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Blockchain: An Internet of Money, Paying You To Participate

Read 6 min
Blockchain on an orange background
— The Web2 platforms as we know them do not share their revenue with the users – yet, you, your content, attention and contribution are foundational to their success! This doesn’t seem fair.

— That dynamic changes with blockchain and Web3. Platforms on Web3 work on a completely new economic model and are offering users multiple ways to earn crypto assets, all thanks to the underlying infrastructure of blockchain. 

— You can play blockchain-based games, learn new concepts, create content, or further invest in the crypto assets you already own to earn a side income.

Blockchain’s main revolutionary feature is that it enables the autonomous transfer of value – and this is powering a whole new generation of internet, as well as changing our expectations! Check out how you can earn from your day-to-day habits.

Let’s get one thing straight – the main product on web2 is….you. Most free Web2 platforms are free only because you’re actually paying for them in a different, more important currency — your attention. Or, even if you’re paying them in real money, you most often do not generate any monetary value from it.

To understand the first case, look at today’s social media platforms. These platforms use your data and show you ads based on your activities. Your attention is their primary product, and yet what do you get in return? Nothing. 

All in all, the big companies controlling major chunks of Web2 win big, while the end-users – the ones who make it all possible – are left with nothing. 

But that changes with blockchain and the budding Web3 ecosystem. Let’s see how.

Web 3 – Internet of Value

Web 3 can be defined as the internet of value – but what exactly does that mean? In short, it made users into owners, and transformed web2 networks into communities. Let’s unpack that a bit more.

Previously, the internet only allowed information to be transmitted, but gave no public infrastructure for value to be owned, sent and received between individuals or organizations – for this, you needed to use a bank or middleman, giving these entities a stake in the system even when they were not participants in its development.

But when blockchain appeared, it provided a publicly owned infrastructure in which you could own your digital assets – be it content, fashion or game assets – and send and receive them freely, allowing seamless revenue flow between projects and the people contributing to them. 

A decentralized system where all participants – the projects themselves and their users – could have aligned incentives. Platforms don’t need to rely on ad revenue to make money, they can simply reward their users directly, transforming their communities into economies. Meanwhile, those users get to monetize their contribution to the success of that project, they are both advocates and stakeholders in the project. Shouldn’t it always have been this way?

So with that said, let’s jump into a few examples that seize on this new dynamic to reward users for interacting with Web3.

The Ecosystem of “To Earn” Platforms

Learn to Earn

Learning is always a challenge, but imagine being paid to ge the job done – that’s the premise of learn to earn models.

Learn-to-earn or experience-to-earn programs are those where projects, companies, or decentralized protocols add an incentive for you to learn about and experience the crypto space. So, suppose you want to learn about a particular cryptocurrency or blockchain, you can look for learn-to-earn programs that may offer content on that so you earn incentives to learn. Or, if you want to use DeFi services, there are platforms that offer incentives for using various DeFi protocols, and completing simple tasks like executing a DEX trade or buying an ENS domain etc.

These learn-to-earn programs play a crucial role in bringing new people into crypto. Firstly, an added incentive to learn is an attractive offer for anyone to start learning something they may already be somewhat interested in. Secondly, getting free crypto tokens dropped into one’s wallet also offers these learners first-hand experience of the crypto space. 

Multiple centralized crypto platforms like CoinMarketCap, CoinBase, and Binance regularly operate these learn-to-earn programs around Web3 projects. Further, once you’re ready to delve into DeFi, you can use platforms like Rabbit Hole and perform various transactions such as conducting token swaps or buying NFTs to earn free crypto tokens.

Play to Earn

Imagine if you could play your way to buying two houses in the Philippines. As unreal as these scenarios sound, they’re true. A regular Filipino gamer with no brand sponsorship bought two houses just from the money he earned playing a blockchain-based play-to-earn (P2E) game Axie Infinity. Similarly, there are hundreds of people who earned a fortune playing similar P2E games.

These P2E games built on blockchain are the reason the multi-billion dollar gaming industry is undergoing rigorous innovation. What’s special about them?

Unlike traditional games, P2E games like Axie Infinity offe players in-game assets that they can trade on secondary marketplaces for real money. This is all thanks to the assets existing as NFTs, giving players real ownership of what was previously only digital. 

And of course, staking on these games can also earn you rewards: many P2E games allow you to stake your tokens or NFTs to earn extra incentives, thereby allowing you to take a hand in the network’s running, and receive a reward for your efforts.

While you may not be able to buy a new house, you can still earn a decent revenue for the time you spend on these P2E games, and the games themselves benefit from your engagement; a symbiosis where all participants win.

Delegate to Earn

When you invest in a crypto asset, you most often keep them idle in your wallet. But there are multiple ways you can put them to work.

For example, if you own ETH in your Ledger hardware wallet, you can stake it on the Ether staking platform Lido directly through Ledger Live to earn approximately 4% annual returns – in this case, you’re earning rewards for participating in the security of the network.

Alternatively, if you own ETH and USDT in one of your non-custodial wallets, you may very well add liquidity for ETH/USDT pair on a decentralized exchange like Uniswap. You can also stake a range of other crypto assets or lend them across DeFi platforms to earn extra revenue on your otherwise idle cryptos. (We talk about this in more detail in this Ledger Academy series) For users, this means receiving rewards for providing liquidity to key platforms, helping them to run smoothly and quickly for those needing to borrow or swap.

If you’re more into NFTs, there are NFT platforms, such as LooksRare that rewards its users in $LOOKS tokens for buying and selling any assets on the platform. Additionally, it also shares a portion of the network fees with users who stake their $LOOKS token.

In fact, the crypto space is jam-packed with such platforms, and it only depends on how much you can explore to find the best opportunities. 

Create to Earn

Create to earn isn’t something new but it sure has a new meaning on Web3. Given the user-centricity of Web3, it’s not the platforms where you post your work but you who take the biggest piece of the generated revenue. And it’s not just for video content like on YouTube but content of all formats.

This new user-centric Web3 economy for creators brings a fair deal to users who have been foundational to the growth of internet platforms, but have so far not been fairly incentivized for their contribution. Creators can finally do what they love most and be sure that no middleman would be taking a major chunk of the revenue generated from their content.

This is already being implemented across multiple platforms. Steem is one great example of this dynamic, where content creators can contribute their work to the platform and be directly rewarded for how much engagement that work receives via its blockchain infrastructure.

Alternatively, you could create art or music and sell them as NFTs to your audience without the need for sharing a major cut with middlemen. 

Blockchain means that creators get to own their content, be it art, Tweets or articles. This means they do not have to give up copyrights over their work in order to auction them, and they can earn royalties directly every time an NFT associated with their work is sold on a secondary marketplace. In short, create-to-earn means the people buoying up a platform can receive rewards for their efforts.

Wear to Earn

The success of a fashion brand is partly down to creating a public profile, and that profile depends on you, the wearer. Why would you not be incentivized?

Wear to earn is one more up and coming format through which fashion followers can be rewarded for supporting a brand. The rise of the metaverse has catalysed a whole industry around augmented reality wearables – and since these come in the form of NFTs, brands have the opportunity to build an ongoing relationship with the people responsible for their success.

Digital fashion brands like UnOpnd are launching limited edition avatar wearables offering wearers rewards for acting as ambassadors for their designs, including early access to new digital fashion drops and special events. And although the idea itself is still nascent, it’s a sign of what’s to come, as fashion communities come to expect recognition for their hand in the success of their favourite brands.

Blockchain and Web3 – An Internet Where You’re Rewarded

So there you have it – a guide to all the different ways blockchain is being leveraged to align success for projects with rewards for users. 

For regular people like you and me, it means many of the things you were doing anyway can now be recognised and rewarded – your participation in a project is a factor in its success, why shouldn’t you have a piece of the pie? Goodbye advertisers – goodbye annoying pop-ups. Hello seamless and fair experiences.

So, what are you waiting for? It’s time you dip your toes and try out some of these platforms. But while doing so, make sure you’re taking care of your and your crypto assets’ security – thankfully, Ledger has you covered!

Knowledge is Power.

Get free and keep on learning! Check out our School of Block episode on how to make passive income on your crypto.

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