Web 3.0 is a treasure for a workforce planner and a Recruiter simply because it clearly points out where pockets of great talent exist, using the footprint of web 3.0 investments and startups in this area. Just look at Calgary as an example. Calgary companies attracted $65.4 million in venture funding across 12 deals in the 2021 fourth quarter. The quarter brought the city’s total funding in 2021 to $322.2 million, a seven percent increase from the $300 million raised in 2020. Santiago in Chile is beginning to show some nascent signs of Web3.0 startups. Web3.0 is an excellent example of lateral thinking. Lateral thinking has constantly disrupted businesses and ecosystems. Take Airbnb, for example. The origin of Airbnb is unique. They studied the difficulty of senior citizens getting bank loans for their needs and came up with a brilliant idea. Empty nesters can rent their extra rooms they do not use for travelers who will be in the area for a short while, and seniors can make money. This idea scaled into the massive enterprise they are now.
Let us briefly look at Web 3.0 definition. I was searching for a simple definition, yet an impactful one. Coinbase blog provided this simple but effective definition
Take, for example, Medium, a centralized tool for writers to publish and earn some income with no say in its governance. In comparison, Mirror allows writers to gain full ownership of their work, have a say in its governance (considered co-owners), and earn directly from their audience. This is precisely the theme we will continue to observe as we all start shifting to Web3. Let us say you have an agricultural farm, and you collect data about your crops using an IoT device. If someone uses your data to understand patterns, you could be commercially benefitting in Web3.0 framework
For this newsletter, we have attempted to showcase such locations where Web3.0 talent is trending (Please note that the commentary below give visibility to new investments going into the cities)
The region is witnessing a significant R&D investment in web 3.0 development. With the high acquisition of digital assets, the US has become one of the leading markets for Web 3.0 Blockchain platforms worldwide. Apart from the significant hotspots such as San Francisco, Washington DC, New York, and Seattle, which serve as the HQ of key web3/blockchain organizations, locations like Miami, San Antonio, Dallas, Austin, Atlanta in the United States and Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa in Canada have come to light as emerging hubs for Web 3.0 platforms. Upcoming players in these locations are BitPay (Atlanta), Decentralized Web technologies (San Antonio), Coinbase (Miami – even though they are a no headquarters company), Terraform (Calgary), which are expanding their operations and witnessing huge investments for web3 R&D.
Many countries in Latin America face currency fluctuations. Hence web 3.0 could reasonably fit in the process to increase data security. Countries like Argentina and Brazil have become fast adopters of web3 blockchain platforms. As one of Latin America’s top destinations for software development, Argentina has also become a hotbed for blockchain startups using new technologies to revolutionize Web 3.0. Some examples include Atix Labs, CoinFabrik, RSK Labs. Buenos Aires, Argentina, is also listed in the top 10 cities in the world-leading web3 adoption. Sao Paulo in Brazil has witnessed tremendous growth in the Web 3.0 startup arena, with companies such as Mercado, FoxBit, Cheesecake Labs raising Series A rounds. IBM has also developed a research center in Columbia devoted to research, education, and innovation in blockchain technology and data transparency. Columbia Engineering Institute and The Data Science Institute in Columbia are also joint partners in the center. Chile and Peru are also developing various web3 solutions via companies that include Buda.com (Santiago), TradeLayer (Valparaiso), AgenteBTC (Lima), and several others.
EMEA dominates the global market of Web 3.0 Blockchain. Apart from London, Munich, and Berlin, which have been the most central Hub of MNCs while investing in EMEA, locations such as Zug (Switzerland), Bucharest (Romania), Budapest (Hungary), Manchester (UK), Warsaw, and Krakow (Poland) and African locations like Cape Town and Johannesburg (South Africa) are disrupting the Web3/blockchain industry and are leading the way for digital transformation in web technologies. Poland is defined as one of the countries with the most considerable digital potential in Europe. With increasing emphasis on digital sovereignty, the EU is looking to bring in more digital policy proposals. Also, the adoption of crypto can give more currency flexibility to the EU; hence Web3 is poised to become huge in the EU. Tech giants like Siemens, SAP, and Atos have already developed a web3 initiative Gaia-X in conjunction with the EU, to develop technology that makes the European Union less dependent on other regions. Vereign in Zug is already working on revolutionizing Web3. Africa’s cryptocurrency market grew to $105.6 billion between July 2020 and June 202.
Regional inflation, weak currencies, high unemployment rates are a few reasons behind this growing adoption in Africa. We should expect more robust decentralized platforms growth. Nestcoin has already raised $6.45M pre-seed to accelerate crypto and web3 adoption in Africa and frontier markets. Google also lead a $20M investment in Africa Web3 game publisher Carry1st. CasperLabs & SJM Group have also partnered to promote Web3 adoption in the Middle East and North Africa.
India (Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad) and China (Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen) are the most important tech markets in APAC, seeing immense growth and investments from tech and crypto companies across the globe. However, in recent years, SEA locations have come into the reckoning with emerging locations such as Indonesia (Jakarta), Philippines (Metro Manila), Singapore, Taiwan (Taipei), Malaysia, Thailand (Bangkok) Japan (Fukuoka) being the leading cities. Southeast Asia can become one of the best markets for Web3 to take off since here, consumers and businesses face higher trade financing infrastructure challenges and hence can be more open to fintech innovation. Taiwan-based Infinity Ventures Crypto (IVC) has raised US$70 million for its maiden fund to boost the growth of global play-to-earn (P2E) games, as well as decentralized finance and Web3 projects in Asia. Indonesia is entering a financial paradigm shift driven by blockchain and crypto assets, and overall development is trending towards exponential growth. The Indonesian Government is also relatively positive towards crypto. Hence, companies like Nobi, DAOBali.org, Vexanium in Indonesia emerge as potential web3 market disrupters. In 2021, Yield Guild Games (YGG) broke out in the Philippines and became a global phenomenon, fueling massive blockchain development. Thailand’s first blockchain unicorn was also born in November last year (Bitkub) and galvanized the Thai web3 ecosystem. Vietnam’s local NFT gaming ecosystem attracts international capital to accelerate development and adoption.
The most well-known web3 player in Vietnam is Sky Mavis, which recently completed a US$152 million Series B round of financing. In 2021 the Australian Government announced two pilots as part of the Federal Budget 2020-21 to develop blockchain-based solutions that reduce the regulatory compliance burden for businesses. AirTree, Australia’s leading VCs, also announced $50 million for startups working with Web3, crypto, and DAO structures. Indian crypto companies such as Polygon, CoinDCX, CoinSwitch are tapping on the immense opportunity in the decentralized arena and attracting talent in small hubs of India. Scala Blockchain in Coimbatore and Minddeft Technologies in Ahmedabad are expanding aggressively across crypto/blockchain/web3 domains.