Young Entrepreneur Nicole Junkermann’s Perspective on the Future of Web3

Young Entrepreneur Nicole Junkermann’s perspective on the future of Web3

In 1999, 278 million people used the internet globally, roughly four per cent of the world’s population. Over dial-up connections, it took one hour to download an album. And yet today, 23 years later, 5.1 billion people use the internet daily – more than 60 per cent of the world’s population – and it is the defining technological phenomenon of our age. Things change, and quickly. 

This is the logic underpinning Randi Zuckerberg and Nicole Junkermann’s belief that Web3 technology will change the world, heralding a new, decentralized internet hosted on the blockchain. Randi and Nicole believe that we are still in the “dial up days” of Web3 adoption, and that now is the moment to build the structure that will enable global internet users to access this new technology. There are roughly 221 million crypto users around the world, but that number will grow exponentially. We didn’t go back to dial-up once we invented Broadband and fibre-optic internet. We’re not going back to Web2, either. 

What does it mean for Crypto Investors?

As an investor in cryptocurrency platform Blockchain.com and in Consensys Software, parent company of Ethereum wallet MetaMask, Nicole has invested in the underlying infrastructure of future technologies in the past. She has proven that investing early can pay dividends, and she believes that Web3 will see digital scarcity, digital assets and decentralisation quickly become the norm. Yet, unlike the internet, it’s most likely to take root in the developing world first. “Adoption of Web3 technology is considerably faster in developing and frontier markets than in more mature markets,” says Nicole. “Just as people bypassed dial-up in favour of faster internet once it was available, so consumers in markets in Southeast Asia, Africa, and Latin America, in particular, will bypass Web2.” In a Statista survey from 2020, Nigeria, Vietnam and the Philippines were the three countries where most people said they used cryptocurrencies on a daily basis. Thirty-two percent of Nigerians use crypto already in some capacity; only six percent of Americans say the same. 

Web3 Investment

Assemble is an ambitious new company founded by Randi and in which Nicole is an investor and board member. It was created in June 2021 to invest in the future of Web3 social curation. Then, in February 2022 Randi launched The HUG, a curation platform for Web3 creators, and “Group HUG”, an accelerator that champions women-led crypto businesses and creators. The HUG has been likened to a creator-first “Web3 Pinterest meets Yelp” – a platform for digital asset creators to show off their creations, such as NFTs. Assemble plans to use blockchain technology to tap into the creator economy via The HUG, which hosts NFT makers and allows users to create, rate and show off NFTs that they either own or are selling. The creator economy is worth more than $100bn worldwide, with more than 50 million self-described creators: it is the future of the arts. “This is a dream project for me,” says Randi, “as someone who has lived my life at the intersection of technology and art. As the creator economy grows, it will only become more and more essential to curate the sheer volume of material that is produced.” 

It’s not the first time Randi has been at the front of a sea change in how we communicate. At Facebook, she pioneered Facebook Live; it revolutionised the way public figures interacted with their followers in real time. Now, they intend to do the same for people around the world, on countless different platforms and in dozens of countries – all by using cutting-edge Web3 technology. We’re not going back to dial-up.

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