People have been dreaming of some form of Metaverse for a while. In fact, the word “Metaverse” dates back to a 1982 book called Snow Crash. But while many saw some sort of virtual reality world coming, few could predict the boom in digital art and other collectibles that was fueled by the boom in NFTs.
As a longtime fan of sports collectibles and adept at both music and startup investing, DJ Skee had a better chance than most of recognizing how the metaverse could impact those areas. And with projects like a Collectible Alternative Asset Fund (mint10), a Metaverse-as-a-Service business (DXSH) and a position as TSX Entertainment’s Chief Metaverse Officer under his belt, it’s fair to say the personality has a lot of ground underfoot already.
Let’s see his thoughts on the future of the metaverse and how it might shape his areas of expertise.
THE BIRTH OF MUSICAL EVENTS IN THE METAVERSE
The prospect of holding major events in the Metaverse might sound too futuristic for some – but they’re fast becoming a reality and have garnered a lot of attention in recent years. As the pandemic went digital and the shift to remote working and Zoom calls, the ability to connect with others in a whole new virtual dimension suddenly made a lot of sense.
So why not host virtual reality concerts and festivals in this way too?
We have already seen some examples of this. Metaverse platform Decentraland held their own four-day Decentraland festival in 2021, while Fortnite had performances from the likes of Travis Scott and Marshmallow, and Roblox collaborated with Lil Nas X.
DJ Skee has been involved in a few events like this himself, running virtual DJ sets for Discord festival Snowsgiving and even a VR headset set for electronic music store Beatport.
Skee says, “My focus is on figuring out how to build that 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 constrained by firefighters, capacity, gravity and the like.”
While Skee is excited about these innovations, he believes we are only at the very early stages of adoption and it will be some time before any of this reaches the mainstream.
WHAT ABOUT SPORTS?
While the metaverse can potentially change the way we play or watch sports, Skee’s primary focus is how it could impact the collectibles associated with it. One of DJ Skee’s many ventures is owning alternative fundraising fund Mint10, and sports cards are among his biggest investments. But why does he think it will be so successful?
DJ Skee points out that while Web-3 may seem like an alien concept, it actually has many parallels to the real world. NFTs are often compared to sports cards, which have been around since the 19th century. In fact, Skee was involved in the field himself from a young age, became interested in maps after the World Series ended, and wanted an opportunity to extend the experience and enjoyment he was getting from it.
Projects like Dapper Labs’ NBA Top Shot (an NFT marketplace for collectibles commemorating important moments in the NBA) have capitalized on this by taking something that already existed and adapting it for the real world. In the case of sports, that means taking big moments and presenting them in a new form – not just as an image, as cards would do, but as video. And fans have the joy of knowing they alone own the moment as it takes the form of an NFT.
Then there are funds like Skee’s Mint10, where everyone gets a piece 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 that have the potential to grow and become very successful. “Our fund really offers a unique perspective for anyone who just wants to invest in the sector as a whole, both the companies and the cards that drive it,” he says.
WEB3 VS OTHER COLLECTIBLES
Skee has also been involved in art projects, which is something NFTs have always been associated with.
Most notably, he launched sets of artist cards called Project20 and Project 70 with Topps. This interest also led him to an interest in collecting other types of 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 of other types of collectibles. That doesn’t bother DJ Skee.
Rather, he believes they could breathe a whole new life into them by bringing in new markets and players. And maybe even new fans as people who are interested in NFTs and have little background on other collectibles are starting to study their origins. Likewise, collectibles enthusiasts are one of the groups most likely to be interested in NFTs as they have an inherent understanding of their value.
“I think over time a lot of these things could be interchangeable,” he points out. It’s certainly true that some things are available in both forms – you can create both physical maps and an NFT from the same medium.
THE FUTURE OF THE METAVERS
The other implications of the Metaverse could be even more far-reaching than what we’ve already seen, merging collectibles and live events in ways we may never have seen before.
“What excites me is not just 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 alive? How do we see the moment this picture was taken?
However, he admits that there are also many Metaverse-related innovations that even he would find difficult to predict or understand right now. Instead, he says he will leave it to the new generation to intuitively understand all things digital and metaverse. What’s next?