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These Web2 Companies are Being Criticized for Embracing Web3

Several large Web2 companies are being criticized for embracing Web3 technology like blockchain or crypto assets. Those to come under fire include major companies like Discord, Kickstarter, Mozilla, and Ubisoft.

Each of these companies have recently announced that they are embracing Web3 technology. This news is not surprising to many people since companies like Ubisoft use innovative technologies frequently. However, critics now complain about the environmental impact of companies like these embracing Web3 technology including cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and Bitcoin mining.

What is interesting is how these companies are responding to criticism.

Companies Embracing Web3 Shouldn’t be Surprising

The crypto sector is growing fast, and Web3 technology is becoming more relevant all the time. With that in mind, it’s not surprising that more companies are embracing these new technologies. But many Web2 companies are not supportive of the transition to Web3.

The primary criticism relates to the potential environmental impact of Web3 activities. Proof-of-work mining, in particular, uses a lot of computational resources and electricity. Some estimates suggest that the current Bitcoin network uses more electricity than the entire infrastructure of countries like Norway or the Ukraine.

Bitcoin is looking into renewable energy sources, but is still facing a huge hurdle as critics continue to argue. The issues of environmental impact has become a barrier for many companies who want to embrace Web3, and has caused some to hold back.

How Companies Look to Utilize Web3 Technology

The four companies listed above are well known and are among the most eager to enter the world of Web3. Let’s look at how each company plans to utilize new technologies and take their businesses into the future.

Discord

Discord is the most popular gaming chat service in the world. It is also functional for businesses and personal use. In November 2021, Discord’s CEO Jason Citron hinted that the company may soon integrate Ethereum into the platform. Integration would allow users to complete NFT and crypto transactions directly in their Discord platform.

A lot of Discord users were not happy with the potential integration, and immediately became vocal with criticism. Critics took to Reddit and Twitter to voice their concerns over the electricity usage required. Many critics also equated NFTs to a Ponzi scheme. Some users even threatened to cancel their memberships if Discord decided to integrate.

In the midst of the chaos, Citron announced that any plans to integrate Discord into the crypto sector would be put on hold for the time being. Critics, however, continue to complain.

Kickstarter

Popular crowdfunding platform Kickstarter angered many users when it announced it was building Celo – a mobile-centric Layer 1 blockchain. Celo would use a decentralized funding model. Using the blockchain technology would remove the need for intermediaries as users raise funding.

Users, however, pushed back against the idea. Many users claimed that the update would damage the platform and environment. Kickstarter then stated that they would not be making changes without the support of their community.

Mozilla

The Mozilla Foundation is a nonprofit organization that operates the Firefox web browser. Mozilla came under scrutiny when it announced that, in partnership with BitPay, the company would start accepting cryptocurrency donations. One of the most notable critics was Mozilla founding team member Jamie Zawinski. Though Zawinski left the company in 1999, they clearly still have strong opinions about how the company is managed.

Zawinski’s response to Mozilla included saying that the company,

“should be witheringly ashamed of this decision to partner with planet-incinerating Ponzi grifters.”

Hundreds of social media commentators joined in the criticism arguing that Mozilla would be contributing to the climate crisis rather than standing by their climate commitment. Mozilla responded that they are reviewing their current policies and would be pausing any crypto donation changes.

Ubisoft

In December 2021, Ubisoft announced a blockchain-based product called Quartz. Quartz would allow gamers to earn NFTs called “Digits.” Ubisoft announced energy-efficient means of producing Quartz and that they would use Tezos – a Proof-of-Stake blockchain that has a much smaller carbon footprint.

Despite their plans for energy efficiency, Ubisoft came under intense scrutiny. Several gaming streamers took to social media slamming their decision to create NFTs. A French trade union also responded to the announcement saying that blockchain technology is “useless, costly, ecologically mortifying tech.”

Will More Companies Start to Embrace Web3?

There’s no question that Web3 is on the horizon. The question is how will companies handle the transition and opposition? Environmental concerns are certainly valid, but so is the fact that emerging technologies will become necessity over time.

Skeptics continue to argue against the crypto sector, NFTs, and cryptocurrencies. However, these technologies are not the first that met criticism before being widely adopted. In the 1990s, the value of the internet was questioned heavily before it gained traction. Now, most (if not all) companies depend on the internet in some way.

If technology continues to advance as it is, and Web3 continues to grow and become more relevant, many of the companies that are currently skeptical, or are holding back due to skepticism, will need to consider embracing Web3 in order to stay relevant and competitive.