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    Web 2.5: Genuine Undead Pave the Future of NFT Projects  

    A historical moment for NFT projects has been set in stone, and who other than Genuine Undead to pioneer such a bold move? GU launched its “Web 2.5 governance structure” guidelines on January 22, 2023. Why that’s a big deal? This is the first official document regarding how the NFT governance of a certain project will work. Actually, the web 2.5 talk has been around for quite some time, and the merge between the best of web2 and web3 is not a novel idea. What’s new, however, is the amount of detail and effort put into creating guidelines that make the web 2.5 experience a tangible reality in the NFT space. So basically, Genuine Undead talk that talk and walk that walk in a 43-page-long guideline.

    Nothing makes sense yet? Let’s dive into the Genuine Undead NFTs first, then tackle the debates over web 2.5. Believe it or not, the guideline offered by GU may FOREVER change the way we view centralization versus decentralization. Somehow, it makes us feel like decentralization, which is the core promise of web3, is nothing but an impractical dream.

    Genuine Undead: Recap 

    Release: August 13, 2022
    Mint Price: FREE
    Floor Price: 0.3898 ETH  ( approx. $602)
    Supply: 9,999
    Artist: Unknown
    Blockchain: Ethereum
    Website: genuineundead.io
    OpenSea: Genuine Undead
    Twitter: @GenuineUndead

    Before we dive into the web 2.5 paradigm, let’s refresh our memory on this phenomenal NFT collection. Genuine Undead was released without any marketing, roadmap, Discord, or plans-what-so-ever. The art spoke deeply and echoed with so many people. The founder woke up the next day with 300 ETH in his wallet from a free mint. It was wild. That’s the power of good art.

    Genuine Undead became a movement, “the web3 renaissance” that cultivates creative potential, sustainability, safety, and inclusiveness. The artist/founder chose to remain anonymous to this day and give back everything he created to the community. He recognized DoctorBoom’s Discord as the Genuine Undead official Discord. 

    The founder is very poetic, I have to say. Has a sensibility that makes the community very captivating. Giving only “The Green Papers” to communicate his/her concept for the collection as “a symbol of rebirth, resistance, sovereignty of the individual and unity through decentralized technologies”. One could start a revolution with those poetic words, and somehow that’s what happened.

    Genuine Undead: Web 2.5 Governance Structure 

    The Genuine Undead Guidelines are meticulously well-explained in GU’s official document and very well-summarized in the “GU Web 2.5 Governance — A New Paradigm” article written by Mangchinance featuring the GU Literature Council. So I will attempt to summarize the summary. Makes sense? IDK, let’s see.

    Governance Structures in NFT space

    When NFT collections first came out, it was a new exciting phenomenon. That’s why collections such as Cryptopunks don’t need to do anything but exist as a piece of NFT history. However, nowadays NFT projects should have a governance strategy. They must offer their NFT holders something beyond just a digital collectible to thrive as an asset over a long time.

    That’s when Decentralized Autonomous Organizations came to light. People who were buying the NFTs wanted a say in the future and decision-making of the project. We can notice the success of DAOs in projects such as Nouns, Sappy Seals, and Decentraland.

    Another governance approach is the traditional corporate structure. It’s when the creators of the NFT projects make all the decisions. This strategy has been used successfully by Yuga Labs and more recently Valhalla.

    Premise

    What started as an art project turned into a group of like-minded passionate individuals who want to build the future of web3. To be efficient and productive in orchestrating the inputs of many talented minds, GU combines the best of the traditional top-down approach and the best of the community-focused decision-making approach. This is what they call “Web 2.5 Governance Structure”.

    “GU is a rare opportunity to capture lightning, bottle it, distill it and distribute it to the world.”

    I swear the poetry of this community is on another level.

    Why Mix Decentralization and Centralization?

    As a concept decentralization is perfect. Everyone gets an equal say and a clear voice. However, that’s also one of web3 DAO’s biggest disadvantages. How long does it take you to come to an agreement about a topic with your friends? Imagine how long it would take to make 10,000 people agree quickly. That’s why decentralization lacks efficiency and expediency. The web2 approach has long been proven as an efficient model, it’s only drawback is the lack of input from stakeholders. The GU web 2.5 approach will utilize the web2 decision-making strategy on a routine day-to-day basis while still empowering web3 community votes on major decisions. 

    The Aim of GU Web 2.5 Governance Structure:

    I will keep the aims in the style of the GU writers.

    • Encourage the Community to provide creative content and ideas and allow it to partake in the decision-making process.
    • Involve the Community in decision-making where the decision affects the whole Community directly or affects the project in a major way.
    • Allow certain decisions to be made quickly by employing internal, centralized Decision Making Pathways.
    • Allow open and transparent discussions where each Community member has an equal voice.
    • Encourage innovative and creative ideas to be brought forward, discussed, refined, and executed.
    • Enable compartmentalization of the workflow through the creation of work groups, called Councils.

    The GU Councils 

    Creating councils within the GU ecosystem is the catalyst for implementing the web 2.5 governance structure. Select members, specified in GU’s official document, are organized into heading nine councils. Some Councils are work-oriented, some facilitate discussion and creativity, some provide review and audit roles, while some are purely administrative in nature. This gives me the vibes of “factions” in the Divergent stories for some weird probably irrelevant reason.

    What About Decentralization?

    The whole purpose of this hybrid approach is to protect decentralization. In their own words GU claims:

    “Having clear definitions for when a more decentralized approach will be required and where a more centralized approach is appropriate allows for organizational efficiency whilst protecting decentralization where it really matters.”

    This is the start, and moving forward GU will constantly review and amend the set policies and guidelines while consulting their genuine community. They also hope that other projects adopt and build upon their guidelines to reach the ultimate vision for web3.

    What Will Web 2.5 Governance Be Like?

    In conclusion, decisions will be evaluated on different levels, whether at the council level, Undead Council level, or vote for the entire community. This way the process will be fast and smooth. The vision is:

    “Imagine having the stakeholders in a company sit in on board meetings, involved in R&D and give their take on product design. Yes, now that’s Web 2.5.”

    The Web 2.5 Debate

    Long before Genuine Undead proposed a “web2.5 governance structure”, debates over the term “web 2.5” existed. 

    What is Web 2.5?

    Web 2.5 combines the best of web2 and web3. So we can say it’s a sweet spot between centralization and decentralization. The idea behind this is that consumers want the advantages of a blockchain-based platform without the complexities and friction that come with blockchain-based systems. 

    Believe it or not, web 2.5 was already in the run by 2013 with platforms like Patreon. They just did not label it “web 2.5” because blockchain wasn’t yet a thing. So why is web 2.5 the talk of the year 2023 like a new invention? Let’s recap the previous versions of the web before getting a clear answer.

    Are We Ignoring Web3?

    Web1 was all about receiving information through browsing pages and email. Web 2 became an interactive platform where you can create and share. It is mainly controlled by giants like Google, Meta Suite, and Youtube, so everything you create on their platforms doesn’t belong to you. 

    web 1 web2 web3 web 2.5

    We are currently at the emergence of Web3, which to this date hasn’t fully been realized. Web3 is idealized as the “semantic web”, an internet experience that is based on machine learning and Artificial Intelligence. To make it closer, ChatGPT is the first step to web3. 

    Currently, Web3’s premise operates on blockchain technology via NFTs where you get to monetize and own everything you create. 

    Web3 sounds like a dream come true, so why the hell are people resisting it?

    Need For a Transition

    We can find the direct answer in Stephane Kasriel’s keynote presentation at Meta:

    “People want [Web 3] experiences and access to ownership, but they do not want to deal with the hassle of creating a wallet, recording their seed phrase, finding a storage solution, etc,”. 

    Web3 is too big of a leap and is still not fully realized or implemented. Web 2.5 is a transitional bridge between the Web2 world that consumers are familiar with, and the Web3 world that blockchain enthusiasts claim is inevitable.

    Fun fact, there are several brands attempting the web 2.5 strategies. Some of the most successful examples of web 2.5 strategies are Reddit’s Digital Collectibles, Starbucks’  loyalty program, and surprisingly enough Nike.

    What Is The Future of NFT Projects in 2023?

    Being part of a community is one hell of a big deal. NFT projects will no longer be satisfactory by just existing. For an NFT to prove its value as an asset, it must give its holder value. I think this is the biggest challenge for NFTs in web3 in 2023. Even Yuga Labs face the pressure to keep giving its holders new experiences. Do you think BAYC NFTs will still be dominating the charts in 2023 if it weren’t for Otherside, Trial of Jimmy the Monkey, and Dookey Dash?

    Genuine Undead’s Web 2.5 governance structure is such a bold necessary move for the NFT space. It makes perfect sense for such a community to initiate a statement on how NFT projects should work. Indeed they embody the renaissance of the digital age. However, one big question remains hanging on a thread between reality and fiction:

    Is decentralization a failed system?

    What was that saying? Too many cooks spoil the broth.

    What does this say about the blockchain, which is based on decentralization!?

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