The concept of a wallet is deeply entrenched in the culture of cryptocurrency, investing, trading, DeFi, Web3. It is a requirement for participation, after all, but that requirement grants an abundance of freedom in managing both personal finance, and social interaction.
Crypto is still rapidly evolving, in culture, technology, and perception. What we refer to as a "wallet" can already act as identification, as an art gallery, as bragging rights, as a key to a private event or community. And–like the rest of crypto–it's still growing. "Wallets" are evolving to encompass even more. A wallet already is an identity. A profile. A locus of information, not for the exploitation of data brokers, but in the hands of the user. Your identity under your control. That's what it all comes down to. In DeFi, art, communities, crypto empowers people with more freedom, and more control over their own data and property.
A web2 profile has historically been an expression of social media presence. But web2 companies recognize the potential here. They've just failed to execute on it. Those with Google, Facebook, or other big tech accounts will likely recognize the convenience these companies have granted with their move toward single sign-on.
Creating a new account? Don't bother, Sign in with Google. But this is as far as they've gotten. And, as we love to mention, their incentives are fundamentally incompatible with the axioms of Web3. Google, Facebook, etc. want to support the convenience of users, but only insofar as this allows them to continue collecting your data. Their business models necessitate that they behave like parasites of personal privacy and data.
They collect thousands of pieces of information about you to create a digital profile that they sell to others. These third parties use this profile to target you with ads and they can also use it to predict and influence your behaviors and decisions. This has been happening without your knowledge or permission. Your information is for sale. You have become the product.
– Privacy | App Tracking Transparency | Apple
Remember, your data helps keep Facebook "free of charge":
Web3 is the intersection of digital currency, digital identity, real community, and it is not limited to convenience and targeted advertising. The profiles of Web3 are not exploited for corporate gain. Not just collections of data, or markets fit for targeted advertising. They are identities. People.
As Web3 continues evolving, identities will have room to manifest even more completely, and people will move to the new systems that align with their incentives.
Web2 will cling more and more desperately to its perversions of data, and drive more and more users away, forward, searching for a way to participate in the evolving setting of human community, the metaverse (the Web3 metaverse, not Zuckerberg's mimicry), while avoiding the sacrifices of privacy mandated by the "profiles" of web2.
For people attracted to crypto for the simplicity, there's nothing to worry about. A "wallet" is still a wallet, whatever else it is alongside, and will continue to function as such. But in terms of capacity, it is not merely a wallet anymore.
Advances in cryptocurrency are beginning to compound. We're still early. Web3 profiles are the beginning. The institutions of privacy violation, of censorship, and of corporate control are crumbling. People are taking their identities into their own hands. Your wallet/profile is–and has always been–under your control. And you're only getting more freedom and privacy as the metaverse continues to grow.