NFTs are Escaping the Metaverse. How do we know this? NFTs became a part of real-life events in 2021. It seems the bridge between the metaverse and non-digital reality is well and truly built.
The metaverse exploded in the last 12 months. The explosion of DeFi brought with it over 4 million DeFi users on the Ethereum network. A spike in interest in DAOs brought power back to communities. Digital currency had all-time highs. But in the metaverse, it was the year of NFTs.
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are now everywhere. They take the form of pixelated photos, real estate contracts, entire studio albums and other digitized aspects of reality.
The popularity of these digital assets blew up in 2021. NFTs are a new way to monetize creative output. And, they can escalate interaction within communities.
The communities around NFT creators help foster success. Artists and musicians can fund their own projects via NFTs. This is without institutional support. While NFTs need their digital communities, they also create them too.
Sometimes, an NFT event escapes the metaverse and leaps out into the actual world. Recently, NFT aficionados organized real-life events with physical person-to-person interactions. This ranged from having screens showing the digital art that would usually just exist in the metaverse, to actually having NFT skeptics make their own NFT art.
Let’s take a look at an art festival held at Miami Beach, called Art Basel. NFTs were the focus of actual events. At one happening, attendees could create their own NFT. They did this in collaboration with German artist Mario Klingemann, aka Quasimondo. The maestro generated AI-generated portraits of the attendees.
The attendees then made an NFT out of the digital art using the Tezos blockchain. NFTs are escaping the metaverse yet again.
Christie’s Auction House threw a hat in the ring and showed their enthusiasm for NFTs. They hosted an exclusive exhibition at a secret location in Miami with NFT now and OpenSea – two major players in the space. Collectors of physical art with remaining skepticism had an opportunity to visualize these digital collectibles.
This throws up an awkward paradox. A creator drags an NFT out of the metaverse into the physical world. This is to expose it and sell it. Does that make the validity of the metaverse void? Or is it just exposing it to newbies who might not have seen what early adopters are doing?
Are such events part of the greater metaverse expansion? Or are they the final moments for in-person art and cultural events?
Rodni and Xhois Baja are the founders of NFT Magazine. They recently launched the Crypto Art Fair. It was their first real-life event. It featured over 70 artists on a massive billboard, plus a virtual showroom with Xumiiro Gallery, and an AR experience throughout Times Square. The general public could engage with this art beyond computer screens in isolation.
The creators said the goal was to engage the community beyond the metaverse.
“The NFT space is exciting and powerful. We wanted to reflect that through our first event. We decided to host it on a 15,000-square-foot billboard in the heart of Times Square. Choosing a public space for this event was important for us. We wanted to emphasize the truly accessible qualities of digital art.”
They claimed that in-person NFT-related events clear up any lingering confusion and insecurities that future digital asset holders could have.
“There is still a lot of confusion and misunderstanding around NFTs. Holding physical events like this – that are entertaining and engaging – enable people to better wrap their head around the concept.”
A hybrid future
Rodni and Xhois said the event sparked major interest in their platform. Their physical presence grew the community around their digital presence.
“We coordinated with NFT.NYC’s founders to make sure we chose the best time to host our event. Even so, we still got a much bigger turnout than expected. It was amazing seeing people rushing up the iconic red steps of Time Square to try and get a better view of the artworks.”
The organizers said seeing people interact en masse with the mega NFTs was the goal.
“Friends and families were enjoying themselves together and taking pictures and videos in front of the NFTs. This is exactly what we wanted. Right after the event, our Instagram page grew by over 42,000 followers.”
According to the NFT Magazine founders, these events will shape the future of interactions with the space. “As more people learn about NFTs and begin appreciating digital art, the demand for these events will grow. We are social beings and the most beautiful way to enjoy art is together. These types of events allow us to create a memorable experience. It’s an emotional spectacle. It can remain with the viewer long after it has finished.”
NFTs in real life may result in wider adoption of the technology. It’s an integration of two worlds, and there is vibrant communal growth in the space. NFTs are Escaping the Metaverse. It is definitely a space to keep an eye on.
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