What is Metaverse? – New York Times


“The fact that we are surrounded by a global layer that has always been there,” said Mr Tehranian, referring to the Ethereum blockchain, “where there is no central party that determines whether something is present?” He said it’s the antidote to the digital world we already live in – a world that’s similar to a metaverse but that he describes with “dictators” (Apple, Google, Facebook).

Metaverse fits a certain definition of freedom. “What I really care about is your individual objects as your own,” he said. “Property ownership is a tool. It works. It brings financial incentives.”

This may sound more dystopian than utopian, depending on your ideological orientation. According to Mr. Tehranian, this is just realistic.

“We’re still talking about greedy and selfish human nature,” he said.

Indeed, many look at metadata as a financial opportunity. Mike Winkelmann – aka Beeple, sold an NFT of the artwork for $69 million – He is working on a startup called Wenew that will sell NFTs associated with moments in time and create, in the company’s words, a “memory palace of metadata”. (His first offerings include moments from the career of tennis star Andy Murray.)

Despite the share of metadata in his crypto-focused vision, Mr. Winkelmann’s sense of what could be, or already is, remains broad. Whatever the metadata, it’s not just virtual reality or augmented reality or blockchain and NFTs or virtual worlds and games.

“People look at it as a ‘Ready Player One’ thing or a VR thing,” he said.

“This is about how close the screen is to your face,” he continued, holding his phone up to his eyes. “That doesn’t change the fact that most of these things happen in a space that is already virtual.”


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