How Web3 Is Redefining Our Ideas About Wealth

14 May 2024

At one time, wealth was simple. The US Dollar was the world’s reserve currency, and the more you were worth in dollar terms, the richer you were. Everybody agreed on everything, and the rules of the game were very clear.

This, unfortunately, is no longer the case. The US economy is undergoing collapse due to excessive money printing policies, and Europe is not faring much better. Inflation is rampant, and there is a widespread cost of living crisis.

Online videos abound with regard to millennials who are working 9 - 5 basically to eat food and pay rent, decrying their poor quality of life and the falsity of the promised American dream. All of this can be laid at the feet of the current financial and governance infrastructure, which is in a state of disarray.

The Traditional Path To Wealth

Gold Is Always King

The old path to wealth was a lot more linear. You went to school - if you got good grades and had money,  you could get into a good university and acquire a high-paying job. This job was fixed, and you would typically stay there five years or longer, potentially rising up within the company.

This all changed with remote work tools and freelancing, allowing people to work short-term contracts with multiple clients. Nobody cares about your degree when freelancing - they care about your track record, client testimonials, ability to get the job done, and your rate.

It changed even further with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. People became millionaires through cryptocurrencies without going down the conventional route. And it sprouted a wide variety of additional industries, which introduced new paradigms.

Influencers take a portion of token share for new projects and promote the project on their platforms, helping push the price upwards in a new ‘KOL economy.’  These influencers can make enormous amounts of money. Aside from straight token appreciation and other industries, tokenization is further set to change how we conceptualize wealth.

RWA Tokenization

Break Things Apart, To Put Them Together

Real World Asset (RWA) tokenization is a hot topic. In a nutshell, what it does is make a traditionally illiquid asset, liquid. So there will be a day when you can use your real estate portfolio to buy a cup of coffee. This completely inverts the traditional idea of liquid vs illiquid assets.

Other assets like silver (which could double to $50 due to being a safe haven, according to some analysts) can likewise be tokenized, and securely held in audited vaults but with the potential to spend through fiat cards like Mastercard and Visa. A tokenized equivalent of $1 can be used to represent a fraction of silver, which makes it far easier to purchase.

RWA is applicable to practically all industries and is a very exciting idea with huge utility. But it will take quite a while to implement successfully.

Could Web3 Really Replace The Banking System For A New Wealth Paradigm?

Bitcoin, the original cryptocurrency, was originally designed to replace the banking system, a fact that needs to be continually repeated. Money printing is essentially an act of fraud as it devalues savings, and it’s not as if printed money is handed straight to individuals.

Surprise, surprise, it goes to banks, who loan it out at interest to corporations and businesses. Some of which might inadvertently trickle down to retailers. With this in mind, Web3 will inevitably replace the highly fraudulent banking system. It won’t be a smooth transition, but it’s already started, as crypto adoption is increasing significantly.

El Salvador previously accepted Bitcoin as its national currency. Crypto-friendly special economic zones like Prospera are becoming very attractive - with a 5% tax rate and a far more efficient government infrastructure with little bureaucracy.

There are many new ways to access wealth, facilitated through Web3. It further allows for an increase of wealth much more rapidly and can also enable decentralized identity verification, alternative legal and economic systems, and radical self-governance.

For all the world’s problems, it is certainly an exciting time to be alive, and there are many alternative wealth mechanisms to take note of.