The emergence of Web3 and developments in the Metaverse has ushered in a new era of possibilities, transforming the way we navigate the vast expanse of the internet. In this round-up, we explore the key highlights and trends that defined the Web3 and Metaverse landscapes in 2023, shedding light on the evolution of domain management and the pivotal role played by progressive registrars.
Interpol Enter The Metaverse
Aiming to stay ahead of tech-savvy criminals, Interpol created a virtual reality space for metaverse training and meetings.
Dr. Madan Oberoi, Interpol's executive director of technology and innovation, tackled the challenge of defining metaverse crimes and applying real-world definitions, equipping law enforcement with metaverse awareness to address international cyber-crimes across borders.
In March, OpenAI introduced GPT-4, the latest upgrade to its renowned AI chatbot, ChatGPT. This enhanced model excels in responding to images, suggesting recipes from ingredient photos and generating captions. It can process user input up to 25,000 words, a noteworthy eightfold improvement over its predecessor.
Initially available to ChatGPT Plus subscribers, GPT-4 has now made its mark in Microsoft's Bing search engine.
Web3 Domain Alliance
Lexsynergy joined the Web3 Domain alliance, a member-led, member-driven organisation dedicated to improving the technological and public policy environments for users of Web3 naming services. We advocate for the legal protection and market acceptance of Intellectual Property Rights, including trademark rights, in Web3.
Fortnite launched Coachella Island in April, an immersive virtual space inspired by the iconic music and arts festival.
The virtual oasis features an evolving environment with music-reactive elements, iconic festival installations and exclusive Coachella-inspired in-game items. Players can explore the island, take on challenges and engage in team-vs-team dance competitions. Additionally, the Island offers special quests, a gallery for sharing screenshots and the opportunity for creators to submit their maps for a chance to be featured.
With regular updates, Coachella Island aims to provide virtual festival goers with a continuous source of entertainment.
Apple Vision Pro
Apple launched its inaugural headset, the Vision Pro, unveiling a ground-breaking combination of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies. Demonstrated by CEO Tim Cook as a revolutionary "computer you look through," the headset seamlessly integrates the physical and digital realms, enabling users to interact with digital content as if it exists in their physical space.
The prospect of unique experiences, compounded through a partnership with Disney, such as Star Wars-themed virtual cinemas and Marvel VR adventures, offers early adopters a captivating and unprecedented blend of entertainment and technology.
Our journey to educate those venturing into the Web3 & Metaverse landscapes led to Lexysnergy CEO, Daniel Greenberg and Head of Client Success, Scott Kenna being invited as guests on The Web3 Podcast in July.
Our discussions covered the differences between Web2 and Web3, as well as the mechanisms in place for businesses to protect and progress their brands in all digital spaces.
This summer, Roblox hosted groundbreaking virtual concerts, showcasing artists like Flo Rida and Bebe Rexha. Flo Rida performed live in iHeart Land, offering players the chance to watch replays and participate in a treasure hunt for exclusive rewards.
Meanwhile, Bebe Rexha's first-ever metaverse concert took place in July in Harmony Hills, a Warner Music Group-themed world on Roblox. Decked out with 1970s-inspired scenery, the event featured Bebe Rexha in iconic '70s fashion, leading players through custom set locations and offering unique virtual merchandise.
Collins Dictionary has declared "AI" as the "word of the year" for 2023. The term's usage quadrupled in 2023, underscoring the growing conversations around AI's potential impact.
Concurrently, Google recognised the significance of .ai, now categorising it as a gTLD alongside .com and .org. This move aligns with the surging interest in the AI sector, evidenced by a substantial rise in .ai domain registrations.
Despite its geographic association with Anguilla, Google's decision not to default the .ai domain to the Caribbean territory underscores its recognition of the TLD's immense potential for the burgeoning AI industry. This positive surge in interest reflects the transformative influence of AI on our daily lives and marks a significant trend in the Web3 landscape of 2023.
The NFT market, once marked by a frenetic boom, has experienced a significant decline, with October 2023 ironically dubbed "Floptober." NFT trading volume plummeted by 89% from early 2022 to the third quarter of 2023, shrinking from $12.6 billion to a mere $1.39 billion. High-profile NFT collections, like Bored Ape Yacht Club, witnessed a decline in floor prices, causing some sellers to reconsider their investments.
However resilient buyers are still finding opportunities. Notably, ventures like Pudgy Penguins, incorporating physical merchandise and royalties for NFT holders, showcase innovative approaches revitalising interest in the NFT space. While the NFT market adapts to a changing landscape, experimentation and creative initiatives pave the way for a revival, bringing further enthusiasm to the evolving world of Web3.
Leading cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) experienced a remarkable price surge during 2023 (+109.84% and +57.46%), reflecting growing investor interest and confidence in decentralised Web3 spaces.
This upward trajectory of major cryptocurrencies underscores the expanding influence of Web3 technologies and the potential for transformative changes in the digital landscape.
In a whirlwind reversal, November 2023 saw Sam Altman reinstated as OpenAI CEO, just five days after a sudden dismissal. Almost every staff member signed a letter threatening resignation if Altman was not reinstated.
Amid speculations of a Microsoft takeover, Altman had briefly accepted a role there before returning to OpenAI. The saga sheds light on the intersection of Web3 technology and the power of the people behind it.
Scott Kenna | Lexsynergy Web3 Expert
"Over the past three years, Web3 has seen remarkable growth, particularly in domain registration, from Ethereum Name Service's inception in 2017 to the emergence of Handshake in 2020. This surge attracted brands, individuals, and trademark exploiters.
Reflecting on these developments, potential resolutions for challenges are foreseen in 2024 and beyond. The lacking of dispute resolution mechanisms has hindered the integration of services such as like Ethereum Name Service. The saviour may be bridging Web 2with Web3 versions of traditional domains (e.g. .com) in a coordinated and organised manner .
We are moving in the right direction. The future of Web3 domains is promising despite challenges—an intriguing journey ahead."
This year has seen a notable embrace of decentralised domain names by major brands like Tesla, Pfizer, Walmart, and JPMorgan, as well as luxury fashion houses including Gucci, Prada, Ralph Lauren, Dolce & Gabbana, Burberry, Christian Dior, and Zara. This positive shift signifies a recognition among corporate giants of the value in user-owned digital identities.
Impressively, 11% of the latest Fortune 100 list now boasts ownership of Web3 domain names, reflecting a collective effort to fortify their online presence. With aid from domain registrars like ourselves and collaboration through the Web3 Domain Alliance, these industry leaders are actively combatting impersonation threats, showcasing a commitment to empowering users and setting a positive precedent for digital identity control.
In the dynamic world of Web3, brands have been embracing NFTs to engage their audiences. Honda, in collaboration with Gryfyn, Animoca Brands, and GET Protocol, made a significant leap into the Web3 space during the Japanese Grand Prix 2023. They offered limited-edition NFTs, including membership and commemorative tokens, providing Formula 1 fans with unique digital experiences, creating anticipation for more Web3 experiences in the sports industry.
Meanwhile, luxury fashion giant Louis Vuitton introduced a distinctive approach to NFTs with its 'Via Treasure Trunks' collection. These physical-backed NFTs are non-transferable, with owners receiving a physical replica of their digital trunk which unlocks access to upcoming Louis Vuitton products and immersive events.
In the realm of digital art, Coca-Cola curated the "Masterpiece" collection, which achieved remarkable success in Coinbase's "Onchain Summer" event. The NFT collection, fetching over $500,000, showcased the convergence of brand imagery, classic art, and Web3 technology. The success of the collection underscores the potential for brands to bridge the worlds of physical and digital art, celebrating diversity at the intersection of art and technology.
Embark on a transformative journey into the world of Web3 by registering your interest for our Web3 Workshop, launching in 2024, which will be available both virtually and in-person. Delve into the intricacies of Web3 with practical examples, unravel the basics of blockchain technology, and gain insights into the workings of NFTs.
You will discover how Web3 will impact your business and unlock opportunities for innovation. Engage in hands-on activities, including the exhilarating experience of minting your own NFT and mastering crypto transactions.
This workshop is your gateway to understanding the future of the internet, empowering you to navigate your brand through the decentralised landscape with confidence and seize the boundless possibilities that Web3 has to offer.
Do not miss out on this immersive learning experience! Register your interest now and be at the forefront of the Web3 revolution.