The technological subjects of tomorrow

Tony Kim, Black Rock

A metaverse is an online interactive environment accessible via the Internet. The Metaverse has been around for decades, but most people are still unfamiliar with the term. Even though the latest versions of virtual reality or augmented reality are intended for special terminals, most users turn to the metaverse with computers and smartphones. The Internet is therefore evolving more and more from an environment of two-dimensional text and images towards a virtual three-dimensional world in which more and more users are immersed.

Great opportunities for the gaming and music industry

Covid-19 with the demands of the home office has also fueled this trend. In the next ten years, videoconferencing could evolve into a kind of three-dimensional metaverse, while smartphones with their small screens will become less important for the consumption of digital content and our communication.

There is also huge profit potential for the gaming and music industry. American singer Ariana Grande made gaming industry history in 2021 with her virtual concert in the Fortnite video game metaverse: The singer reached 78 million viewers – the equivalent of more than 3,700 concerts at Sold out at Madison Square Garden, the biggest entertainment venue in New York.

The beneficiaries of the virtual Internet are not just social media and gaming companies. Several billion US dollars will be invested in the construction of the metaverses and the production of the necessary devices in the future. A whole new hardware ecosystem will emerge, made up of many components, including laser and display technology, miniaturized batteries, microprocessors and displays. In this context, machine learning, image processing and connectivity applications will be in high demand.

Digital currencies reveal great disruptive potential

The numbers speak for themselves, with assets tied to decentralized finance (DeFi) applications growing from $26 billion at the end of 2020 to $86 billion today. In 2021 alone, $26 billion was invested in blockchain and digital currency companies. This corresponds to an increase of 477% compared to the previous year. Digital currencies therefore have enormous disruptive potential. We see good prospects for companies developing “digital wallets” (wallets) and exchanges, among others.

Web 3.0 – taking back the power of the internet from the tech giants

Web 3.0 refers to a decentralized and open Internet. It is powered by blockchain technology and distributed computing resources. At its core, Web 3.0 relies on a set of applications running on a public level on many computers around the world rather than on the servers of large corporations.

Efforts to take back control of the Internet (Web 2.0) from the tech giants have been around for years. But recent developments in blockchain technology have revived interest, as has the rise of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). NFT is digital content encoded with rights and authenticity and unique. Digital art sold in NFTs has seen a real boom in 2021. Artist Beeple, born in 1981, who has been creating a work of art every day for 14 years, created a collage from the 5,000 JPEGs of his many years of work – and sold it at auction for $69 million. The JPEG file has been tokenized with an irremovable character. The buyer can be sure that the artwork is authentic and unique.

Musicians also benefit from decentralization. Major streaming platforms typically pay less than half a penny per stream, and the top 1% of artists account for 90% of all streams. NFTs not only provide musicians with a direct channel to their fans, but they also enrich the fan experience and create new revenue streams for artists and fans. Music NFTs, for example, give superfans exclusive access to their favorite song with the option to sell it later on the open market. This gives them the opportunity to make a profit if the song becomes a hit. Fans can now even buy the rights to stream and publish a song directly through NFTs.

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