When software developer Haardik H was looking to understand Web3, he found the barrier to entry significantly high for those interested in nascent technology.
He realised that most existing educational material on Web3 was outdated as technology in the segment evolves at a rapid pace. While some content was focused on chasing trends, it did not have a clear path for people to break into Web3.
When indeed there were up-to-date, high-quality resources on Web3, he found that they were usually behind a paywall, with access costing between $1,000-5,000.
“Why would someone barely curious about blockchain spend so much money for a course? This was a problem, and I wanted to do something to make high-quality resources on Web3 free and easily accessible to all,” Haardik, who has been involved with coding in blockchain and crypto for eight years, tells The Decrypting Story.
He also felt there were several other issues—other players were only targeting subsections of the market, the information was fragmented, and the quality wasn’t good enough to help learners land an industry job.
To bridge the gap and make learning a more holistic experience, Haardik teamed up with Sneh Koul and Kacie Ahmed to launch—an education platform for both new and experienced users and developers who want to break into Web3. The startup offers structured learning of blockchain concepts, is completely free, and features original content.
Origins of LearnWeb3DAO
Haardik has been a strong proponent of blockchain and decentralised tech for a long time. After discovering Bitcoin in 2014 and Ethereum in 2016, he felt there was a huge potential in blockchain technology.
“I studied at the University of Waterloo, which has a huge Ethereum community. It’s the same place where Ethereum Co-founder Vitalik Buterin studied. I took part in some hackathons, then worked at Web3 firms like Dapper Labs and Flow, and later on at Ceramic Network,” he says.
All the while, Haardik would always take out time to write blog posts, as well as create videos, explainers, and other content around blockchain concepts. He says LearnWeb3DAO is a natural extension of his blockchain journey.
“Last year, a friend working at Google reached out to me and another friend of mine, asking how he could get into Web3, especially when he couldn’t find suitable courses online. This inspired me and my friend (Sneh) to address the gap through LearnWeb3DAO,” he says.
The learning platform features four education tracks: freshman (basic concepts for beginners), sophomore (covers consensus mechanisms, ICOs, etc.), junior (about the Ethereum ecosystem), and senior (about MEV—Maximal Extractable Value, optimisation, security, and smart contracts—a self-executing coded agreement that runs when pre-conditions between buyers and sellers are met).
“The product is built for the public good, and we are committed to not charging students for education. We have 100 percent original content, regularly updated with new standards, with A-to-Z pathway, and industry-ready teaching for learners to get into Web3,” Haardik explains.
The project features its flagship learning platform, an NFT (Non-Fungible Token) collection for graduates, dashboards for tracking learning progress, automated smart contract verification tools, and more.
In less than two months since its launch, LearnWeb3DAO claims to have educated over 13,000 learners and over 600 graduates—some of whom have received jobs in Web3 through the platform’s partners/grant providers. Also, it has over 24,000 followers on Twitter and a 10,000-member strong Discord community.
The market and future
Prophecy Market Insights data shows that the global Web3 market will grow from $1.2 billion in 2020 to $87 billion by 2030 at a CAGR of 45.2 percent.
With Web3 firms increasingly investing in building awareness and education in the segment, LearnWeb3DAO sustains through donations and grants from these firms. So far, it has picked up cheques from the likes of Polygon, Flow, Radicle, and CyberConnect.
LearnWeb3DAO is looking to raise a seed round, add more eight educational tracks, receive grants from 10 more organisations, and build a job board with relevant postings. In the long term, it aims to become a one-stop-shop for all Web3 development-related topics.
While other firms like The Product House and previously Questbook have focused on Web3 education, Haardik says they are taking different approaches.
For instance, The Product House is focused on community-building around learning, earning, and building in Web3, while Questbook has taken a technical approach by connecting developers with grant providers.
Nevertheless, all players in this segment concur that Web3 education is major whitespace, even as the sector churns out one ambitious innovation after another.
“The goal is to have a Web3 learning platform that’s free, structured, and teaches fundamentals. We want to teach people to understand the important things, and distinguish ourselves from the noise,” Haardik signs off.