DeFi for the Metaverse
Since 2018, decentralized financial concepts ( “DeFi”) has been on encryption currency steady development community. A commitment to innovation and financial inclusion built on the principles of wealth sovereignty, permissionless, various DeFi protocols and applications are tasked with building a digital financial system that is more open than the system most of the world still relies on today , more innovative, more efficient, less mining, and the latter is called CeFi or TradFi.
While DeFi is gaining a lot of attention in the crypto space, its adoption is still relatively low, with an estimated less than 5% of all crypto assets used as collateral. In 2021, DeFi achieved annualized monthly revenue of $4.6 billion, which is less than 5% of JPMorgan’s revenue last year. In addition, DeFi still largely confined for a stable currency basic lending and loans, currency or Ethernet wrapped Bitcoin. While a notable work is currently underway to build a bridge from centralized finance (CeFi) to DeFi — for example, introducing real-world and revenue-generating instruments as new forms of collateral — an increasingly hostile regulatory environment , inefficiencies in capital, and challenges around managing counterparties make this convergence seem far off.
In this article, we propose that much of DeFi’s growth is not driven by CeFi, but rather by what we call “MetaFi” to unlock value in the Metaverse. Decentralized financial tools for the Metaverse. But what exactly is the Metaverse? What types of values exist in it? How will DeFi combine with continued innovation in tokens and cryptoassets to enable MetaFi at scale?
Before reading this post, if you are new to Metaverse and our ideas, we recommend first reading our Open Metaverse OS paper published earlier this year in January (2021). You can download and read the original paper and updated introductory material here.
In summary, the Metaverse can be understood as an interface layer between the physical and virtual worlds, including an innovative combination of hardware and software, but most importantly, an economic system parallel to the fiat financial system. The key, in this case, is that we have to think about it in terms of financial inclusion.
CEO & Founder
The Metaverse is Crypto
As discussed, first and foremost the Metaverse is an economic system. A meta-economy, if you will, that enjoys supremacyover any one digital economy, virtual world, or game , and which should be considered a single instance of the Metaverse, or a separate segment. In fact, over a long enough time horizon, when the combined GDP of this metaeconomy exceeds that of the nation-state, it will also enjoy the top status of its fiat-based economy. We believe that an open Metavese, at least an open and permissionless version of this meta-economy, is enabled by what we may collectively call cryptocurrency.In the absence of any other metaeconomy today, you can, and we do, make the argument: “The Metaverse is the cryptocurrency, and the cryptocurrency is the Metaverse.
In our definition of the Metaverse, one can approach it through two main concepts:
- Interface Layer: End users can experience the interface layer of Metaverse through various hardware and software technologies, such as desktop browsers, mobile applications or Extended Reality (XR), Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality ( AR ). (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR).
- Financial Compute Layer: The layer that performs the execution of Metaverse calculations, implementing a decentralized, transparent, and democratic foundation that defines the economic logic on which end users exchange goods, services, and money, while Developers can also build on this. Ethereum is a good example, as a protocol used by developers to build smart contracts for decentralized applications , as well as ledgers that record end-user transactions in the Metaverse.
In the context of the first point above, the interface layer may take many shapes and forms in the early days, and it is important to keep an open mind as we progress in technology and concepts. So when we refer to the dawn of Metavrese, we usually mean current experiences like games and virtual worlds, whether 2D browser-based or more immersive VR or AR.
The financial computing layer refers to the underlying technology that powers the Metaverse. As we described in our article “The Open Metaverse Operating System”, we believe that the foundation (or core) of the financial computing layer will be based on technology (or blockchain technology) that can be classified as Web3. We further believe that any digital realm in the Metaverse must be Web3-based in order to provide basic property rights, interoperability, and permissionless value transfer in every realm (or vertical) of the Metaverse. These technologies provide the impetus to develop a rich variety of applications and use cases based on Web3.
In this way, Metaverse provides a global, transparent, crypto-native parallel economic system of decentralized ledgers. It provides the foundation for a new type of digital-first economy, the seeds of which we have observed with NFTs (Non Fungible Tokens) and gaming economies such as Axie Infinity ‘s Play-to-Earn. Due to its decentralized and permissionless nature, the speed of innovation is unparalleled, making it difficult for legacy systems to keep up. Therefore, especially in the context of DeFi, the Metaverse has the potential to thrive outside, or at least before, the jurisdiction of national regulators.
Furthermore, as we have observed over the past 12 months of 2021, DeFi has been increasingly criticized and scrutinized by a number of regulators in numerous jurisdictions. While the degree of regulation may have some positive market effects, poorly applied regulation tends to stall innovation and favor incumbents. In the case of DeFi, several analogies can easily be drawn between its products and traditional financial assets. Additionally, we believe that the Metaverse represents an informal economy whose products are often digital marketplaces for commodities, which may or may not be reflected in traditional markets. Just as one cannot regulate every aspect of global economic activity, so is the case with the Metaverse. Given the exponential growth of the economy that is possible in the VR, AR, and XR environments, the potential regulatory scope is even more challenging to oversee, let alone enforce in the Metaverse over the long term.
We strongly believe that funding and developing the DeFi component of Metaverse growth will bring global financial inclusion to unprecedented levels. Furthermore, we believe that economic activity in the Metaverse will facilitate the transfer of wealth between generations, benefiting future generations rather than legacy worlds. It brings inclusivity to digital natives, digital creatives, digital workers, gamers, musicians. It will bring inclusivity to individuals who have digital value that is not recognized by the traditional financial system.
Status Quo of the DigitalEconomy
Today, billions of dollars in value are currently trapped in proprietary online platforms like social media ( Facebook , Instagram or TikTok) or gaming (Fortnite and Roblox). What we call Web2 has actively and deliberately built “moats” to trap this value and users for as long as possible in order to extract as much “lifetime value” as possible for the benefit of shareholders. Web2 companies operate on the principle of shareholder supremacy, even or especially at the expense of users. This value, in the case of social media or free-to-play games, is often monetized primarily through advertising, and profits are generally not shared directly with users. Even for Roblox, whose entire premise is that creators can monetize their user-generated content (UGC), the percentage they get is estimated to be only 25%. This also extends to music streaming modes and shows on YouTube.
It is estimated that the total value of the global digital economy is currently $11.5 trillion, equivalent to 15.5% of global GDP. It has grown 2.5 times faster than global GDP over the past 15 years, nearly doubled in size (since 2000), and more and more of the population depends on the internet for a living.
If we zoom in on a subset of the digital economy – the digital creator economy, it is currently only a small part of the mainstream digital economy, but its core areas are growing. This includes publishing, gaming (skin creation), digital art, streaming, music, film, and more. On the supply side, there are currently as many as 50 million content creators in the field, consisting mainly of amateurs (46.7 million) and around 2 million professionals. Professional players in the digital creator economy can easily earn $100,000 per month. However, most earn much less, their income is irregular and it can take months to receive funds while they work through the system. We believe that much of the digital creator economy today would not be considered part of the Metaverse. Because value cannot be freely traded across platforms, it is mainly locked in the value of platform equity.
We can further break down the limitations of the Web2 digital platform as follows:
- Limited Inclusion: If we take the example of the digital creator economy, most of its creators are traditionally excluded from finance because the value they create is seen as intangible and beyond their control , and the income from it is irregular. In short, the existing financial system is unable to assess the risks associated with making loans to people with this type of income and wealth, compared to being employed by a centralized company and paid in fiat.
- Dynamic Terms & Conditions: Participants in the traditional digital creator economy cannot trust the trusted neutrality of highly centralized services, potentially leading to both demonetization and deplatforming of content creators. For example, when Only Fans suddenly banned adult content creators), and platforms like Facebook and Twitter also regularly deprecate developers and their APIs. In reality, the rules for participating in these platforms are not clear, are not applied consistently, are not auditable, and can change at any time (unlike the code of smart contracts).
- Siloed by Design: As discussed earlier, it is difficult or even impossible for platforms to transfer value off the platform, either directly or through cashing, and exit its closed digital economy. This leads to the creation of a monopoly, which means that over time, even if users can opt out, they have no other choice.
Web 3, NFTs and the Metaverse
By contrast, in the Web3 world of cryptocurrencies, DeFi, and NFTs, the entire paradigm revolves around users and their sovereignty: their identities, data, and wealth. In Web3, even data itself can be a form of digital wealth and income. This means that while there are still platforms to help create, discover or curate the process, users are in complete control of the output and can freely transfer value between platforms, resell, borrow and lend in a completely permissionless manner.In short, transferability is a fundamental “property”.
Not surprisingly, we saw in the early success of Web3 that when the moat was removed and transferability was possible, people would spend more time and money on their preferred platforms, such as blockchain games Axie Infinity. This is what we elaborated on in our previous paper. In the long run, the Metaverse and its platforms (including most of Web2) will adopt Web3 technologies and principles, not necessarily because it’s philosophically correct, but because it’s good business.
(Axie Infinity user retention via @Jihoz_Axie)
And TikTok’s recent launch of NFTs has shown that this prediction is correct. But the better news is that this could happen without a closed platform, explicit permission or adoption of Web3. Instead, NFT derivatives can in principle be represented and freely traded in Web3’s permissionless marketplace, parallel to closed platforms, enabling trustlessness through innovations in decentralized business infrastructure, such as the Boson protocol.
For us, MetaFi is a protocol that covers all protocols, products and/or services that enable complex financial interactions between non-fungible and homogeneous tokens (and their derivatives). For example, today through MetaFi individuals can use a portion of an NFT as collateral for DeFi lending platforms.
To understand MetaFi, we must first emphasize two core principles of DeFi. Two core tenets of DeFi make it possible. It is: 1) unstoppable; 2) composable. For developers, it’s a form of “money lego”, a highly innovative parallel financial system.Developers around the world can openly participate and compete to deliver the highest yields while ruthlessly eliminating inefficiencies. It is also important to note that regulators can only limit the interaction of the fiat-based systems they oversee with DeFi, not necessarily what happens in DeFi itself — that is, as long as the projects and their teams themselves are adequately Decentralized.
MetaFi brings these DeFi principles to the wider Metaverse. By mixing non-fungible and homogenized tokens, and incorporating novel new forms of community governance, such as Decentralized Autonomous Organizations ( DAOs ).
The combination of these different cryptographic primitives enables a full-fledged parallel economy to bring hundreds of millions, if not billions, of users to the crypto ecosystem over the next decade.
We believe this process will be accelerated by 4 key trends in MetaFi:
- Development of financial tooling: Previously, the DeFi stack has been the preserve of a small group of people in the cryptocurrency developer community due to its technical sophistication. However, with NFT platforms, creators and communities will be able to more easily set economic terms for creative exchanges with users, from perpetual royalties to issuing their own social tokens. Fans and the community can also directly share the financial success of their favorite products and cultural projects.
- Financialization of everything: Many people talk dismissively about the speculative nature of cryptocurrencies, not understanding that this is a feature, not a mistake. By using MetaFi technology, the value of everything and its flow can be reflected in digital assets, thus forming an open and free market, realizing the long-tail of value, discovering prices in real time, and releasing unrealized prices on the Internet. potential value.
- Improvement of the DAO services stack: A full-fledged DAO stack would allow for collective governance of purely on-chain digital and financial services provision without the need for the services of corporations and centralized intermediaries such as banks. The main characteristic of DAO members is the ability to join and withdraw fluidly according to their own judgment and clear terms.
- Mutualisation of risk: History has shown that incumbent financial institutions are often unable to assess risks in new, emerging markets; be it basic banking or insurance. This has led to mutualization of risk in communities, from farming communities to shipping. From farming communities to the shipping industry, risk mutual aid has traditionally been through cooperatives. DeFi already brings community-based insurance provisioning tools to users, especially when combined with the DAO service stack.
- Gamification of finance: Gen Zers have shown greater interest in becoming more financially literate than previous generations. As a result, many neobanks offer new and interesting ways to organize personal finances, and educational platforms offer convenient financial courses. This makes young people more willing and able to access financial products than their parents and grandparents. In addition to this, we are seeing increasingly blurred lines between memos and financial instruments, such as the cryptocurrency Dogecoin or the various “meme stocks” offered through Robinhood , and people are more invested and traded in internet culture. rest assured.
A deep dive into NFTs as collateral
To truly understand why digital assets can be borrowed as actual financial assets, we need to understand what it means to allow NFTs as a form of collateral for DeFi. As we highlighted at the end of 2020, NFTs are generally less liquid than homogeneous tokens, but can increasingly play a role in DeFi protocols. Long before the outbreak of the NFT art movement (the emergence of “blue-chip” NFTs like Crypto Punks and Bored Apes) in early 2021, and the breakthrough success of the P2E model of on-chain games (led by Axie Infinity), this combination of DeFi and NFTs was a huge success. The trend has already started to play out in the daily MetaFi.
(OpenSea 2020 daily trading volume and profit data source: TokenTerminal)
(Axie Infinity 2020 fully diluted market value and profit data source: TokenTerminal)
(All DAI loan volume data in the NFT market is as of 13/12/2021)
(All wETH loan volume data in NFT market as of 13/12/2021)
Furthermore, it is increasingly interesting that the interaction of community governance tokens for FTs (Fungible Tokens) and NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) generated for creators weakens the need for intermediaries, allowing people to Ability to benefit from creator and community value, including future value. Currently, the total value of community governance tokens is around $1.1 billion and growing.
(The top ten community governance tokens with a total value of approximately $1.1 billion are from CoinGecko, as of December 13)
(FWB (Friends with Benefits) token price chart, data from Coinmarketcap, as of December 13)
To better understand the metaverse, we thought it would be best to first visualize its main components. To achieve this, we use the previously mentioned Open Metaverse System framework, which is mainly based on the different application layers in the web3 network. (As shown below)
The portion of such Polkadot , and the Ethereum Polygon like L0, L1 and L2 protocols these core components. These core protocols share application logic and security , allow applications to be built on top of them, and have a unified communication layer (which can be enforced and consensus, respectively, while including bridges and similar cross-chaintechnologies), enabling horizontal value transfer. Apps marked Open Metaverse and their associated components must be included in the app experienced inside the Metaverse. If an application is not integrated into the core ecological layer, the application will be “isolated” and its economic benefits and value creation will stagnate and fade away as it is no longer financially inclusive. We can see a similar situation in the traditional world, where services that are not integrated into the wider ecosystem gradually disappear due to the gradual loss of end-user competitiveness.
This part consists of small financial applications that can be used on the core protocol mentioned above. These applications can be regarded as “currency Lego”, they are indispensable applications, and can realize complex dynamic financial activities through smart contracts.
This part consists of a set or parallel of nodes that make up the metaverse as a whole. Applications such as virtual worlds must connect to the base layer based on compatibility and free transfer of value. DeFi in the Metaverse (MetaFi) happens among these nodes. This is where domain-specific assets (mainly NFTs) interact with generalized homogenized assets (foundations and finance). There are numerous categories of applications in the Metaverse, and each different application definition can be very subjective. But at its core, MetaFi is a phenomenon that occurs at the intersection of homogeneous and non-fungible assets.
The perfection of the infrastructure facilitates the “horizontal expansion” of the metaverse
As we described above, the components of the infrastructure include the core protocols L0, L1 and L2 (e.g. Polkadot, Ethereum and Polygon respectively). Protocols generally favor modularity, which means that the components of each division (L0, L1, and L2) usually provide services to each other to some extent. Take Ethereum as an example, as an L1 framework that provides smart contract functionality; this means that Ethereum provides custom logic that can be used to create a set of different computer programs that operate in a decentralized manner. Similar to the way Bitcoin is decentralized, but apart from this decentralized aspect, Ethereum provides what we might call smart money (money that is programmable through smart contracts). To make the description easier, we will only focus on L1. Because Ethereum provides a platform for developing smart contracts (and issuing coins) and is widely used, we think that Ethereum has created a financial revolution today. This concept of compatibility means that any smart contracts on the Ethereum network can interact, which makes the applications built on Ethereum interoperable, and the imagination becomes infinite. The infrastructure parts such as L0, L1, and L2 continue to serve as the base layer of the metaverse, and various DeFi applications shine on top of this base layer, allowing the entire metaverse to “expand horizontally”, and everyone can use encryption. Various transactions in the currency ecosystem.
Various MetaFi Activities
As we said, with the development of MetaFi, the number of various application ecosystems and their respective definitions are constantly changing. However, we have attempted to define some core activities, as follows. Keep in mind that these categories are facilitated by DeFi applications, data bridges, and various base layers, as in the Open Metaverse diagram above.
Virtual worlds: Virtual worlds are digital spaces (which may or may not obey the physical rules of the real world) based on social, business, and gaming. In the virtual world, there is usually a scarce element – land, usually in the form of NFT, which can be freely purchased, traded, and constructed. The best known examples are The Sandbox and Decentraland . Virtual Land, as an NFT component, is closely related to the virtual world’s in-game currency and governance tokens, which means that users can use tokens to purchase virtual world assets and vote on improvement proposals. Since the beginning of 2021, the popularity and recognition of the virtual world has become higher and higher. At first, only a dozen people interacted in the virtual world every day. But over the past month, 65,000 unique addresses have interacted with smart contracts in Somnium Space, Decentraland, The Sandbox, and Crypto Voxels, a 4x increase since the beginning of November. The Sandbox accounts for the majority of virtual world interactions, both in terms of monthly active users (4.1k) and the total value of land sold to date (112k ETH12 or $450 million).
Avatars: Avatars are specifically designed for users to create unique digital identities, including interoperable 3D avatars that can be used in various metaverse spaces, which are often mass-produced as generative PFPs (profile pictures) make.PFPs, which can be considered as “entry tickets” to famous social clubs, are usually in the form of NFTs, but in order to enhance their functions, clubs generally issue governance tokens, which include governance rights or other benefits. High-profile projects like CyberKongz and SupDucks distribute native tokens to their holders of NFTs (certain rarity levels). Take CyberKongz as an example, by holding one In CyberKongz’s case, by holding genesis kong, you can get 10 banana tokens every 24 hours. These tokens can be sold on Sushiswap , or used in the “Banana Shop” to upgrade, change their name, or buy wearables, etc., and of course they can also be used for breeding (requires burning 600 bananas to breed a new King Kong).
Wearables: Wearables are digital items that can be embodied/displayed in the Metaverse. They make the most sense in the game right now, but will expand to other categories in the metaverse in the near future as well. Major design brands are increasingly using NFTs to reach the world’s 2.7 billion gamers. Gamers can now have unique skins designed by top fashion brands and shown to millions online. For example, Balenciaga has partnered with Fortnite to design 4 virtual outfits, and Burberry has partnered with Mythical Games to launch fashion pieces in the form of NFTs.
Marketplace: The Marketplace is a digital platform that matches supply and demand, providing a place where various NFTs can be traded, and users can bid against each other. Marketplace platforms such as OpenSea, Superrare, and Rarible allow users to freely trade and issue NFTs directly. In the exchange market, these NFTs can be used as financial assets. NFT fragmentation allows high-value NFTs to be split into FTs, thereby increasing their liquidity. Fragmentation and bundled sales are particularly popular, effectively forming a solution to the problem of selling NFTs in the primary market – index funds, for example, platforms NFTX and Beeple’s B20 index. The boom in NFTs has led to a surge in market transactions.OpenSea’s monthly trading volume in January 2021 was only $1 million, while in November 2021 it exceeded $2 billion, a 2,000-fold increase.
Profitable NFTs: NFTs can generate revenue through direct or indirect means. Indirect yield generation involves using NFTs as collateral for loans and then reinvesting the loan funds at higher interest rates. NFTfi allows the use of NFTs as collateral in the form of loans. Direct yield generation can be achieved by combining NFTs with yielding DeFi LP tokens.Charged Particles aims to provide a platform to add these DeFi elements to NFTs. Additionally, there has been a trend over the past few months that more and more NFT projects are starting to launch their own native tokens, adding another yield-generating element to their NFTs. This effectively created social token economies such as Loot , whose venture gold currency launched shortly after NFTs. EtherCards is launching its Dust token, which is assigned to every existing card based on its rarity. Dust can be used to participate in sweepstakes to win blue-chip NFTs. This part intersects with the avatar category, and CyberKongz and SupDucks can also be considered profitable NFTs.
Right-of-Way Tokens: These tokens can be either fungible or non-fungible, giving holders access to various forms of value, either in the form of community right-of-way or a future minted token . A good example is The Bored Ape Yacht Club, a collection of 10,000 ape NFTs, having an NFT not only allows holders to access the community’s Discord, but also allows them to buy and sell members of The Bored Ape Yacht Club right.
It is worth noting that the above categories do not operate in isolation, and in many cases they overlap. For example, in a P2E model like Axie Infinity, profitable NFTs are transferred to other NFT use cases. Likewise, we have seen long-established cryptographic protocols (centered around FTs) launch NFTs as an additional means of interaction, such as Gitcoin selling NFTs for financing digital public goods. We expect to see more exotic combinations of the above categories in the near future, as well as the creation of a whole new MetaFi category.
Much work remains to be done before MetaFi can begin to realize its true potential. More specifically, MetaFi currently has several limitations. Currently, MetaFi has several limitations that need to be overcome in order to bring about a significant wave of adoption. Adopt a wave.
- NFT appraisals: In order to be able to buy, sell or borrow against NFTs, owners need to know the value of their NFTs.NFTfi solves this problem by enabling users to list their NFTs as collateral on the NFTfi website, and lenders can offer loans to borrowers based on what they think their NFTs are worth. The appraisal is basically done by the lender, not by an uninterested third party.
- Legal and governance issues around fractionalization: If you divide an NFT into 100 pieces and distribute them to different people, especially if the NFT has rights such as voting rights or income rights, It is not always clear who can do what, when, and how to manage these rights.
- Standards across blockchains: Now that Metaverse is built beyond pure Ethereum, these blockchains are still not 100% interoperable on different Layer 1 or Layer 0 blockchains , which means that the siloedization of value is inevitable in the short term.
In order to fully unlock the value of DeFi to the Metaverse, NFTs need to be easily pluggable or pluggable into DeFi protocols. For example, NFTs need to be traded, borrowed, lent, and lent back. While today’s DeFi currently only works with homogeneous tokens, we hope there are new ways to bridge NFTs with DeFi:
- Fractionalization of NFTs: This means splitting non-fungible tokens into many homogeneous tokens. We can think of these scores as a stake in NFT ownership. For example, a memo (meme) creator can use the asset to create a platform to make the memorandum, which differentiate into tokens with a high degree of homogeneity and use DeFi like Unsiwap DEX transactions. Well-known projects that differentiate NFTs include Fractional or DAOfi, among others.
- NFT-isation of DeFi: This means upgrading the DeFi protocol so that it can accept NFTs as a kind of collateral. For example, builders can create assets in the virtual world and use them as collateral to lend and borrow on platforms like Centrifuge or Pragmafy.
- NFTs as derivatives: create a series of liquid digital assets whose value will depend on the value of off-chain assets, in-game items, social capital, etc., displayed in the form of NFTs, and possibly with data oracles , to determine the status. For example, a digital artist can create art, create an NFT derivative, and use it as collateral to mint synthetic assets such as stablecoins, synthetic gold, or stocks on Synthetix .
In summary, MetaFi, or Metaverse Finance, is an all-encompassing protocol, referring to the protocols, products and / or service. It includes the fundamental building blocks of the blockchain space, such as the foundations of layer 0, layer 1, and layer 2, the DeFi stack, and various verses. MetaFi inherits 2 core characteristics of DeFi protocols; it is unstoppable and composable. Its development is driven by several key trends, such as the mutualization of risk, the gamification of finance, the growing availability of financial instruments, and the DAO service stack.
Hopefully we’ve made it clear by now that MetaFi in its current form is still in its infancy. While some of its features are mind-boggling, we’re still only scratching the surface of what it might unlock in the medium to long term. However, based on what we see in the market and through our accelerators, we expect to see the following developments in the short to medium term:
- Combinations of different MetaFi classes and creation of entirely new classes, such as user-generated games in virtual worlds, with their own economies, or generating unforgeable assets such as wearables or avatars.
- Improve the user experience/user interface (UX/UI) of the financial MetaFi project, possibly incorporating elements of VR. For MetaFi to really take off, it needs to be understood and better experienced by ordinary people.
- A further innovation in DeFi 2.0 is the move to MetaFi, similar to the kind of innovation we saw with the Olympus DAO, Alchemix. We need better solutions to the fragmentation of NFTs, especially to meet legal and governance issues, and the NFTization of DeFi.
- Improve underlying technologies, such as layer 1, which will lower transaction fees, increase throughput, enable scaling, and overall make applications running on blockchain protocols easier to use.
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/outlier-ventures-founder-explains-metafi-defi-in-the-metaverse/
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