We live in times of extreme media influence, a dynamic perhaps partially created by the complete change in social structure that has taken place over the past two years in which what was not already online has gone online.
The extent of the move to a complete online world of business did not just stop at Amazon and the retail market whilst many global populations languished at home during 2020, but in fact the entire financial world went online with companies such as Amazon’s AWS provider of on-demand cloud computing platforms and APIs to individuals, companies, and governments have managed to gain a data monopoly within the trade reporting world.
Not exactly the democratized world of electronic trading that is now taking the limelight.
Now, we are witnessing another phase, this time under the guise of the Metaverse, which is a new iteration of the Internet part of shared virtual reality, often as a form of social media.
Whilst the term ‘Metaverse’ in itself is far from new, having been coined way before the mainstream use of the internet back in 1992 in Neal Stephenson’s 1992 science fiction novel Snow Crash, where humans, as avatars, interact with each other and software agents, it has now risen again suddenly and is representing a whole new wave in perhaps overhyped internets services to the extent that the parent company of the social network Facebook has been renamed from Facebook Inc to Meta Platforms, with its chairman and founder Mark Zuckerberg having declared his company’s commitment to developing a metaverse ecosystem.
This in itself created quite a stir. Even Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian has stated that he sees a very positive future for the ‘metaverse’ in general, largely due to the rise of cryptocurrencies and Web 3, however he considers Facebook’s renaming to be a ‘masterstroke in distraction’.
Other analyses are also pointing in that direction and are going as far in some cases as to proscribe that cryptocurrency will be the currency of the metaverse. For example, Decentraland has its own token, called MANA, which has surged more than 225% since Meta’s announcement last week.
The MANA tokens may be also used to buy LAND tokens that represent virtual property on Decentraland. Virtual plots sold for more than $900,000 million on the platform in June, purchased by Republic Realm, a digital real estate fund.
“Today we are seen as a social media company, but in our DNA we are a company that builds technology to connect people, and the metaverse is the next frontier just like social networking was when we got started,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a letter yesterday.
Whatever the overall outcome on this absolute mushrooming of the metaverse phenomenon is, it is clear that cryptocurrency and blockchain projects are being heralded as very much central to the cause and it is where the big venture capital investment is now headed, with The Sandbox, a Metaverse startup, having attracted a $93 million round of funding from Softbank yesterday.
This is quite a serious direction and the crypto world is about to go into yet another dimension.