In 2016, Ariel Wengroff was producing with American essayist Gloria Steinem Woman, a documentary series on violence against women that earned her the title of youngest Emmy-nominated producer. Six years later, she is the editor-in-chief of Ledger, in charge of writing the story of this French champion of Web 3. With the same leitmotif, put empowerment at the center of the story.
You were one of the best American producers and left the media to join Ledger. What prompted you to take the plunge?
When I was working in the media, I saw the emergence of what is called the creator economy. And it seemed very clear to me that Web 2 didn’t offer the necessary infrastructure to allow these creators to take full advantage of their content. Web 3 is the future of this economy. Blockchain has the ability to reward communities for their participation. And participating in the construction of the ecosystem while it was still in its infancy was very inspiring for me.
Web 3 can help creators, influencers and probably many other rather privileged communities … But can it manage to include the ones that Web 1 and 2.0 have left out?
Crypto and Web 3 are for the underdog. The loudest voices today may be those of people with more resources, but the truth is that many cryptocurrency users have never had a chance in the current financial system. Simply because it is designed against them. Hence the importance of telling everyone that we have, at a minimum, the choice to participate in Web 3, the possibility of being interested in cryptocurrencies. The goal is to feel that, whatever your age or skill level, you belong to this universe.
What does a more accessible web mean?
With two important points. First we must continue to create products that are accessible and easy to use. And at Ledger, we’re working on it, including making sure that, depending on your physical abilities, you can still see our screens or use our buttons. The second point is education and especially free education. This is why we have developed our Ledger Academy, for example, which is an excellent educational resource. But we also partnered with The Sandbox, here in Paris, where we created a game (School of Block). Through it, we have issued nearly 100,000 certifications in less than two months, which means that 100,000 more people have figured out how to participate in Web 3 and stay safe.
The cryptocurrency universe remains predominantly male. How can we balance the situation?
One of the reasons why I think Web 3 is so important is that it can correct problem situations for generations, starting with the pay gap. Web 3, for example, is removing the barrier that most women have known, that kept them away from financial matters … Since finance is inherently integrated into Web 3, if you participate in this universe, somehow that barrier is overcome. It’s hard to see how things are going to evolve, but I think there is more inclusion in Web 3. And, in a way, it’s normal because we won’t be retracing the path we have traveled over the past 10, 20, 30 years. We have established a new foundation, and it is upon this that we are building the sequel …