Is The Age Of The Metaverse Over Before It Officially Began?

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B&T Magazine
Edited by B&T Magazine
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Plummeting prices of cryptocurrencies, hacking and stealing of overpriced non-fungible tokens, an uncontrollable market that seems to operate on the moods of those who run it… All these are elements which are making marketers pull the breaks on their plans to invest within the world of digital real estate. But is all this coming to an end or are we just in the middle of a heavy storm?

During the last few months – or even years, one could argue – prices of cryptocurrencies have gone down sharply. Arguably the greatest example of this is the Terra (Luna) stablecoin which experienced a crash, losing essentially all of its value (or 99 percent of it, to be exact) and its owners seeing their investments turn to dust. The main reason behind the Terra (Luna) stablecoin crash was the malfunction of the Terra network which pegged it to the US dollar.

However, this was not the only cryptocurrency to experience such a phenomenon. As previously mentioned, a whole number of other, more reliable, cryptos have also gone off the rails, such as the highly recognisable Bitcoin. Bitcoin owners are used to watching the value of their investments go through wild ups and downs, depending on the situation or what’s going on in the news. But ever since last September, when Bitcoin reached its all-time high worth of almost $100K ($US70K), the coin has continued to dip to the point of dropping below half of that value ($US30K) a few weeks ago.

And if you think the world of NFTs is doing any better, you’d be in for a sad surprise. Everywhere you look, there are stories regarding the de-valuation of the popular online assets. The Bored Ape Yacht Club series of NFTs, despite still being incredibly expensive, has seen its price in US dollars plummet to almost half of what it was since the start of the month. Sales of the NFTs have also dropped significantly, which means that people just aren’t buying them anymore.

The Bored Ape NFT has been one of the most popular of its kind. However, recently, it seems to be going through a transition period.

This isn’t for a lack of financial ability to purchase them, but a lack of faith that they would continue to increase or even maintain their initial worth. Recently a number of high profile figures have either stopped associating with the NFT industry altogether or simply hit pause on their plans to do so. Actor Seth Green (Family Guy, Austin Powers franchise) saw some of his digital assets disappear after his account was hacked, while those who had previously bought them from him were left with nothing. Former boxer Floyd Mayweather promoted a series of NFTs called Bored Bunny (similar to Bored Ape), which today are worth less than one-tenth of their original value a few months ago. And these are only two examples in a list of poor celebrity-NFT matchups that seems to stretch on for eternity.

As one can easily imagine, these latest developments have made companies and agencies a lot more apprehensive when it comes to the digital world. It’s not that they don’t want to invest in it per se, as there are already a great number of them already creating ads, purchasing and selling digital assets and inviting people into their own virtual playgrounds, it’s more that they don’t know what to expect from it.

The metaverse and more specifically sandbox games such as Roblox or Decentraland are heavily tied to NFTs and cryptocurrency as players and users within those worlds use them to make their transactions. If they continue to decrease in value at such an alarming rate, then these worlds could simply go back to becoming “ordinary” online video games with no real opportunity to invest apart from simple in-game advertising.

NFTs will have no real-world value, cryptocurrencies will be tradeable at less than a few cents, making them essentially worthless and the metaverse will transform into nothing more than a hosting ground for people who don’t want to go outside and have way too much time on their hands.

But how likely is such a scenario to play out?

The metaverse, while changing, is likely here to stay.

Despite continuing drops in net worth, cryptocurrencies don’t appear to be going away anytime soon. They have established themselves as a part of the market, they already have their own dedicated trading area (OpenSea) and governments all around the world are making plans to bring them under greater regulation so that they don’t experience such extreme changes in their value. In other words, while they may not be that “fun to play with”, they’ll definitely become more stable and reliable in the future.

As for NFTs, it’s important to keep in mind that they’re still in their infancy. People tend to get excited over something that’s new and appealing, which could work as a contributing factor in the over-inflation of their rates, but after a while, they inevitably lose interest. Right now, the NFT market appears to still be in the early “excitement” phase, slowly transitioning into that of uninterest, which is what’s causing their cliff dive in value. Eventually, as they too find their own place in our rapidly-evolving world, they will also find greater stability in their value, which will be far less than what it is right now, but definitely worth more than just a simple in-game jpeg. Additionally, as each NFT serves its own purpose, it also makes sense that some will continue to be more expensive than others.

But for the metaverse to disappear entirely? That’s almost non-feasible. With the amount of money, resources and research that has gone and continues to go into the development of these new worlds, they are a perfect place for advertisers to promote their products. The metaverse has innumerable different aspects that can be utilised by companies to help make life easier and more fascinating for themselves and their clients. So, no matter how shaky things may be for NFTs, cryptocurrencies, digital real estate value, etc. these potentials will always be there, waiting to be unleashed.

It’s up to the advertisers to reach out and take advantage of them.

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