More On: Culture
Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Dogecoin peaked in 2018, but the nonfungible token will rule in 2021.
Last year, more than $25 billion was spent on NFTs, which is more than the global box office took in. Despite or because of that outstanding number, NFTs have a negative connotation attached to them. Most individuals are either baffled or persuaded that NFTs are an elaborate fraud, a swindle that will fall at any moment. Customers who purchase NFTs are often derided by their critics as being gullible and wasting their money on images that they could have easily "right-click-saved" at no cost.
That refrain won't be too true for a long time. In 2022, whether for good or bad, NFTs are getting better.
On Tuesday, Yuga Labs, the company behind the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection, announced that they had raised $450 million to build a "metaverse." A year ago, that sentence wouldn't make sense. Now, it does. Now, it's a sign of the next phase of NFTs, which are moving from art collections to ecosystems of their own.
The Bored Ape Yacht Club became famous as an NFT collection, which is a set of 10,000 apes that can be used to make profile pictures. After being sold for $200 each last April, the cheapest Bored Ape on the NFT market OpenSea is now $300,000. It's become a way to show off your wealth. Collections like BAYC, CryptoPunks, CyberKongz, and the World of Women all sell for tens of thousands of dollars. Using a picture of a bored ape as your profile picture is like wearing a Rolex to an important meeting. It's also become a brand that you can buy things from. Some fashion partnerships have been made, and a book is being written by Neil Strauss.
In the last few weeks, Yuga Labs has launched its own cryptocurrency called Ape Coin. For people who own the Bored Ape Yacht Club, this was a big moment. People who own Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs got 10,094 free Ape Coin tokens, which is worth about $118,000 each. This is a sign of how crazy the Web3 is. Ape Coin is a cryptocurrency with a value of $11 billion. This is important for the company's goals. To put it another way, Yuga Labs is putting together a lot of money for people to spend.
It looks like Otherside will be an MMORPG game where players can use their NFTs as in-game characters, or avatars, and play as them. YUGA LAB'S pitch deck has been leaked. It shows that the company plans to make $178 million this year from land sales. Yuga Labs CEO Nicole Muniz told The Verge that the company is working with a lot of game studios to make The Otherside's world. The specifics aren't known. It says in the pitch deck that Otherside will be "a metaverse that makes all other metaverses obsolete."
Web 3.0 is at the heart of the change from a collection of art to an ecosystem. This is what people who like crypto call the next version of the internet. In the 1990s, static web pages were the norm. In the 2000s, users became creators of their own content thanks to social media. Web3 is the blockchain-integrated internet, which means it includes Web2 but lets users own the content and data they make. Web3 is the next version of the internet.
This is where NFTs come in. They can help. NFTs have become a common term for digital art, but their main job is to show that someone owns a digital file. That asset can be anything: a video, a song, or even a piece of game gear. In the next step, cryptocurrencies let you trade your digital assets for money and get paid. There are places where these tools can be used, too. Some of these virtual worlds are very big and open, and many people visit them at the same time. Think of Second Life, or even Fortnite. They've been around for a long time, but now the crypto crowd is rethinking them and making them new.
A lot of people thought about Second Life in the '00s, but now you can own your avatar's clothes and other things. When you're done with them, you can sell them to someone else and get your money back. Even better, you could make unique items that, if they have some cultural value in the community, could be sold for money. In the metaverse, you could also get paid for doing things like architects designing virtual buildings, which you'd get paid for with cryptocurrency. Plots of land can be sold, and the owners can do whatever they want with them, including putting up billboards and getting paid to put ads on them.
A new economy is what it's all about in the most simple terms. That's what we hope. They have Sandbox and Decentraland in development, but none of them have been able to get people who aren't already interested in crypto and NFTs excited about them.
Most NFT projects say they want to make the world a better place, and they make their own tokens to achieve that goal. Most of these projects are scams, and some aren't successful enough to make that promise come true. Because Yuga Labs has the tools to make a metaverse, it's unique. It has a brand that's able to break through NFT culture, a cryptocurrency with a lot of money, and a team of world-class game designers. But now comes the hard part: making a world where people want to spend a lot of time.
Time is the real money in metaverses. Like social media, metaverses can be used to show off your business. People can spend money on digital items just like they can in games. But advertising is only effective if a lot of people go through the space, and digital items are only worth something if the world around them has any value. The next step for a group of ape avatars is to make that world.
Whether or not Otherside turns into a metaverse of any value is still up in the air. If Bored Ape Yacht Club is still around in 2022, you won't be able to right-click-save it.
** Information on these pages contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Markets and instruments profiled on this page are for informational purposes only and should not in any way come across as a recommendation to buy or sell in these assets. You should do your own thorough research before making any investment decisions. All risks, losses and costs associated with investing, including total loss of principal, are your responsibility. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of USA GAG nor its advertisers. The author will not be held responsible for information that is found at the end of links posted on this page.