People have been dreaming of some form of metaverse for a while. In fact, the word “metaverse” dates back to a book from 1982 called “Snow Crash.” But while many saw some form of virtual reality world coming, few could have predicted the boom in digital art and other collectibles brought on by the boom in NFTs.
As a long-standing fan of sports collectibles and an experienced individual in both music and startup investment, DJ Skee had a better chance than most of realizing how the metaverse could influence these areas. And with projects such as a collectible alternative asset fund (Mint10), a metaverse-as-a-service business (DXSH), and a position as Chief Metaverse Officer of TSX Entertainment under his belt, it’s fair to say the personality has covered plenty of ground already.
Let’s look at his thoughts on the future of the metaverse and how it could shape his areas of expertise.
THE BIRTH OF MUSIC EVENTS IN THE METAVERSE
The prospect of holding major events in the metaverse might sound overly futuristic to some — but they’re fast becoming a reality, and have attracted plenty of attention over the last few years. With the digitalization of the pandemic and the turn to working-from-home and Zoom calls, the possibility of connecting with others in a whole new virtual dimension suddenly made a lot of sense.
So, why not hold virtual reality concerts and festivals this way too?
We’ve already seen some examples of this. The metaverse platform Decentraland hosted its own four-day Decentraland festival in 2021, while Fortnite has had performances from the likes of Travis Scott and Marshmallow, and Roblox has enjoyed collaborations with Lil Nas X.
DJ Skee has been involved in some events like this himself, having carried out virtual DJ sets as part of the Discord festival Snowsgiving, and even a set using a VR headset for the electronic music store Beatport.
Skee says: “I’m focused on finding how to build these next generation of experiences. It’s like building a club and recreating what a music show is where we have a venue. But we’re not limited by fire marshals, by capacity, by gravity, and things like that.”
Yet while Skee is excited about these innovations, he believes we’re only at the very beginning of adoption and that it will take some time for any of this to hit the mainstream.
WHAT ABOUT SPORTS?
While the metaverse may potentially change how we compete in or watch sport, Skee is mostly focused on how it could impact the collectibles that tend to come with it. One of DJ Skee’s many ventures is owning the collectible alternative asset fund Mint10, and sports cards are among its biggest investments. But why does he believe it will be so successful?
DJ Skee points out that, while Web-3 can seem like a foreign concept, it actually has plenty of parallels with the real world. NFTs are often compared to sports cards, which have been around since the 1800s. In fact, Skee got involved in the area himself from a young age, becoming interested in cards after the World Series finished and he wanted an opportunity to prolong the experience and joy he got from it.
Projects like Dapper Labs’ NBA Top Shot (an NFT marketplace for collectibles that commemorate important moments in the NBA) have capitalized on this by taking something that currently exists and adapting it for the real world. In the case of sports, that’s taking huge moments and representing them in a new form — not just as an image as cards would do, but a video. And fans get the joy of knowing they alone own the moment since it takes the form of an NFT.
Then there are funds like Skee’s Mint10, which allow everyone to take a slice of the pie. He argues that this type of investment isn’t just about buying the cards themselves, but investing in the companies behind them, which have the potential to grow and become very successful. “Our fund really gives a unique perspective to everybody that just wants to invest in the sector as a whole, both the companies and the cards that power it,” he says.
WEB3 VS OTHER COLLECTIBLES
Skee has also been involved in art projects, which is something that NFTs have always been associated with.
Above all, he launched sets of artist cards called Project20 and Project 70 with Topps. This interest also led him to an interest in collecting other kinds of other collectibles, such as sneakers and music, and he hopes to continue this interest in his current work projects.
However, some people worry that NFTs and everything else Web3 has to offer could take away the value from other kinds of collectibles. This doesn’t faze DJ Skee.
Rather, he believes they could give them a whole new lease of life by bringing new markets and players. And maybe even new fans, as people who become interested in NFTs with little background in other collectibles start to study their origins. Likewise, collectible enthusiasts are one of the groups most likely to become interested in NFTs since they have an inherent understanding of their value.
“I think over time, a lot of these things might be interchangeable,” he points out. It’s certainly true that some things are available in both forms — you can create both physical cards and an NFT of the same piece of media.
THE FUTURE OF THE METAVERSE
The other impacts of the metaverse could be even more far-reaching than what we’ve seen already, by merging collectibles and live events in ways we may not have seen before.
“What’s exciting to me is not only being able to interact with people no matter where they are in the world, but seeing what we can do together without physical limitations. How do these cards come to life? How do we see the moment when that picture was taken?
However, he admits there are also plenty of metaverse-related innovations that even he could struggle to predict or comprehend right now. Instead, he says he will leave the new generation to intuitively understand everything digital and metaverse. What will be next?