The currency of the metaverse

Published on March 30, 2023   26 min

Other Talks in the Series: The Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies

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My name is Olinga Taeed. I'm the Director of the Centre for Citizenship, Enterprise and Governance. Today, I'm going to be speaking about the currency of the metaverse.
We're going to cover topics around social transformation, about influence in market, the key influence in markets and NFTs. And, of course, ultimately, about Web3 and the metaverse of values that's going to lead on to.
I guess, the perspective that I come in from is that we are a big contributor in the area of the metaverse, in what we do in our think tank. The Centre for Citizenship, Enterprise and Governance is the world's leading think tank on the movement of value. That's the measurement, the transaction and the value. We're based internationally, with around 200,000 members. The advantage of that is that it gives us an east and a west perspective. And, of course, somewhere in the middle, like Europe. If we look at the West, the discussion in the West is around who owns data and how that can lead to a more democratic society. In the West, data is owned by corporates. They give us products for free, like Facebook, like Instagram, like WhatsApp, and in return, they expect your data in order to sell you more and to be able to influence you more. Or their paying customers, their advertising customers, who wish to be able to contact you directly. That is the model that is data belongs to corporates. In Europe, data belongs to individuals. We have a whole "my data, my way" movement in Europe. But the issue around that is that it has only lead to GDPR, and we just hit cookie acceptance buttons around 20 times a day, and it hasn't led to much of a transformation in society. When we go to Far East, to Asia, and in China, where we're particularly strong, that is a totally different ball game. There, they believe data belongs to governments. From their perspective, it is to safeguard their society. From other people's perspective, it is to control society. Whichever is the case, they have a society of 1.4 billion people. They have responsibility for 72 BRI One Belt, One Road countries, perhaps 73 with Afghanistan, and so they cannot respect individual rights. What they do is they use Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies, like blockchain, AI, 5G, Internet of Things, and Web3, to actually manage all that data of their huge population, both in their country and the other countries, the One Belt, One Road initiative that they have. This gives three different perspectives when it comes to the metaverse. In the West, we look at data and the metaverse as being closely associated, and the metaverse is still a research paradigm about what the new world will look like. In China, however, actually, the metaverse is happening right now. They would consider themselves as Web2.5. They're already halfway to a Web3 environment, and the metaverse is used extensively. Most marketing and sales functions are done through the metaverse. There are avatars in China selling to us luxury items, in particular like Dior and L'Oreal, and other companies selling their products through the metaverse. Avatars are so realistic and using deepfake technology, that you cannot actually distinguish, sometimes, between the reality and the deepfake technology. And so, they've promoted a whole key influencer market. They call them KOLs, key opinion leaders, who actually develop and sell those products to you. It's massive. It is, I would say, completely different of the metaverse that's happening currently in the West. We now have a picture of the direction of travel for the metaverse and where it's going.