Those of us who’ve been paying attention to new blockchain projects over this past year have noticed a strange trend. Failed or failing individuals or businesses are trying to reform their images, and it has everything to do with the still-nebulous idea of Web3.
You don’t have to look hard to find news of a “hey, yeah, I forgot that person/company/project existed” suddenly busting through the wall with all the wasted energy of the Kool-Aid Man to say they’re back, and this time they have a project that will really “change the paradigm” (or as Weird Al once put it, “Advance our market share vis-à-vis; Our proven methodology”).
At first, you think they would be laughed out of the building. After all, who thinks working with the guy that single handedly built up and tore down WeWork is a good face for investment? Why would I give an old torrent website the light of day when all they promise is NFTs? What’s stranger about these projects is how they all seem to gain at least some traction, whether by users of the blockchain community or investors.
Because as silly as it sounds for investors to consider taking advice from the wolf of Wall Street, Web3 projects are inherently enticing for investment firms, which are already practically drooling over the thought of disruptive blockchain technology, especially that which promises to increasingly monetize industries that are already monetized, whether its carbon credits or pharmaceuticals. Who cares if it’s the universally despised “Pharma Bro” who’s making the push?
It’s an open question how far investment in crypto will go, since a recent study from Pew Research Center showed that crypto investment among average folk has remained stagnant since last year. That doesn’t mean there aren’t massive crypto firms and even more traditional tech companies pouring millions of dollars into the scene.
Seeing dollar signs is one thing. Actually creating utility using blockchain technology is something else, and so far we haven’t seen much or anything that seems useful come from any of these once disgraced businesses or businesspeople.