the content they create is not owned by them and the revenue model is controlled by the companies. Through the $GARI token Chingari is incentivizing its creators; every video they post gets converted into an NFT (Non-Fungible Token) which can then be bought, sold and traded on the platform. This accrues value directly to the content creator, the more viral the content, higher the returns.
The creator economy will be fully unleashed on the Chingari app where users can not only buy content on the NFT marketplace, but also back specific content creators by investing in their future success, get direct access to their favorite creators through video calls, get them to create customized content for special occasions etc., in exchange for $GARI tokens. Content creators will also be able to sell merchandise on the platform and earn additional revenue. Most importantly the $GARI token acts as a DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) and empowers its creators and stakeholders to vote and decide on how the platform needs to govern and manage itself. This is the USP which is making both creators and users flock to this platform.
Intersection of trends
The $GARI Token rises at the intersection of the three main trends in social media entertainment, brand community development, and crypto. Gaming tokens for example have already created a huge wave this year with the likes of Axie Infinity (play to earn gaming platform) already rising to the Top 5 in the gaming universe. It is a rage in South East Asia and Chingari hopes to replicate their success in the social video space. Gaming tokens and NFTs have brought millions of first-time users into the crypto space and social tokens like $GARI aim to bring in at least a billion users onto their platform in the future. Chingari aims to build a global business (launching in Indonesia soon), and is already recruiting community managers to support users in over a dozen international languages.
I have become a huge proponent of web3, and am an early investor in $GARI and have no doubt that with their solid real world use cases and differentiated model they will build a strong SocialFi business in the crypto universe. This is a massive experiment to showcase the power of decentralization and the passing down of value to users/ creators who are central to building any sustainable business. Most consumer based companies will take this route in the near future.
$GARI is backed by some of the biggest names in the blockchain and crypto space including Republic Crypto, Solana Capital, Kraken Ventures, LLD Capital, Long Term Ventures, CSP DAO, Galaxy Digital, Alameda Research and more. The $GARI public token sale (IDO) is happening on SolRazr from December 15th to 18th, details of which can be found here.