Where are web3 and NFTs going in 2023?

Entry of new brands, stronger experiences with increased utility, and the release of all-new technology helping streamline user experiences are all on the horizon this year. What exactly can you expect in 2023? Let’s find out.
Web3 and NFTs in 2023

The following content is for informational purposes only. You should not construe any such information or other material as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

With 2022 in the rearview mirror, we’re all wondering what 2023 will have in store across all sectors. While we can’t predict everything that will happen this year, we have a few ideas of what we’ll see in our corner of the internet—the web3 ecosystem at large. 

So, let’s jump right in.

Legacy brands have entered the chat

You know the ones we’re talking about. Everybody does.

Last year we saw some of the world’s largest and most admired brands begin to dip their toes into the web3 fountain. From high-end brands like Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, and Tiffany to brands with more mainstream audiences like Wendy’s, Nike, and Budweiser, we saw a lot of experimentation with NFTs and web3.

This year, we expect to see even more renowned brands integrating web3 functionality directly into their established products and ecosystems. Many will also take the plunge from simply experimenting with web3 to building entirely dedicated products and experiences around them for their fans, customers, and users to enjoy.

Wondering how these brands will use web3 on a larger scale? Enhancing loyalty programs is likely to top the list. We’ve already seen the first indications of what this will look like with the Starbucks Odyssey beta which launched late last year.

With the proliferation of easy-to-use, low-code SaaS tools, customizable APIs, and elegant dashboard offerings like RECUR Builder, we expect many other global enterprises and consumer brands to follow Starbucks’ lead and add web3 to their product suites throughout 2023.

Game on

Similar to major consumer brands, we expect major game studios to begin integrating with web3 in much more meaningful ways this year. 

Gaming has long been talked about as a significant use case for web3. We believe 2023 is the year it’ll actually happen—going from merely experimentation to fully supported and feature-rich video game experiences. As web3 tools like RECUR Builder become more ubiquitous, we expect a number of major video game studios will accelerate their exploration to begin building and delivering in-game items and rewards by integrating digital collectibles into their existing games.

Beyond major game studios, we also expect to see a growing number of indie studios announcing their entries into blockchain-connected ecosystems.

IRL events, VCTs, and free NFTs

2022 brought the re-entrance of IRL events. And with it came the desire to further engage attendees and create stand-out experiences. 

Like we saw with Austin City Limits, the NFL, and many others this past year, virtual commemorative tickets (VCTs) started gaining traction as a way to reward attendees with something they can keep and collect. Even Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade held a virtual event with virtual tickets to accompany their live parade.

VCTs and free NFTs in general will be coming out strong in 2023 as more and more companies begin to use them as a marketing tool for both events and as a part of broader marketing campaigns. Not only will the initial free NFT be used to reward attendees, but we expect companies to use these to provide follow-up rewards and perks to holders. Similar to how RECUR enabled a multi-channel web3-powered experience for Top Gun: Maverick, where they gave their audience free NFTs for attending their early premiere nationwide fan events. They followed up by providing NFT holders free access to the Top Gun: Maverick VR Experience ride at Dave & Busters and discounted membership codes to Paramount+.

Larger brands, game studios, and free NFTs will onboard a larger scale of non-web3 native audiences

As our first three predictions start coming to fruition, we expect more non-web3 native audiences to turn their eyes to web3. 

This can mean a couple of things for the web3 industry. 

First, we expect to see a shift away from more technical, niche web3 language—think NFTs, blockchain, and words that often intimidate someone who isn’t immersed in this space. Brands and game studios will likely push the industry towards language that is more approachable, easy to understand, and focuses on the value their experience provides rather than the technology behind it.

Second, we believe we’ll see a stronger push to create better user experiences that appeal to broader audiences, regardless of how much they know about NFTs or web3. At RECUR, we’ve been doubling down on this since day 1. We expect others will have to start jumping on the bandwagon throughout this next year.

More ownership, more flexibility

Ownership and flexibility will be two of the biggest buzzwords of 2023. As the web3 space continues to evolve and new technology is developed, both businesses AND consumers will demand more flexibility and ownership over their experiences and NFTs. 

For businesses, we’ll likely see an even larger shift towards platforms and marketplaces that allow for full customization, support multiple blockchains, and enable them to scale and shift their strategy alongside the broader industry.

For consumers, true ownership will be key. That means taking their NFTs anywhere they please and getting the same benefits. We already know how important this is— that’s why we allow multi-chain deposits and withdrawals and allow users to link their MetaMask wallets—but we expect users to seek out these types of features more and more throughout the year.

AR meets web3

With Apple’s mixed-reality device likely on the horizon and a few other major players entering the augmented reality (AR) space, the mainstream adoption of AR and mixed reality is close at hand.

Once these devices are better understood, builders will do what they do best: innovate. We’ll see digital fashion, wearables, and even avatar overlays force more and more brands to produce immutable digital goods. That means we’ll see more brands creating digital marketplaces and new ways for people to interact with their digital identity.

Let’s build

Every day in web3 brings new twists and turns. No matter what this year brings, we’re excited to continue building industry-leading experiences and support businesses in doing the same. Get in touch if you want to discuss how we can help your company create future-proofed web3 experiences.

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. The predictions in this article are not recommendations from our team and should not be misconstrued as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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