We are at the foot of a new era. One that combines our activities and contact in a singular stream of virtual reality. In 2008, the possibility of having digital currency with Bitcoin arose. Once a concept that was in the hands of an extremely specialized community, it is now a global norm.
The most forward-thinking companies must adapt quickly. First was the extinction of physical stores to electronic commerce. Now, companies are recognizing the usefulness of owning digital assets. NFTs (non-fungible tokens) have become part of the most disruptive branding strategies. These include shoe giant Nike, patent his own collection of NFT sneakers, and best shots for the NBA. Entertainment, fashion, and even real estate can take advantage of opportunities in the NFT arena to create value.
What does this mean for the general population?
As our favorite companies begin to take advantage of the Metaverse, we’ll likely accept it as long as it’s convenient and reliable.
Before cryptocurrencies became mainstream, many were skeptical about it. The volatility of the crypto markets is sure to make the average risk-averse investor nervous. However, its rebounding tendency, scarcity and astronomical valuation have made it, on the whole, a safe asset to hold for the long term. These days there seems to be an endless stream of new markets that make buying and selling crypto easy and cheap at the drop of a pin.
in the metaverse
The pioneer of social networks Facebook, renamed as Meta, symbolizes the call of a new era. According to Zuckerberg“It will feel like a hybrid of today’s online social experiences…it allows you to share immersive experiences with people when you can’t be together.”
For the Gen Z population that relies on Facebook to keep in touch with friends, buy and sell things, share photos, advertise businesses, the transition will inevitably redirect people to meet this change of pace. Although little is known about what exactly the ‘Metaverse’ will entail, it is indirectly compatible with NFT concepts.
NFTs are more likely to be converted, in a literal sense, into tokens, for our participation in the Metaverse.
Represent ourselves online
Social networks required image and online representation. Our digital identities became more important than real ones.
NFTs incorporate unique traits: facial expressions, movements, costumes that people can identify with. So displaying it as your profile picture is a way to show your support for the concept, kind of like displaying a unique painting in your home.
People reflect their identities, status, and social affiliations through their appearance.
Instead of using physical luxury items, that is. your favorite pair of Jordans, you can have it as a digital asset. Although owning some of these ‘assets’ could easily double or triple your expenses, due to their scarcity they are supposed to increase their value.
NFTs facilitate a new way of representing personalities, images and brands. The more people and brands associate with NFTs through social media, the more normalized it will become.
Social Interaction and Leisure Activities
NFTs are no longer just about owning unique art o Show off: Companies are taking advantage of this need to interact with loved ones and do things that we can normally do physically. Virtual reality allows those who do not have the financial means to perform certain activities, such as travel, to participate in activities that they would not otherwise have been able to do.
Virtual reality games used to exist only in small and medium-sized arenas. Then came VR headsets that allowed people to play games in the comfort of their homes. Now, the technology is incorporating NFTs into everyday applications.
My first interaction with virtual meeting spaces was through one of my summer courses at the University. We use the virtual meeting space, Gather, to network. Everyone had their own avatars, and there were different rooms and tables that you could go to and once you sat down, you could interact with people through video.
Virtual meeting spaces are bound to become more normalized. People need a way to connect with others without taking a flight; this continues to be an important way of maintaining labor and business relationships.
The sports industry has historically been a source of national pride and collectivism. NFTs allow fans to stay engaged with their favorite sports while the pandemic puts live events on hold. Tokenized passes have been created to provide exclusive access to special events, tournaments, and meet and greets with athletes.
Deloitte Insights predicted by the end of 2022, 4-5 million sports the fans will have been purchased or given away as NFT collectibles. They also envision fans spending “tens and billions of dollars in virtual currency” that can be used to purchase digital assets and game-related artifacts.
Different income streams through NFT
NFTs create unrestricted paths to earn money, even for the average person.
Play to Earn business models allow players to earn NFTs through showing aptitude or completing in-game tasks. This is incentivizing for young people, to be able to earn up to thousands per week participating in this type of virtual reality.
Vietnam-based game company Infinity Axis, is a pioneer in this type of model. Players adopt virtual pets, similar to Pokémon, to compete with others. To spawn new Axies, players must spend the game’s Ether-based currency. They earn money by winning tournaments and exchange it for real income. Sky Mavis, the company that owns Axis, reported that 25% of their players did not have access to banks and that their Axie wallets were the first type of digital storage they had. Some are using their gambling winnings to pay their rent.
The metaverse is upon us. As venture capital investors flock to upcoming NFT projects, more of them will infiltrate our lives. NFTs provide a lucrative, modern, and convenient way for us to be together (when we’re not), brand ourselves, and even make money. It is only a matter of time before our physical realities overlap with a singular and connected Metaverse.