To do this, we must answer the question: What is web 3?
Web 3 describes any digital platform, space, or community that mentions one of the following: cryptocurrencies/blockchains/smart contracts or tells you that something is going to the moon.
It’s also important to learn the jargon that will undoubtedly come up when you find people discussing these areas.
Web 3.0 slang:
In the first few months of researching and meeting the web 3 community, you’re bound to come across some interesting slang that you’ve probably never heard of, fortunately we’ve got a glossary to make this easier.
Do your own research. You’ll hear that phrase a lot in the web 3 space, and it's incredibly important to do so. There’s a lot to learn but it’s a fun journey. After one month it may feel like you know a lot now and are ready to ape into (aggressively invest into) a project, but you’re probably not ready yet. Carry on researching.
How do I do my own research? There's many things you can do to get some initial understanding of web 3 technologies. Here We’ll guide you through them
Get a Metamask wallet: Not only will this grant you access to a lot of web 3 platforms when you come across them, but it will help you understand what different decentralised financial systems are, and how they differ from using a bank account. There’s many different wallets available, but we recommend this as a place to start. You are solely responsible for keeping your seed phrase safe. This is very important.
Once you have a Metamask wallet you'll now be able to investigate what is being built in the web 3 space. Some protocols such as Solana will not accept this wallet type and instead ask you to use a different wallet.
Set up a twitter account: you may not know what to post yet, you may not know which area of web 3 you belong or can contribute to, but finding a web 3 community that you like will probably use twitter or be mentioned on there.
Why twitter? Is twitter considered web 3? Well no, twitter is not web 3 (maybe web 2.5).
Twitter is the most web 3 friendly space in web 2, it’s where the web 3 people hang out because they are still waiting for mainstream adoption of the cool stuff in web 3.
Plus they have now incorporated NFTs into their platform. You can now add an NFT as your profile picture and it be clearly identifiable as an NFT instead of a copy of the digital file.
Twitter accounts to follow:
We also recommend joining some Discord servers. Head to Discord and make yourself an account, you can read our blog covering What discord is, join the Autonomies server and ask us some questions if you’d like further guidance. There’s also plenty of educational content there, such as videos to help you get started and learn web 3 processes using videos found on youtube channels such as:
Autonomiesio (Check out our educational playlist)
How to market your NFTs - Twitter is one important place to advertise your NFT projects, particularly by using twitter spaces. So follow some NFT artists, or some interesting projects on Twitter and keep an eye out for which Twitter spaces they visit/speak in.
Be aware of trends - like in most markets, there's normally something that’s more trendy than other products, and NFT marketplaces are no different. Some of these trending projects have a minimum price for their NFTs held at millions of pounds. You can see some of the most popular NFT projects here.
Another pattern to be aware of is that there will also be art mediums that are particularly popular with NFTs at the time, whether this be fashion, music, gaming, virtual land, visual art, writing, physical objects and many more different kinds of NFTs to come.
There’s plenty of areas in the creative industry that have already been changed, disrupted and evolved due to web 3. It’s an exciting and rapidly changing space that requires many creatives for it to reach mainstream adoption as well as their creativity to push it forward and fix problems that are encountered.
Fine art/photography/film/animation - Using web 3 tools, The NFT art market has recreated a similar fine art market. It’s very much in its infancy at the moment, which is why it’s considered to be ‘the wild west’ of web 3. While it hasn't completely solved the issues that the traditional market has, it serves a clear purpose for digital art which wasn't popular/accepted in the traditional fine art market, bringing back scarcity to digital files. Many digital artists have found more success in a week with NFTs than selling prints or exhibiting in galleries. One key aspect is how much easier it is to find collectors when using online marketplaces than in the traditional art market, and this is because of the transparency in transactions on the blockchain.
Music - There’s a number of ways for music to be integrated into web 3, and we at Autonomies are particularly excited about the future of virtual concerts in the metaverse, music NFT marketplaces and collaborations with visual artists to make multimedia NFTs. These can revolutionise specific areas of the music industry that have needed updating, in order for artists to be valued more fairly.
Music royalties through the introduction of smart contracts can make it easier for artists to not be taken advantage of when agreeing on terms of sale, especially when they are writing the contract or dictating the terms themselves.
Selling music without selling rights is not a revolutionary idea, however even signing a deal with a major record label has resulted in music artists giving up their rights to own that song they created. Music NFTs only give legal rights of the music if the creator chooses to include that in the contract, making it a lot easier to retain ownership of the song, whilst selling a scarce number of digital copies. This has proved to be an essential way for artists to be empowered and have more control on how their music is valued. This is also relevant to creators of all kinds that post their work on social media. When a creator uses platforms like Instagram and Facebook, the platform then has permission to use that content however they see fit. This is not the case with NFT marketplaces, which focus on giving the artist more control over their content.
Perhaps most importantly; Music NFTs bring back scarcity to digital files, which looks to continue the step that streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple music have made in the past to increase the financial value of music, but this is still far from where it needs to be which is why artists argue NFTs are needed to revolutionise the traditional music streaming release model.
Video games - A trend in web 3 video games has been to adopt the ‘Play to earn’ model that means users can earn passive income from gaming and also staking virtual assets in the game. This Play to earn model has been particularly popular in developing countries as they are able to earn a significant amount of money from playing a game they enjoy playing.
NFTs also have the potential to be used as a way to earn a vote, this can then be used in a DAO (Decentralised Autonomous Organisation) that will collectively decide on decisions for the future of a game. This is particularly exciting because of how much it would benefit the creators of the game, so they can listen to the game’s community and let the future releases and updates be decided by the needs of the people that play it. This in turn ensures a level of success for future releases, perhaps even more successful than if they were to make the decisions themselves. It’s important to note that this could likely result in more safer decisions being implemented and it could best be reserved for certain decisions as opposed to controlling the entire gaming experience.
Collecting rare in-game digital collectables is already a popular feature within games and in recent years, a noticeable trend has been to make the game free and include micro-transactions that are optional. This enables gamers to choose whether they want a basic or a premium gaming experience, but maximises how much gamers can do without paying therefore lowering the bar of accessibility, as the user will often not need to pay any money to enjoy that game as it evolves. This trend points directly to NFTs being a natural development, where digital gaming asset marketplaces integrates into NFT marketplaces.This is a transition we will likely see in the next few years as there are already many games that use online marketplaces for buying and selling digital in-game assets.
Coding - Whether this be creating generative art, personalising smart contracts, creating web 3 tools or building digital platforms. A lot of the systems that web 3 depend on are fundamentally built on code, and it’s this very reason that coding will be highlighted as an incredibly important skillset as the web 3 space progresses and is known to require a level of creativity to excel in this area.
Fashion - Digital wearables open up more possibilities for creativity, and goes hand in hand with digital 3D art. With the developments in 3D art now reaching the fashion industry, new designs, textures and styles will naturally emerge by digitalising fashion. As more and more time is spent in virtual spaces such as virtual reality, video calls, video games and augmented reality, this area is likely to flourish over the next decade and we are starting to see some exciting projects emerge, particularly those selling digital fashion items as NFTs.
Physical art/merchandising - One common misconception of NFTs is that they are reserved for only digital media; however there are actually a variety of ways to incorporate physical goods into an NFT transaction. It's important to note that this area is perhaps less common and less explored, but could be what brings mainstream adoption to NFTs once the experience of trading NFTs is just as easy as buying something on a web 2 platform like Ebay or Amazon. Gummy is an example of a company that sells stickers, for people to attach to physical items. The sticker will act similar to a QR code, linking the physical piece to an NFT on the blockchain.
At the moment we’re at a stage that’s similar to when the internet was first built, exciting things are starting to happen but the majority of people haven't arrived yet. This means that the space is rapidly evolving, bursting with new ideas and endless possibilities. There's many new projects looking to hire creatives, or to commission work from them.
How can it help you?
Well if you hadn’t noticed, it can be pretty difficult to get money for doing creative work, it's a heavily saturated market and involves dealing with a large number of middle men entities that reduce the artist’s profit. However with web 3, while it might be saturated, it's definitely less so, and also it's a lot easier to get financially rewarded through web 3 mechanisms like smart contracts.
What are smart contracts?
These are pieces of code that enable transactions to be super easy and fast. For example if an artist makes a song and lists it for sale as an NFT and someone wants to buy that artwork. A smart contract will ensure that when the collector goes to pay for it, the money is instantly sent to the artist's wallet, without any hassle or hurdles like waiting for them to email you back, shipping, and sharing personal information. And because the artwork is digital (in most cases) it will be sent to the customer straight away. This ensures everything is fair and nobody gets ripped off.
Another great feature which makes this better than web 2 online purchasing is that it's common practice to add royalties to a smart contract. This means that when an artist lists their work, they can make sure that every time the artwork is resold, a prearranged percentage of that secondary sale will be sent automatically to the original artist. Pretty cool right?
So smart contracts are code, but I don’t know how to code :(
That’s okay, you don’t need to be able to code to make a smart contract, many platforms like Autonomies help you make one so all you have to do is tell them what you want it to do and it will make sure it happens.
Web 3 platforms are inherently tied to something else that uses the same technology, cryptocurrencies. I’ve been trying my best to delay using that buzzword but the time has finally come to talk about them.
Wait, is this a scam? Are you scamming me right now?
Nope this is not a scam. But I understand why you might think that. Truth is; there’s a lot of scams in the cryptocurrency space and you’ll have to be careful and maybe even read our web 3 safety guide blog post.
Cryptocurrencies are a digital currency that normally aim to improve upon traditional currencies in various ways such as security, the ability for everyone to track payments, or the opposite and to make transactions private, it depends on which of the thousands of cryptocurrencies we’re talking about. There are many different types that serve a unique purpose such as a store of value like Bitcoin, speculative meme coins like Dogecoin, governance coins like RARI and currencies that are used to pay for transactions on a blockchain like ETH. If you’re still unsure, try watching this video that explains what they are in a simplified way.
This is the part where we say ‘do your own research’ because there’s so much more to learn than what’s in this article, so we recommend you learn more about what they are, what makes each one different and what their role is in the web 3 space.
One great reason why NFT artists have found so much success in the space is partly due to the volatile cryptocurrency prices. If an artist sells an NFT for 0.1 ETH and when the NFT was bought that was equivalent to $50, this price will change so long as the artist doesn’t convert that into stablecoin. The price of ETH will change day to day, whereas a stablecoin will remain pegged to the value of a traditional currency. Find out more on this subject by reading our blog post on the subject.
Gas fees: gas fees are the fee that is paid in order to make a transaction on a blockchain. Where does this money go? This gas is used by anyone wishing to add something to the blockchain. Because there are so many transactions happening at once, the gas price is effectively the price you pay in order to get your instruction completed.
“Miners set the price of gas based on supply and demand for the computational power of the network needed to process smart contracts and other transactions.” - https://www.investopedia.com/terms/g/gas-ethereum.asp
This is why gas fees go up according to factors such as how high the demand for transactions (how busy the protocol is). Ethereum, which is currently a proof-of-work blockchain that uses wallets like Metamask, is known for its expensive gas fees. There's a number of reasons why this is more expensive than using other blockchains and you can find more info on that here.
We advise you to practise making transactions so you know what to expect in the future, but don’t worry you can practise this for free by using polygon faucet here. We’ve made a detailed set of instructions for that on Autonomies. Once you’ve acquired some Matic for gas, you’ll now be ready to practice minting an NFT.
We hope that you now feel prepared enough to go experiment and learn more about the web 3 space further. We recommend saving this page and using it as a guide for you and anyone you know that you think will enjoy it. If you’re reading this, you’re probably here very early as the technology that web 3 relies upon has not been around for long and as more companies, designers, investors, builders and thinkers (to name just a few) pour into this space, it will grow and become something completely different to what it is now.
Autonomies hopes to build a brighter future for artists, and if you’re interested in building that future with us or simply joining us on our journey, you can find us at Autonomes.io or on any of our socials.
Thank you for reading and good luck on your web 3 adventure.