What will convince Web 2.0 users to move to Web 3.0?

Bridging the Social Web to Web 3.0 through NFTs

6 min readJan 21, 2022


By Anastasia Samaras

A vast percentage of the population is enthralled with digital products and the platforms offered on Web 2.0, such as social media, e-commerce, and other interactive mediums. These platforms introduced by Web 2.0 enable users to have a digital presence and feel connected to others.

So, the question is:

What will drive the average social media user or digital connoisseur, who is interested and comfortable with the current social web, to Web 3.0?

Web 3.0, powered by blockchain technology, has the potential to change technology as we know it. To drive users, Web 3.0 must do what Web 2.0 did to displace Web 1.0 and unveil an immersive expansion of the features loved by the current social web.

Web 3.0 focuses on understanding content in a more human way to create a compounded association between material, locations, products, and specific behaviors. This is called Semantic web functionality. Essentially, Web 3.0 will work to better decipher and understand the meaning of words and emotions to offer information. Users will then have a better experience driven by enhanced data connectivity.

For instance, users could expect curated and enhanced results for a museum guide that goes beyond text to present a visual 3D display with recommendations based on their unique interests.

Blockchain technology is an essential part of Web 3.0 which will be leveraged to accommodate the next generation of web applications. For Web 3.0 technology to be competitive with Web 2.0, we believe NFTs are the key to transitioning users to a user-run, immersive, and decentralized ecosystem.

NFTs for ownership and verification on the web

NFTs offer a familiar link from the world of blockchain and Web 3.0 to Web 2.0. They work to bring the concept of digital ownership to the web and offer a new way for users to engage with art, experiences, and one another. Creators now have the possibility of developing and maintaining ownership of innovative digital content to help grow their personal and professional brands.

NFTs have already become a status symbol with some of the biggest celebrities and brands entering the space. A look around Twitter will show owned or purchased NFTs as profile pictures. While there have been issues surrounding verification that an NFT being sold is coming from the actual owner, platforms are working to address it.

As more celebrities enter the space to offer digital merchandise, we believe platforms that take the responsibility off the buyers and sellers to authenticate NFTs will come out on top. Currently, some NFT platforms don’t require identity verification but those that do, like Upstream, verify all buyers and sellers in the ecosystem to protect a creator’s credibility, work, and fans.

Then the power of blockchain technology comes to play. Applications like Upstream that are built on Ethereum grant full visibility to whoever owns or has sold the content throughout an NFT’s lifecycle. Imagine a celebrity’s signature tied to an immutable stamp on a blockchain proving that the celebrity signed the merchandise. This creates a powerful and immutable record of authenticity that spans across digital and physical merchandise. Written into a digital contract could also be royalty for any NFT resale which could further benefit artists for their work.

Eco-friendly NFTs with low to no costs

The conversation about Bitcoin and Ethereum’s environmental impact has delayed some companies and individuals from adopting blockchain applications. Web 3.0 blockchain applications are working to reduce their carbon footprint and become more energy efficient.

Having low gas fees for NFTs (or no gas fees charged to users which Upstream offers as a layer-2 Ethereum rollup) can also drive the public to interact with blockchain technology. It could also enable developers to build more interactivity and composability into NFTs, making them inherently more social and streamlined.

Instead of high-cost NFTs which can exclude the masses by charging gas fees regardless of whether an NFT bid is successful, NFTs that can be made for lower costs mean more inclusive NFTs which can invite a new fanbase. For example, on Upstream, a musician could create an NFT airdrop on stage and release thousands of NFTs for fans to claim in seconds with no gas fees charged to users. Innovations like this give creators more freedom to think outside the box with NFTs, using them to modernize tickets, fan engagement experiences, raffles, memorabilia, digital merchandise, and more.

Demystifying Web 3.0 Apps and NFTs

To be able to access most Web 3.0 applications — you will need a crypto wallet, cryptocurrency from a cryptocurrency exchange, and an understanding of a whole new world of terminology.

Web 3.0 Apps will need to make the user journey as frictionless as Web 2.0 platforms to drive adoption. This way the added benefits of security, data ownership, and transparency will outweigh the old web. For example, Upstream keeps most blockchain functionality under the hood to remove friction points. Features such as in-app wallet creation; the ability to purchase NFTs with digital currency, credit cards, PayPal, or traditional bank payments; and streamlined trading tools create a more welcoming onramp for users unfamiliar with Web 3.0.

Demand for applications that give more power back to the end-user has triggered innovation in infrastructure and pushed to resolve current issues and improve the overall user experience.

Web 3.0 will allow the ability to surpass Web 2.0’s current issues with surveillance, centralization, and manipulative and exploitive advertising and give users the opportunity to reclaim control of their personal data, rather than entrusting their data and privacy to large digital corporations.


Although in infancy, we are already beginning to see a shift to decentralization and the power of an immersive Web 3.0 infrastructure. To drive mass adoption, apps will need to focus on user-friendliness and familiarity as a foundation. We believe NFTs can be a key building block to Web 3.0 and all that awaits.

About Upstream

Upstream, a MERJ Exchange Market, is a fully regulated global stock exchange for digital securities. Powered by Horizon’s proprietary matching engine technology, the exchange enables investors to trade shares in IPOs, NFTs, U.S., and international dual-listed equities, and celebrity ventures directly from the app https://upstream.exchange/. Interested issuers can reach the team at hello@upstream.exchange.

About Horizon

Horizon is a fintech company that builds and powers global securities exchanges with an integrated suite of software for compliant issuance, management, and secondary trading of securities. Their in-house solutions combine Wall Street and Silicon Valley to power the next generation of securities offerings and trading in the U.S. and globally. Learn more at https://www.horizonfintex.com/.


Upstream is a MERJ Exchange market. MERJ Exchange is a licensed Securities Exchange, an affiliate of the World Federation of Exchanges and full member of ANNA. MERJ supports global issuers of traditional and digital securities through the entire asset life cycle from issuance to trading, clearing, settlement and registry. It operates a fair and transparent marketplace in line with international best practice and principles of operations of financial markets. Upstream does not endorse or recommend any public or private securities bought or sold on its app. Upstream does not offer investment advice or recommendations of any kind. All brokerage services offered by Upstream are intended for self-directed clients who make their own investment decisions without aid or assistance from Upstream. All customers are subject to the rules and regulations of their jurisdiction. By accessing the site or app, you agreed to be bound by its terms of use and privacy policy. Company and security listings on Upstream are only suitable for investors who are familiar with and willing to accept the high risk associated with speculative investments, often in early and development stage companies. There can be no assurance the valuation of any particular company’s securities is accurate or in agreement with the market or industry comparative valuations. Investors must be able to afford market volatility and afford the loss of their investment. Companies listed on Upstream are subject to significant ongoing corporate obligations including, but not limited to disclosure, filings and notification requirements, as well compliance with applicable quantitative and qualitative listing standards.




A MERJ Exchange Market. Ethereum-powered trading app for digital securities and NFTs