The more people become aware of and familiar with blockchain technology, the more people theorize and experiment with its uses outside of cryptocurrency. For example, investments in non-fungible tokens (NFTs) doubled among U.S. adults over a six-month period in 2021. Blockchain-based gaming, which involves NFTs, has also grown in popularity by appealing to gamers who want more immersive gaming experiences. 

As the incorporation of blockchain explodes, web pundits around the world theorize rebuilding the internet as we know it in order to decentralize information and put more control, freedom, and ownership in the hands of users. This concept is called Web3 – essentially the next theoretical phase of the world wide web, and one that has considerable potential and feasibility.

The success of something like Web3 not only depends on what’s technologically possible, but also hinges on consumer understanding and acceptance. In a recent CivicScience survey, 56% of respondents indicated that they had never heard of the Web3 concept. Eight percent claimed to have a strong understanding of the concept while 15% say they have at least a basic understanding of it. All in all, awareness of Web3 reaches roughly 44% of the adult population in America.

When U.S. adults were asked whether or not a blockchain-based internet would be a “good idea” or a “bad idea,” the majority weren’t even sure. Take out the “I’m not sure” respondents and it’s clear people lean toward this idea for the internet being not great.

Where do understanding and acceptance live among Americans right now? Men more than women say they understand Web3 in some capacity. Awareness and understanding are also high among people under 35. The youngest respondents, those between 18 and 24, have the strongest understanding of Web3 and a 17% greater awareness overall than the next generation up (25- to 34-year-olds).

To be expected, esports watchers have greater awareness of Web3 than non-watchers, but one-third of them say their level of understanding is minute. Non-esports-watchers are quick to say the concept of Web3 is a bad idea while esports watchers appear more thoughtful about their responses with more saying they aren’t sure. 

Blockchain gaming is interwoven with the blockchain economy; blockchain gamers buy, sell, and trade digital assets like NFTs, often as an integral part of game play. The more money someone spends on traditional computer and video gaming, the more likely they are to say they understand the concept of Web3. At the same time, spending more money on gaming correlates with the opinion that Web3 is a bad idea.

Much of the hype around blockchain stems from the fact that it is highly secure, virtually unhackable, and immutable. Blockchain has earned the reputation of being extremely trustworthy in protecting one’s data and assets. Looking into the general realm of digital payment solutions, those who put their trust in applications like PayPal exhibit a heightened awareness and understanding of the concept of Web3. Not only this, but the same group predominantly believes that Web3 is both a good idea and a bad idea.

The internet is changing all the time, but a full technological upheaval of the world wide web is unlikely – at least in the near future. As the gaming ecosystem builds a new era for itself, and digital wallets become more commonplace, the internet will begin to see major effects.