Web 3.0 and everything it entails such as Cryptocurrencies, Blockchain, NFTs are hyped to the moon lately with celebrities and billionaires adding to the allure. Everybody is talking about them and how they could potentially revolutionise the world. But for many the ideas and technologies are tough to get their heads around. If you are not working on the sector or purposefully educating yourself in the space, they likely will remain obscure, although fascinating concepts. Let me help take away some of the mystery by explaining how it might affect our life right here in Chamonix.

The big question many people have centres around the challenges of figuring out what such technologies could imply for your life, and your environment. How will my life be impacted by Web3? How will my home be impacted?

Let’s take a look at a possible answer to that burning question. As we are based in the valley of Chamonix, we tried to envision which kind of changes may come with such technologies. As anybody can really predict the future, most probably, some guesses will turn out to be wrong and others may become surprisingly true. Nevertheless, it is important to understand what changes may come to be able to tackle them or, even better, take advantage of them. We tried to understand the economical, social and environmental implications although they often come together and cannot be really differentiated.

Since the economy of Chamonix is mainly based on tourism, it is easier to think, at first, about the potential implications in this sector. A first potential application, among many others, refers to the possibility to track the customer journey, allowing to better understand what the customer is doing and when. To be able to offer a better, more tailored service and break the silo between different sectors: ski resorts, hospitality, and other services. The challenge, in this case, would be significantly more social than technical: convincing the different stakeholders of the opportunities offered by sharing such information and not keeping it for themselves. One of the key concepts of Web3 is that each individual owns their own data (not one central entity like Google or Facebook or TikTok) and therefore they have the right to allow as much or as little sharing as they find useful or beneficial.

From a customer perspective, some types of rewards could be provided as an incentive: tokens (like money that could be spent or saved), NFTs (digital items that can never change or be counterfeited) that can be collected and reused similarly to fidelity programs for airlines. The rewards provided could represent new entertainment forms associated with specific activities, such as NFTs treasure hunts or collecting NFTs of the iconic mountains or historical figures of the valley. Moreover, NFTs could represent a way to create a marketplace and support local economies while creating a richer experience for the customer, as is the case in Ibiza. In the most futuristic approach, the currency can be used as a currency in the valley and bring significant potential changes. Cryptocurrencies may be used in parallel with the Euro in the valley and create business models that presently are difficult to imagine. And our founders even believe that every ticket from airlines to ski lifts will be an NFT that you can freely exchange – so no more wasted plane tickets, or half used season passes.

A second implication for tourism and social life may come as a consequence of one big paradigm of blockchain technologies: decentralisation. A decentralised infrastructure may require, in the long term, the need for decentralised organisations. This is already happening as the concept of headquarters and a workplace is becoming more blurred, with more and more workers willing to work remotely, and not just in the US. This has also been made possible as a consequence of the COVID pandemic during which home became more and more frequently the primary working space. This may lead, over time, to an increasing number of people permanently or temporarily leaving the cities to work from touristic locations. Chamonix looks like a perfect candidate given its status as the worldwide capital of mountaineering. As a matter of fact, in a recent study, Chamonix ranked first among the top ten resorts for remote workers.

Finally, as our vision is to inspire passionate people to create a more sustainable world by cultivating web3 innovation for environmental good we want to conclude with the environmental opportunities offered by Web 3.0. From this perspective, currently, Web 3.0 significantly suffers in terms of reputation as it is frequently associated with the CO2 footprint of Bitcoin. Nevertheless, standards are evolving, new innovations are coming up; frequently, new solutions have a CO2 footprint similar to or lower than existing paying methods. Web 3.0 has the potential to become a catalyzer for fundraising activities for social and environmental projects. For example, using for environmental purposes the funds raised with NFTs or land on the metaverse to support environmental projects. No technology is inherently good or bad, the core question remains how such technology is used.

Whatever the final implications of Web 3.0 technologies may be for the valley of Chamonix, their potential needs to be explored. Frequently, the potential for disruption is compared to what happened with the Internet at the beginning of the 90s. Nowadays, the tourism sector could not even be imaginable without the support of the Internet. What will be the Google, Amazon or Facebook of the Web 3.0 era? How will the life, environment and economy of Chamonix be changed with its diffusion?