Take the Finverse More Seriously

I’ve blogged a bit about the Finverse – where the metaverse and crypto come together – and was reading Jemima Kelly’s column on the FT about the Metaverse and crypto. She states:

As far as I’m concerned, the hypocritical fantasy that underpins crypto also lies at the heart of the metaverse. This isn’t about building a decentralised paradise where everyone can prosper and live in harmony; this is about making a small group of people rich.

She followed up with:

I have always suspected that one of the reasons people keep buying into crypto — which I consider akin to a Ponzi scheme — is that they don’t really understand it.

Oh dear Jemima. I’m not attacking you as an individual and there are great investigative journalistic activities with the FT, like those of Dan McCrum, but there are also ingrained old market views.

My feeling is that it’s like the extremes I see of how young internet-born generations feel about the world versus older industrial-focused generations feel about the world. It’s like two extremes. The younger generation think we can liberalise everything through the network; the older generation feel that the young are stupid, and the network has to conform to their industrial-era rules.

So, here’s my conflict, as I’ve blogged often about government versus freedom, and the fact that the network promotes freedom whilst the regulators promote government. Or, should I say, the FT promotes government.

Jemima’s comments seem a little naïve to me. The reason? New generations using new technologies are creating new ways to interact and new ideas about how money works.

Maybe it’s because I’m an old guy that I see this, but I really believe that younger people will change the world. It’s not going to be me.

Some examples are already visible, particularly in FinTech where teenagers are changing the world, and it’s not all down to the kids. They will need steerage from those who have experience, but kids are changing the world. By way of example, look at gaming. Two years ago, gaming surged past the total revenues of film and music combined.

This is why the metaverse is so important in that, if you can create the Star Trek style Holodeck, then that will be the next generation gaming world and will probably be worth more than film, music, gaming and all downtime activities combined.

If you consider that statement, then currencies for metaverses make absolute sense. You may enter the metaverse with a dollar or a yuan but, once you’re in, you never cash out. You need inter-operability between metaverses, but you don’t need dollars or yuan.

It’s an idea that’s been around for a long time. By way of example, Fidor Bank’s CEO Matthias Kroener had the idea back in the early 2010s to bank World of Warcraft Gold. Now, he’s banking on the game. And yes, some metaverse investments will be wasted – a good example are all those who bet on Second Life – but some will be the next generation winners – do you really want to bet against Facebook Jemima, especially as they just changed their name to Meta?

So, to say that crypto is a Ponzi scheme and the metaverse is just a fantasy to make a small group of people rich … well, isn’t that what banking has always been about?

Related: What Is Spatial Finance?