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Metaverse concepts should distance themselves from NFTs | Opinion

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Metaverse concepts should distance themselves from NFTs | Opinion


What is the metaverse?

If you push your way past the voluminous folds of evangelist gobbledegook and recycled, half-understood Neuromancer concepts being trucked out in the hope of bilking cash from starry-eyed investors, this is a question that has a rather more prosaic and technical set of answers than anything Morpheus ever offered Neo.

Crucially, though, it’s a set of answers, plural; there’s no one precise definition as yet, because this concept is still a work in progress, a broad set of ideas based on a number of almost-but-not-quite-ready technologies that look set to define the first major post-smartphone paradigm shift in how we interact and communicate with the networks and data that surround our daily lives. Pick ten people working on building or promoting metaverse ideas and ask for their vision of what it will actually be in practical terms, and you’ll get eleven answers — each different from the last in fundamental ways.

Things get even fuzzier once you start talking to people one remove away from that coalface: the investors and executives who are keen to be involved in the metaverse from the outset and research the topic keenly, but may not have quite so precise a grasp on the possibilities and limitations of the technologies involved. Here, things get a little bit fuzzy and cyberpunk science fiction concepts leak into what are meant to be serious business conversations rather more often…

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