Emerging Technologies

Here's why Web3 skills will be vital for the future of work

Web3 will disrupt the world of work as we know it.

Web3 will disrupt the world of work as we know it. Image: Unsplash/Shubham Dhage

Beryl Li
Co-Founder, Yield Guild Games (YGG)
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Emerging Technologies

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  • The internet has forever changed how we live, work and play, but its decentralized successor, Web3, offers a more inclusive future.
  • Having already disrupted the world of finance and blockchain, Web3 technologies now look set to change the world of work.
  • The success of blockchain games in the Philippines has highlighted how Web3 can lower barriers to help ensure equal access for all.

There’s no question that the internet has revolutionized our day-to-day activities. The current “Web2” version has completely disrupted how we communicate, collaborate and conduct business, connecting people and organizations around the globe in ways that were once impossible.

However, it has also concentrated power and influence within a handful of platforms. Its decentralized successor, Web3, could lead us to a more inclusive future where digital citizens of the world can have true participation in the form of ownership.

While blockchain has existed for over a decade, the Web3 movement is in its early stages. For me, it began during the summer of 2020 when decentralized finance, commonly known as DeFi, first took off, and people from all corners of the world were trying and testing newly-launched platforms in attempts to reinvent some of the financial primitives from the old financial system by using this new technology.

The user experience was challenging but open. No matter your gender, geographic location or socioeconomic status – you could partake in this new DeFi ecosystem.

The rise of blockchain games in the Philippines

One such application was blockchain games, which offered a fun way to learn the system without needing any prior knowledge of the financial primitives.

Out of this came an adoption phenomenon that surprised everyone; locked down and out of work amid the COVID-19 pandemic, people in the rural Philippines flocked to blockchain games to earn income and become digital asset owners.

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By doing this, they acquired a range of fundamental Web3 skills and became sophisticated users of the technology. Today, the Philippines is ranked number two on the Chainalysis 2022 Global Crypto Adoption Index and top three worldwide for countries with the most users of the Ethereum wallet, MetaMask.

This tells us that blockchain games have acted as successful on-ramps to Web3, improving accessibility for those who can benefit the most.

The fusion of video games and cryptocurrencies has helped us make spectacular advances toward the future of finance, giving rise to whole new virtual economies in the open metaverse, as well as new jobs.

Web3 skills learned through experience

The problem now is: the most in-demand Web3 roles didn’t exist a few years ago, and due to the pace at which this space evolves, the skills needed aren’t being taught in schools or universities.

Instead, they are learned through active involvement in the space — by onboarding to blockchain games, participating in X-to-earn protocols, and contributing to decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs).

For Yield Guild Games (YGG), one of the largest Web3 gaming guilds I co-founded in 2020, members don't require permission to take a role within the organization. They simply mint their YGG Guild Badge — a non-fungible token (NFT) that represents their membership to the guild — allowing them to participate in various community-led projects and programmes designed to collectively advance YGG's mission.

As they independently progress, guild members earn additional NFT badges that reward their efforts and recognize their achievements. For example, a guild member might receive an NFT badge for creating informative content, or representing our guild in a Web3 e-sports competition, or completing a course via Web3 Metaversity, an initiative by YGG and Nas Academy.

This is what YGG calls the ‘metaverse resumé’. Unlike traditional CVs or on LinkedIn, where people can choose what to list about their achievements and experiences, these NFT badges are issued by a respected body and recorded on-chain for transparency and provenance.

Thus, they are an immutable, verifiable and fully decentralized representation of digital identity and reputation. Further, these NFT badges are controlled by the recipient in their personal wallet – they are not custodians of YGG or held on any platform owned by us, meaning the guild member has complete ownership of the digital asset, and can be a part-owner in our organization.

When combined with other types of digital assets that they own, these reputational identifiers shape a non-discriminatory picture of a person’s history, accolades and associations.

In the future, the metaverse resumé could potentially replace current ID systems and plug into other applications to access a plethora of on-chain services related to creating, trading and communicating.

This is powerful because proving identity and evidencing good reputation has been an obstacle in places like the Philippines; over here, there’s a wry joke that you need a valid ID to get a valid one.

Problems experienced by Filipinos revolve around issuing, presenting, sharing, protecting and proving all sorts of credentials and qualifications for various purposes. As such, the system is rife with bureaucratic inefficiencies and red tape that have caused the proliferation of fixers and forgers that act as gatekeepers, enforcing privilege, exploiting vulnerabilities and dictating the right to participate in society.

Web3 can challenge existing power structures

If widely adopted, Web3 will challenge the power structures that currently limit access to the privileged and keep others locked out of opportunity. Each of these cases speaks to the shortcomings of the current system.

Lengthy curriculums that can’t keep pace with innovation, failing to produce job-ready graduates with skills relevant to the demands of today’s and tomorrow’s economy. Credentials that are easily faked but not easily verified.

Expensive educational qualifications that are not recognized worldwide. Local job markets that can’t support enough people with enough good work. A fast-growing gig economy that leaves millions without rights, recognition, protection or benefits. And business models designed to reward a few, while shafting the rest out of the privilege of ownership.

With this, we can focus more on our people’s skills and allow everyone to compete on their own merits. We can rethink how talent is matched with projects, how people are compensated, and how we can continue to lower barriers to ensure equal access for all.

Industries can operate more transparently while people progress independently, no matter who they are or where they come from. And how did they first learn about this new world of Web3? Probably by playing a video game.

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