The Metaverse: from “Ready Player One” to Capitalist Hellscape

The internet has been the engine of society. What comes next?

“The internet has become the primary engine of modern society. Now we are asking what comes next”, said Dave Nadig, Chief Investment Officer & Director of Research at ETF Trends and ETF Database, two companies focused on providing useful information and insights on ETFs.

On the latest episode of the FINNOVATORS podcast, Manuel Rensink, Director of Innovation Strategy at Securrency, discussed with Dave a number of different topics, starting with an insightful article titled “The MetaVerse: Brave New World or Capitalist Hellscape?”.

  • The COVID 19 pandemic sparked reflection on the use of the internet: a shift, explains Dave, from the “archival version of the internet to a transactional version of the internet, that has evolved into a social version of the internet”. The fundamental question is what comes next, and according to Dave, it will be a combination of different technologies and use cases. In fact, during the pandemic, the majority of “knowledge workers” had to be constantly connected to the internet to perform their tasks. Now it is important to reflect on what we have learned about “the value of efficient communication”, while the pandemic made us feel at the same time a “crushing disconnection” from the rest of humanity.
  • Interoperability, according to Dave, will be the first thing that could be dismissed in the future, as major companies may have no reason to encourage the use of this technology. An answer to this problem may lie in creating “standards committees” like the ones established in the early ’90s to advance the rights of the first internet users to build standards, develop processes and push for their adoption.
  • Creating virtual worlds would bring people together, create value and make players involved, like it was for Web 2.0, and once that is created a business model can be built on that.
  • On the regulatory framework, Dave noted that “we are way behind on that” and potentially “a digital wallet connected to your social security number” may happen in the near future, but this development should not only be in the hands of major corporations.
  • Discussing cryptoassets, Dave considers Ethereum to be the only cryptocurrency that has an effective value, as it is something that recognizes the work of the network that is supporting it and, therefore, has effective utility.

To hear more insights on the future of ETFs, the role of tokenized asset management in the future, and Dave’s perspective on bridges, you can listen to the full episode on Spotify here.


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