A couple of weeks ago there was a lecture on the Metaverse, Mark Zuckerberg’s new interpretation and creation of an online community. So, what is the Metaverse and why is it important? The Metaverse is a digital based world with virtual representations of people. In such a space, one is able to complete all of life’s “functions” (work, play, communicate, etc.) through their avatar. This virtual world can be accessed through the use of a virtual reality headset, one being the Oculus rift by Facebook. Perhaps the idea of this online world is to eventually replace ours here on earth? But that is a discussion for another blog!
“Facebook already has a professional version of the metaverse under way: Horizon Workrooms, an app that lets Oculus-sporting workers enter virtual offices and hold meetings.”https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/oct/28/facebook-mark-zuckerberg-meta-metaverse
While the idea of a Meta universe has been around for some time, Facebook’s interpretation of such is new and has been gaining plenty of attention in the press. Some individuals are already purchasing NFTs for their future presence in this online world. For example, this week the NFT mini Birkin bags have gone viral on Twitter, TikTok, and Instagram. I came across the bag through a TikTok video!
Mason Rothschild, the creator of the MetaBirkin advertises the bags through his Twitter and Discord.
“MetaBirkins is a collection of 100 unique Birkin NFTs created with faux fur in a range contemporary color and graphic executions. MetaBirkins are a tribute to Hermes’ most famous handbag, the Birkin, one of the most exclusive, well-made luxury accessories. Its mysterious waitlist, intimidating price tags, and extreme scarcity have made it a highly covetable “holy grail” handbag that doubles as an investment or store of value.”https://metabirkins.com/
So why do these bags matter and how are they valuable if they are not tangible?
As someone who is not very present in online worlds, the idea of having a non tangible purse makes no sense to me. Why would I need something to carry goods in a “fake” world? What am I carrying in my intangible bag? A pretend phone, keys, and wallet? The whole idea of it sounds odd! However, to those involved in these types of online worlds, the MetaBirkin can be quite valuable.
The MetaBirkin is an NFT (Non-Fungable Token) meaning that it is not directly interchangeable with money. In order to purchase one, you need Etherum, a type of crypto currency. These bags come with a digital token or certificate acknowledging that the purchaser is the sole owner of its digital online presence. These bags are considered collectables and in fact have a large resale value. Rothschild’s website MetaBirkins.com, advertises the bags for 0.1 Eherium which roughly translates to 400 euros. However, the resale value of these NFTs are predicted to be over 20,000 euros. MetaBirkins are important as they act as a collectible and praise/commemorate Hermès, a well-known fashion company. Hermès is famous for their highly priced (tangible) Birkin bags that range from $4,995-$300,000… and sometimes even more. Just like MetaBirkins, the physical bags also have high resale price tags. These showpieces prove to be valuable whether it be tangible or online! Clearly, the bags are not used for their physical function no matter what world they are in, rather for their collectability and boasting purposes.
In the near future, the popularity of NFTs in the Metaverse will grow exponentially. Infact, this suggests the idea of collectable items being sold in the online universe. Perhaps the future of online art will take place in Metaverse galleries and museums! Maybe we will see an assortment of MetaBirkins on display at one of the first Metaverse exhibition!