There is a lot of talk about the future of the Internet going on these days. As with any technology, the Internet as we know it is evolving before our eyes. It can be easy for small businesses to write off some of these trends as a fad, but many of the new ideas we are seeing unfold are still very early in their development and have lasting application.
Texas continues to see a strong connection to emerging and progressive technologies. From the tech startups in Austin to the established headquarters of AT&T in Dallas, down to the exciting establishment of Starbase in Boca Chica, Texas, by Elon Musk down south. We Texans help push what is possible and Web 3.0 is going to do the same for businesses and users alike.
You don’t need to be a tech guru and this isn’t a technical exercise. You also don’t need to understand those bored, colorful apes you may or may not have seen floating around social media. All you need to know is that Web 3.0 is coming and there are plenty of opportunities for businesses big and small. Explore the future and learn about the different ways your business can use these emerging technologies and how to protect your business in the process.
The Metaverse and Extended Reality
Facebook sent shockwaves through the social media and investment world when it declared that it would be changing its name to Meta. The idea is that Meta will act as a parent company of sorts which would be in charge of the company’s Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Oculus brands.
This is where the metaverse comes in.
Mark Zuckerburg continues to present his genius at connecting people through the Internet in new and exciting ways. The metaverse is not a completely new concept but in laymen’s terms, think of a virtual world that connects users inside of the Internet and is fully immersive. Companies such as Microsoft and Roblox have been creating online worlds for users for years, and virtual reality (VR) has technically been around since 1968. But what we are entering into with Web 3.0 is the capability to become more immersive and personal with the way users connect online.
We would be remiss if we did not also mention Extended Reality (XR), which is a combination of VR, augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR) capabilities. Thanks to the fast speeds 5G is bringing throughout Texas and the rest of the United States, users will be able to immerse themselves in virtual worlds, combine the online world with real life, and even change the real world using the virtual one. Metaverses and XRs are connecting users in more ways that provide better opportunities for your business.
Soon, your businesses will be able to market in a much more personal manner to meet the needs of your customer. Metaverses and XR are making it possible for your business to provide in-person experiences, such as seminars and product testing, without being “in person”. Your business will also gain additional touchpoints to keep your brand in the eyes of your target audience. Even the invention of such virtual worlds present opportunities for emerging sales opportunities through collectibles, virtual items, and exclusive content from your brand.
Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, and NFTs
A tip of the hat to everyone who bought in on Bitcoin a decade ago, enjoy your island. For the rest of us, still trying to figure out how millionaires are being created from digital currencies, understand that the blockchain and cryptocurrencies will play an important role in transactions going forward.
Beyond being an alternative asset or way of payment, businesses can gain a simplified approach to transactions that is safer than modern online methods. Considering the continued trends in automation, where robots are capable of completing complex human tasks with fewer errors, you’ll find that the place for cryptocurrency is inside collaborative efforts in factories as much as it is customer transactions. Two companies using different technologies to build components can charge by the task completed in real-time with an accurate transaction history recorded right onto the blockchain.
Protection is important and as technology expands, so too do the areas of vulnerability for your business. There was even an unnamed casino that was hacked via a fish tank in 2017 because it was connected online. This is important to remember because your business has a responsibility to protect your customer’s information and failure to do so may lead to serious liability issues. A liability insurance policy is an important part of business insurance coverage and as more and more business moves online, business owners need to remember that protecting data online is only growing in importance.
Among the “crypto craze” millions of Americans have seen, are also what are known as non-fungible tokens, or, NFTs. These funny and at times disturbing photos, videos, and audio clips may seem like an unexplainable phenomenon, however, your business may soon find itself benefiting from them. An interesting application for NFTs is a new restaurant launching in 2022 from NFT guru Gary Vaynerchuk aka Gary Vee. This NFT restaurant will only be available to those who own its NFTs and can be sold to others to transfer access to said restaurant. The restaurant itself will also retain a percentage of each future sale. There’s a lot of ways this can go as NFTs are fairly new, but think of them as membership cards. The possibilities include exclusive deals for loyal customers, discounts to encourage sales, early releases for members to boost early sales, and more.
Emerging Markets and Demands From Consumers
Web 3.0 is helping your business connect in new ways which mean there are bound to be new opportunities due to the demands of customers. Finding solutions to the issues which come up in the new generation of the Internet. The unknown involving Web 3.0 is some of what intrigues from a business standpoint. How everything will play out is as always, speculative until it does; however, delivering solutions online for your customers will become more personal and with easier access for businesses both small and large.
Enhanced Communication and Monetization
Another interesting component of Web 3.0 is decentralization. This is the shift from having large amounts of information in the hands of a few, powerful companies, and having this data in a variety of smaller entities. This shift will also mean a shift in responsibilities for smaller businesses.
DeFi (decentralized finance) goes along with this concept and is a way to conduct transactions without financial institutions or the government getting involved. While we won’t be shocked that Uncle Sam will always figure out a way to grab a piece of the pie, DeFi through the use of cryptocurrency can help you retain more private transactions for you and your clients.
Personal data, especially of a financial nature, are a natural target for online thieves. Such thieves are also up to no good looking to hold entities as a hostage through ransomware, cause real-world harm with killware, and conduct corporate espionage where your rivals will look to steal proprietary information. Your business has a responsibility to keep sensitive information out of the wrong hands.
Protecting Your Small Business During a New Era of the Internet
The Internet continues to move forward with Web 3.0 and seizing the many opportunities available to your business can be daunting and exciting. No matter which avenue you follow, protecting your small business is critical. There are digital and physical assets at stake, sensitive information, and even the potential for your operations to be disrupted in more ways than ever. Freedom Insurance Group understands that the needs of a business change as technology changes and are here to help you protect against the various perils your business may face.
We offer a variety of commercial insurance policies including business crime insurance, business interruption insurance, property insurance, and more! Our coverage options can even help you protect against liability issues with liability coverage and umbrella insurance policies for your business. Proudly headquartered in Flower Mound, TX, our team understands the unique needs of small businesses in Texas when it comes to their insurance needs.
By working with over 25 top-rated insurance companies, we can compare your business insurance policy among well-trusted, established insurance brands and find the lowest possible price on the market for your protection. Contact us today to see how we save our average client 40% on their premiums or get your free online business insurance quote!