The buyers of “Everydays – The First 5000 Days by Beeple” — a $69 million NFT-backed artwork created by the British artist Metakovan — have created an online virtual world, a monument called “The Souk.” Specifically, the NFT portfolio includes digital real estate, art, wearables, and name rights. The portfolio is valued at $189 million by Nonfungible.com.
Apoorva Mittal and Twobadour Panar (TP) discussed the metaverse and how it has worked so far and what hasn’t. The following excerpts have been edited for clarity:
Metaverse: What’s happening? What is causing it to blow up?
Since March and the Beeple incident in particular, the metaverse idea rode on the wave of NFTs. Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement also had some major implications for the field.
It seems we have been living in a metaverse for a little while, especially in the digital realm. The primary use of NFTs is to show ownership of digital property, although art and gaming are currently gaining popularity. The NFT space is dominated by land since it represents ownership in the best way than any other asset category. There is not an equal distribution of property rights around the world. A virtual land plot represents absolute property ownership in the metaverse. It is for this reason that the first category he looked at when we started collecting NFTs was land. Among the largest landowners in Decentraland, Metapurse owns the largest number of properties. In addition to our Sandbox and Cryptovoxle estates, we own a number of farms in Cryptovoxels.
How does your vast digital estate fare?
In contrast to just buying and storing it, you can actually experience NFT art. In addition to hosting football matches, staging a music festival, and holding exhibitions, Decentraland has been hosting many events lately. These worlds are the ones where all of this takes place. As a result, experiential learning takes place a lot. Researchers are researching ways of making it into a functioning virtual world similar to Second Life, except that everyone has their own land. Nevertheless, we remain a long way off from that goal. The use of virtual worlds for product launches is gaining a lot of attention. There’s a lot to learn there.
In the metaverse, do you currently monetize anything?
At this time, no. It’s likely that as this space evolves, there will be more options available.
What is our current position in the evolution of the metaverse?
People have realized that there is only so much we can achieve technologically on virtual land at the moment, and so it’s kind of saturated a little bit. Furthermore, there is already a lot of vacant land, which is not being populated, that cannot be developed. Those lands now seem to be the focus, the ability to develop experiences within those spaces, and the ability to create unique assets. The Beeple 5000 piece will have its permanent address at The Souk, a massive building in the process of construction. Nearly everything has been completed. The building was done with the help of some amazing architects and artists. The launch is scheduled for November 4.
When NFTs are criticized as a bubble that is soon going to burst, how do you respond?
Regardless of what they believe, we will be happy to let them. Our time will be more valuable when others take their time entering this space. This market does not need to be flooded with people. I am not in a hurry to saturate it. Our experiments will continue until then.
In the Metapurse fund, do you intend to invest in India?
Doesn’t it still seem tricky in India? We are currently not investing in this area, but we are working on a creative incubator initiative. It is our goal to bring back to India some of the benefits of the crypto space. Yet this is a more difficult task than it may seem.
What is the future of digital worlds?
In today’s two-dimensional environment, every brand wants to provide its clients and customers with more immersive experiences. In this case, virtual spaces are helpful. Artists and creators will also need a virtual address to display their works or wares, so to speak, and to have a unique identity that can be recognized. The sooner you can recognize its potential, the faster you will be able to play this kind of game.