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2024: Deciding the Future of Web 3.0

In an interview, Web 3.0 pioneer Sota Watanabe talks about blockchain, the future of the Internet, and why he looks forward to TMG's SusHi Tech Tokyo 2024.



Astar Network's founder, Sota Watanabe. (©Tokyo Updates by Tomomi Ito)

"Web 3.0" is a concept that is attracting attention as a means of creating a more decentralized Internet, independent of any specific platform and based on blockchain technology. We interviewed Watanabe Sota, the founder of Astar Network, a public blockchain originating in Japan, and one of the pioneers of Web 3.0, about trends and future prospects.

For the past several years, Watanabe has been living between Japan and Singapore, spending most of the year in Singapore, where Astar Network's development center and Startale Labs, a Web 3.0-related business of which he is the CEO, are located. 

He explained, "Singapore is the most convenient place for us to be right now, as we expand from Japan to Asia and on to the rest of the world. The entrepreneurial infrastructure is well established here. Eventually, however, I'd like to relocate our base to Tokyo's growing entrepreneurial scene and give back to the country where I was born and raised."

Web 3.0 In Our Future

Web 3.0 is expected to revolutionize the Internet, and Watanabe sees 2024, the five-year mark since he started his own business, as a pivotal moment. "I feel that the environment surrounding Web 3.0 today is similar to back in 2000, when main players such as Google and Amazon emerged, setting the de facto (industry) standards of the current Internet, or Web 2.0. I believe that those who can survive and thrive in 2024 will hold the future of Web 3.0 in their hands."

Sota Watanabe delivers a speech at TOKEN2049 Singapore, the largest Web 3.0 summit in Asia. (©courtesy of Astar Network)

In Watanabe's view, this is the last chance for Japanese players in software and service infrastructure. "Since the post-war era, several companies such as Toyota and Sony have made a global name for themselves in hardware. But in software- and internet-related industries that hasn't been the case, and there has been a near monopoly dominated by the United States. 

Fortunately, in Web 3.0, the US is lagging behind, providing opportunities for every country and region. In this domain, Japan has the potential to create the Toyota or Sony of our day and age. However, this might be, at least in the context of the Internet, the last chance."

Sota Watanabe of Astar Network. (©Tokyo Updates by Tomomi Ito)

Watanabe's Endeavor to Become the 'Shohei Ohtani of the Web 3.0 World.'

For entrepreneur Watanabe, Web 3.0 presents an opportunity to show aspiring young individuals the "path" to starting their own businesses. "In the tech industry, leading figures in the US, for example, are often in their thirties or forties, and even Elon Musk is still in his fifties.

In contrast, there seems to be a lack of younger role figures to look up to in Japan. While I respect Softbank founder and CEO Mr Masayoshi Son, who is in his sixties, as a role model, there's a diminishing sense of relatability as generations drift apart. By taking the lead, as someone who started a business in their twenties and aims to break into the top 10 globally in the blockchain sector, I hope to convey the message that 'we can do it too.'"

Continue reading on Tokyo Updates and get the full story in English and Japanese, and learn more about Sota Watanabe and Astar Network.


Tokyo Updates is an online magazine of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. It features the latest fresh perspectives on Tokyo developments, with contributions from prominent figures, journalists, and independent writers of diverse nationalities. Focusing on Tokyo life, it includes features on leading SDGs initiatives and urban challenges.


Interview and writing by Ando Tomohiko
Photos by Ito Tomomi

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