First Mover Asia: Bitcoin Rides $46K-$48K Weekend Tide After ‘Crypto Witching Day’

Technician’s take (Editor’s note): Technician’s Take is taking a hiatus for the holidays. In its place, First Mover Asia is publishing CoinDesk contributor Jeff Wilser’s Q&A with Cathy Hackl, sometimes called the Godmother of the Metaverse,” on the future of the metaverse, includinbg why brands will need a metaverse strategy.

Bitcoin, the oldest cryptocurrency, experienced a small price recovery to as high as about $47,961.0 on Saturday, before it fell into red again on Sunday, based on data from TradingView. But its overall spot trading volume across major centralized exchanges declined on the weekend, meaning that the price move was not supported by strong market activities.

On Friday, about 115,000 bitcoin options and roughly 882,000 ether options contracts, worth a total notional value of $8.67 billion, expired, according to Cayman Islands-based crypto financial services firm Blofin. After the settlement was completed, bitcoin’s price briefly went up sharply to above $48,000 on some exchanges, crypto trading data platform aICoin tweeted on Dec. 31.

But it’s also going to be in our real world with some level of augmentation, probably through a wearable. So, Web 3 is kind of enabling the creation of the metaverse, and the metaverse is a convergence of physical and digital. Think of it as the successor of what comes next on the internet. It’s like your digital lifestyle catching up to your physical life.

Hackl: Yeah. Even Snapchat, the things that they can do with the camera for augmented reality – that’s a metaverse play. That’s all part of the metaverse. I have a pretty expansive view, and part of that comes from working in VR [virtual reality] hardware, spatial computing and augmented reality hardware. And when people think the metaverse is only virtual reality, or only fully immersive, I think that’s a pretty narrow view. And a pretty dystopic one.

Hackl: You cannot enable the open decentralized metaverse that many of us dream of without blockchain, right? Blockchain is the underlying component. NFTs are a bit of a stepping-stone into the metaverse when it comes to ownership of digital assets and digital identity. How do you actually enable that? NFTs are a big part of that equation.

Hackl: One of the big things that I try to explore is, “Is direct-to-avatar the next direct-to-consumer?” Again, it’s stepping-stones. When we text people we use emojis; we don’t even write anymore. We use an emoji to represent a message. Our emojis – and by extension our avatars – are becoming emotional surrogates of ourselves.

In order to represent yourself as an avatar, that’s a big thing. Because it’s a moment of self-expression, it’s a moment of self-exploration. And how do brands play into that? Well, I’m going to have to outfit my avatar. Maybe I want to make a statement and wear Supreme. Fashion and culture go together. How does your avatar show up, right? What does it look like, what does it wear? There are going to be a lot of opportunities for brands. And there will be opportunities for them to engage with the younger generation.

Well, people are saying that Chipotle caused the [Roblox] outage. (Of course they didn’t cause the outage – let’s get that straight.) But a brand like Chipotle can come in and say, “We’re going to do a burrito, and we’re going to give away $1 million worth of burritos in the game.” I think those types of things are interesting and fun, and the audience is engaged, they enjoyed it.

Hackl: There are a lot of things that need to happen. If you look at how many people actually have [digital] wallets, it’s actually a very small number. And it’s a generational thing. My kids understand digital ownership in a way that maybe older generations don’t. They love buying digital assets and their skins. Once my kids get older, they’re going to question, “Why can’t I take this asset that I paid so much money for in Roblox, and move it over to Fortnite?” Eventually they’re going to expect that.

There also needs to be a lot of education within organizations – and not just the brand team – to understand where this is headed. And for companies, there’s already a talent war so it’s hard to hire people. When you realize that every company is going to need a metaverse strategy, then hiring is going to get even harder. That’s why I partnered with Republic Realm to create the Republic Realm Academy, for executive education.

Hackl: I take the good with the bad. I mean, it is a validation of the work that many of us have been doing for years. So, I’ll take that. On the other side, with Facebook being so literal with the name “meta,” it does cast a bit of doubt and shadow on the metaverse. The big thing is confusion – people thinking the metaverse is Facebook. It is not.

Hackl: First of all, I will say “The Oasis” [the fully immersive platform in “Ready Player One”] is not what we should aim for. That’s pretty dystopic, where the real world has gone to s**t, and you have to escape reality. [Laughs.] I don’t want to escape reality, but I want the metaverse to be somewhere fun when I want to have fun – instead of Instagram.

Hackl: I don’t think anyone can put a time or date, but I will say that this decade is a decade of building and pioneering. We’re all testing, trying to understand how it all works. This is the decade where those foundations are created. It’s a time of change and a time for creators. Now is the time to build. Now is when you start to figure out, what does this mean? Where are we going? And what does our company or brand have to do to be prepared for the future?

This content was originally published here.

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