Considered by some to be the next stage of the Internet, Web3 is a hot topic in ad tech and beyond. The integration of Web3 technology into the World Wide Web is already making a lot of progress: in 2021, the global blockchain market Web3 was valued at US$3.8m (~£3.1m).
Analysts now expect the market to experience 38.2% CAGR growth by 2028largely driven by deployment of 5G and 6G technology, increasing engagement with decentralized applicationsand growing demand for data privacy. If realized, this global market growth could end the uncertainty surrounding Web3, cementing it as the successor to Web2 – but is Web3 growth as universal as it seems?
In this article, we analyze where and how some of the most important advances to Web3 are taking place, and examine which facets of the new technology are making waves in which regions.
North America – Web3’s largest market
Emerging research reported that North America accounted for the largest share of Web3 revenue in 2021, and the region is expected to grow steadily. This dominance is not surprising as the region is home to a number of leading companies that are leading the way in Web3 adoption, such as Metawho has invested billions of dollars in the development of the metaverse, and Microsoft, which has supported many Web3 projects in recent months, ranging from blockchain Game development to climate activism. US-based brands such as Nike and Coca Cola have also contributed to the expansion of Web3 in the region by integrate virtual reality elements in their marketing campaigns.
North American consumers are also using Web3 on a large scale; around 13.7% of the US population owns a cryptocurrency, just like a said that one in ten Canadians. Mexico’s largest financial institution, BBVA, has also launched the “Digital Economy Fund” in October 2022, to enable its clients to invest in NFT, metaverse, fintech and other web3 businesses. Latin America has made similar progress, with El Salvador becoming the first nation in the world to recognize Bitcoin as legal tender in 2020, although the move later stumbled on technical problems and the mistrust of the citizens.
Without a doubt, the The collapse of FTX has dealt a critical blow to confidence in the cryptocurrencywith reports that investments in Web3 start-ups in the region fell 74% in the fourth quarter of 2022. There is a silver lining, however, as the fall of FTX could force more tangible intervention from regulators, creating a turning point for digital currency in North America.
APAC – leader in crypto adoption
While North America has seen increasing engagement with digital currency, the region pales in comparison to APAC. On-chain analysis ranked three countries in the region – Vietnam, the Philippines and India – among the top five for popular adoption of cryptocurrency, noting that 21% of Vietnamese consumers report the use or possession of some kind of crypto. Despite its popularity, however, the cryptocurrency is not yet legalized in Vietnam and the volatility of digital currency has prompted reports that the nation’s interest is waning.
The Philippines, by comparison, hosted many federally approved cryptocurrency exchanges for years and the country’s exploration of blockchain technology exploited it as a potential crypto hub. Although the country has certainly embraced cryptocurrency and virtual assets, reports that the Central Bank of the Philippines announced a three-year halt to virtual asset provider license applications have sparked speculation that the country is slowing its transition to Web3.
Despite the uncertainty of the future of crypto in APAC, Web3 as a whole should grow in the region much faster than in other markets, largely due to increased demand for Web3 systems in financial services, e-commerce, healthcare, and more.
MENA – a promising landscape
The Middle East and North Africa have also seen major advances in Web3 adoption. In July 2022, The Government of Dubai has launched the Metaverse Technology Strategy with the goal of becoming a leader in global XR economies, and welcomes Microsoft as a strategic partner Later in the year. Saudi Arabia has also shown interest in virtual reality, celebrate his national day in the metaverse last year at an immersive event incorporating NFTs to mark the occasion.
As with APAC, the MENA region is relatively advanced in its regulation of cryptocurrenciesresulting in increased user engagement. Morocco has announced the finalization of its crypto regulatory framework earlier this year, as crypto heavy hitter Binance reported a 49% increase in service user registrations elsewhere in the region following collaboration with regulatory bodies such as the Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA) in Dubai. Gemini State of the World Crypto Report also revealed around 30% of UAE Citizens Own Cryptocurrency and 47% see digital currency as the future of money.
Unlike APAC, however, there seem to be fewer reports of apprehension regarding the viability of Web3 in the MENA region; earlier this month, news broke that two prominent Abu Dhabi-based companies, Venom Foundation and Iceberg Capital, had has teamed up to launch a $1bn (~£800m) Web3 fund. The recent involvement of the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates in a multinational lawsuit develop a new digital currency also indicates a greater push in the region to be at the forefront of Web3 innovation.
UK and Europe – proceed with caution
Compared to the regions that preceded it, the integration of Web3 in the UK and Europe seems quite lukewarm. While the European Union has proposed legislation, such as The European law on cyber-resilience and Markets in crypto-asset regulation, the region has been noticeably slow in its regulation of cryptocurrency and NFTs. Report that the The European Union is moving towards more tangible crypto regulation were also shaken by recent setbacks. The UK has made similarly slow progress in regulating Web3; although plans for the nation to develop into a global crypto hub were announced in April 2022, few developments have been released since.
This lukewarm approach, however, did not result from a lack of interest in Web3 in the region. While the headlines about the The Failed EU Metaverse Gala and UK digital currency skepticism may suggest ambivalence towards Web3, research indicates this is far from true. From 2022-2028, Europe Web3 Blockchain Market is expected to grow 38.0% CAGRand there is already evidence that this growth is underway: the State of the World Crypto Report revealed a significant portion of Europeans are crypto-curious58% of Irish citizens signaling interest in engaging in cryptocurrency from 2023. With reports Binance has been given the green light to operate in seven EU countriesit is very possible that crypto will peak in the region in 2023.
The UK is showing similarly promising progress, with app downloads of decentralized digital assets in the UK having significantly increased over the past five years. Also points out that UK start-ups, such as Syky fashion brand and venture capital firm Northzonesecured funding for Web3 projects also indicate that the region may be on the verge of accelerating its widespread adoption.