I’m Kelly Vero, creative badass, future-gazer, game developer and general metaverse nerd and I’m really, really angry. Did you read parts 1 and 2? I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass… and I’m all out of bubblegum.
What if we could use NFTs to buy burgers? And not just in the metaverse but in other places too? What if I could buy a pint of something nice with an NFT? I’m not saying that the NFT needs to be used as a currency, I’m saying that an NFT needs to unlock new things, new opportunities, new powers, new jobs. If I buy NFTs from hundo Careers that could buy me credits towards going on training programmes. Or having someone do my CV for me. In doing so I could be combining that ‘concierge’ experience (that’s a very blockchain-esque thing to say, I know, I know) with the metaverse. For example hundo could be teaching me how to do a job inside Avakin Life, and I could monetise my meetings in Avakin Life to enable me to earn money while I’m working.
The Future of Twerks
About 20 years ago The Guardian ran a story about this new fandangled way of working. They called it a portfolio career and whilst only biz coaches use that term these days, it’s good to know that this way of working still exists. (We call ourselves slashies these days.)
What that article and many others like it couldn’t predict were the opportunities being opened up by Web3. The creative economy allows us to do whatever the hell we want and monetise it. If I want to make clothes in Roblox, or flip burgers in The Sandbox, I can, and you can pay me for whatever you buy.
If we dispense with the traditional terms of what an NFT is, and focus maybe a little bit more on the creative economy (and how we could utilise NFTs to enable us to do so much more within our own creation systems and models) we have a greater chance of being able to bring together the social aspect of the metaverse. The NFT and Web3 would become our performance monitor, wheelhouse and transaction gateway.
All of which sounds so much better than the shiller crap that you can read on any of your social media right now: telling you to buy some drops and some garbage that no one’s ever gonna want.
I am not your guru, De-fi is… Probably
The Web3 concept aims to create a decentralised but secure internet in which people can safely exchange money and information, without the need for middlemen. But at the moment we’re filled with more middlepeople than Eriador, all offering wallets, secure vaults, payment authenticators, MFAs and even the option to pay-in-instalments. Money is the thing because Web3 is just minding its own business, it’s just being open, it’s just trying to make friends just like the rest of us. And for the Web2 pioneers this is bad. Where are your protocols? Where’s the safety? Why aren’t you loyal? WTF? No walled garden? Why, god, whyyyyy?
De-fi has got a pair of massive balls to come wandering into the realms of decent, greedy, ecommerce money makers, proclaiming “I am the great leveller” but it’s Web3 who looks up in the room and says, “Man I love those balls of steel. Come on, let’s photocopy our arses and send them to Jeff Bezos”.
Web3 is the enabler, the supporter and ultimately the sacrificial lamb or martyr that you will remember in this time of great disruption.
Isn’t it cool to think that 25 years ago when Amazon was selling books (you know, long before Amazon was making web services) that there might come a day where the art of buying stuff would be more tangible than pages and pages of crap? And that perhaps, yes, there was a platform or protocol for visualising and manipulating with our hands and our eyes. That this way of rendering content might somehow aggregate information in a way that you want to receive it. From an accessibility perspective this should be a massive tick. And from a discoverability perspective the future is personalised and customised. Get used to it.
“This one goes in your mouth, this one goes in your butt… No… Wait that’s the wrong way round”
It’s Q2 of 2022 and that fits quite nicely into Avi Bar’s metaverse hype cycle that I shared in part 1. It’s all about the NFT. I think that what this formulates is a greater ambition. Though the metaverse hype cycle here is presented as a massive joke to ridicule the new gurus and their fast-buck mentality, instead I see opportunity. A real Buffett-style economics opportunity. “The most important investment you can make is in yourself.” That’s the creator economy. Thanks, Warren.
However, a warning: we’ve gotta behave ourselves. If we can regulate ourselves in a decentralised way, we’ll have a great deal of wiggle room. And as we continuously check and proof of stake ourselves as we move through towards the future of everything, Web3 will be the wind in our sails.
By regulation, I don’t mean that we should go back to a time of Web2 and countless scam gateways. Instead I’m talking about standardising something so that when you create saleable items and assets, they’re long lasting, value-driven and meaningful. If you are a marketplace owner, it’s your duty to protect whoever comes to your marketplace. This is not a ‘we’re a third party distributor’ and ‘we’re not responsible for data leaks’-type of bullshit methodology. Trust me on this: Literally no one wants to buy from organisations that are quite clearly useless, groundless and offer no customer care. You’d never buy a Ferrari if you knew that the purchase carried no guarantee or presented zero recourse to get your money back should it turn out to be a dud. You would be a total fool if you did. And yet here we are, in a world where phishing, hacking and doxxing on marketplaces are devaluing your NFTs and digital assets to $0.00. Darwin must be spinning.
OK. So in the end I’m not that mad, I guess I’m just disappointed. Disappointed that most creators continue with this laissez-faire approach to, um, creation without a single requirement in favour of the consumer. That’s why no one believes in the brave new approach to decentralising that which has always been (to some extent) completely dependable and reliable. This is mostly because it’s supported by utility: fiat based currency and trading economics. How are you gonna feed yourself if you can’t feed your customers? We can only get so far on your limitless ego.
If Web3 is the engine or distro platform that balances trusted tools in a decentralised world, then the metaverse will be our playground. Our place of worship. It will be the setting for the making of memories and the exposition for social interaction. The place to tell stories and feel part of a tribe.
And the NFT? Well that’s easy. If we stop fucking around with it and focus on what’s real, the NFTs will be the gateway to the future of everything from fanciful fashion designs to growing knowledge bases beyond Urban Dictionary. (Unless you intend to be President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Camacho).
But to get there we’ve got to focus, protect and trust everything that comes into our economies and networks. The talking stops here. JFDI.