True and false Metaverse: shivering while awake

A brain hole that pretends to be public: When you are thirsty, who hands you a cup of “Coke”, and whose “cheese” do you touch?

In the past year, what keywords were the hottest in the technology circle?

“Metaverse” or one of them.

Unlike other keywords, this concept is forming a complex field:

Some people are eager to push the tide, because “if we don’t act fast, we will be quickly dropped by the world, or even set back a few years”;

Some people resist the wind, but are coerced into it;

Some people don’t care about the definition of the Metaverse, but they buy NFTs significantly;

Someone is always confused, always asks, but still has no answer;

Some people think that this is a watershed in the value system between East and West;

Some claim to have given “solutions with Chinese characteristics”;

Knowing or not understanding, does not prevent people from imagining it. An entrepreneur told “Jiazi Guangnian” that his parents, who lived in a fourth-tier city and lacked technological knowledge, spent three hours asking Yuan enthusiastically after hearing the word “Metaverse” in a greeting call. What changes will the universe bring; another entrepreneur mentioned to “Jiazi Guangnian”, “My grandmother talks about the Metaverse at home, and the last time she took the initiative to mention a hot word in the technology circle was the new energy vehicle in 2016. “

In the imaginary world, the future consists of countless parallel universes; for each individual living in the present, it seems that people only have the right to bet on one of them.

In the imaginary world, the Metaverse is very similar to this universe (the physical world we live in): there is chaos, and consensus is far from being formed; while the builders living in the real world always need two answers:

1. How to define ( what is )

2. How (and when )

Recently, “Jiazi Guangnian” interviewed dozens of investors, technology entrepreneurs, chain practitioners, cryptocurrency practitioners, and crypto artists at home and abroad. Among them, a considerable proportion of practitioners do not admit themselves and the “Metaverse” concepts are related.

In the real and fake universes, there seem to be some spectral colors such as word-making marketing, involution anxiety, sudden wealth, and self-redemption, but people living in the present are always stuck in the same thing:

External scarcity is a shortage of resources, and internal scarcity is an inextinguishable desire.

1. Cycle: The Nth Mania?

Questions to think about:

This time, is it fundamentally different from the countless “frenzy” before?

If the essence is different, how is the essence different?

History has proven countless times that the ideas that appear in the minds of science fiction masters can often “God predict” reality.

In 1992, the door of the Internet had just opened to the business world, and computers were still a luxury that ordinary families could not afford. American writer Neil Stephenson is struggling with expensive equipment for a computer art project. Forced by reality, he imagined that it would be nice if computers could be as cheap as televisions and could construct a three-dimensional world for people to manipulate at will. This is the novel “Xue Beng”: it depicts a surreal digital space “Metaverse” (mainly translated as “Metaverse” in Chinese), where humans have virtual doubles and can do whatever they want.

But Neil Stephenson at the time could not have imagined that nearly 30 years later, the Metaverse began to come into reality and became a hot outlet in the world, blowing from Silicon Valley to China.

“There is a very big opportunity, which is especially worth talking about.” At the end of 2020, early investor Cheng Xin was at the lowest point of entrepreneurship. The industry lacks air outlets, and the venture capital circle is swept up in the wind. For a time, there was a magical scene where major VCs crowded in the new consumption track. “First-tier funds overwhelm second-tier funds. Everyone is vying for the top projects, not only robbing but also slandering each other.” Cheng Xin told “Jiazi Guangnian” that this small institution with more than 10 people cannot invest in good projects, and even survive Question – At that time, Peking University also conducted a survey and found that 60% of the private enterprises in the country could not survive the cash flow for 3 months.

This situation also exists in Silicon Valley. People on the front line of technology have begun to actively explore opportunities in the virtual world.

During the Spring Festival of 2021, the online voice platform clubhouse is all the rage. Entrepreneurs who are keenly aware of the trend of Silicon Valley chatted with Cheng Xin about the Metaverse and NFT, which made him very excited. They stayed on the social platform every day, chatted all night, woke up in the afternoon the next day and then chatted for nearly a month, discussing the possibility of the Metaverse from all dimensions.

The Metaverse discussed by Cheng Xin, the bottom layer is Web 3.0, which is considered by supporters to be the “next-generation Internet” – compared with Web 1.0 and 2.0, users can take back control of their own data in Web 3.0. In their eyes, looking at the value of the Metaverse today is like thinking about the value that the Internet would bring in 1999.This is a decentralized future world, and small companies are more likely to change the rules of the game and reverse their fate.

True and false Metaverse: shivering while awake

At that time, the concept of Metaverse was almost blank in China. Cheng Xin and his partners believe that the Metaverse is the next future, and that it is a “blue ocean without involution”.

When the domestic technology circle began to talk about the Metaverse because of Roblox, Cheng Xin and his friends stopped discussing the concept, but first turned their attention to the virtual digital asset NFT in the Metaverse world, and began to lay out.

Even so, at this time domestic discussions on the Metaverse remain in a small circle.

It once again came out of the circle thanks to Facebook founder Zuckerberg. In June 2021, Xiao Zha made a high-profile announcement that he would build Facebook into a Metaverse company within five years. Four months later, he directly renamed Facebook to Meta.

“Facebook changed its name to give everyone a booster. Everyone thinks this should be a reliable concept, otherwise the large platform companies in the United States would not be so actively involved in this matter.” Chen Yuetian, founding partner of Fire Phoenix Capital, mentioned to “Jiazi Guangnian” The mentality of some domestic companies has changed.At the same time, well-known technology giants such as Microsoft, Amazon, and Nvidia have entered the game.

As a result, the heat wave of the Metaverse swept from the technology circle to the entire business world, and it has been out of control since then.

How hot is the “Metaverse”? Its popularity can be seen from two sets of data:

The first is the “Metaverse” trademark fever – in 2021, more than 1,500 companies in China will apply for the “Metaverse” trademark, with more than 10,000 pieces , most of which have nothing to do with the Metaverse, but are just a concept. For example, a trading company has 80% of its trademarks related to the Metaverse, including Prada Metaverse, Louis Vuitton Metaverse, Lexus Metaverse, KFC Metaverse, Metaverse, 100,000 Jokes Metaverse, Haidilao Yuan the universe, etc.;

The second is the hype of NFTs – NFTs, that is, non-fungible tokens. Unlike bitcoin and other homogenized tokens, each NFT is theoretically unique and inseparable. At present, supporters believe that it is virtual in the Metaverse. A “Certificate of Ownership” for the asset. The “NFT Market 2021 Annual Report” released by NonFungible shows that in 2021, the transaction volume of the global NFT market will be 17.69 billion US dollars, 214 times that of the previous year; the sales volume of NFTs is as high as 27.41 million, 19 times that of 2020; and The average price of a single NFT reached $807, an increase of 15 times year-on-year. In addition, a large number of consumers have also poured into the market. Last year, there were 1.19 million seller accounts worldwide, and 2.3 million buyer accounts, 30 times the number of the previous year.

2. Subject: Who brought “Coke”?

Questions to think about:

Who is expecting the Metaverse to succeed?

How does TA want the Metaverse to succeed?

What are the criteria for success?

And what are your standards?

Why is a concept created 30 years ago so hot today?

In the interview, “Jiazi Guangnian” found an interesting phenomenon. Many interviewees in the tech circle emphasized that the Chinese translation of “Metaverse” is not accurate, and they prefer to use “Metaverse”. But on the other hand, Metaverse can quickly get out of the circle in China, to a certain extent, thanks to the translation of “Metaverse”, which seems to be universal and “sexy” .

For the general public, the word “Metaverse” itself contains enough imagination, even people who know nothing about technology can express their views. In contrast, the original translation of the novel “Xue Beng”, “Super Origin Domain”, is literally obscure and difficult to understand, which shuts out more people.

The technology industry often bets on the future, but it is not easy for the public to understand , which requires “word makers” to define it with a concise and concise word . Looking back at the previous outlets, artificial intelligence, 5G, cloud computing, industrial Internet… all define the future first, and then follow up with technology. This can be best proved from Jack Ma. And the entire industry will also reap a more realistic return-“words are good for financing.”

Secondly, the wealth effect brought by the Metaverse cannot be ignored by the outside world.

At the beginning of 2021, the NFT “Every Day: The First 5,000 Days”, a collage composed of more than 5,000 pictures, was auctioned for $69.346 million with the help of the Metaverse; and the “first share of the Metaverse” Roblox listed stock price After the skyrocketing, the market value soared 10 times throughout the year.

In China, Baidu Index shows that the first peak of Metaverse’s attention was around September 8. On this day, 4 “Metaverse” concept stocks daily limit. After one of the listed companies, Zhongqingbao, announced that it would launch a Metaverse game, its stock price tripled within 3 months, and its total market value increased by nearly 9 billion yuan. letter.

True and false Metaverse: shivering while awake

(Image source: Screenshot of Baidu Index)

At this time, the three words “Metaverse” are like a magic wand, which can turn stone into gold.

Some industries that were abandoned by investors in the past and fell into the cold winter have ushered in new opportunities and even become the outlet again, such as VR/AR, virtual technology, etc. According to statistics, in 2021, VR/AR will usher in another wave of investment boom. A total of 340 investment events occurred throughout the year, and the investment amount reached 55.6 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 128%.

Last year, Tang Rongxing, co-founder & COO of Liangfengtai, a veteran domestic AR company, attended an industry summit and heard his peers sighed, “It seems that (the opportunity) has appeared again in 2016, this time we must cherish it.” Three or four years ago, the investment People are skeptical about AR, and now these people are taking the initiative to come to the door and say “AR is the entrance to the Metaverse”. When Tang Rongxing described his understanding of the Metaverse to “Jiazi Guangnian”, he used the word “excited” many times – this means that more funds and more practitioners will enter the market to promote the development of the AR industry together.

The maturity of related technologies has also transformed the Metaverse from an imaginary into a seemingly tangible future.

The Metaverse industry chain generally includes: big data, AI, communication technology, cloud computing, blockchain and other underlying technologies; VR/AR and other virtual sensory interaction technologies; cloud rendering, cloud engine and other engine technologies; games, social APPs and other application software .

If Spielberg’s “Ready Player One” was released in 2018, people’s ideas about the Metaverse were just lip service, 3 years later, things have changed:

In 2018, VR/AR, which is considered to be “one of the interactive tools leading to the Metaverse”, is still at the bottom. In 2021, the VR headset Oculus Quest 2 has sold 10 million units – a number that is generally considered by the industry to be the VR ecosystem. Ushered in the key node of the outbreak. In addition, 5G, big data, AI, etc. are gradually implemented, and the costs of communication, cloud computing, sensors, etc. are decreasing. Under the catalysis of the epidemic, in 2020, the proportion of the global digital economy in GDP has reached as high as 43.7%. These all make the Metaverse concept easier to popularize and promote.

Therefore, many interviewees in the technology circle expressed a similar view: the fire of the Metaverse is an objective law of technology development. “The development of the Metaverse and technology can be understood as the relationship between the upper-level follower layer and the lower-level driver layer. When technology reaches a stage, there will always be a force that drives the upper-level consensus to change, and they have a causal relationship.” Entrepreneur Peng West said.

Similar scenarios have been staged many times: for example, when computing power, algorithms, data and other elements develop sufficiently mature, AI is brought to the public; when distributed networks, encryption technology, and electronic payment systems develop to a new stage, blockchain It has become the consensus of the technology circle.

Not only that , foreign technology giants are not willing to miss the tuyere, or in other words, their participation created this tuyere :

NVIDIA introduces NVIDIA Omniverse, the productivity tool for creating the Metaverse, an open platform for virtual collaboration and real-time photorealistic simulation. In the words of founder Jen-Hsun Huang, “The Metaverse of Science Fiction is near.” Engineers can use the Omniverse to simulate warehouses, factories, physical and biological systems, robots, self-driving cars, and even digital twins of avatars;

In January, Microsoft acquired Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion, the largest acquisition in the history of the gaming industry. Company CEO Satya Nadella explained that one of the reasons behind this is that “games have played an important role in the development of the Metaverse”;

Recently, Amazon also launched a Metaverse game AWS Cloud Quest, aimed at adult players, aiming to help learn AWS (Amazon Cloud Computing Service) knowledge and accumulate practical experience through games.

Domestic Internet companies are also intensively deployed:

When the concept of the Metaverse became popular, the outside world discovered that Tencent had already invested in Roblox, known as the “first stock of the Metaverse”, and Epic Games, a Metaverse game company; in 2021, Tencent invested in VR/AR companies Weimo Era and Yuan Xiang thinking; In January this year, media reported that Tencent plans to acquire Black Shark mobile phones for the purpose of developing VR equipment; in the game field, Tencent has also launched a “moon landing” project, and plans to build a Metaverse-level project within 5-8 years ;

In April last year, ByteDance first invested 100 million yuan to invest in the “Chinese version of Roblox” code Qiankun. At the end of August, it defeated Tencent and acquired VR startup Pico at a super premium of 9 billion yuan;

At the end of last year, Baidu launched the first domestic Metaverse product “Xi Rong”. Although the picture quality was criticized, it can be regarded as “the first person to eat crabs”;

At the same time, Alibaba became a wholly-owned subsidiary “Yuanjing Shengsheng Co., Ltd.”, whose business scope covers software development, computer system services, performance brokerage, etc. The relevant person in charge of Ali came forward and said that the company will take the “Metaverse” as the main development direction in the future;

NetEase CEO Ding Lei also publicly stated that NetEase has already implemented Metaverse concept products such as Yaotai immersive activity system, virtual human, and planetary blockchain, and has invested in a number of innovative companies in the virtual human field to promote the full-link exploration of the Metaverse.

The active participation of large companies in the Metaverse may stem from anxiety about the transformation of the Internet . The era of traffic dividends has come to an end, the world has set off a wave of Internet anti-monopoly, and the era of big Internet companies making money is gone forever. For a long time in the past, “what is the next generation of mobile Internet” has been an important issue that has plagued the technology circle.

Liu Cixin put forward a thesis in “Three-Body Problem”: There are two paths in front of human beings, one is outward, leading to the sea of ​​stars; the other is inward, leading to virtual reality. Some tech giants have indeed set their sights on the latter.

“The phrase ‘the world has been suffering for a long time’ has been in the technology circle for a long time, and there has always been a lack of a powerful thing that can stimulate the taste buds.” Chen Junhong, CEO of Black Mirror Technology at the Digital Human Track, told “Jiazi Guangnian”, Metaverse The concept came at just the right moment , like handing out Coca-Cola when the masses were hungry , and it quickly took off.

The Metaverse predicted by the agency does hold treasures.

Forbes reported that Morgan Stanley, a major Wall Street bank, had predicted that by 2024, the Metaverse market will reach $8 trillion and may become the next generation of social media, streaming and gaming platforms. It has the potential to revolutionize the way people interact.” Citibank recently predicted that by 2030, the total market of the Metaverse economy may grow to $8 trillion to $13 trillion, with 5 billion users.

For large companies, it is not important to dispute whether it is right or not around this trillion-level track. There may only be one choice on the table – if you miss it, it will be a matter of life and death . “The aggressive play seen by the outside world is actually the conservative play of (big companies).” An investor said to “Jiazi Guangnian”.

Of course, the imagination derived from the concept of the Metaverse also reflects the underlying needs of human beings to some extent: reshape the self, dominate the self, define the self, and even pursue a certain sense of immortality, and even approach the deep desire of the creator.

Therefore, to a certain extent, it is inevitable that the Metaverse will be blown into the air. In the eyes of proponents, the Metaverse brings an imagination that human beings are no longer limited by the limitations of appearance, wealth, and health in this universe, but can transcend time and space – more than 24 hours a day, you You can pull the progress bar, you can have 10 identities to do ten things at the same time, and you can even build a longing world.

An inappropriate but easy-to-understand analogy is that the current life is like watching TV. The audience can only passively receive information and watch the programmed program list, but the world of the Metaverse is like the audience opening a video website and can customize according to their own needs. Customize, fast-forward or edit any show to your liking and become the master of a new world.

Discriminant: Is the Metaverse not good, or is the Meta bad?

Questions to think about:

What is the standard of “doesn’t it work”?

Who owns the discriminant?

But after a year of development, the Metaverse ushered in a cold spring at the beginning of this year:

In early February, Meta announced its fourth-quarter 2021 financial report. The next day, the stock price plummeted 4%, and the market value dropped to $565 billion, falling out of the top ten in the world. At the same time, on February 16, the stock price of Roblox, the “first stock of the Metaverse”, also fell by 26.41% after the fourth-quarter earnings report was issued.

The lower-than-expected financial report was the main reason for the decline of the two Metaverse concept stocks.

But the industry’s enthusiasm for the Metaverse hasn’t died down there. Someone even shouted: “The (real) Metaverse and the Metaverse of Xiao Zha’s shout are not the same concept.”

Zhang Daoning, the founder of domestic VR startup NOLO, explained that from the financial report, Meta invested $10 billion in a small track and earned $2 billion in revenue, which is a good thing for the VR industry. But the capital market does not buy it, because VR is not like some Internet products, which can be burned by burning money.

One of the reasons behind the sales of Oculus Quest 2 exceeding 10 million is the price subsidy of Meta. In the case of hardware upgrades, the $299 price is $100 cheaper than the previous generation, and some estimates based on the chip cost, “Facebook has to subsidize about $100 for every device it sells.”

Nonetheless, Meta still has to do the Metaverse, which may be an opportunity to turn a defeat into a victory – under the hunt of competitors such as TikTok, Meta has lost about 500,000 daily active users.

However, since Metaverse’s excessive investment will not see any benefit in the short term, some people have begun to put a question mark on the “Metaverse” advocated by Xiao Zha. Laura Hoy, an equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, a British financial services institution, even bluntly said, “Meta CEO Zuckerberg may be keen to coax the world into an alternate reality, but the disappointing fourth-quarter results quickly stunned its Metaverse. The bubble burst.”

However, Zhang Daoning is not pessimistic, “It’s not the Metaverse, because other Metaverse concept stocks such as NVIDIA are still very powerful at the same time, but people don’t believe in the Meta model. It has its own technology, product path and business model, but in the long run Look, that may not be the optimal solution, and there will be a more disruptive product in the future.”

At this time, in the domestic capital circle, a “Metaverse” fever is also fading.

Chen Yuetian noticed that in the past two months or so, most companies have attracted attention and concepts, posted themselves on Metaverse, and some funds have transformed themselves and claimed to be “Metaverse funds”. “Now, at least there are not many people claiming to be ‘Metaverse funds’ in the market.” Chen Yuetian told “Jiazi Guangnian” that when many governments began to deploy the Metaverse, the early investment window for VCs has passed. After that, he will only pay attention to the Metaverse-related companies that he has invested in in the past two years, and at the same time, he will follow the industry chain.

But it is undeniable that the fusion of virtual and reality has become an irreversible trend.

A Metaverse investor born in the 1980s emphasized a number to “Jiazi Guangnian”: In 2021, users of the first Roblox in the Metaverse will stay on the platform for more than 2.6 hours a day, which is TikTok (average per user per day). brush for 52 minutes) nearly three times. In a sense, Roblox is no longer just a game platform, but a virtual social life platform, where young people are willing to spend more time creating, socializing, and even realizing their self-worth.

In the investor’s view, the post-00s are likely to be becoming the aborigines of the Metaverse. “Twenty years ago, when the post-80s and post-90s were playing QQ, adults thought they were playing games and not doing a proper job, but today, 20 years later, QQ and WeChat have become people’s way of life and social interaction; today, the post-00s are playing In the Metaverse, the post-80s play the role of adults, but 20 years from now, will the Metaverse also become the way of life and social interaction for the post-00s?”

Under such imagination, the giants seem quite ambitious for the layout of the Metaverse. On March 21, Qualcomm announced the establishment of a $100 million Snapdragon Metaverse Fund to invest in developers and companies that create unique immersive XR experiences and related core AR and AI technologies. Cooperation in the development of hardware devices, software platforms and developer tools aims to develop the global XR ecosystem. In addition, Meta, Microsoft Xiaoice, and NVIDIA established the Asian Metaverse Ecological Consortium, and received support from the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. Domestically, the operator China Mobile has already started the relevant layout of the Metaverse, including infrastructure, computing power network and mid-stage capabilities.

Under the layout of the giants, the world of the Metaverse seems to be accelerating.

Orientation of Civilization: One Universe, Different Metaverse?

Questions to think about:

If there will eventually be N Metaverses, what is N?

Does N tend to be positive infinity, or will it converge to 1, or will it converge to 2, or will it be in a state of dynamic equilibrium?

A new paradox is that the paths to the Metaverse are divergent after the Metaverse’s enormous attention.

Different from the previous trends in the technology circles such as artificial intelligence and VR/AR, “The Metaverse does not point to any specific technology, scene, or group, but only an intentional fantasy of the future.” Peng Xi, a virtual technology entrepreneur, said that the Metaverse is difficult to achieve Defined root.

It is built on a number of technical bases: digital twin, AI, communication technology, big data, cloud computing, blockchain, VR/AR and other wearable technologies.

Therefore, the Metaverse has become an “adjective” – ​​such as the Metaverse brand fever mentioned earlier in this article, VR/AR companies, AI companies, digital twin companies, and even McDonald’s, and other companies are also divided. A cup of Metaverse soup. A person in the chain circle in the United States told “Jiazi Guangnian” that the Metaverse is currently just a “marketing” word, a word created by certain greater— – This is very similar to the popular “Cyberspace” at the beginning of the Internet. “From the perspective of consumers or marketing, Metaverse has a certain room for imagination, and at the same time, it is relatively easy for consumers and development practitioners to reach.”

Based on this understanding, some people choose to keep a distance from this hot word.

Zhang Daoning, the founder of the domestic VR startup NOLO, told “Jiazi Guangnian” that except for the occasional Metaverse-themed poster designed by the marketing department, they never actively talked about the Metaverse in the company. It was just a concept and “meaningless.”

“The Metaverse I imagine is a state of society and the world. If you try to define it, you have to do a framework description similar to sociological theory, or to extract laws from history, both in my opinion. Unrealistic.” Chen Junhong said to “Jiazi Guangnian”. Standing at the moment, he hopes to understand the whole picture of the Metaverse spectrum.

In addition, there are a large number of fans of the Metaverse. Domestic Metaverse business practitioners can be roughly divided into three groups:

First, the game pie. 

From the first Roblox in the Metaverse, to the Epic Games game “Fortress Night” that can hold concerts, the public first began to understand the Metaverse from the game. Some people first found references to the Metaverse in sci-fi movies: the Metaverse may be the game platform oasis in “Ready Player One”, the Liberty City in “Out of Control”, where humans enter the virtual world through VR/AR or brain-computer interface digital world. Represented by game companies Roblox, Epic Games, etc., they are staunch supporters of the Metaverse.

Second, the “Internet of Value” faction. 

The Internet of Value is a name given by the currency circle and the chain circle to the Internet that adopts blockchain technology, and vice versa is the classical Internet.

In the eyes of blockchain believers, the Metaverse is a decentralized world, and the cryptocurrency with blockchain as the underlying technology plays an important role in the Metaverse’s economic system.

An investor who pays attention to the Metaverse directly calls the Value Internet faction “Crypto”. This group of people has a consensus-if human beings want to live in the Metaverse for a long time in the future, they need to have private property rights. This is the development of the economy. The premise of the activity, so digital assets must be confirmed.The NFT with blockchain as the underlying technology is an effective way to solve the problem of confirming the rights of digital products. This is also the main reason why NFTs are hyped.

“The Metaverse is a new social production relationship, of which the blockchain is an indispensable part.” Cheng Xin, an early investor, believes that the virtual world is not enough to point out the most critical features of the Metaverse, and the decentralized production relationship is the . He told “Jiazi Guangnian” that the bottom layer of Roblox is not a blockchain, so it is just “traditional games and traditional communities in the garb of Metaverse”; there are no more than 100 people in China who truly penetrate the Metaverse, and 99% of Chinese companies The understanding of the Metaverse is all wrong.”

Third, the “classical Internet” school.

These players are determined not to touch cryptocurrencies. Some people think that the computing power is not enough, so they make chips; some people think that the Metaverse infrastructure is not good enough, and it is too early to discuss software and content, so they make headsets first; some people think that Quest2’s The technology is excellent, the hardware is left to Meta, and the software is invested by itself to find opportunities for VR content…

The most important difference between the classical Internet school and the value Internet school is whether to do Crypto.This stems from China’s regulatory policy on virtual currency in recent years.

“They (who don’t do Crypto) think that the legal environment in China is not allowed, and (Crypto prices) are too volatile, and there is no clear regulatory method in the world, so the risk is too great, and many people are reluctant to touch it.” The aforementioned early investors Say.

As early as 2017, when the price of bitcoin skyrocketed, the national financial regulatory authorities made a risk warning about virtual currency trading speculation. On May 18, 2021, the three major financial associations once again emphasized the prevention of the risk of virtual currency trading speculation. Three days later, the State Council clearly proposed to crack down on Bitcoin mining and trading. In September last year, ten departments jointly issued a document that clearly characterized virtual currency-related businesses as illegal financial activities.

Under the legal supervision, Crypto has become an insurmountable red line for the classical Internet school.

The Internet of Value faction adheres to the principle of “investing with trust”, but due to compliance requirements, investors and entrepreneurs often place projects overseas.

For example, Chen Yuetian of Fire Phoenix Capital mentioned that he has both a RMB fund and a USD fund. The RMB fund is mainly engaged in traditional equity investment, and does not participate in cryptocurrency projects. The US dollar foundation also invests in some domestic and foreign projects. “Next, I plan to set up a Crypto fund exclusively to invest in Crypto and Web3.0 projects. Do legal and compliant operations at the legal level to ensure that you don’t miss these opportunities.”

Even if they firmly believe in the value of Crypto, they can’t get rid of the fact that there is still deception and “leeks” in the tuyere of the Metaverse.

Entrepreneur Peng Xi has seen many NFT projects. These projects use blockchain as the basis to confirm the rights of online digital assets, and issue coins in the name of incentives, targeting young men in third- and fourth-tier cities in China who are eager for wealth. It is commonly known as “killing pig plate”. “I don’t say how noble (I) is, but there is a big principle. It is illegal to issue currency in China. I can’t do this for tens of millions of financing.”

Recently, Shenzhen Financial Supervision Bureau disclosed a number of Metaverse fraud activities, from which some methods of “cutting leeks” can be sorted out:

Some people pretend game production, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and other projects as “Metaverse”, and take the opportunity to absorb public funds;

Some people bundle the concept of “Metaverse” to defraud money by exchanging virtual currency, buying game equipment, etc., and there is a risk of running away with money;

There are also people who maliciously hype the Metaverse real estate to make money;

A more “insulting IQ” gameplay is that some people claim that the virtual currency issued is the future “Metaverse currency”.

This differentiation has led to the formation of two distinct development paths for business practitioners in the Chinese and overseas Metaverse.

An investor described ” Jiazi Light Years “, “We are on one planet, but not in one universe (we are in the same world, different Metaverses ) .”  

The most important difference is the “economic system” of the Metaverse.

Overseas, the concept of the Metaverse cannot be separated from the blockchain. One point of view is that the underlying network of the Metaverse is Web 3.0 — a blockchain-based decentralized online ecosystem that will become the next generation of the Internet at a larger scale.

On December 9, 2021, the U.S. Congress will hold a hearing to discuss hot concepts such as Web 3.0 and blockchain technology. During the discussion, lawmakers generally expressed a tolerant attitude towards Web 3.0, and even some American technology innovators believed that Web 3.0 might become a “new outlet” in Silicon Valley.

In the past, China’s technological innovation attracted the world’s attention, and China’s limelight in AI, cloud computing, big data and other aspects can even rival that of Silicon Valley giants. Even the products of some domestic technology companies have surpassed Silicon Valley companies, such as TikTok, which is grabbing a large number of Facebook users.In addition, Facebook in Silicon Valley has been involved in “data leakage” and Google has been involved in AI ethics and other issues, which invisibly creates an impression that Silicon Valley’s leading edge in the age of intelligence is being lost.

Therefore, Silicon Valley urgently needs to seize the new wind of the Metaverse and regain its momentum. Some investors even said that institutions “have not voted for crypto, this is the consensus”.

In addition, the wealth effect of the Metaverse and NFTs also attracts investors to rush in:

In addition to “The First 5000 Days”, in September last year, Sotheby’s auction house, the auction price of the NFT composed of 101 “boring ape” avatars plus commissions was as high as 45 million US dollars, or more than 150 million yuan;

Nike, Audi, Marvel, Louis Vuitton and other international big names continue to link up with NFT dreams;

Xiao Zha also recently announced that he hopes that in the next few months, Instagram members will be able to mint their own NFTs in the app.

China is another painting style.

Since it is illegal to trade and circulate virtual currency, most of the Metaverses deployed by business practitioners do not touch the economic system, but are more inclined to the specific technologies involved in the Metaverse and the industrial outlets it brings. Feng Zheng, vice president of Shunwei Capital, once concluded that the Chinese perspective of Metaverse should be, No Tokens, No Games .

Domestic manufacturers can only deploy NFT projects with financial attributes overseas. In March this year, Tencent invested in Immutable, a Sydney-based NFT startup. Founded in 2018, Immutable provides blockchain infrastructure to transform digital asset ownership in the video game industry. Almost at the same time, the South China Morning Post, a Hong Kong newspaper acquired by Ali, also established an NFT company Artifact Labs.

A culture of consciousness rooted deep in genes ?

Questions to think about:

Does the world have a Metaverse consensus?

Can it be “harmonious but different”?

Should it be “harmonious but different”?

Under the premise of the difference in the narrative of the Metaverse at home and abroad, the layout of Chinese and American technology giants shows different temperaments.

The self-media platform VR gyro has been sorted out. In the field of Metaverse, Meta, Google, Microsoft, and Apple have fully opened up systems, hardware, software tools, platforms, and content; while domestic companies such as Tencent, Ali, Byte, Baidu, and NetEase have There is a focus on acquisitions and layouts in areas where they are good at. “It seems that domestic technology giants do not have the determination to fully enter the Metaverse like Facebook and Microsoft.”

In an interview, some blockchain and virtual currency supporters even raised the difference in the layout of Chinese and American companies to the level of international competition:

” There is a window period for the development of the Metaverse . If the opportunity is missed, China will be ‘pushed out an era’ by competitors.”

Cheng Xin expressed his anxiety: “I understand the suppression of Crypto, because it is a requirement to ensure China’s financial stability from the perspective of national economic and financial security. But simply suppressing, without a solution, China’s Metaverse may It’s going to be a very deformed development.”

In addition, a dollar fund practitioner noticed that there is another difference between China and the United States towards the Metaverse: those who support the Metaverse in the United States are generally more aggressive and optimistic, but the Chinese are more conservative.

“In foreign countries, everyone talks about the Metaverse as a new platform and a new space. People’s purpose is to live in it for a long time. Most people don’t discuss the negative social significance of this matter. Everyone has formed a consensus that digital survival is necessary— – One day people will wear (VR/AR) glasses, they are not afraid of this kind of life, maybe they will embrace it actively. But on the Chinese Internet, people are more discussing the impact of theMetaverse on society, economy, population, work What is the impact of the shape, etc.? ” The above-mentioned USD fund practitioner told “Jiazi Guangnian”.

For example, when discussing the Metaverse, people often worry that the future Metaverse will make users overly addicted to the online world and become digitally addicted, which will be a disaster for the future of mankind. In addition, the Metaverse will impact the existing laws and regulations, ethics, economic systems, and cultural systems, and human beings should be more cautious about this complex future.

Typical sounds are:

Last year, Zhou Hongyi, the founder of 360, publicly stated, “Facebook’s fantasy does not represent the future, but the decline of mankind… If everyone lives in an illusory space, it will not bring real development to human society.”

According to Internet rumors, Liu Cixin once called the Metaverse a “spiritual poison”, which would cause humans to be addicted to it and unable to extricate themselves. The source of this sentence has not been found, but in the exploration of introversion and extroversion, Da Liu does prefer the latter, he once said bluntly, “The technology of virtual reality makes people more and more introverted, and the whole civilization becomes more and more Introverted.”

On the one hand, the Internet helps the real economy and has become a special background for the development of the Metaverse in China. The layout of the Metaverse by Chinese Internet companies is even more inseparable from reality. On March 23, Ma Huateng re-emphasized his understanding of the Metaverse: For the concept of the Metaverse, which is relatively hot now, Tencent is more concerned with the concept of the real Internet from the perspective of the integration of digital and real, rather than purely virtual. .

On the other hand , the rational traditional culture rooted in genes seems to be more suitable for explaining the domestic worries  about the Metaverse .

As Qiu Zhijie, a professor at the China Academy of Art, said, the Chinese people value “modern uprightness and peace”, and they are prepared for danger in times of trouble, “In such a rational culture, the elites in our Chinese culture, mainly Confucian intellectuals, will not let optimism or Pessimism fools them, they will be prepared for danger in times of safety, and they will always prevent happiness from giving rise to sadness.”

This has formed the domestic attitude towards the Metaverse: cautiously maintain the imagination of the Metaverse world.

But back to the present, despite the beauty of science fiction, people ultimately have to recognize real life.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:
Coinyuppie is an open information publishing platform, all information provided is not related to the views and positions of coinyuppie, and does not constitute any investment and financial advice. Users are expected to carefully screen and prevent risks.

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