Why Asking Permission is Essential to Web3

Web3's promise of a permissionless future meets a crossroads with digital advertising, where consent is crucial.
4 min read
Why Asking Permission is Essential to Web3

Web3 is poised to revolutionize the way we interact and transact online.

One of its key principles is permissionlessness: the ability for anyone to participate in a network, app, protocol, etc. without seeking approval from a governing body. This stands in stark contrast to the current web, where access to certain services or platforms often requires permission from intermediaries.

In the context of Web3, asking for permission implies the existence of a gatekeeper or authority figure, which is often seen as antithetical to the core ethos of Web3. However, the question of permissionlessness can become more nuanced when considering certain applications or services that benefit from a “permissioned” approach.

For instance, in the realm of advertising, tremendous benefits for brands and consumers alike are present when asking permission is the model, as opposed to permissionlessness. In this article, we’ll explore these benefits and why they exemplify the necessity of asking permission in the Web3 future.

Asking Permission Shines Where Permissionless Systems Falter

Asking permission is not antithetical to Web3, but rather a crucial step towards building a more responsible and user-centric ecosystem.

There are several drawbacks that permissionless systems encounter, most importantly the hindrance of building strong brand-consumer relationships and lack of privacy.

Permission Builds Relationships

In any person-to-person relationship, asking permission is essential to setting boundaries from which healthy growth can occur—it works the same between brands and consumers.

"Asking permission is a fundamental aspect of social emotional learning. It builds social skills, fosters empathy, and promotes respectful communication. By actively listening, being aware of non-verbal cues, and establishing clear boundaries, we create a culture of respect and understanding in our relationships." - Everyday Speech

In a permissionless system, relationship development between brands and consumers is lost. Without an asking permission mechanic, at no point is a consumer prompted to provide personal information to brands. As a result, Web3 companies that operate in these systems experience incredible difficulty with getting to know their audience and struggle to provide tailored value and messaging. Customer lifetime value (CLV), personalization, and relationship length all suffer.

By implementing permissioned systems, brands are far easier able to acquire and leverage consumer insights to deliver sufficient value. At scale, these systems are essential to the growth of Web3 companies and the industry at large.

Lack of Privacy

Permissionless systems don't require users to provide personal information upfront for access, but all transactions in the system are transparent and accessible for anyone in the world to explore.

While yes, deep crypto-natives hell-bent on absolute anonymity can maintain complete privacy through permissionless systems, but that's not a realistic existence for the overwhelming majority of people. For that majority, a trade-off exists: would consumers rather brands acquire some of their personal information once permission is granted, or enable all of their behaviors and data to be viewed by any individual or company?

Through a permissioned system, consumers own their data privately and can provide access to companies for a better experience and rewards. In a permissionless system, the lack of a permission-based wall protecting data inherently means there's no choice when it comes to who accesses, and takes advantage of, their data.

The Trend to Permissioned Systems

If there's any true indication demonstrating the importance permissioned systems maintain in building the future of Web3, it's the direction digital advertising is already heading.

The Death of Cookies

All internet users are familiar with cookies.

First-party cookies remain on-site to improve the user experience, remembering login info and custom page configurations, for example. Third-party cookies, on the other hand, follow users across the internet to gather consumer personal data and browsing activity so companies can better understand their target audience.

Third-party cookies have been essential tools for marketers for years (about 75% of marketers rely on them), but starting in 2024, Google will begin to phase them out. With that transition, an opportunity for a new permission-based reality emerges, especially when considering it's what consumers want—privacy concerns were the driving force behind the decision to eliminate third-party cookies.

California Signals Privacy is The Path Forward

Home to Silicon Valley and companies like Apple and Meta, California is known globally as a technology innovation hub. Since 2018, with the passing of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), the state has taken a firm stance on protecting consumer data.

 "The bottom line is, there is no shortage of regulatory and legislative activity at either the state or the federal level surrounding privacy policy." - Melissa Kelly

In 2023, the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA) was passed as an extension to the CCPA. Together, the two acts expand employer obligations related to collecting, storing, using, and sharing data belonging to employees and consumers.

States like Virginia, Colorado, and Nevada have also adopted consumer-focused privacy laws. Assuming the trend continues, the internet will become a far more private space—one where consumer data is protected like never before and permissioned systems can thrive.

The evolution of Web3 illuminates a critical discourse on the value of permission in an inherently permissionless landscape. While Web3 champions decentralization and open access, the domain of consumer data underscores the indispensable role of permission-based models.

This approach is essential, not only for fostering robust brand-consumer relationships and maintaining consumer privacy, but also for navigating the impending post-cookie digital ecosystem. California's pioneering privacy legislation further cements the trend toward a future where consumer consent becomes a cornerstone of the digital experience.

As Web3 continues to mature, the interplay between permissionless innovation and permissioned systems will shape a balanced digital environment that respects both user autonomy and the necessity of controlled access to personal data.

The views and opinions expressed here are for entertainment purposes only and should, in no way, be interpreted as financial or investment advice. Always conduct your own research when making an investment or trading decision, as each such move involves risk. The team members behind Triana are not financial advisors and do not claim to be qualified to convey information or advice that a registered financial advisor would convey to clients as guidance. Nothing contained in this e-mail/article constitutes, or shall be construed as, an offering of financial instruments, investment advice, or recommendations of an investment strategy. If you are seeking financial advice, find a professional who is right for you.

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