Where we’re going, we don’t need a road! † The metaverse promises us in the weeks to come a world that would expand the fields of the possible. Decentralization, anonymity, absence of intermediary, all these notions specific to the so-called blockchain universe seem to be put to the test in the construction of the foundations of this virtual world. Indeed, built on sometimes very nebulous ground, Web2’s shadow weighs on the metaverse and worries some. The metaverse, stuck between a blistering virtual freedom and the worrisome conquest of large groups like Meta or Coinbase, is making its way. Throwback to this week in the future.
In order not to get lost in the Meta-Hebdo:
Meta: a metaverse that pays for your NFTs?
The idea of a metaverse, an interconnected virtual space, at the intersection of worlds, easily opposes the static image of the news wall offered by current social networks such as Twitter or Facebook. Rightly so. The latter, renamed Meta, is developing a metaverse: Horizon World.
The proud leader of Meta, Marc Zuckerberg, this week declared his intention to develop NFTs in his metaverse, not without cost. For Meta, the metaverse does indeed come at a price: the social network provides 47.5% including 25% of the costs for transactions in its metaverse. NFTs listed for sale on its marketplace will also be taxed, harming its creators.
“The ability to sell items and access privileges within virtual worlds is now part of the overall e-commerce equation”
However, something is wrong. First of all, Marc Zuckerberg attaches to the principles of web3 the concept of e-commerce, specifically for web 2. Then the share of the participation that Meta seems to take in the resale of NFTs goes against the values of the NFT Community† The power of decentralization is indeed that artists can control their work. From creation to distribution, from sale to purchase, the blockchain gives the artist total control over his work.
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Coinbase: from crypto to NFT via social networks
Conversely, Coinbase is inspired by the giants of the web 2. Indeed, the crypto platform has begun the BETA version of its marketplace †marketplace) NFT. Coinbase NFT is only accessible to a small group of lucky people and appears as the Instagram of NFTs:
“While buying and selling NFT is a big part of the ecosystem these days, we have learned from talking to many customers and creators that buying and selling is not enough. There is also the community aspect. †
Sanchan Saxena, Vice President of Products and Ecosystem at Coinbase
For example, the platform will provide opportunities for connections between users in the manner of Facebook or Instagram, underlining the importance of the community aspect. Through this prism we understand the importance of the social aspect of the metaverse, already underlined by web3 giants such as Decentraland or The Sandbox.
The Sandbox: a metaverse under the sign of diversity
However, let’s not forget the primary philosophy behind the creation of NFTs and more generally the philosophy underlying the creation of bitcoin† Faced with libertarians, Meta’s approach can be frightening.
The Sandbox in its new collaboration with Slipknot also emphasizes the importance of community and social space in its metavers. Forget the glittering evenings of Paris Hilton in Decentraland and step into the dark universe of the Knotverse, metaverse of the metal band. At the intersection of genres and spaces, The Sandbox affirms its desire for different interconnected terrains and diverse culture within its virtual space.
“We are proud to welcome Slipknot and Knotfest as the first heavy music band to open a home to their community in the open metaverse The Sandbox. Building the future of digital expression and social interaction, this partnership invites a diverse and free-thinking new audience to experience the benefits of real ownership, where each Slipknot NFT can be used not only in The Sandbox but on any other compatible platform. †
Sébastien Borget, CEO of The Sandbox
For The Sandbox, the metaverse has a price
The Sandbox in its own way knows all too well the price of its virtual world. So, on the power of a first fundraiser from 93 millions of dollarsthe giant of the metaverse sets the table for $400 million Additionally. The Sandbox could then expand further and increase its capitalization to $4 billion.
The Sandbox probably remains one of the most successful metaverses we know of on the blockchain. However, the still embryonic project confirms that it remains difficult to define the contours of a definition of the metavers as it will be.
Infinite Reality: $470 Million for the Metaverse
The Sandbox isn’t the only one that has to break the bank to grow. This week we were able to learn about the acquisition of ReKt Global, a big name in e-sport, for $470 million by Infinite Reality. This company provides services to infrastructures that want to enter the metaverse (development, smart contracts, content, authentication, etc.). It wants to become a leader in a metaverse at the crossroads of worlds. In this dynamic, e-sports and video games are essential. They enable Infinite Reality to expand its service catalog by leveraging the development opportunities offered by ReKT Global.
This strategic choice for Infinite Reality confirms the trend and the strong link between NFT games, DAOs and the metaverse.
Huyndai: metamobility, the way of the future?
Hyundai is also investing in the metaverse† Indeed, the robotics and technology giant announced an NFT project this week: Meta Kongz, a collection limited to 30 NFTs. With a meta-mobility project, Hyundai wants a metaverse in which robotics is a means to overcome the physical boundaries of spaces. This view of the metaverse widens all the gaps with, for example, the virtual world of Horizon World.
“The idea behind metamobility is that space, time and distance all become useless. Connecting robots to the metaverse allows us to move freely between the real world and virtual reality. Taking it one step further in the immersive experience (…) offered by the metaverse, robots will become an extension of our own physical senses, enabling us to reshape and enrich our daily lives with metamobility. †
Chang Song, Hyundai Group Chairman and Head of Transportation-as-a-Service Division
Define the metaverse, define it and give it a single route, all mapped out on the web is difficult. The paths to the future of social networks and web2 are many and do not respect the same codes. Also, as Emmett Brown in Back to the future, some see in the metaverse the opportunity “to broaden our perception of humanity, where we come from, where we are going, the convulsions and the ups and downs, the dangers and the promises, maybe even finding an answer to this eternal question: Why?”. Others, like Marty Mcfly, see it as a way of “putting a little butter in the spinach.”
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