The NFT market in the metaverse has experienced a rapid expansion, to which investments by large companies and celebrities have given a huge boost, nonetheless never leaving the realm of a market still in its infancy stages.
In recent months, NFT and metaverse have been the buzzwords that have grabbed the front pages of computer and business magazines, and have become the topic du jour in multiple online newspapers, even with the adverse conditions of the market we are currently in.
Like other social networks, many metaverses offer the possibility for their users to exchange information and organize or participate in virtual events.
The underlying sims-like nature of the Metaverse is however particularly interesting from an economic point of view, as it gives a lot of freedom in the purchases and features present inside its sprawling ecosystem.
Virtual territories are available within the various Meta Platforms, coming along with many different ways to customize your own virtual “clone”, all with tangible value attached to it, thanks to the multiple marketplaces that are specialized in trading, selling and collecting those kinds of virtual assets.
And everything that is being developed behind the scenes in the metaverse has to mainly thank the NFT technology, with which users can create their own items in the form of NFTs, present them and resell them in their own chosen Metaverse, or exchange them in the multiple cross-chain ecosystems that are being developed as a secondary infrastructure around the giants of the game.
In the future, while metaverses may themselves represent a more advanced, all-encompassing digital space than traditional social networks, the NFT market within those ecosystems will instead represent a world of endless possibilities for virtual asset markets.
The Importance to Differentiate NFT Use Cases
The impossibility of being reproduced in other copies is a quality that makes NFTs versatile for several purposes. The first of these is to digitally produce physical goods so that they can be resold more easily online. Through an NFT, a buyer can purchase an authenticated digital copy of a physical good, the dimensions and characteristics of which he or she can observe in minute detail.
We have early examples of this take on NFT market cases with the May 2021 auction in which the Uffizi Gallery auctioned off a reproduction of Michelangelo’s painting Tondo Doni for 240,000 euros.
Also in Italy, the company Cinello became popular in the art world for reselling digital reproductions of famous works of art to various collectors in America, Europe and China
In the music field, several artists have started releasing limited editions of their works in NFT, with enormous success.
Even the digitization of architectural works can be achieved with NFT tech and in turn, put up for sale on platforms dedicated to this type of market: but while those endeavors all will keep being one of the pillars of the NFT market, the potential is way wider and more complex than it may seem initially.
Sill sticking to the basics, we have crypto art that can be easily integrated into other digital services and ecosystems, like the Metaverse itself, or showcased as mainstream art would be, simply on a much larger scale, as we have seen with the Beeple collection auction.
All of those use cases are anyway to be seen as something directly connected with the talent of their creators, or the marketing done by VIPs, KOLs, celebrities and the like, not showcasing the underlying property that NFT technology has.
From the ease of trade of peculiar, very expensive items, like watches, jewels, cars and other exotic products, to the ability to prevent any kind of counterfeit and with built-in proof of authenticity, the many qualities of NFT technology have yet to be applied to all the sectors they may found the most success in.
As of now, the Metaverse is giving us also another way to utilize NFTs: use your creativity and imagination to craft the perfect digital world for yourself, a world full of valuable opportunities, social interactions and free of the monopolies that are plaguing the mainstream market since the beginning of institutionalized banking.
How Does The Metaverse truly factor into this equation?
With the exception of the very first experiment in Second Life, which was opened to the public in 2003, even before the foundation of social networks, Roblox, which came into being shortly afterwards, and Blocktopia, available since 2012, most metaverse worlds have grown in parallel with the development of NFT markets.
The appeal of the metaverse had already reached tens of thousands of users and many companies took advantage of this, buying space within the platforms to organise concerts, conferences and meetings of various kinds to advertise their products.
This leaves us with two separated, yet intrinsically connected worlds: the “mainstream” Web3 Defi market and the Web3 metaverse market, both using NFTs, both still being built, and both still finding new uses for this very valuable technology.
Focusing on new Metaverse integrations can be seen as the way forward for many huge companies, but while their investments may be the biggest outlier in the space, the Metaverses development itself is still firmly in the hands of its community, and the retail users that populate those digital worlds, leaving us with a degree of freedom only comparable to a real-world MMO.
But still, observing the trends of big houses is very beneficial for us users: among the many investors in the NFT market, we find fashion houses, like Gucci, gaming houses, like Square Enix, and even supergiants of the market, like YouTube and Meta.
This showcases the incredible potential of the combined power of NFTs and the Metaverse, giving us the first inkling of an idea of how much has yet to come to this space, especially when you consider that the list of institutions that have come to sniff around this market is huge, and grows longer every day.
NFT and metaverse: perspectives for the future
To date, the NFT market in the metaverse has seen a very rapid expansion, to which investments by large companies and VIPs have given a huge boost.
By November 2021, 74 million NFTs had been issued, in 447 large collections, involving 400,000 users. In total, their sale in the market yielded an estimated 10 billion USD, which is impressive, especially when you consider the low level of adoption this market has at the moment.
The year 2022 saw the metaverse enjoy further popularity as a new social network and as an attractive marketplace for further new ventures also thanks to Zuckerberg’s investment. In the first six months after its release, Horizon Worlds, the Facebook founder’s metaverse, reached its first three hundred thousand users
As of now, we have yet to see NFT integrations into HW, with many reports, however, suggesting that thanks to investments in Instagram, this may change over time, in step with the expansion of the NFT market as more and more supergiants join this digital revolution.
With the many luxury markets joining the field, some underlying structural institutions may have gone under the radar, letting us know that there are even more layers to this technology than we have previously seen.
For example, both VISA and Coinbase movements are hinting at a future in which traditional finance players and alternative finance animators will collaborate more and more closely, bringing us to the final point: institutionalized finance interest in this market is clear, leaving us with many options going forward, both as individual players in the space, and as the first standardized institution coming from the side of the Blockchain market instead of the mainstream one.
Synapse’s long-term vision is coming to fruition step by step, and while we can’t say that we were aware of how exactly everything would have played out, we still were sure that this progression would have happened.
Our role at the moment is still to bring to our users the best possible opportunities that we can, but with the DeFi and Meta space expanding this way, we have multiple avenues to explore more in-depth, bringing even more value to our community.
About Synapse Network
Synapse Network is developing a cross-chain investment and start-up acceleration ecosystem based on blockchain technology to give everybody an equal chance to contribute to great upcoming projects and to do so early on. We are bridging the gap between the traditional & crypto market. The idea of the Synapse Network technology goes beyond the standard offer of launchpads available on the market, becoming a true technological brand providing tech solutions.