Web 3 is the code for Chinese adventurers to connect in Singapore

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Author Shen Danyang

Mailbox | shendanyang@pingwest.com Editor in charge Xuan Ning

Mailbox | wangzhaoyang@pingwest.com


"Web3 will be a new starting point."

This is an introduction to the proposal "how to win the future" issued by Andreessen Horowitz, a top venture capital institution in Silicon Valley, in October 2021. It appears under the topic of "American science and technology leadership crisis".

It pierced the last layer of window paper and made the technical strategic intention of Web3, which has been hidden behind many concepts such as blockchain, defi, NFT and metauniverse, clear. At the cryptocurrency hearing of the U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. officials even raised the issue of "how to ensure that the Web3 revolution takes place in the United States".

Not only does the United States hope to seize the mast of the next generation Internet infrastructure and technological revolution by Web3, but also Britain, Australia, Dubai and New Zealand have entered one after another. The global battle for the bridgehead of Web3 has begun.

However, when HBO's "western world" producers wanted to describe the future of American cities, they did not choose Seattle, Los Angeles or Austin for shooting, but went to Singapore. Like the choice made by HBO producers, Web3 entrepreneurs fighting in the front line gathered in one place:


I smell Web3 in lion city

"How many more OGS have joined Web3! VP of Internet giant! Web2 ancient beast!" When Zhao Jian excitedly released the news in his circle of friends, he used three exclamation marks.

These three exclamation marks accurately describe his state of mind since he entered Web3 entrepreneurship. "It feels like falling in love every day and suddenly returning to his youth".

As an early Internet practitioner in the early 21st century, "Post-70s" Zhao Jian is on web1 0 era was solely responsible for a global leisure game platform, and participated in the speech that helped Chinese game developers board the GDC conference in San Francisco for the first time; In web2 In the era of 0, Zhao Jian joined Qihoo 360 with his own entrepreneurial project and achieved more than 400 million users from 0.

At the beginning of 2017, when the domestic mobile Internet entered the Red Sea market, Zhao Jian ended his life in Beijing and came to Singapore.

In his first few years in Singapore, Zhao jiancu was unprepared to live a peaceful life for the elderly. His daily work was to help listed companies and FMCG provide product and strategic consulting. "Internet people who came to Singapore either made little achievements in web2 stage or came here to work with major domestic factories. Everyone's life was very comfortable and their entrepreneurial motivation in web2 field was not very sufficient".

Until the emergence of Web3 broke the state of looking to the end at a glance.

Source: pinplay copyright Gallery

Zhao Jian told PinWan that the Web3 wave that broke out last year was very similar to his mobile Internet entrepreneurship in 2009 - it was a feeling on the eve of a great opportunity.

"I feel that there is a new mysterious sea area in front of me, or a new world that can be built again, which has fatal temptation for entrepreneurs. I'm like an explorer standing at the entrance.".

Similarly, Li xiaofrog, who chose to start a business in the field of Web3, also mentioned this feeling. In his early years, he participated in the incubation of a variety of products in Alibaba and meituan, and came to Singapore to start a business in 2019. Starting from this year, due to the frequent demand for NFT content put forward by the project party, Li xiaofrog resolutely chose "all in Web3".

"It took a few hours before and after making this decision. I'm a person who sees the general direction, throws myself away first, and then formulates a specific action plan." Li xiaofrog said that the excitement of entering the Web3 world for the first time made him find the sense of familiarity when he was doing web2. His growth speed even couldn't catch up with the development of entrepreneurial projects.

Web3, which excites Zhao Jian and Li xiaofrog, is an online ecosystem based on distributed blockchain technology. In fact, it was born in the Internet more than a decade ago like "concept first". Its core idea can even be traced back to the declaration of cyberspace independence issued by John Perry Barlow 26 years ago.

In short, Web3 integrates the interactive functions of web1's open protocol and web2, which can break up the control of Internet giants and return data and assets to ordinary users with decentralized technology.

However, unlike people who are good at defining things / phenomena that have been born / happened, the concept of Web3 appeared earlier than people can actually see its specific landing appearance. Even though many cutting-edge Internet people shouted "it represents the next stage of Internet development" in different periods of time, it left the outside world with "wolf" because of the immaturity of underlying technology and the endless speculative chaos in the cryptocurrency industry The bad impression of "Ponzi scheme" and "cutting leeks".

"As early as 2012, I contacted IDG investors with digital currency in Silicon Valley. At that time, I was still very typical web2 thinking and didn't understand blockchain projects." Zhao Jian said that in 2017 and 2018, when ICO (the first issuance of tokens for blockchain projects) became popular, the blockchain industry also held industry summits in Singapore, "but objectively speaking, it was mainly cutting leeks. At that time, their values and understanding of cryptocurrency could not convince me".

Neil, a senior Internet man in Singapore who has worked hard in the web2 world for many years and joined Web3 at the end of last year, has similar experience and feelings.

"(2017/2018) that wave of ICO foam was indeed a lot. At that time, I also worked as a consultant for a blockchain team. They were all hyping the concept, and almost no one went to the implementation of a project." Neil told PinWan that during his time as an ICO consultant, he was very tired of listening to the project side talking about the nihilistic industry every day.

This kind of personal experience of exhaustion and disappointment after the ICO foam once made Neil have a wary mentality of avoiding emerging things related to blockchain.

Most obviously, when NFT (non homogenous token), the media of the Web3 world, first broke into the public eye in early 2021, Neil just listened to it as a story, believing that the heat brought by encryption art will eventually fade due to the audience circle and application scene.

Source: pinplay copyright Gallery

However, after the NFT found the trend of cooperation, it didn't even break the whole NFT chain. However, it didn't even stop when the NFT found the trend of cooperation.

You should know that every major change in the Internet field will almost change the interaction mode of the game industry at the first time. NFT, which inherits the asset attribute encapsulated by cryptocurrency, can not only solve the asset security problem in the traditional game world, but also essentially limit the value uncertainty caused by the official issuance. In other words, with the emergence and development of chain games, NFT and the whole Web3 world will stride into the mainstream Internet circle.

After noticing this trend, Neil realized clearly that Web3 is really coming.

What makes them firmly believe in this judgment is the development maturity of the underlying infrastructure technology in this industry. Neil believes that taking Ethereum, the main open source smart contract platform in the Web3 world, as an example, its technical bottom has undergone earth shaking changes in the past five or six years.

"In the past, the transaction cost of Ethereum was very high, because the industry itself had high requirements for machine performance, and this cost would eventually be passed on to users, that is, the gas fee (transaction fee) in the Web3 world. In addition, at that time, the large-scale application ability of this technology was very limited, and the number of concurrent services that the system could withstand per second was low, so it was difficult to imagine thousands of users using it at the same time."

The high cost and low efficiency of Web3 used to be an insurmountable gap in the eyes of many Internet people, but Ethereum, as the underlying infrastructure of Web3, has spawned a set of capacity expansion solutions to perfectly solve the problems of cost and efficiency in the past few years, which not only greatly reduces the transaction cost, but also increases the concurrent processing capacity to 10000 loads per second, and the concurrent processing capacity will reach the level of one million in the next few years, It exceeds the concurrent transaction processing capacity of the existing underlying infrastructure based on web2.

What makes web2 practitioners, including Neil, even more excited is that the current Ethereum layer2 has developed to the stage of Turing completion - just like the root like strong trunk can grow luxuriant foliage, the maturity of Web3 infrastructure layer and protocol layer begins to accelerate the rapid changes of application layer.

"If the whole Web3 industry develops in this direction, a new software ecosystem will be born. At that time, the web2 ecosystem including Google and Facebook may be completely overturned.". He said.

"From this perspective, the decentralization of Web3 is really possible. At that time, the monopoly situation formed by internet giants will collapse."

"Distributed": commonality between Singapore and Web3

Whether it is the underlying technological leap of Web3 or the destructive changes it will cause to the old Internet, it is enough to brighten the eyes of web2 elites trapped in scientific and technological innovation, followed by a surge of adrenaline and numbness in the cerebral cortex. If you don't do something immediately, it seems that you will miss the best opportunity to enter the site.

In this battle to compete for entry speed, Singapore, which occupies a favorable time, place and people, has become an important bridgehead for Internet elites to compete for Web3.

Source: pinplay copyright Gallery

Exploring the reasons for the rise of Web3 wave in Singapore is inseparable from the relatively loose local financial policy environment. When many countries around the world are cautious about cryptocurrency, Singapore provides a friendly living environment for decentralized institutions including virtual currency exchange, which makes web2 between web2 and Web3 5. It has quietly taken root in Singapore in the past few years.

"Some leading blockchain companies in Europe and America, such as coinbase and FTX, have chosen to set up R & D centers in Singapore or set their headquarters in Singapore. Coinbase has also recruited a large number of technicians from Internet giants including Google in recent years." Neil said.

This mobility of scientific and technological innovation based on the policy environment is actually reflected in the web2 era. PinWan previously reportedSingapore InternetAs a global data hub, it mentioned its advantages in security compliance, resource sharing and geopolitical based talent circulation.

And the siphon effect of this advantage extending to the Web3 era becomes more significant.

In addition to the friendly environment created by the policy, the operation system of Singapore's technology Internet industry is very similar and consistent with the distributed kernel of Web3. This country with very limited population size and market share has effectively connected the top talents and top capital through a free way of decentralization, and has the influence of radiating to the Asia Pacific region and even the world with the help of the wave of internationalization.

A senior Web3 practitioner who entered the blockchain field in 2013 told PinWan that one big difference between Web3 and web2 is that it breaks the traditional concept of "market region" that has existed since the birth of the business world. Web3 was born international and does not have the concepts of "domestic" and "going to sea" like web2 products.

Therefore, even if many Web3 teams whose "flesh body" is not in Singapore will still choose to register the company here, which will not affect their operations in other regions of the world while obtaining industry resources.

To some extent, all the nutrients Web3 needs are flowing in Singapore's blood.

Source: pinplay copyright Gallery

In addition to attracting many Chinese Internet elites, Singapore Web3 has also gathered many Internet practitioners from India and Japan who are interested in Web3.

"Recently, many Japanese who do Web3 entrepreneurship have moved to Singapore. In the future, there may be quite a large number of excellent Chinese software people gathered there. It is really a good opportunity." Guo Yu, a post-90s programmer, recently posted such a status on twitter. As the first batch of Web3 practitioners, Guo Yu has lived in Japan since leaving his post in 2020 and started all in Web3.

Almost at the same time, many Indian Internet practitioners also chose to start Web3 businesses in Singapore.

"Just as excellent entrepreneurs in the Indian web2 era choose to register flipkart, Ola, inmobi and other products in Singapore, Indian Web3 entrepreneurs are also coming to Singapore to seek a freer technology environment." Sengupta, an Indian Internet practitioner, said.

Puru, another Indian Web3 entrepreneur, wrote on twitter that "the number of Indian Web3 entrepreneurs who make this choice is still soaring. It is a pity that the direct beneficiaries of scientific and technological innovation are Singapore, not India".

With the arrival of a large number of Web3 entrepreneurs, Singapore also has capital.

Both the legendary venture capital institution a16z in Silicon Valley and Sequoia Capital, the world's largest venture capital institution, regard Singapore as a strategic place for cryptocurrency investment. After the development of previous years, three arrows, a cryptocurrency hedge fund company bred in Singapore, has also become the institution with the second largest portfolio in the cryptocurrency field after a16z.

"The competition for capital to enter Web3 is becoming incandescent. At present, most US dollar funds will set up offices in Singapore. A representative data is that the funds raised by global cryptocurrencies in 2021 are close to US $30 billion, which is more than the sum of more than 20 years ago."

Zhao Jian's perception of this is very obvious. Due to his deep cultivation in the domestic and Singapore Internet industries for a long time, he has often become a human flesh hub for people in the two circles to exchange their needs. Although he has been in the Web3 wave, he is still very shocked by the crazy influx of domestic capital into Singapore's Web3.

"Another top VC organization in Dongba district is all in Web3, and the investment process is even shortened to within one week." Zhao Jian told PinWan. Although it was inconvenient to disclose specific information, he was extremely surprised by the decision of all in Web3, an investment institution with such a head.

"They (the agency) said that the web2 project is almost invisible now, and switching to Web3 is also a challenge for investment institutions. Compared with the 3-6 months of the traditional financing cycle, the rhythm of Web3 is like 007, which is based on weeks or even days.".

Source: still photo of 007: no time to die

The more he gets involved in the Web3 world, the more he regrets that "our previous understanding of the blockchain is too limited to its own financial attributes. The emergence of the ICO foam in that year reinforced the external prejudice against the blockchain, which led to the Web3 practitioners in the Asia Pacific region losing the best opportunity to participate in the underlying construction".

"Unfortunately, due to the impact of the whole blockchain ecology in the Asia Pacific region at that time, most of the people around were doing ICO related things. Now looking back, European and American blockchains extended along the underlying infrastructure, and many good technology-oriented companies were precipitated behind them, of which Ethereum is one."

However, the temporary backwardness of the Asia Pacific region at the level of Web3 infrastructure is also building the development opportunities of Web3 application layer in Singapore. For example, the x2earn model equipped with the underlying Web3 technology is what Asia Pacific Internet entrepreneurs are better at.

X2earn (full name x to earn) first appeared in the article published on the a16z official website, where x generally refers to games, sports, learning and other actions. Earn is the economic benefit generated by the behavior in these specific scenes. In short, ordinary users can obtain behavioral economic benefits in Web3 application products such as play2earn, move2earn and learn2earn.

"At first, this model was not even established in the field of Web3 in Europe and America, but after stepn was made, it was successfully grafted into the European and American market, and the effect is actually very good. This kind of Web3 project at the level of to C is developing rapidly in Singapore." Neil said that the resources and talent dividends Singapore has absorbed from the Chinese Internet in recent years have also accelerated the landing of the local Web3 application layer.

In fact, the development path of China's mobile Internet also confirms this. Although the underlying technology infrastructure of web1 and web2 was first born in European and American countries, during the whole outbreak period of mobile terminal products, Chinese Internet entrepreneurs still created top global products including tiktok, Yuanshen and sheen by taking advantage of the dividends of European and American underlying technologies, and this advantage in product design and operation also has the opportunity to migrate to the Web3 world.

"This may be against the idea of decentralization, but at present, many people regard Europe and the United States as the physical center of the Web3 world. Singapore can only be regarded as the periphery of the Web3 world. It was true in the last stage, but in the long run, the Web3 revolution may not be born in the Asia Pacific region, or even in Singapore." A Web3 practitioner said to PinWan.

Capital and talent: the gateway between China and Singapore

When the environment, capital, talent, technology and industry atmosphere are extremely active, Singapore Web3 entrepreneurship projects begin to blossom everywhere. As a country where Chinese account for more than 70%, behind these Web3 entrepreneurship projects, in fact, most of them are Chinese or even Internet elites directly from Chinese Mainland.

Their hot imagination of the future Internet world can't stop even in the dead of night and the dawn.

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Zhao Jian often wakes up at three or four o'clock in the morning recently. He often needs to have meetings with Web3 partners in European and American countries. The rapid development of entrepreneurial projects almost makes him feel the disorder of work and rest. Li xiaofrog often travels in multiple Web3 industry sharing and live broadcasting rooms on weekday nights to deepen his understanding of the industry through communication, sharing and even heated debate with various Web3 practitioners. At the same time, he introduces his entrepreneurial projects to the outside world in this way.

Neil also spared no effort to fly back and forth in Singapore, Europe, America, Southeast Asia and other regions. He went offline to visit the cutting-edge team of Web3 world and participate in major industry summits. At the same time, he also signed up for Web3 courses of Stanford and MIT. He has a desire to fill the gap in the encryption world in the past few years as soon as possible.

In the coming wave of Web3, the first entrepreneurial opportunity these Chinese web2 elites see is the overlapping entrance of the two Internet ages, which is undoubtedly what they are best at based on their own advantages.

Standing at the forefront of Web3, Neil, who was born in Internet technology, predicted that a large number of Internet developers will migrate from the web2 world with his company's business in the future. In the web2 world, the number of global Internet technicians is conservatively estimated to be nearly 30 million, but in the Web3 world, there are no more than 50000 qualified smart contract development engineers in the world. Neil believes that the talent gap in the middle will create a huge demand for technical interfaces when the two worlds overlap in the future.

"Therefore, the starting point of our entrepreneurship is also very simple. We want to make a set of API developer tools applied to the front and back end between web2 and Web3. For web2 developers, API is a very familiar language, and API can also be used for driving most scenarios including smart contracts in the Web3 world." Neil told PinWan that reddio, his entrepreneurial project, is the first Web3 infrastructure project invested by paradigm, a fund company focusing on digital assets, in the Asia Pacific region.

Zhao Jian's entrepreneurship project allinweb3 IO also plays the role of welcoming web2 elites at the entrance of Web3 world.

Unlike Neil's roots in the technology field, Zhao Jian combined his previous experience of strategic analysts to build a resource sharing platform that brings together well-known web2 entrepreneurs, domestic and foreign investment institutions and senior Web3 practitioners. In his own words, he serves the web2 group to better land in the Web3 world. The launch of Zhao Jian's entrepreneurship project also benefited from the Internet salon he founded since 2008, including front-line entrepreneurs and investors such as Wang Xiaochuan, Cao Yi and Zhu Tianyu, who have been active in his community for a long time.

Of course, there are also "Portals" in the Web3 world for web2 ordinary users. These products are more born in the application layer of Web3.

At the beginning of 2022, stepn, the first mobile end chain game product launched by two Chinese founders, fired the first shot at the rise of Web3 applications. The market value of this move2earn product exceeded US $1 billion less than half a year after it was launched, with a daily life of 300000. After seeing the success of stepn, various application products of x2earn mode have sprung up.

During the outbreak of Web3 applications, Li xiaofrog made an NFT subscription and payment platform slash, which helped netizens with private domain traffic to create and publish their own NFT pass, so that they can establish a fan community in the Web3 world and realize content payment based on pictures and videos.

"You can understand it as onlyfans in the Web3 world, committed to using NFT to achieve user privacy, security and freedom." Li xiaofrog said.

Source: pinplay copyright Gallery

When these Chinese Internet elites promote the project, they also have a deeper understanding of Singapore Web3 in practice: whether they can make use of the resources and potential energy of China's Internet will be the key factor in winning the battle to seize the bridgehead of global Web3.

This is first reflected in the talent structure of Web3 in Singapore.

"In Singapore's Web3 industry, we can see that exchanges, data analysis products, marketing products and application-oriented products are gradually increasing, but developers are in a fault gap. In the Asia Pacific region, China and India have the largest number of Internet technicians, but India's Internet development stage is relatively backward, and most developers stay in the application layer. In addition to rich application-oriented technicians, China also has a large number of developers Tier infrastructure developers. "

Neil said that Chinese developers are very important to the future development of Web3 world. At present, they are the only country comparable to the strength and number of developers in Europe and the United States.

In addition to the unbalanced talent structure, Singapore, as a surfer at the outlet of Web3, is also facing challenges from other countries and regions. According to pinplay observation, including Dubai, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Australia and Vietnam, are trying to attract talents in the field of Web3 by creating a more friendly and relaxed industry development environment. But even so, in the fierce battle for the bridgehead of Web3, almost all Chinese Internet entrepreneurs said that their first choice was still Singapore.

"More consideration is geographical and cultural proximity. Singapore Web3 is almost in the same line with China's Internet, which is the best entrepreneurial ecology for Chinese. From the perspective of recruitment and operating costs, Singapore is also the best choice." Said a Web3 Chinese entrepreneur whose company is registered in Singapore.

However, it is undeniable that Singapore Web3, like the whole encryption market, is facing the black swan incident triggered by the capital market at any time. Recently, under the capital hunting and debt crisis, the stable currency ust of Terra ecological native algorithm has been seriously broken off, and the sharp decline of virtual currency has led to the sharp contraction of NFT market. As an essential token and medium for the operation of Web3 world, this oncoming death spiral has dragged the whole industry into a dark bear market.

However, many Singapore Web3 entrepreneurs regard this as a good opportunity to improve the industry ecology.

"Every bear market is a reshuffle, which can wash away some noise in the Web3 world. On the contrary, it is conducive to down-to-earth entrepreneurs, and the cost of doing things will become lower." In Neil's view, the cyclical cooling of the external market will also highlight the real value of Web3, and those who persist will be the biggest beneficiaries in the next stage.

"When it comes to setting up a global technology division, Singapore will still be the center of the world. In fact, it will bring unprecedented opportunities to the Asia Pacific market from here."

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