Giant rabbits wearing trendy outfits situated alongside cartoon characters with rainbows flowing out of their mouths lined the streets of South by Southwest (SXSW) last year. This is because two nonfungible token (NFT) projects — Doodles and Fluf World — dominated SXSW 2022, reports Cointelegraph.

Yet these projects were nowhere to be found at SXSW 2023, demonstrating the lack of interest in NFTs this year. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, though, says Cointelegraph. With crypto prices down, coupled with declining NFT prices and trading volumes, very few projects seem to be focused on digital collectibles. Instead, SXSW 2023 was overrun by major brands and consultancy firms boasting the promise of Web3.

Avery Akkineni, president of Vayner3 — a Web3 consultancy firm founded by Gary Vaynerchuck — told Cointelegraph that Web3 is moving beyond its novelty moment and into a strategic implementation, which is why the technology has become a hot topic for business leaders at SXSW this year.

“Web3 technology can potentially disrupt many industries, from finance to healthcare to social media, by enabling more secure, transparent and efficient systems,” said Akkineni. “This increased interest in Web3 is crucial because it signals a shift toward the next era of the internet, which is more immersive, personalised and ownable for users.”

Akkineni added that she believes every brand should be taking the time to understand Web3 and strategise toward it. “Brands will leverage Web3 in various ways, from creating community-owned channels to implementing blockchain-based supply chain management systems,” she said.

In order to put this in perspective, Vayner3 and the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase hosted a brunch during SXSW that included a panel discussion entitled “Web3 and the future of customer engagement: How brands can stay ahead of the curve.”

Rachel Weiss, vice president of L’Oreal Bold Ventures — the strategic venture fund of L’Oreal — stated during the panel that Web3 is enabling the beauty industry to allow for “ownership of beauty.”

“What does Web3 mean for the new creator economy around beauty? What are the new expressions that will be built around beauty using this new technology? And what does it look like to be a fan of a brand? These are all things that I think Web3 will empower. And it will put what we built on Web2 on steroids with a new way to participate for the next generation of beauty consumers,” said Weiss.

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March 2024


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