Cryptocurrency has been going through tough times lately.
The elusive digital currency used by metaverse investors, gamers, and early adopters to buy NFTs (non-fungible tokens), avatar skins in games like Roblox, and virtual collectibles has recently seen a decline compared to records. But while the metaverse’s primary form of payment and transacting has seen a wide fluctuation in value, many companies continue to push full steam ahead with their plans to plant their stake in the virtual landscape.
Bitcoin, the flagship crypto token, grabbed headlines when its price fell below $20,000 last month, a value the digital currency hasn’t seen since December 2020. That’s well below its November peak, when bitcoin prices approached $65,000.
The same story could also be told for the popular metaverse currency ethereum, which can be used in decentralized web3 worlds like Decentraland and The Sandbox to purchase digital and phygital goods. Its value fell below $900 last month, its lowest level since January 2021, and it is down 66.7% so far this year from its high of nearly $5,000 in January. .
As the value of both coins changes by the minute, bitcoin saw a slight rise to $21,780 on Friday. It is currently $20,507 at the time of this report. Ethereum is currently valued at 1,142.63 and has seen a decline of 3.7% in the past five days.
According to many experts, the price of the two currencies has been extremely volatile over the past few months due to a wider withdrawal from the market of risky assets by scared investors. Overall crypto market values fell sharply in June after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates in an effort to combat soaring inflation.
“The decline in crypto prices is a confluence of many factors: lack of liquidity, inflation, rising interest rates and a slowdown in all financial markets in general,” said Brian Trunzo, metaverse lead at developer web3. Polygon Studios. “While I’m no investment professional, it’s pretty clear that while the ‘crypto crash’ is making sensational headlines, it’s not unique to the broader asset market. With a recession imminent, it would make sense for investors to seek safer returns.The positive side of this is that it has removed noise from the system and allowed those building to do so with less distraction in the market.
Holden Bale, GVP and Global Head of Commerce at Brooklyn, NY-based digital agency Huge, added that crypto has historically had its fair share of volatility, but is still fairly stable for a financial innovation that’s less than two years old. decades. “Recession fears tend to drive a pullback in any liquid market, and unlike real estate, where there has been rampant speculation in the past, crypto is highly liquid, so it’s easy for people to get out. – especially retail investors – if they feel scared,” Bale told FN. ‘whole short-term crypto market.’
Yet, despite the continued fall in the value of cryptocurrency, most brands activating in the web3 and metaverse aren’t slowing down. In fact, these days it seems like every brand is making – or preparing to make – the leap into the realm of virtual goods.
This can be seen most recently in Salvatore Ferragamo’s new SoHo store, which opened last month and is a prime example of physical and digital web3 activations. The Italian luxury brand has installed a new NFT experience at its 63 Greene Street store, where visitors enter a booth to create their own NFT from a selection of decors designed by Shxpir.
Other recent metaverse and web3 breakthroughs include Nicholas Kirkwood’s collaboration with White Rabbit for Decentraland’s first Metaverse Fashion Week earlier this year. For this event, the designer took one of his “classic styles” and evolved it with a more cartoony feel and youthful silhouette, then released it in five variations or colorways. The collaboration offered NFTs for sale on the Web3 OpenSea marketplace, non-NFT digital wearable devices, and augmented reality lenses for social media.
Other major footwear players are also getting in on the action, as evidenced by Nike’s acquisition in November of RFKT, a digital creator of virtual sneakers, collectibles and accessories. That same month, Adidas Originals released their first NFT collection called “Into the Metaverse”. Owners of the NFTs received exclusive access to Adidas Originals experiences and merchandise, including virtual apparel for The Sandbox blockchain-based game world and other platforms, and an exclusive physical product to match.
Experts predict that these launches are likely to continue despite what is happening in the crypto market. In fact, the “crypto crash” could be good for the metaverse in the long run, said Emily Wengert, managing director and global creative executive director of experience at Huge. “The decline in crypto prices that we are currently experiencing may lower barriers to entry. For businesses that are not virtual or web3 native, metaverse activity is a rounding error in their revenue. It’s not about generating revenue; it’s about exploring a new space at the intersection of community and creation, which is always very important. On the contrary, a slowdown coupled with a broader recession could become speculators and leave room for “true believers”, artists and innovators.
Jeff Hood, a well-known NFT community builder and blockchain industry leader who is CEO and co-founder of full-service Web3 strategy firm MetaCurio, also spoke about the future of the metaverse. “Most brands and companies entering Web3 see this as the next evolution of the internet, not a speculative investment,” Hood said. “So they are laying the groundwork for their brands for the future of what is to come. We are at the very beginning of web3. We are really into web2.5. route only based on current market conditions around the crypto.
Polygon Studios’ Trunzo agrees: “By any measure, interest in the Metaverse is only growing. And it’s a long game. Even Citi projects that the “metaverse economy” will be between $8 and $13 trillion by 2030. Any perceived disinterest in the development of the metaverse would be similar to the perceived disinterest in the Internet in the year 2000 – those who continued to innovate have become the Amazons, Facebook and Google of the world.
This same thought was reiterated by George Yang, founder of the phygital web3 fashion and sneaker brand Cult&Rain. “We are really in the remote access phase of the metaverse,” Yang told FN. “In the early 2000s, when the dotcom bubble burst after a period of extreme growth, we are sort of at the same time in the world of Web3. A lot of players that launched last year that don’t add to the conversation or the world in any meaningful way are sinking, much like what happened in the early 2000s. We needed of this purge.
But Yang isn’t worried about the future of Web3 or the metaverse, regardless of the value of the cryptocurrency. In fact, it is building its own metaverse, called “Cultr World”. Yang said the photo-realistic space will serve as Cult&Rain’s own social club for consumers, where users can enter the metaverse through other platforms like The Sandbox and interact with other members and attend events in the Culture Lounge.
Users will also be able to purchase Cult&Rain products through its new Cultr store, where consumers can grab NFTs from the brand’s Genesis, Drop001 (and future) collections, physical sneakers that replicate the NFTs, and digital fashion collections that will grant them a free future. airdrop from a digital laptop.
“I see this as a whole new e-commerce model,” Yang added. “The Metaverse is here to stay.”