The rise of cryptocurrency has also seen the rise of NFTs, a new way to digitally “own” something. The new wave of technology is coming with the metaverse, what are the ramifications of going all digital?
In March last year, artist Mike Winkelmann – known professionally as Beeple – sold a 5,000 daily non-fungible colored token (NFT) that he created. He sought to find a market for his unique art – and he did.
Already known as a talented digital artist on social media, his work has sold for over $69 million at auction house Christie’s, which claims to be the first major auction house to sell an NFT based on a digital piece.
On Twitter, some people feature profile pictures of monkeys against a solid background. They are known as Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFT images, and unlike Beeple’s illustrations, these apes are part of a collection that has recently expanded beyond the blockchain.
Monkeys wear a variety of clothes with expressions often appearing nonchalant and disinterested. Their accessories include everything from earrings to vibrant pinwheel hats and because some – like those with gold fur – are rarer than others, they fetch higher prices.
Although initially modest and at most charming to the unconscious eye, these images are part of a competitive and unpredictable market, with some buyers willing to shell out hundreds of thousands of dollars for a single image. Besides purchasing, exclusive member-only benefits such as access to the “bathroom” – an online community – and a fluctuating market can increase the NFT value of individuals.
These “non-fungible” tokens are unique and irreplaceable – similar to rare Pokemon cards. A trading card, for example, is not interchangeable with another trading card.
NFTs can be purchased from sites like OpenSea and Rarible. For avid buyers, collectors and sellers, NFTs represent something substantial: something they can own with digital certification. Although the images seem accessible and editable, the ownership aspect is unmistakable.
The owner’s name is found on a line of code on the Ethereum blockchain or other blockchains, although the latter is much less common. Blockchain holds data securely; they are in the same world of cryptocurrencies and bitcoin. Data blocks contain transaction information and form a chain – hence the name.
Original NFTs – in video or image format – may not deter anyone from making copies, but the power of ownership is the main focus of purchase. Transaction history and metadata containing item description and creator information are associated with the NFT.
As New Yorker contributing writer Kyle Chayka put it, blockchain technology transactions are “permanent and transparent” to everyone. Although the blockchain is the result of incredible energy consumption, the transactions work efficiently to be very open, insensitive to modification and almost impossible to hack.
Creators – like Beeple – can reap royalties from NFT purchases when resold. Interestingly, the creator of an NFT can also retain copyright and reproduction rights.
This blockchain market is special because the scarcity and desire of the product can be enough to propel the value of the item. Bored Ape Yacht Club’s first batch of NFTs grossed over two million dollars, even though it started small.
Further, Chayka said that when a figure for BAYC has a high price, the perceived value of the 10,000 genuine NFTs in the set also increases in value.
When buyers invest in the work of creators, they also pave the way for even more investment thanks to an ever-active market and buyers’ willingness to get their hands on valuable NFT that can always rise in value more. late.
Buyers may know they are supporting the artist, but the growing popularity of the NFT domain gives buyers the opportunity to flip their NFTs and resell them for much higher prices.
Either way, this movement is positive for creators who not only share their works more, but can also get profits and royalties.
The NFT arena also draws criticism – some scoff at the idea because they equate owning an NFT with simply copying the image and saving it to their desktop.
“The way I see NFTs [is like] going to a car dealership, getting the high-end car that’s costing you thousands of dollars, but walking out of the dealership with just the paperwork for the car. That’s all you get,” said Bradley Anaya, a junior from Eleanor Roosevelt College.
What coincides with the world of NFTs is the metaverse. As the name suggests, the Metaverse offers virtual reality beyond the real environment. It would be accessed through a physical headset or even a computer screen. The metaverse may coincide with these non-fungible tokens in that what one buys may also appear in this realm – like an avatar. NFTs are on a compatible Ethereum blockchain, which means that if something is used with Ethereum, it can also be used there.
There are plenty of opportunities for businesses to follow in the footsteps of the metaverse and place ads where they want. Revenues would increase for businesses when individuals continue to sell and buy NFTs based on advertisements. Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act provides that Internet services and users are exempt from legal liability for content posted on the Internet. This kind of news is even better for those willing to participate in the metaverse if it means more freedom for them to conduct themselves as they wish.
According to the book “Class, Assets and Work in Rentier Capitalism”, by author Brett Christophers, the term “rent capitalism” refers to the importance placed on rent-generating assets and goods. Despite the belief that it would all go away, the metaverse and its properties echo the power of profit and the capitalist need to prioritize monopolies – sometimes at the expense of the working class.
Even New Yorker author Anna Wiener states that the development of video game technology, like expanded storage options, allows for more add-ons – all available for purchase. These fees are akin to maybe buying an avatar skin or entering a new realm through the metaverse.
Wiener also says that if the Metaverse materializes, it will likely act like a video game even if it’s temporary. For example, those who play the highly engaging Roblox or Farmville might not be shocked by the latest trend in the metaverse.
The popular game Second Life paved the way for virtual reality – and it started way back in 2003. The game also has a marketplace where individuals can interact with others and sell and buy items.
Decentraland is also a virtual global platform that allows individuals to incorporate NFTs into the kingdom through land plot purchases. The platform is also part of the Ethereum blockchain, which means NFT buying and selling would be seamless.
Virtual reality exists with headsets like the Oculus — something that costs a few hundred dollars. Additionally, stores like Walmart have already experimented with a short video showing what shopping looks like through an avatar — from buying milk to a whole television set. Metaverse concepts are neither new nor unfamiliar. Based on the video and where the NFTs go, the metaverse isn’t a pipe dream either. It will not remain limited to games either.
Not only have concert tickets had the chance to be replaced by NFTs, but virtual concerts in conjunction with Roblox have blossomed as ways for individuals to experience the thrill of performers and audiences alike. Skate shops like Vans have teamed up with Roblox for the first-ever virtual skatepark – with interaction through skating in the virtual world as well as Vans gear like shoes and hats for sale.
Wired Editor Cecilia D’Anastasio focused on how the Metaverse really is a simple version of online games that many have already played, but what makes the Metaverse so fascinating may ultimately be greed or lust. infeasibility at the other end.
She says big companies like Meta will need to work with other tech companies like Epic Games or Square Enix to build their platforms and services seamlessly across the metaverse. But there’s not much hope because tech companies “are more willing to consolidate than cooperate.”
In a shocking YouTube video from Meta since october last year, the nearly hour and thirty-minute video features Facebook creator and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg amidst different and bizarre settings in cartoon form and as himself. Zuckerberg – who rebranded Facebook to Meta a few months ago as a symbol of belief in the progression of the metaverse – has expressed enthusiasm for embracing a world where new identities and roles can be assumed in richer ways than reality. not allow it.
He thinks the metaverse is the successor to the mobile internet. He assures audiences that this belief is not about spending more time on screens, but rather about making the time we already spend better and better.
While articulate and approachable, Zuckerberg seems deliberately focused on allaying fears and worries with fun and vibrant scenes of community – something his collaborators’ very stiff and unnatural dialogue in most scenes doesn’t. not help.
The realms of NFTs and the Metaverse provide a surreal arena for individuals, an arena in which people can express themselves however they choose. The Metaverse aims to be so immersive that one can feel the closeness of individuals next to them – something that would provide convenience and community.
Many people have expressed their discomfort in the comment sections of videos or social media with the idea that a virtual reality will coincide with reality. It’s a kind of fear comparable to the strange valley to see characters who often look like us – behave.
Zuckerberg again emphasized safety and security as the highest priority, but with a world that should be almost tangible and completely realistic, would one be able to discern the realities, especially if the field becomes more attractive than the “true” reality?
This new way of life is far from here, but it is growing. If monetization of everything from images to ads exists, big companies could take the lead in what we see, depending on what they think we’d like to see. When the metaverse appears, the subject of privacy and security will be incessant.
While it may be dishonest to knock down prices or resell an NFT, does it matter as long as the market is still lucrative and incredibly favorable to artists? After all, although the desire of the metaverse is to better implement for people, profit will always be at the other end of the line.
Image by Chetraruc from Pixabay.