21.02.2022

Here’s to an interview with our Nunatakeer and Metaverse expert Florian Mezger.

What is meant by the trend “metaverse”?

First of all, the term “metaverse” is not yet clearly defined and there are different definitions. It is often mistakenly equated with the term web3.0. Web3.0 is more or less the further development of the Internet as we know it today and is significantly characterized by its decentralization and the possibility of defining and enforcing digital property rights. In web3.0, every user can, by means of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), once again be the master of his own data, prove ownership and sell it. Closed platform systems are being replaced by an open, decentralized ecosystem.

The metaverse, furthermore, is a visual manifestation of web3.0, which in its entirety still lies far in the future. The metaverse is a digital space that consists of different, interconnected digital worlds. In this space, one is usually represented as an avatar and can exchange ideas with other people, play, trade, work or further co-create this space. What makes this space special is that it is not owned by large companies, but by the community. Due to the decentralized infrastructure, the properties of cryptocurrencies and NFTs, completely new business models, incentive systems and entrepreneurial forms of organization are emerging there.

How will the trend develop over the next few years? Is the metaverse just a Buzzword or short-term hype?

The metaverse as such is still in its early stages. The infrastructure is still being created and the form it takes depends heavily on the community, companies, legislation, etc. At the moment, we see three sides in particular from which the metaverse is being approached: 1) The construction and design of virtual worlds (Sandbox, Decentraland etc.) 2) The construction of games based on web3.0 technology (Axie Infinity, Roblox etc.) and 3) The further development of important infrastructure (protocols, transaction platforms etc.).

We are seeing high investments from companies and VCs, infrastructure is developing rapidly, tech talents are migrating to this industry, and most importantly, user adoption is increasing rapidly. The question should not be whether the metaverse will prevail, but rather what form it will take.

What does this trend mean for companies?

For companies, it is now a matter of understanding their own role in a new ecosystem with new premises and incentive models. The possibilities for new business models in this new blue ocean are almost endless. They need to be understood and explored, because they hold great potential for disruption. For players who have lost out in web2.0, especially to aggregators and platforms, web3.0 offers the opportunity to reposition themselves and develop competitive advantages again.

Microsoft has just acquired the gaming company Activision Blizzard and thus secured a lot of experience and expertise in the field of virtual worlds, also in order to create new experiences in digital collaboration in the future and thus enable a new level of interactive communication.

Moreover, digital worlds are very exciting, especially for big consumer brands, as they can now take place in a new space where multiple, virtual identities can be adopted. It’s not for no reason that Adidas and Nike or the Australian Open, for example, are investing heavily in digital worlds such as Sandbox or Decentraland and experimenting with various NFTs of digital sneakers or clothing. It is almost obvious for the own brand to create an intersection between reality and virtuality and to create a completely new customer loyalty.

At Nunatak, we are already actively exploring topics such as the use of NFTs for business, metaverse strategies, and the development of new business models, and we would like to encourage more companies to look into these opportunities so that they do not miss out.

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