NFT mania is here, like Pokemon cards 20 years ago ?

You might still not fully understand what an NFT is, I myself had to read a bunch of articles to really figure out with time what was a “Non Fungible Token” and how to make it more simple to understand. I am going to try to popularise this topic for non specialist readers.

You might still not fully understand what an NFT is, I myself had to read a bunch of articles to really figure out with time what was a “Non Fungible Token” and how to make it more simple to understand. I am going to try to popularise this topic for non specialist readers.

Remember the end of the 20th century, around 1999-2000 when buying packs of Pokemon cards was every kid dream with their pocket money ? I would be one of them, trying to get the most rare ones to have them all in my dedicated card folder. They were of course physical cards, the size of a card game and they were not unique but some of them were pretty rare. Well NFTs are the modern digital version of these. As simple as it sounds.

I am not sure outside of Pokemon online games, NFTs of these card exists yet. But I am pretty sure its licensing company, Nintendo, is planning on releasing them soon or late, either in their own metaverse or on a dedicated marketplace.

A NFT can be anything from a unique piece of art, a copy of an existing piece of art, a copy of a card (like Pokemon cards would be, or Magic cards etc…), a GIF, a song, an item for a video game, a piece of land (yes you can buy a piece of land in a metaverse).

As for today, there is already a craze among generation Z for those digital items. They are literally spending all their pocket money into it, and the richest one are spending crazy amounts into it.
But not only the gen Z but any big players of the crypto craze is already buying them, as well as bunch of high net individuals like artists who are getting attracted by this new world of possibilities.
As I was saying in one of my recent article about the Metaverse, these items are the things you will be proud to show your friends on Instagram in the future. It will not be you new crazy expensive watch, it will be your digital monkey that you bought for the crypto money equivalent of $10k.

I am mentioning the metaverse because in fact since it’s a digital asset you can only show it to people in for example online art galeries on the metaverse. I am not sure yet there are companies offering in real life displays of NFT’s that you own but this might become in the future a product that everyone will own to be able to show their recent acquisitions.

You also have to understand that the those assets are localized on a blockchain, and that the blockchain is keeping tracks of who owns this particular item. Blockchain is also already a complicated thing to understand, to give you an example, let’s say the blockchain is like an online database, that keeps tracks of all data and connect those date on a chain of blocks. You can not modify an existing block but you can add a new one containing for example a new NFT. ( in reality blockchain is way more complex)

A popular NFT you can buy on OPEN SEA nft markeplace

So you are wondering probably, what are they buying and why are they buying something that is fully digital and that has no value but the one people are ready to pay for ? Well it’s exactly like those Pokemon cards, their real value is almost nothing but the price people are ready to pay for the rarest one is crazy.

And also it is a fashion trend and also surely the desire to own something unique that may very well increase in value in the future, a form of investment. Also with the new developments of metaverse, a totally new system of artefacts and assets is being developed.

For example the new players of the Sandbox game (link), which is using the $SAND token, to be able to be among the first players of the full game you have to buy on Open Sea an “Alpha pass” which is available for 2,76 Ethereum or $13 083,86 (link).
Just Yesterday, a piece of land of the metaverse of the sandbox was sold more than $4 million (link). Knowing that it’s only the beginning of Metaverses and that 99% of people probably don’t know anything about it yet, the potential is probably HUGE, but still with it’s a super high risk investment for something 100% virtual.

Of course NFTs are far from being perfect, first of all there is an issue of licensing since anyone can copy any piece of art and sell it as if he/she was the artist who made it in the first place. Marketplaces and buyers will have to be vigilant before buying and making their own research on whether or not this NFT they are buying is a legit one.
Also blockchain is well known for not being the most environmental friendly technology with all the power it needs.
There are security concerns as well, since you digital assets are located on a dedicated online wallet, there will always be at risk of being stolen by hackers.
And of course, as I was mentioning it on the article about the ugly reality of metaverse, people will probably tend to hide in the VR world if their “real life” is not as good as it can be in their dreams, risk of addiction are high.

Open Sea one of the largest NFT marketplace : https://opensea.io

The ugly (but lucrative) future of metaverse

I was surprised to read recently a lot of articles about something called the metaverse, Meta (ex-Facebook) and other tech companies declared wanting to invest tons of money in this new form of online social life.

I was surprised to read recently a lot of articles about something called the metaverse, Meta (ex-Facebook) and other tech companies declared wanting to invest tons of money in this new form of online social life.

It turns out I remembered reading when I was younger a collection of comic books called Convoi TM, happening in the end of the 21st century. This comic book is written by Thierry Smolderen and Philippe Gauckler, and was publised in 2004 by their editor “Les humanoïdes associés”. It turns out that metaverse was already described in it, with the story putting a focus on how ugly that future of VR entertainment would be.

Convoi comic book

3D spaces in the metaverse will let you socialize, learn, collaborate and play in ways that go beyond what we can imagine

Mark Zuckerberg

A little summary of the first volume ( 4 in total) :

“We are in 2069. A virtual game, Convoy, threatens to supplant real life… While the first space colonies of the Earth enjoy independence, a great program of robotization of the conquest of space is launched by the President of the Earth, disregarding bitter failures and the despair of young generations deprived of dreams. For the disenchanted citizens, there remains the virtual reality of Convoy, a second world where hundreds of gamers try to attack a regularly passing money transport. Among them, two undisciplined and resourceful twins, Gil and Fred, their mother, Karen Springwell, a journalist, and their grandfather, a senator and ardent supporter of the President, will find themselves caught between virtual adventures and real dangers.”

Unfortunately I could not find any EN version of the Convoi comic books, only the French version exists, fortunately it is available on digital format.

The best of us will remember the first of its kind metaverse “Second life”, I was myself a little too young to be able to join this community at the time it was really popular but yet I was already a lot curious about the possibility to have a new second life in a virtual world. When you think about it, anyone who is at the moment not happy with their current life would easily fall for a dream world where they could be who ever they want, build their own dreamed universe and bring to virtual life their deepest fantasies.

The metaverse in Convoy is, in my opinion, describing quite accurately the dangers of such projects, with people becoming totally addicted to their online life and therefore not living their real life, even forgetting to “wake up” from their VR and dying of extreme long sessions of online activity. I think this phenomenon already exists in countries like for example in Japan. People living in very small appartements, disappointed with their social life, spending so much time playing addictive games, that they forget to eat or drink.
It’s just the easy way out for many people and with all the crisis we are facing, it will probably just make more and more people potentially vulnerable to this solutions.

Yes investing in metaverse is probably the best new thing to do, and builders of these online worlds will be the billionaires of tomorrow, imagine all the possibilities, crypto currencies will easily find their new markets in those VR worlds, 3D designers will be able to freed their creativity with no physical limits in making building, art or any artefacts that they will then sell to the online public. The new reality will not be to post your cute picture of the new restaurants on Instagram, but to share how beautiful and creative your online place will become. I could write pages on the possibilities of a full VR world 😁

Facebook has recently been a lot in the spotlight for putting it’s own economic interest over proper censoring of conspiracy content, it is just an example that we probably unfortunately can not trust private companies to regulate themselves on this kind of projects. But when at the same time you see how ignorant governments are to this kind of technologies, regulation might never happen (I am referring to the lunar questions asked to Zuckerberg in Congress : 9 weird questions asked by Congress ).

If Meta or Facebook, could not yet launch a viable crypto currency for regulatory reasons, it will certainly be able to do so in it’s own virtual world, with the only law applying being their own one… smart 🤓- Meta coins are coming – soon

Following my first publication of this article I was looking for ways to invest into the Metaverse, since it’s probably going to be THE ONE THING TO INVEST INTO (as ugly as it could get), a quick search on Google reinforced my belief that it is a MUST to invest in these companies or tech, here is a few interesting articles I found :

Fancy creating your own world ? Meta is encouraging creators to come expand its metaverse called Horizon Worlds, all you need is a bit of technical training and a oculus VR headset. They announced a $10 million creator’s fund, find more about how to create your own VR on this video : https://youtu.be/a9yx2UCHioU