We talked about "Metaverse"

Jan 16, 2022

Conversation / Mona
Editing / Naomi
Proofread / Danielle

As we head into 2022, the words "Metaverse" and "NFT" are popping up more and more frequently in conversations. We did a quick check, and over the past 12 months, NFT has been valued at $23 billion to $40 billion.


We haven't even figured out what will happen with pandemic yet, and civilization has already taken such a big step?


So, on a rainy night, we all have a cup of vodka

The concepts of the Metaverse and NFT are discussed in some depth.

Illustration by Craig Robinson/Getty Images



Q: I saw some people selling real estate on Second Life, selling houses on islands where people can stay and have parties and invite friends over. It's not quite the same as the SIMS, because Second Life is all about real people controlling each character. Is the Metaverse the same as a game?


A: The Metaverse doesn't really exist as a game. It’s more like an online meeting. While it may seem like a game right now, the future version of the Metaverse will be much more than that. For example, if you want to see a doctor who's not in the same country as you, and you want to have surgery -- that surgery could be operated remotely with Metasverse plus 5G technology, or later on, the 6G, 7G technology.


For example, a doctor can remotely control your surgical machine by inserting a chip into his device and performing heart surgery even without VR glasses. The Metaverse may be able to improve the efficiency of society by solving geographical issues.



Q: Why does geography have an impact on human productivity?


A: Because in general, increasing productivity is closely related to increasing mobility. For example, automobiles, high-speed trains, and airplanes are all concrete manifestations of the improvement of displacement efficiency. And the Metaverse has the potential to optimize the limitations of geographical location by increasing the displacement costs of the output of our social production.


Of course, it is still at a very early stage, so there is still a long time to explore and practice. For example, the Internet myth in 2000 was highly touted, but it was ten to fifteen years later that the Internet really developed and penetrated into every aspect of life.



Q: So what exactly is NFT?


A: NFT can be a symbol of ownership of a virtual item. For example, when we buy a house, we have a property ownership certificate, which clearly indicates who owns the house. These certificates are meant to prove that what we own is unique. Every transaction we make in the virtual world, whether we make an NFT or buy an NFT, has a unique code. This code is the proof of our every transaction and ownership. And this voucher is based on blockchain technology -- every individual unit in the blockchain confirms our transaction and also confirms the ownership, which achieves the so-called decentralization.


On the other hand, when we go shopping, the goods belong to the merchant before the transaction. After the transaction, only the merchant himself can confirm that the goods we buy belong to us, and other consumers do not know about it. But in a decentralized way, every product we buy is verified by all other consumers, so we can ignore the verification of the merchant himself.


Cr: Chris J. Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images


About Metaverse real estate buy and sell, the capital speculation among them is inevitable. Lots of people don't understand, if you cannot live in the real estate in Metaverse, and you can not see or touch it, why would people be so crazy about it? But in fact, real estate in the real world has only the main function of living place in the physical world without being capitalized. The capital property of the real estate in the Metaverse is not much different from it in the real world. The biggest difference is that the real estate in the Metaverse has no living function of physical property.


And the physical properties of the real-world housing function are not the key to the rise in housing prices. Some people may say that NFT is just a virtual picture, like direct screenshots can be saved and used. There's nothing wrong with that, but it's like saying we like a car and we can take a picture with us standing right next to it, but that doesn't mean we own it.


The Bored Ape Yacht Club. Cr: Sotheby's.


Q: So the attribution of physical attributes is still bought with the currency of the physical world.


A: That's right. The structure of our physical world is different from that of the current Metaverse, so the units of the settlement are different. However, the two are not completely independent or opposite, but the relationship of mutual influence and infiltration.


Q: If photos can be uploaded by anyone, will the value of NFT decline? How is the price of NFT works set?


A: It's completely up to the market. For example, maybe people don't want to buy the NFT of masterpieces, they want to buy yours, and the price of your NFT will go up.


By Nicole Ruggiero


Q: If the artwork itself is not good, then the price of the photos uploaded by his so-called "physical owner" will not be much different from the NFT taken by others. If this is the case, then the value of the NFT depends on the value of the artwork itself. If the value of the artwork is high, its NFT price will be high, right?


A: What you said is not entirely correct. Although some NFT originate from physical art, its existence is not only about the commercial value of art hype. NFT is now involved in the development of virtual universes or making money, rather than just trading in virtual art.


Q: How do you earn it?


A: Just like the real world. If you have a sweet potato in a game in the Metaverse, just buy a shovel NFT in the virtual world and you can use it to dig up sweet potatoes. It might take you a long time to dig by hand, but with the NFT, you'll be more productive. The sweet potatoes you dig up can then be combined into something more valuable, which can then be made into NFT and sold to someone else in exchange for a new NFT. In this way, you are both a producer and a consumer.


Nyan Cat by Chris Torres.


Q: So if you want to buy a shovel, you have to go to a shovel-seller. And what role did the people who made the shovel play?


A: That belongs to the developers of the Metaverse, who created the whole story chain and thought logic.


Q: If so, does the Metaverse involve power and capitalism?


A: So developers can develop this thing, but they have no control over it. For example, he has already set a maximum value for the game in the Metaverse -- say, a million of iron or wood can be produced per month -- and he can't change it. As such, developers do not have full control over the Metaverse.



CryptoPunks by Larvalabs.


Q: Will this number be fixed permanently?


A: Of course, developers can also programmatically set the randomness of the values. Once the program is on the ground, the computer runs on its own, without human intervention.


Q: If the value is never fixed, will it cause chaos in the whole NFT world?


A: No. Only then can the price of virtual goods change and the capital market has ups and downs and fluctuations.


Q: Who decides the big rules?


A: It's the development team. They develop the world, and if some developer tampers with the threshold, people don't want to enter that world. Only when it's developed and there's no way to manipulate thresholds and everyone agrees that the rules are fair, then people will want to join.


Entity Encounter. By: Aaron Jablonski.


Q: So the value of items in the Metaverse is entirely determined by the internal market?


A: Yes, it depends entirely on the market. All the goods and resources produced need to be accumulated by the player. All capital games in the Metaverse are run by the players themselves. If the player plays well, he can become a very rich man in the Metaverse.


Q: So is the Metaverse just an online version of the real world capital game?


A: I don't think so. In the Metaverse, everyone has a chance to become rich, and that's the biggest difference from the real world. Because there's more than one Metaverse game, and in one game he is a rich person, but in another one, he needs to start all over again. But right now it's too early to say that because Metaverse is still too young.


“19335” by Zook


Q: So NFT as Metaverse art, will the way how the price goes up also be related to the rules of this world?


A: Yes. For example, the land resources in our real world, the non-ferrous metals, or the works of famous artists, are the specific limited resources of our world, and the scarcity of these limited resources is something we all recognize. If you do a series of works with NFT, through programming you can dictate the automatic generation of NFT art upper limit, such as only output 10,000 such NFT. Therefore, from the very beginning, the particularity and limitation of these NFT artworks are determined, so that their collection value will be quickly increased.


The Bathroom. Featured in Bored Ape Yacht Club


Q: If everyone can program and upload NFT, wouldn't everyone be an artist?


A: Theoretically, yes. If you take an iPad and you draw a line, it can be an NFT. Or just take a picture and upload it, and it's an NFT. This concept breaks the rule of how artists do art.


Academic art and NFT are actually two opposite contradictory bodies. It breaks the rules for artists to do art -- if everyone can do NFT and art, why should people get an MFA? On the other hand, NFT may not be art either, because NFT covers all of these things that can be traded in virtual worlds. It can be circulated as a simple commodity.


That is, NFT includes, but does not equal virtual art. It's just that the capitalists are using virtual art to make NFT, leading us to think that virtual art equals NFT.

EVERYDAYS: THE FIRST 5000 DAYS by "Beeple".


Q: If there is ever going to be an ERA of NFT where everyone is an artist, it may take a long time, maybe 100 years for the world to really get there because our technology is not there yet.


A: That's true, but before the iPhone came along, you wouldn't have thought we could use so many apps. But after the iPhone came along, APPs went big in a very short time.


Q: Yes, but the concept of Metaverse is much bigger than APP, and it needs some kind of regulatory regime. All told, the Metaverse can be a good thing, but it's also risky because it's so decentralized and unconstrained that there's nothing really policing it right now. I still think a lot of things have to be controlled by the country.


A: The idea of country, in the case of an animal, is territorial. Whoever's the best gets the bigger piece of land. The concept of a country, and the rules of human civilization and society upon which it is founded, are no different from the habits of animals.


Cr: Tyrone Siu Reuters


Q: The concept of "country" is quite broad, even rising to the level of philosophy. If we use the concept of "Global village", the whole economy of the system is still controlled by some kind of "village committee". If capital is allowed to flow freely, desire will not be controlled, and the human world will return to the animal world.


A: Yes, greed is human nature, so we should restrain it. We are now in the early stage of a globalized economy, and it would be very risky to act too quickly.


Q: And the people who actually have access to the Metaverse and even build these platforms are only a few. The people who make the rules of the Metaverse are the same people who control the capital unless you can actually get everybody to write code.


A: Take TikTok for example. The developer wrote the program, and then he can improve it constantly, but the rules of the program are fixed. While anyone can join TikTok, it's up to them to get huge. So these online platforms just give you an opportunity, it doesn't guarantee anything.


"Merge" by Pak.


Q: The problem is that the rules of the Metaverse haven't been set yet.


A: Because everyone is watching and waiting, including developers. The concept of a Metaverse is still in the experimental stage. Take for example artist Pak, who recently broke NFT records with his project "Merge". The little ball he made was a very successful experiment.


It is a limited-time, unlimited release, during which anyone can choose to buy any number of small balls, the price will gradually increase over time. Then when you buy more than one small ball, they will automatically combine into a larger ball. Everyone can buy an infinite number of balls, and they all combine into bigger balls, and the value adds up.


Imagine if someone bought 10,000 small balls, and after the sale, the price of the big ball he was holding would skyrocket. It was this round ball game that broke the IP transaction record. So I think the success of NFT depends on how the IP is played. The concept of NFT may have started as a cyberpunk avatar or illustration, but as people continue to explore and innovate, as Pak creates value through social interaction, the public will gradually take it seriously.