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Demystifying Crypto, Web3 and NFTs at Make it Big 2022

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The emergence of Web3, the newest iteration of the World Wide Web, is changing the methods in which brands market and sell their products.

In BigCommerce’s Global Consumer Report: Current and Future Shopping Trends, we found that 46% of consumers are willing to shop in the Metaverse. As brands continue to leverage new technologies in the digital world, consumers are reacting to this modern day virtual retail and the potential that lies ahead. 

At this year’s Make it Big conference, BigCommerce wanted to explore these topics deeper by hosting a panel discussion with Web3 innovators. They broke down the basics of Web3, crypto and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) while offering their insights and predictions for the future of virtual worlds and their effects on retail.

Web3 Key Takeaways at Make it Big 2022

Discussing all things Web3, Leah Spector, Senior Brand Manager at BigCommerce, moderated a panel with Web3 experts, Ty Haney, Co-Founder and CEO of Try Your Best; Merrick Theobald, VP of Marketing at BitPay and Adam Hollander, Co-Founder of Hungry Wolves NFTs and White Sands MetaVerse.

Here are some key points from their conversation: 

Leah Spector: Let’s catch everyone up in the audience who may not understand the space. Ty, in basic terms, what is Web3? 

Ty Haney: “Web3 is the next evolution of the internet. It incorporates decentralization, blockchain and token based economies. And blockchain is an incredibly neutral platform that powers online communities where anyone can participate and earn.

“I think what I’m most excited about from a web3 perspective is this idea of ownership where users of a product or participants in a brand have a line stake in the success of that brand over time.”

LS: What are the basic technologies behind cryptocurrency?

Merrick Theobald: “At the highest level, cryptocurrency is a digital asset that is run on the blockchain and secured by cryptography. So decentralized, which means there is no government or bank associated with it. 

“The blockchain is a public ledger. So think about a giant Excel spreadsheet out there on the Internet that anybody at any time can go to and view every transaction.”

LS: We’ve talked Web3, talked crypto. So, NFTs — non-fungible tokens. Adam, what exactly are NFTs and how do they play a part in the crypto space?

Adam Hollander: “NFTs are collectibles that are earned or bought that ultimately unlock really exciting perks. There’s a few use cases that we’re seeing collectibles being used for in the commerce landscape. One working capital. So we’ve seen a few brands use collectibles to essentially sell a physical product, but only the digital version before it comes out.

“We are also seeing collectibles used to drive conversion, so putting a collectible with purchase next to a product on your shopping site can drive conversion and then ultimately collectibles are being used to increase loyalty.”

LS: So we’ve talked about the basics. Let’s put it all together, paint a big picture of what this could mean going forward. We keep hearing from crypto communities that it’s still really early, right? We’re obviously already seeing some of this play out. What do each of you see as the end game here?

AH: “When you think about the billions of people that inevitably might participate in some form of a Metaverse as an extension of social media or of course, the billions of people that transact in traditional commerce. We’re right at the forefront of this right now. And so it’s an opportunity for brands or companies or really anyone to innovate and to stand right at the beginning of something that I think a lot of people believe is an inevitability to continue to grow.”

MT: “I don’t know if it’s five years or 10 years, but at some point every merchant that transacts online or has a website presence is going to have to accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment. It is working in the physical world, but it works especially well in the digital world.”

TH: “I think ultimately 10 years from now, the next great brands, think Nike, will be community-founded, community-led and community-owned. In the near term, what I very much believe is the future of brand building is two things: It’s about co-creation and incentivization.”

The Final Word

If you missed this session with Ty Haney, Merrick Theobald and Adam Hollander or would like to watch it again, now you can! Register for free today for easy access to all Make it Big sessions, now available on-demand through the end of the year. 

Don’t forget to share your favorite Make it Big moments with us on social with #MakeitBigConf, and tag us @BigCommerce.

Kelsey Daubner avatar

Kelsey Daubner is a Content Marketing Specialist at BigCommerce, where she specializes in thought leadership content. She holds a B.S. in Journalism and Media Studies from Texas State University and, prior to joining BigCommerce, worked in marketing roles in various industries spanning from food and beverage to nonprofit.