It is the year 2056. There is a new virus deployed by China to take over Indian supremacy. Virus is so deadly that it would kill anyone within 72 hours who comes in contact with it. So, everyone is locked inside their homes with no hope of going out.
Now this could take another shape too. It could be climate change, general laziness to move or whatever. But one thing is for sure. World is moving towards a future where remote working will be the ONLY way to work!
But hey, why are we discussing this all of a sudden? Well, to answer the question why Metaverse holds so much value, I had to paint this picture. We would go back to all of this shortly. For now, let’s understand the agenda of this blogpost. This one is NOT going to be a typical explainer of Metaverse. We already have so many of them floating around.
In this article I want to put some rationale behind the madness that surrounds it. Why are smart billionaires investing in land that doesn’t exist in real world? Why would someone buy a digital Ferrari? All of that and in between. So let’s get started.
What is Metaverse?
Metaverse is still an amorphous idea and nobody knows for sure how things will pan out. But what we do know is that it’s an ambitious project that has the potential to change our lives forever.
“What is the metaverse?” — “It’s a virtual environment where you can be present with people in digital spaces. You can kind of think of this as an embodied internet that you’re inside of rather than just looking at.”– Mark Zukerberg
We have all experienced transition to a digital environment. More so, during the pandemic. From texting “LOL” we can now actually laugh in virtual meets. However, we’re still interacting with the screen right?
Now, imagine you could put on a virtual avatar and meet the avatars of your friends and families. You could go on a date with your partner near the waterfall, you could play stone-paper-scissors with your cousins, you could travel anywhere in the world almost instantly. Get the picture?
But Where’s the Value?
I know, I know you are still pulling your hair in the hope of getting an answer to your value proposition. So here goes an explanation of sorts:
Utopian worlds like the ones promised by today’s Metaverses aren’t a new concept at all. We have been a part of this realm through games like second life and movies/tv shows like upload, Ready Player One.
So why is this noise breaking all the barriers now?
So it all started with NFTs. Think of it like a proof of ownership of a digital asset. This asset could be an image, video, GIF, anything that is digital. We’ve already covered NFTs on pandatechie in details from here and here.
Now let’s go back to the situation we started with. Imagine you just purchased an expensive Rolex right before these virus/climate induced lockdowns. This watch doesn’t derive value from it’s ability to show time. Why? Because any watch can do that.
But it does derive the value from the fact that it gives you ability to flex. There’s an immediate ego boost when you find someone staring at that watch in the crowd.
But hey, you can’t go out no more. So what happens now? No more flex? If only there was a way to flaunt this watch digitally. If only, my digital avatar, a representation of me could wear this watch.
But since it is digital, any one could copy it right? That’s where NFTs come into play. They enforce a proof of ownership for these digital assets.
You could now flaunt being the owner of a classy Rolex albeit digitally. Since you can only network as avatars now, it instantly makes digital assets more valuable then their real life counterparts. I know it’s a hard to swallow pill, but it is what it is.
NFT + Metaverse:
Now let’s go back to all these virtual worlds. Imagine whatever you wear, flaunt and use in the Metaverse actually belongs to you. Not just belong, but you own it and can prove it via immutable records in the blockchain.
As a result, the Metaverse now has a value attached to it. This value will appreciate as and when more and more people flock on the platform. Just like Facebook derives it’s value from the network, these platforms would become a place to be.
Brands would want to advertise on these platforms because people like to hang out there. Political leaders would push their agenda, movie stars would promote their work, content creators would publish their best work.. you get the idea. All of this happening in a virtual world deriving it’s value from people.
Is it all Theory?
For someone going through this for the first time, it does feel like a narrative rather than something of actual value. Which is why, in this section, I would share a few examples which would tell us that this is here to stay:
- American Rapper, Snoop Dogg, recently purchased land on the virtual platform named Sandbox. He is currently building a digital recreation of his real-life Diamond Bar, California mansion, wherein he’ll throw exclusive, members–only parties, according to plans on The Sandbox website. There will also be a music venue for concerts.
- Not only that, insanity lies in the fact that a person paid $450,000 just to be Snoop’s neighbor (in the Metaverse of course). Sweet!
- Nike just bought a virtual shoe company called RTFKT that makes NFTs and sneakers ‘for the metaverse’. RTFKT makes shoes too, except these only exist digitally.
- Adidas has announced its next collection will be a mix of digital and physical items, and will be sold as NFTs produced with collaborators such as Bored Ape Yacht Club (another NFT project).
Very soon, most brands would hop on to the Metaverse bandwagon that would create an alternate channel for marketing. After all, you’d want to market where people are. Currently, they are moving to virtual land faster than ever.
Folks out there buy a coin from an exchange like CoinDCX and think they’ve made it. However, this space is still 99% unexplored if you stop there.
Next time you get into a fight with your friends over why you’d buy a land in a virtual world, hopefully you can make some solid arguments. However, if you still get stuck and need a solid counter, hmu!
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Until next time..
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