By: Oscar Soriano (guest author)
After the last convulsive weeks of the crypto universe, it can be installed in the heads of many that this has been a bluff. Another of many revolutions that has not gone beyond a few shouts in the street.
My opinion is totally different, obviously I am not objective, but blockchain and the area I know the most, blocktainment, are here to stay.
I understand blocktainment as entertainment that can be made more effective and efficient thanks to blockchain: NFTS as an option to improve the storytelling of brands and value creators and even to monetize; play and earn, blockchain-based games, a first way for brands to generate engagement with communities. And, of course, we cannot forget the metaverse; that concept that went from irrelevance to megahype in 2 weeks.
There is no such thing as a defined and finished metaverse, much less metaverses. It is a concept, an idea, a possibility of a virtual world with many interoperable universes (or microverses), meaning that you can move, your avatar and all its assets, from one universe to another easily and efficiently. That’s why metaverses cannot exist, unless you are a fan of string theory.
In any case, unfortunately for many, we are not there, nor will we be in the short term. There are very interesting initiatives for such interoperability, but there are no standards yet. There are no audiences, sometimes in Decentraland there are more businesses or brands than users; imagine that in a shopping mall, it would be a drama. And the user experience in web3 environments are very bad, to be mild, from bugs, wallets or how boring some microverses are due to lack of continuity of operators. And above all there is a huge confusion from the endemic industry, let alone the non-endemic one, about what is metaverse and what is not. Is it VR/XR or can it work on a mobile screen? Does it have to have blockchain and be decentralized?
After this doomsday scenario, now let’s go with the good news. A McKinsey survey showed that the average American will spend 3.7 hours a day in the metaverse in 5 years (GenZ almost 5). The big companies are all betting in some way on web3: without a doubt Meta is perhaps the best known, but Google, Apple, Microsoft, Shopify, Coca Cola, BMW, Gucci, Goldman Sachs (although later its President says that this is the swindle of the stamp) among many others are not standing idly by. And even countries opening their services there like Dubai or Bermuda. And when so many millions, energy and reputation are on the table, progress will be made; we do not know how, but progress will be made.
But for me the most relevant thing that will make the metaverse succeed over the years is something that seems like child’s play: gaming. It is the main leisure for generations under 30, half of the global population plays video games and it is a billion dollar industry. But the most interesting thing is that gaming has been preparing millions of users to enter the metaverse without batting an eyelid. Concepts settled in the crypto world that since before the birth of Bitcoin are widely used by the gaming communities. As the skins (which summarizing it badly we can say that they are NFTs and / or wearables without blockchain), the guilds (now popular for play and earn games), Discord (the social tool of cryptofans, but that gamers have been using for many years) or the own currencies of video games like Vbucks or PaVos in Fornite or Robux in Roblox (which are still electronic currencies with utility and not backed by any state, I bet you can draw a parallel in 2 seconds).
What does this tell us? That gamers, who have been training in these concepts for many years, are going to get in fast. They are many, and growing.
A good conspiracy theory would say that it has been a plan woven by the evil crypto industry (or even some gentlemen with a cigar who in turn pull the strings of this industry) to prepare them to enter fast and happy in blockctainment. The funny thing is that much of the industry and the gaming community is against blockchain, funny.
In any case, they will enter but first they need the environments and their experience to improve a lot compared to what they have now, today there are too many frictions.
But then again, it is not an evolution of technology, it is a super-evolution. The value of everything generated is for the creator. We could give the example of content creators as they are at the mercy of Instagram, of musicians with Spotify, but if we continue with gamers the value proposition changes dramatically, everything invested in time and money in a game, metaverse or NFT apart from enjoying it (basic premise) you can recover it at a monetary level.
But be careful, this still has a long way to go, now is the time to investigate, test and get feedback from the communities. If someone wants to create a business model and that his NLP is not in the red in the short time expected, if someone wants to launch something and learn this is the time.
That already happened with the internet. At the beginning it was a horror as a user, let alone for value creators, there was hype, the possibilities we know today were unimaginable in 1994, bubble pricks (Terra!!!). And after the corresponding cleanup we have continued to use the internet; correction, it has been and is fundamental in our lives. That will happen with blocktainment and especially with the metaverse.
We do not know when, how and where it will evolve; but we can say three things: it will be exciting, it is today (to avoid missing the train we must start moving now) and that there will be a multitude of failed tests. Those who want security (and less and less return) should stay anchored in the previous decade.