Andreessen Horowitz’s crypto unit, known as a16z crypto, announced last week that it has raised $4.5 billion for its fourth fund. The renowned crypto investor plans to allocate $1.5 billion of the funds to make seed investments in Web3, and $3 billion to make more traditional startup investments.

We all know that Web3 implies an upcoming decentralized internet architecture, where users become owners – something akin of shareholder ownership rights in more familiar language. We already wrote about this major development and why it is important for the entire crypto community. Rather than using free apps and platforms collecting user data, as in the current phase of Web2, users in the future Web3 phase will be able to participate in the creation, operation, and governance of the protocols themselves. The growing dominance of cryptocurrencies and blockchain has facilitated the rise of Web3, powered by decentralized networks. Designed to restore power to users and creators, this new paradigm shift apparently spreads beyond just social media or even search engines.

Web3 is a new promising concept unifying several ideas and envisaging the imminence of decentralization where community-powered, advertising-free, and self-monetized content will take over the big capital sponsored and politically/governmentally driven content. Although Web3 will disrupt many existing Web2-based business models, the creator economy is positioned as the biggest contributor to this ongoing revolution vis-à-vis a reinvented social media paradigm. The importance of Web3 is exemplified by the increasingly perplexing stories engulfing the most popular social platforms, first and foremost, users’ real freedom of free speech and expression, as well as their own unique beliefs and worldviews. Elon Musk, one of the richest and smartest men on the planet, isn’t crazy offering over $44 billion for Twitter, an infamous loss-making enterprise, because it might be his chance to become one of the Web3 architects if he rids Twitter of politically motivated censorship.

What is important is that In Web3, ownership can be secured by cryptocurrencies or NFTs, through blockchain and crypto. This is exactly why, in the depths of something called “crypto winter”, the most farseeing crypto exchanges and hot crypto wallets are busy these days reshaping themselves for adoption of Web3 features and format.

For example, if one holds enough specific tokens for a particular network, he/she could have substantial voting rights in the operational governance of that network. Again, this is similar to the way stockholder voting rights allow shareholders of record in a company to vote on a wide variety of corporate actions.

Graph 1. Monthly Web3 Fundraising Efforts. Source – Footprint Analytics

Let’s now see how the crypto industry is preparing itself for the era of Web3.

BTSE, a global digital asset exchange servicing top institutional crypto firms, was the first exchange to offer Web3 wallet support for both MetaMask and Phantom wallet extensions so that users can make deposits and withdrawals of Ethereum and Solana assets without hassle.

Coinbase already allows users to explore Web3 through its product Coinbase Wallet, addressing that adage of ‘not your keys, not your crypto’. But it’s Coinbase’s Web3Wire that brings its users to something that could be a game-changing prospect for the crypto sphere. Currently, the new dapp wallet and browser experience are only available to select Android users in the United States, but the company plans to deploy the functionality to all customers in the coming days.

According to Cointelegraph, following the establishment of a Web3 team under Google Cloud on May 6, tech giant Alphabet’s Google is now on the lookout for a full-time candidate to lead its Global Web3 marketing strategies. As seen on the job listing, the Google Cloud division opened up a “Head of Product Marketing” role who will be tasked with raising awareness about Google Cloud’s Web3 initiatives, in addition to eventually building customer demand for the related offerings.

BitKeep, a Singapore-based Web3.0 cross-chain wallet, announced on May 18 that the company hit a $100M valuation after the completion of a $15M Series A funding.

And last, but not the least, crypto exchange KuCoin announced in the beginning of May that it had raised $150 million in a funding round led by Jump Crypto, the investment arm of U.S. proprietary trading firm Jump Trading. KuCoin said it will use the funds to expand beyond centralized trading services and grow its presence in Web3, the next generation of the internet that runs on blockchains. The Seychelles-based company will boost its investment portfolio of crypto wallets, play-to-earn games, decentralized finance and NFT platforms. The capital will also be used to enhance KuCoin’s Ethereum-based public blockchain.