The number of people actively using the internet is growing rapidly. As blockchain technology advances, many of these users will likely branch out and adopt what is growing to be known as Web3 – the decentralised internet.
Quick summary of Web3 statistics
- North America holds a 34% share of the global Web3 market
- Cryptocurrency participation in Asia rose over 700% throughout 2020
- Nearly 3.5 million people actively used decentralised finance (DeFi) in 2021
- 43% of people surveyed expect Web3 to be more heavily regulated than Web2
- Approximately one-third of people surveyed in 2021 agreed that Web3 would provide an increase in job opportunities and access to educational resources
What is Web3?
Web3, also known as the decentralised web, refers to the next generation of the internet that is being built using blockchain technology. It aims to create a more democratised internet by removing the need for centralised intermediaries.
In Web3, users have more control over their data, digital identity and online interactions. Smart contracts, decentralised applications (dapps) and peer-to-peer (P2P) networks are used to enable trustless transactions and interactions.
The vision for Web3 is to create an open and transparent internet that is more resistant to censorship, surveillance and data breaches. It has the potential to transform many industries, including finance, healthcare and social media.
Web3 is an all-encompassing term used to describe applications built using blockchain technology. Some examples of Web3 include:
- DeFi: Blockchain technology and Web3 are best known for their applications in decentralised finance. Blockchains, like Ethereum, BNB Chain and Polkadot, allow developers to create dapps for various financial services, including lending, borrowing and trading.
- Social media: Web3 is being used to create social media platforms such as Lens Protocol and Steemit that are more transparent and democratic than centralised alternatives.
- Supply chain management: Platforms like Provenance and Viant use blockchain technology to track products from their origin to their final destination.
- Decentralised cloud storage: Web3 can also be used to create storage platforms that are more secure and private than traditional cloud services. Examples include Storj, IPFS and Filecoin.
- Gaming: Decentralised technologies are fast being adopted in the gaming and virtual reality industries. Play-to-earn games provide a way for users to earn coins or tokens by completing missions or playing against other competitors.
- Metaverse: The metaverse is a term popularised by Meta (Facebook) CEO Mark Zuckerberg that refers to a virtual universe where users can engage in various digital experiences, socialise and conduct business. Although Meta was one of the first big businesses to enter the metaverse narrative, it has quickly been adopted by blockchain-based projects and the Web3 community.
Global distribution of Web3 users
As of 2022, North America has the strongest Web3 user base, accounting for 34% of users worldwide. Following North America is Europe, with 24% of global users, while the Asia-Pacific region comes in third with 18%. The remaining Web3 users are split between the Middle East and Africa with 14% and South America with 10%.
How many people use Web3?
In 2021, DeFi had a total of 3,450,000 users, while blockchain gaming was a close second with 2,364,576 active participants. NFTs and the metaverse were relatively new to the scene and had the lowest numbers of users, with 412,578 and 50,000, respectively.
Top 10 decentralised applications (dapps) by revenue
Cumulative revenue shows how profitable a dapp is over the course of a given period – the graph above shows revenue generated between March 2022 and March 2023.
Although many of the top 10 revenue-generating dapps have native tokens, including Convex (CVX), Lido (LDO) and Synthetix (SNX), others do not. In fact, the dapp that produced the largest revenue from March 2022 to March 2023 was OpenSea. OpenSea is the world's largest NFT marketplace built on the Ethereum blockchain. Its revenue is generated through the commissioned trading of digital art and collectibles. Many of these popular collections are worth thousands of dollars.
The fact that the crypto dapp generating the highest is an NFT marketplace demonstrates the popularity of digital collectibles and helps to solidify their place in the industry's future.
Market capitalisation – Web2 vs Web3
In 2021, the market capitalisation of Web2, gaming and esports was over US$15 trillion, dominating that of the Web3 metaverse, which was worth only US$3 billion.
Approximately one-third of all participant interviews in 2021 agreed that the Web3 metaverse has the potential to open doors, including increasing access to education and job opportunities and allowing users to connect better on a global scale.
Web3 facts 2022
Blockchain and Web3 technology are being used to build an increasing proportion – approximately 46% – of financial applications. However, as its popularity grows, consumers anticipate that Web3 will be subject to more stringent regulation than its traditional counterpart.
Number of online users (millions)
China, India and the US are the top 3 countries in terms of the global number of online users. By 2022, China is estimated to have over 1 billion users, India 932.23 million users and the US 307.34 million users. Other countries that rank high are Indonesia, Brazil, Russia and Japan.