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Culture And Ownership Driving The Future Of Web3 And The Metaverse

Animoca Brands co-founder Yat Siu talks about culture and ownership in the early days of property rights for goods in the virtual world

Despite the various impediments slowing down metaverse progression, Yat Siu, co-founder and executive chairman of Animoca Brands believes that culture and ownership play critical roles in growing the nascent metaverse space. The Animoca Brands co-founder discussed in a post the relevance of culture in the metaverse and how NFTs are storing digital culture. 

“Bitcoin is now having its own NFT moment, some five years after the Ethereum network and CryptoKitties brought widespread attention to NFTs and sparked a revolution in digital ownership,” said Yat Siu. 

“Ordinal Inscriptions, which are assets ‘inscribed’ on the lowest denomination of a Bitcoin (BTC), are, effectively, NFTs for Bitcoin. The interplay of NFTs and culture has been very close to my heart for years; I have often remarked that while Bitcoins are stores of value, NFTs are stores of culture.”

Importance of Ownership 

Siu says culture is a key driver of the economy, creativity and innovation in both the real world and the metaverse and that it is often an underestimated force in both the metaverse and the real world. Adding that culture plays a vital role in fostering prosperous societies and constitutes a significant segment of any economy.

The co-founder went on to discuss ownership in the metaverse and how NFTs can serve as the foundation for true digital property rights. Siu says that ownership over something gives us corresponding economic freedom over it: the ability to transact and use it as you please. “Ownership also allows us to partake in the network effects related to that ownership.”

“Another powerful effect of ownership is that owning something can contribute to our identity — to culture — in a manner that is distinct from the object’s utility.”

NFTs as true digital properties 

Siu also touched on how NFTs are storing digital culture. He adds that NFTs can store digital items such as art, music and videos, allowing these digital items to carry personal meaning and be traded in a secure and transparent manner.

“A lot of people raise their eyebrows at NFTs and Web3 because of the prices they see on the higher end of the spectrum,” said Siu. He goes on to argue that, “Pure utility is not the point.” Saying it’s about owning a story and being a part of a culture and community that, “Become integrated with one’s identity.” 

Culture in the metaverse 

Siu also discussed the economic impact of culture in the metaverse. That the open metaverse, “Is based on ownership and culture.” 

“Despite the crypto chill and various macroeconomic woes, the open metaverse remains an incredibly exciting space,” said Siu. “NFT sales totaled $4.7 billion in Q1 2023, which is remarkable in itself but even more so for an industry that was supposed to be ‘dead’.”

In 2022, digital stores of culture (NFTs) generated over $24 billion, and their creators and participants shared 90% or more of that value. “But that’s only the tip of the iceberg,” said Siu. “We’re still in the early days of property rights for goods in the virtual world.”

Written By

Isa Muhammad is a writer and video game journalist covering many aspects of entertainment media including the film industry. He's steadily writing his way to the sharp end of journalism and enjoys staying informed. If he's not reading, playing video games or catching up on his favourite TV series, then he's probably writing about them.

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