Exploring Web3, Artificial Intelligence And The Digital Asset Revolution

This week I was in beautiful Quebec City, Quebec, attending and speaking at THE Mining Investment Event of the North. Turnout was very strong this year, and it was great to catch up with and hear from the leaders of gold and precious metal mining companies.

My keynote focused on the state of junior mining, which, like the industry as a whole, has struggled to revisit its 2011 highs, despite the resilience of the gold price. I remain optimistic, however, a feeling I shared with many of the business leaders and attendees of the conference. There was a positive energy in the room, one that told me something big could be just on the horizon.

Bracing For Web3, The Next-Generation Internet

Switching gears, imagine a new digital environment where our data is portable and democratized, challenging the current monopolies. Web3 promises to be such an environment, and to understand this shift, it’s helpful for investors to consider the evolution of the internet.

The first phase, Web1, offered users unprecedented access to information and connectivity (think AOL, Yahoo! and Google). Then came Web2, which enhanced the experience by allowing personalized, user-generated content to be delivered through apps (think Facebook and Twitter).

As the next iteration, Web3 operates on a global, peer-to-peer infrastructure made possible by blockchain technology. Like Bitcoin, the Web3 network is decentralized, meaning it eliminates intermediaries; no single entity controls it.

At its core, Web3 aims to address data monopoly, privacy risks and algorithmic bias, promoting a more equitable and open internet. We’ll see a shift from platform-centric to individual-centric data and identity management, leading to new technologies and business models.

But to truly establish this network, users—both people and machines—need to actively participate. To do this, developers may use tokens (think Ether or Polkadot) to manage activity and record transactions on the blockchain. Other key components of this next-generation ecosystem could also include smart contracts and digital wallets.