When the Web3 bubble pops, real world assets will survive

Silicon Valley loves a snappy marketing slogan. Its favourite these days is “Web3”, an abbreviation of Web 3.0, which is itself shorthand for everything from blockchain to cryptocurrencies to meme-driven retail investing apps and the metaverse. Web3 builds on Web 2.0, which was all about social media and user-driven content, taking it to the next level of either utility or hype, depending on your point of view.

I can see both sides. I have no doubt that digital coins will dominate the financial markets of the future; it’s a natural, no-brain successor to paper. But just as I would have been unable to pick which one of several hundred early 20th-century automotive start-ups would replace the horse and buggy, I am reluctant to buy into today’s crypto craze (I think sovereign-backed digital currency will ultimately win out over private coin).

Speculation is, of course, a natural part of the development and adoption of transformative new…

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