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How banks can make money in the Metaverse – Transcript

The transcript of the webinar of June 17 2022 entitled How banks can make money in the Metaverse?

TRANSCRIPT 

0.19 Dominic:Hello everybody. I am Dominic Hobson, co-founder of Future of Finance. Welcome to our webinar, ` How banks can make money in the Metaverse.’  Just last week we discussed why now may be the time to take NFTs seriously. Well, the Metaverse is where NFTs come into their own. In the Metaverse, NFTs represent possession of a virtual asset. The holder of an NFT owns it; so they can transfer it, lend it, use it as collateral. In other words, NFTs are what make property rights possible, and it is provable rights of ownership that make it possible to buy and sell virtual assets in the Metaverse. In other words, in the Metaverse, NFTs provide the assets and crypto-currencies provide the cash to pay for them. Cash and assets are what markets are all about, in the Metaverse as elsewhere. And wherever markets are possible, of course finance is indeed necessary.  So if you thought the Metaverse was for gaming. Or, as Mark Zuckerberg seems to think, for connecting people to each other. Think again. The Metaverse is a marketplace. One where banks and brokers and asset managers and insurers can live and work and make money too. To help us work out how that might happen I am joined by four people who have been thinking about the challenges and opportunities of the Metaverse. Heslin Kim is co-founder and CSO at SupraOracles, whose mission is to bring better, faster, more accurate, more secure and more scalable off- and cross-chain data to the smart contracts that power blockchain-based financial market networks.  Mukaya (Tai) Panich is the main deal sourcer and decision maker for investments at SCB 10X. As chief venture and investment officer and managing partner, she is responsible for both venture capital and venture building at SCB 10X.  Henry Price is a theoretical physicist and quant currently completing a doctorate at Imperial College in London, where he works on cryptocurrencies, network theory and blockchain technology. Hw also advises GCEX, which services institutions that trade crypto-currencies and digital assets. Gregor Pryor is a partner in the global entertainment and media industry group at Reed Smith, the international law firm, where he currently specialises in clients active in the social media, virtual and augmented reality and immersive experience industries. Now in addition to our panellists, we do of course also have you – our audience. And all five of us encourage everybody watching or listening to submit questions and comments throughout this webinar by using the Q&A or chat functionality at the bottom of your Zoom screens.  Rest assured we won’t save them up to the end but answer them as we go along.  So you can be an integral part of this discussion right from the outset. 

3.04 What is the Metaverse?

3.04 Dominic: Now, to kick our discussion off, I’d like to begin by asking our panellists to give us an idea of what the Metaverse actually is. How do we define it? I read in the las few days some very clumsy definitions of what the Metaverse is, such as “the Metaverse is a form of parallel universe that can be accessed digitally via a screen (a computer, a mobile) or via a mixed experience of the Augmented Reality or Virtual Reality type.” Another one a saw said it’s a “parallel world in which 3D avatars participate in social and commercial experiences.” I’ve also read some very succinct definitions, such as  “this is the virtual world” or “immersive cyberspace.” My question is: Does it matter that it seems to be so hard to actually define or state what the Metaverse actually is?  Heslin, could I throw that question at you first? Does it matter that this definition of the Metaverse seems so elusive?

4.02 Heslin Kim: I think that it is so elusive because it’s such a nascent industry right now. And the terminology itself is used to define a small sub-set of examples that I think in the future aren’t going to fully define what the potential we have in this environment. So I think that lack of clarity in the definition is also because of a lack of clarity of where this is headed. And what we’re going to see in the future with this actual technology. So the majority of the Metaverse we see right now are these virtual worlds, largely modelled after the MMORPG, the massive multi-player online role playing game. We’ve got these virtual worlds that people are utilising for e-commerce, for gaming, for all these different purposes at the moment, and that are trying to be re-purposed to kind of this remote work like that we’re seeing post-COVID. So I think that we have this very early understanding of what the Metaverse can be. And all of us here and everyone may be in the Web 3.0 industry and parts of Web 2.0 are moving toward that space and slowly building what that full definition will be in the coming years. But I think it’s so early stage now that we have very few live examples of what we could, you know, say are full iterations of what the Metaverse could be. And I think a question that would spin out of out of this then is, you know, that I think I have, – [and] for the other panellists as well and maybe we can get into this now or later – [is,] `But do you see the Metaverse being defined as an initiative that’s going to follow through in the Web 2.0 path? Or do you think it’s going to be largely dictated and driven by Web 3.0?’ And with that in mind, I think that really clarifies, you know, what direction the Metaverse will head for utility and use-cases and potential applications. But, you know, I think that would be a good indicator for me of where we stand as a panel.

6.13 Dominic: Well, I certainly think that, `Is it Web 2.0 or Web 3.0?’ is a massively important question and we’ll definitely come on to that, Heslin, possibly a bit later. But I’d like to pick up the point you made about this emerging from the world of multi-player games. And I think, you know, [for] the uninformed coming towards this, the Metaverse does look awfully like a computer game. The World of Warcraft has actually been called a Metaverse. You know, the gamers are the people who created these virtual assets and traded them inside these games for many years. I think The Sandbox [metaverse] actually began as a game. And in fact, I find it quite hard to tell with The Sandbox and with Decentraland, and indeed, with Axie Infinity, you know, where the game begins and ends and the Metaverse actually begins. You know, gaming experiences are clearly a very early application or attraction inside the Metaverse as well. So it’s obvious that the Metaverse owes a great deal to video games, as indeed the whole of decentralised finance does. You know, they, through this invention of the virtual economy and tokens within that virtual economy [presaged the Metaverse], and there’s even a Play to Earn market these days. So how is it … And, Tai, maybe you have some views on this? I don’t know whether you’re a games player, but do you think the is the Metaverse the kind of Revenge of the of the Gaming Nerds or is the Metaverse going to rapidly outgrow its origins in the gaming community?

7.31 Mukaya (Tai) PanichYeah, sure thing. Thank you, Dominic. I think, I guess, based on our experience, because at SCB 10x we have just launched our SCB 10x headquarters in The Sandbox Metaverse. So I have to say that, in other words, right, when you, when you design a building, it is not just design[ing] a building, but you set a space, and you want to tell the story. And how you tell the story, it has a lot of ways to tell it. Like let’s say when you showed the object, it can be like, the object is dilapidated and that kind of gives you a sense of the … the sense of foreboding, or something, or maybe [a] spooky feeling. Even like [a] small design, like cobwebs, that can also, you know, send a message that something will be maybe like horror, or something that you should be careful. So something like that, telling the story, is something that the game designer [is] really used to. And that’s how they tell the story. It’s like all blended together. And when you design the Metaverse too, [it’s] how you tell your story. It’s not just, you know, how the building or how the environment look, but let’s say [the main] player, or character, the [inaudible] character can also tell your story. Like, let’s say, if all these avatars are in your metaverse and they’re  just walking around, that kind of tells you when you have a [inaudible] going into that space, that `Oh, this is probably the space to explore, because is everybody is walking around.’ But let’s say if you’re [inaudible] and you go in there and see all the people actually gather all around and start trading. That’s probably like the space for commerce. Something like that about storytelling is what game designer[s] [are] very good at. So I think that’s why we see [the] Metaverse [as being] for the game maker, [the] game designer. They are used to something like this, and we see that the early Metaverse is very similar to [a] game. So that’s my point of view. 

9.41 The Metaverse is not one universe but many. How will metaverses talk to each other to create a network of networks we can call The Metaverse?

9.41 Dominic: Well, that’s a very interesting way of humanising the Metaverse. We are always being told we are a storytelling species. And so you, with that one simple metaphor, you’ve actually humanised the Metaverse for lots of people. Now, Henry, perhaps I could bring you in at this point. I don’t know whether being a theoretical physicist means that you know about astrophysics as well, but one thing that’s very obvious to me, reading and thinking about this recently, is that the Metaverse is not one place, but it’s many different places. The report by NonFungible.com counted 47 separate metaverses. There’s a Metaverse real estate investor called Republicrealm that says it owns virtual real estate across 24 metaverses. Clearly, we’ve got our friends at Facebook, now called Meta, building their own metaverse. We’ve got Sotheby’s building one to sell NFTs. We’ve got the Seoul Metropolitan Government in Korea actually setting up a metaverse of its own. So is it reasonable, Henry, to think of the Metaverse as a sort of a set of micro-metaverses? And if so, how are those metaverses going to interconnect with each other? Are we going to end up with something like the blockchain protocols which can’t talk to each other? Or are there initiatives in hand to change this? Heslin, I can see you’d like to contribute on this as well.

10.59 Henry Price: So there’s Oracles, of course. They connect the two different chains together or even [connect the chains to] the real world. But, essentially, I would describe maybe the Metaverse as primarily built like a token enabled economy. And it goes back to where you kind of originally started – cryptocurrencies. With Satoshi, he wanted a ledger community that [had a] non-centralised history of events and ownership. And it’s natural to progress that, you know, [into] real world items or even digital items. I mean, the native tokens, even if they’re owned in digital worlds, you know, that makes a lot more sense than tokenising things in the real world, because there’s already systems a lot faster and a lot more centralised that can do that. So again, I always regard blockchain more as an administrative layer for authentication. And the tokens are basically a way of authenticating whether you own things. So it’s interesting, you bring up World of Warcraft, because that’s the primary example used in the early days before Axie [Infinity] and some of these gaming tokens come into play. It’s like, `Oh, how do you represent a sword?’ And there’s even an economy to sell your sword, you know, on the open market in the World of Warcraft. It’s a bit of a mess and a bit insecure. So why not tokenise and use the existing [inaudible] infrastructure to change it? And why not take your sword from World of Warcraft to another Metaverse? So I see that it’s not really in the interest of gaming providers to currently break down these barriers between worlds. They would make, you know, the first people who do … there’ll be a very interesting secondary market for gaming items and collectibles, which have digital value intrinsic to them. They don’t need to point outwards for value.

12.24 Dominic: Heslin,is there a risk we end up here with metaverses which are like walled gardens – the great fear of the early Internet, as opposed to being this vast and decentralised network of networks? And I’d like to stay with this interoperability, interconnectivity point. It strikes me as a very important one. And Henry referred to Oracles. Oracles are what you do. How are these metaverses going to hook up to each other, Heslin?

12.54 Heslin Kim: I think I’m going to change my LinkedIn title now to `Oracle: That’s what I do.’ But I think it harks back to the Web 2.0, Web 3.0 discussion in terms of the walled gardens and where things are headed. With regard to that, I think [that] in the Web 2.0 era, it’s much more difficult when you have centralised databases and private data that you’re not willing to share with others, to create these kinds of worlds and economies that Henry’s talking about that. [They] are all going to have their own tokens; they are all going to have their own internal economies. And how would you bridge these together? It definitely works more so in the Web 3.0 space, when you’re aiming for decentralisation and you do have these mechanisms and infrastructures in place for this cross-chain compatibility. For, you know, what we do at SuperOracles with bridging real world data, or even data from public blockchains, between one another. So even in the blockchain space, you have these typically disjuncted, siloed ecosystems as per different public blockchains. The necessity of an Oracle is to have those chains communicate with one another. As well as pulling any kind of real-world data such as your pricing data feeds for FX, precious metals, commodities, even things like sports data, weather data, interest rate swaps data, and bringing that on-chain to create interesting derivative products out of that. Now that would be applicable in the Metaverse, I think, in a Web 3.0 infrastructure, because you’ve gotten these really interesting, in-depth experiences for virtualised social media. And when you have social media, people like to, you know, give in-depth  – like Tai was explaining  – in-depth experiences, you know, very detailed characterisations of who they would like to be. Right, the Metaverse, I think, is this potential identity layer in a virtual space where people can now utilise NFTs. They can use digital items to represent who they would like to be in a virtual world, right? And when you have these kinds of NFTs, you have these virtual land plots, you have all this different data that may be sitting on-chain, you know, there’s some very interesting analytics that can be built out of that. And how would you port that over into a dashboard? You know, to be able to streamline all that, to clean it and filter it and make something actionable out of it? Or any kind of, you know, consumer data or marketable data that you could gather from a member. So that would be the Oracle use-case. And the ability to bridge this information from metaverse to metaverse, if it isn’t a Web 3.0 infrastructure, would, you know, benefit greatly from having an Oracle to combine all these different segments. That would be up to the metaverse owners, or the DAO or governance model of how, you know, these different sectors are going to connect to other potential players in the space. So, you know, I really do think it leads up to Web 2.0, Web 3.0 and kind of where the infrastructure is going to lay with regards to that. 

16.16 Henry Price: There’s still quite a lot of information that’s not on-chain. So I think we should be mindful that a lot of the stuff you see, you know, all these pictures and also generated stuff, and the vast majority is not on-chain. So there is only literally three or four fields representing either a competent Oracle version of a picture or very, very little. And also the, you know, the legalities surrounding this is very unclear – what IP you won’t accept. Some of them [will] sort themselves out. So, at the moment, I would say a lot of, there’s still a lot of legacy or centralised systems requirements to run what you’re saying. As I said, if you think of it more like a token-enabled economy or identity layer, that’s like where the actual blockchain tech sits. And then all this is already here at layer two. But there’s also a hell of a lot of gaming stuff will be stuck on other servers. You can’t compute a lot of complex gaming logic on a blockchain. It just simply is not possible there. So yeah, the Metaverse is blended.

17.13 Does the Metaverse need regulation?

17.13 Dominic:It’s very interesting what you say, Henry, because when I was listening to Heslin talking there, it was like .. what he was saying resonates with me in terms of bringing the physical world closer to the virtual world. These Oracles are like the wormholes which allow these two universes to connect with each other. The point you make about not everything being on the chain, presumably over time that problem is solved, not necessarily by the blockchain technology for the reason you’ve just pointed out. So we should bear that point in mind as we talk about the technologies that underlie the Metaverse (and metaverses) later. But Gregory, you’ve been very patient. And I’d like to bring you in, and maybe with a slightly unfair question. As you’ve listened to Henry and Heston and Tai, have you been thinking that something that … The regulators maybe need to get involved here if this Metaverse is to grow and flourish in the way we would like, through lots of different inter-connecting metaverses. Do we need somebody to say, `Well, these are the standards by which you should connect. These are the rules by which you should connect.’ Or can we take the risk that we’re going to end up with these self-governing entities run by, [inaudible] owned and governed by their token holders? After all, you know, the computer industry is not famous for being positive about standards. You know you can’t even hook up an Android or an Apple telephone properly. So it’s an industry with a very long history of wanting to have walled gardens. And whatever we think about the origins of The Metaverse, maybe that kind of attitude persists. Is there a role for regulation or law here?

18.53 Gregor Pryor:I was getting excited when Henry was asking about the legality of ownership in the Metaverse. I thought, `Aha, we should talk about that.’

19.01: Dominic:Do talk about that, because I think I made a very bold claim about that up-front there, which may be complete nonsense.

19.07: Gregor Pryor:  I see the Metaverse as a combination of different technologies, including game engines, including the blockchain, including devices, including a bunch of different enablers that allow us to create these virtual worlds. And for those of us old enough to remember Second Life, there was a big discussion about whether Second Life would have its own legal structure. And I think one law firm even tried to do that. So I see this as very much similar to Web 2.0 when social media first became a thing. And there was always this question, `Does social media require a new layer of regulation?’ And in the early days, the answer was always, `No, it doesn’t.’ And now, if you look at social media and the increasing degree of regulation, [there’s] online harms prevention, a lot of laws around misinformation, around the way that people can behave towards each other. I think regulators increasingly intervene as things become mass market. So if everyone started to do their banking in Decentraland, then you can almost guarantee that the regulator is going to be much more interested. As these things become much more mass market, the level of interest starts to be shown more by the regulators. Current laws already exist. We represented a big electronics company recently who took some land in Decentraland and found that there was an attempt to defraud them within Decentraland. So laws do exist, and you can rely on them. But they’re not really built for the Metaverse because, as you say, some of them are walled gardens. You are already interacting and existing within a framework that’s prescribed. I think DAOs are much more interesting because the idea of a DAO structure, where the community decides and there’s a kind of looser framework around which the Metaverse can operate. From a legal perspective, [that’s] much more interesting. But if you’re in a … If you take, for example, Fortnite or Axie or any game, whether there [is] already terms which apply and you can only behave in a certain way, if that makes sense. As to the ownership point, I mean, there’s tons of examples of people ripping [people off] –  I mean, you will have seen the example of the Dune movie is an NFT. People are simply ripping off other people’s properties. Selling them as an NFT happens a lot. As with Web 2.0 disruption, there’s tons of opportunity for bad behaviour if people are inclined towards it.

22.04: Do avatars in the Metaverse have a secure legal status?

22.04 Dominic:Can I pick up one of the points you raised a few minutes ago – you raised it in the context of Second Life? Now, these avatars are going to be our identities in the Metaverse, so it’s our avatars which actually get to transact business in the Metaverse. They’re going to be our nodes on the network, if you like; they’re going to be our identities, presumably going to be tied to our digital wallets, so the cash and the assets are going to flow. It’s all going to be very tightly tied together. Now, is the legal/regulatory position of those avatars still uncertain? Or do we have like digital identity laws in place, which are sound for protecting our rights in the Metaverse?

22.44 Gregor Pryor:As far as I know, the law doesn’t really prescribe for an avatar to have a legal identity. We all have legal identities. We represent many celebrities. Jay Z has no doubt 50 Facebook pages, but they’re not all Jay Z. So that’s how I would think about it. But certainly when we are all interacting on the Internet, we’re tracked down by our IP address, and the law still applies to us as individuals but not as our avatars.

23.15: How are transactions going to take place in the Metaverse as a marketplace?

23.15: Dominic:Okay, maybe we’re getting ahead of ourselves a bit here. But we should think about the Metaverse as a marketplace, how money gets into it, how transactions occur. Tai, maybe you have some thoughts on this. I’ve just said that we’re going to be represented by our avatars inside this Metaverse. We’re going to hold our cash, our cryptocurrency, in our digital wallet. We’re going to hold our virtual assets, including NFTs, in our wallets as well. And those are going to be exchangeable between digital wallets. We’ll come to the question whether you need banks and other people to help with that. But is my understanding of how this Metaverse is going to work as a marketplace correct? We’re avatars; we have our digital assets and assets and cash flow between those digital wallets. Is that how it’s going to work?

23.59: Mukaya (Tai) Panich: Yeah, so if for example, I have my avatar in The Sandbox, and …

24.03: Dominic: We saw it on yourfilm – you look very elegant, jumping around,

24.10 Mukaya (Tai) Panich:That’s not really me. I’m not really athletic at all. So in The Sandbox, right, I have to create accounts that are associated with The Sandbox, and that I have my avatar that [is] associated with that account. And then I also have an [inaudible] wallet, which is my MetaMask [wallet] that I link to that account. So if I want to spend on anything, I can use my crypto from the wallet that I have. And so, like, for example, when our team went to explore The Sandbox, and at the time there was like [inaudible] pas by the first stage. So we actually, like, used my avatar to go play around, go around The Sandbox, you know, compete and tick off the box on different part[s]. And then after we finish all that, we could get like 1,000 SAND as a reward. So that SAND, for example, is a currency within The Sandbox. And of course, in Decentraland, there’s another currency, right, MANA. So each metaverse right now is like its own country, complete with their own governance, you know, their own currency. The way to do things in the future? It’s possible that, you know, like Heslin talked about, that it can inter-operate just like in DeFi, you can have bridges [to] go across, right, and the asset or the information can be transferred between different metaverses. Marketplaces definitely need that because if you want to trade the asset that you already have, or if you create the asset, and then you want to sell that [asset] you need a marketplace. It can be the marketplace within that metaverse that you create the asset or else in the future, if everything is inter-operating between different metaverses, you can sell in the marketplace of other metaverses as well, right? And after you sell you probably get the currency that maybe from that metaverse or maybe like it can be, you know, the cryptocurrency like Ethereum, for example, that maybe you can also use within that Metaverse, because for The Sandbox you can also buy land with Ethereum. Or you can buy land with SAND. But if you really want to, you know, use all those currencies in your real life, you have to off-ramp it. And that is where the bank is coming from, because, you know, to off-ramp, and to get like, the real world currency like US dollar you need a bank to be in place for that. So I think, you know, we are still in very, very early development. All these pieces are still not really in place. And there’s still a lot of steps that you need to go around in order to do many things.

27.13: Heslin Kim: Dominic, regarding your question about, you know, is the Metaverse a marketplace? And Tai speaking towards some of the infrastructure that’s not in place yet, but also going through the process of what it was like to set up a Sandbox account, have a wallet, have your assets associated with that. But I think interesting news that came out recently is that Novi [the digital wallet owned by Meta, which is being closed from 1 September 2022] has, you know, somewhat pivoted, and now the wallet that they’re creating is focused on allowing NFTs on Instagram [and Facebook]. And then they’re also focused largely on e-commerce. And the Stablecoin [USDP] that they’ve worked with is licensed in the US as a bank – the entity Paxos that’s created the USDP Stablecoin, and the ability to get on and off ramps with USDP, and then interacting with that through the Novi wallet. And so, you know, I think this infrastructure is being put in place, utilised for a widespread market and demographic integrating with social media that exists now. And then seeing how they can bridge these types of assets, this type of digital identity that’s paired to a particular wallet, and then move that into the Metaverse space, you know, as they develop some of the technology further. And so, yeah, I think that the marketplace is an initial stepping stone towards, you know, garnering this larger platform. That’s probably just at such early stages that [inaudible] this earlier stage infrastructure needs to be put in place before we actually, you know, see everything live and in action.

28.55 Why are investors buying real estate in the Metaverse when “land” is in infinite supply in the Metaverse?

28.55: Dominic Well, I mean, irrespective of whether the infrastructure is in place to make it easy to get in and out of this metaverse and do business inside the Metaverse – and you’re quite right to allude to that- transactions are happening now. I mean, I read this NonFungible report in which they said 133,500 sales took place last year. And 80 per cent of those – 89 per cent, in fact – of those transactions made money for people. People were selling real estate. I think they were selling, you know, wearables and things for their avatars. I think what puzzles a lot of people, particularly, is the virtual real estate thing. Gregor referred to a client of his who’s been defrauded through tried to buy virtual [real estate] To an outsider, and this may be a very naive question, people think, `Well, why are they buying this? This land? Why does it have a value?’ After all, in the virtual world, the supply of land – unlike the real world – is kind of infinite. You know, it’s not sort of, `They don’t make it any more.’ You can make it forever. And The Sandbox is recording over 16,000 virtual landowners. Why are they doing that? Some of them will be doing it for speculation, but I imagine most of them are doing it because they want to create some kind of content inside the Metaverse. In other words, they want to sell something or buy something there.

30.15: Mukaya (Tai) Panich: Can I answer that question? No, because actually the land is limited. In The Sandbox, for example, there’s a finite [supply of] land. And after it all got sold out, then it will only come from secondary transactions. And so I think it’s supply and demand. People feel that, you know, in the future, there will be more and more companies and brands coming into Metaverse. And in order to build anything, right, build stores, or build headquarters, they have to have land in order to do that. And so people think that [inaudible] .. 

30.55 Dominic: If, as you say, the secondary market is bigger than the primary market is ..

30;59: Mukaya (Tai) Panich: Definitely secondary market.

31.01: Henry Price:That’s the objective. 

31.03 Are retail investors in the Metaverse being exploited by professional investors as they are in the cryptocurrency, DeFi and NFT markets?

31.03 Dominic:Well, it is but if we see .. in NFTs the problem we see is that actually that means there’s a lot of professional traders active in the marketplace. We’re starting to, if you like, live at the expense of retail investors who have been drawn into the market and then exploited if you like by professional investors. We discussed this in our webinar last week. Is that a problem? 

31.25: Mukaya (Tai) Panich  Henry … I think Henry wants to say something. And then I … 

31.27: Henry Price:I was about to say, obviously having a retail market is, you know … Again, our businesses is B2B, exchange only, so regulated. And the FCA has come quite hard. I mean, obviously, we’re UK-based so I’m talking about the FCA. But, broadly speaking, you know, retail markets, you know, are not to be trifled with. Regulators are pushing people out. And this kind of smacks to me of the 2017 ICO Bubble. There are some legitimate projects involved, and some of them turned out to be quite large chains. But, you know, protecting retail from you know, speculating on things that they don’t have full knowledge of, there’s a lot of … there’s no regulation … They can be fully taken advantage of because [they are] completely outside the regulatory perimeter. So this is part of the consolidation, but it’s a completely new asset class. So you can play a lot of old tricks that used to be played, which is not good for retail. Okay, now, within this, there is something, you know, that’s the nature of these things. It’s within a fraction of a fraction of these that there’s something quite novel about what they’re trying to do.

32.27: What are the roles that banks can play in the Metaverse and what services can they provide?

32.27 Dominic: Now, we’ve been asked a question by a member of the audience. It’s a good one. It’s really the topic we were talking about. We’re taking quite a long time to get there, but his or her question is, `Can you speak more about the role of banks in this Metaverse marketplace? Are they essential in any way? What roles can a bank play to service the user base inside the Metaverse? Is it limited to reproducing analogue products and services? What are some of the innovative approaches to generate revenue?’ So, if I could ask – and Heslin you’re probably best placed to answer this – and Tai, I’m sure you’ve got views – you’re part of a bank, after all. I can see banks … We’ve talked about all these transactions happening. We can see banks are needed to make payments. We can see they’re needed to exchange these Stablecoins, these cryptocurrencies and maybe – we haven’t even touched on this yet – the central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) once these become available. [Inaudible] usual banking activities, running digital wallets, making payments, exchanging currencies, and so on, but maybe also lending. Maybe they can use some of these assets as collateral. So, personally, I can see lots of reasons for banks to do interesting things in this world. But what would be your answer to our audience member? Heslin?

33.41 Heslin Kim: Again,I think that Tai is probably the ideal panel member to speak about this. But really, I think what’s going on here, and why we’ve seen so much engagement from the banks in the sector, is that there’s this cross-pollination going on between crypto and between traditional financial markets. And we’re seeing that there are entities that are moving from the Web 3.0 world and trying to make real world examples and tangible physical statements about their place and prominence in the industry. So seeing Crypto.com, eToro, FTX, go out and brand themselves on top of sports stadiums, you know, I think that’s a statement to show what kind of place they service in the industry. Now, vice versa, I think that banks moving into the Metaverse is a similar positioning, right? And the play here is really a much earlier stage demographic, getting involved with users who are going to be exposed to this earlystage infrastructure that groups like Novi, and other institutions are building out in regards to this NFT sector and, you know, creating these digital IDs. One thing that’s largely important – and that doesn’t exist right now in Web 3.0 – is the fact that you can’t insure your assets. And that’s, you know, utilising a bank, you know, you have this security that your assets, at least up to a certain value, are insured by the bank itself. And right now, within the Web 3.0 space, you know, we do have some instances of insurance that can provide covers for your wallet or hot wallets. But, you know, it’s largely still up to that protocol, and that protocol could get hacked as well. So I think there are instances of insurance that are very much needed in this space. And then also, like you mentioned, these borrowing and lending opportunities out of the land itself and how it’s applicable to these market instances to, you know, build out these new types of business verticals and scenarios. So we’ll see where it heads but yeah, Tai, I’d love to hear you know, what led SCB into building a virtual plot and is there an idea of monetising it? Is that where you guys are headed with that or is it a marketing – a great way to get involved with the younger generation?

36.15: Mukaya (Tai) Panich: Well,Heslin, I have a very glamorous reason why we actually built a headquarters in the Metaverse. But I have to say that it’s not as glamorous as you think. Partly because we invest into The Sandbox, we really think that the Metaverse, you know, the future of the Metaverse could be huge. And brands and companies can use the Metaverse as a new way to acquire customers because more and more people spend time online. And right now, you know, they just spend time on the Internet and e-commerce, but in the future these people might actually move into the Metaverse, because there might be a potential for a lot of activities to happen in there. And, you know, your daily activities might actually be moving to the Metaverse. And so for us, after we invested, we wanted to show as well that we have the technical capability and creativity – that we could build into the Metaverse and show kids what can happen with your imagination. And so that’s what happened. You know, when we wanted to build into The Sandbox, we talked to the founder of The Sandbox, and he suggested to us, you know, `Do something very creative, something that cannot actually be in the real world, like something floating in the air, or something like floating on the water, because you know, there’s no physical limit. There’s no physics, no gravity at all. There’s no, like, sense of safety because you can do anything in the Metaverse. So just build.’ So that’s what we did. For us, though, we think that in the future, there’s so many things that we could do, regarding to banking in the Metaverse. But that also depends on the regulation and governance [inaudible] question because the regulators are quite concerned, right? All these concepts about cryptocurrency in [inaudible] are very new, and there’s a lot of retail investors that are not really quite sure what’s going on, and there may be too much speculative [activity] and lost money. And of course, the regulator did not want that to happen. But for us, we think that, like, first of all, you know, [a] bank could have like a branch in the Metaverse. That we could offer, like, financial services-related activities in there. You could, like, deposit the money just like online, right? But then if you can do it with your avatar in the Metaverse and then, you know, it shows up in your bank account. Or you can actually have the investment centre inside the Metaverse and people can come with your avatar, you know, to talk to our avatar – all these [are] like tellers in bank branches – an investment advisor and, you know, get advice [and] things like that. So that’s quite simple. But exactly like you were saying, in the future, it can also be lending [and] borrowing. A bank could take the NFT collateral from people who created all those asset [inaudible] and you know, can do an appraisal, and then can give the loan based on that. [They] can also provide insurance too, because, like, you know, all these NFT [inaudible], with all the land, itself can become, like, very valuable in the future. So that type of thing could come into play, but it also depends on regulation. For example, in Thailand a bank cannot own a digital asset. So for us, when we build into the Metaverse, we actually did not build all those digital building blocks into NFT. Because an NFT is considered a digital asset, for example. So we are waiting for the regulators to, you know, look through all these and come up with the digital asset framework that might allow bank to own digital assets.

40.11 Dominic: Okay, so to answer the question directly which the member of the audience asked, `What banking services are currently offered today? What will be available in the future? Can you open an account, for example? can you apply for a loan?’ We have seen the Korean banks open branches in the in the Metaverse already. You can open an account with an avatar and you can apply for a loan from the same avatars. And so the answer to those questions is, `Yes, in certain jurisdictions, right now.’ And I think you’ve been saying that’s part of the future plan of the Siam Commercial Bank in the Metaverse as well. Tai, is that right?

40.44 Mukaya (Tai) Panich: Yes. We would love to, when the regulator allows [it].

40.49: Will KYC, AML, CFT and sanctions screening checks be done differently in The Metaverse?

40.49: Dominic:Well, okay, and maybe Gregor, you have some thoughts on how these current regulations map [against The Metaverse]. Here’s a very interesting question: `How do you think you can handle KYC in this virtual environment?’ You might just have anybody wandering into the Metaverse and opening an account with an anonymous avatar of their own. You kind of need to run the KYC, AML, CFT and sanction screening checks to make sure it’s not Vladimir Putin trying to recycle his ill-gotten gains in a Thai or Korean bank don’t you? Gregor, what’s the … How do you do KYC in the Metaverse? And what’s …

41.23: Gregor Pryor I think you do it in the same way you do it online today, really. I mean that those rules are not going to change,

41.30 Dominic: That’s the problem – identifying someone’s very inefficient and very expensive.

41.33 Gregor Pryor:  Well, yeah, I mean, we see it a lot in our business. There’s a question around the extent to which regulators will ultimately get comfortable with, you know, a digital badge or digital identifier for individuals at some point. Seems to me, that’s a logical thing to happen in future. But there are things to

41.55: Dominic: Banks could do it couldn’t they? The banks could issue digital identities in the Metaverse. Why not offer it as a service?

42.04: Gregor Pryor:Well, you would need to be accredited or in some way approved, I imagine, right?

42.10: Dominic: They’re doing the work already, aren’t they? 

42.12: Henry Price: Yeah, the big other weakness of blockchain in fact is it’s all public information. So you’re always going to have an off-chain entity holding some information, because you simply don’t want your unique identity on the blockchain. So there’s kind of a conflict, like, instantly, with these systems. But I would also just quickly add that in terms of what we do for the exchange, we check all the funds via Chainalysis non-chain tools. So there’s actually … In some ways, the funds are more clearly tracked [and] traceable than in fiat [currency]. So there’s a, you know, complete audit trail back to the genesis of every coin used – I mean, unless you go through a mixer, [on] which there’s been some interesting FCA [actions]. They’re interested in regulating such objects as well. But I would just say that the money is clean. But the public nature of blockchains means that the identity you have on-chain is, actually, [that you] don’t want it [there]. So there’s always going to be this duality, where you simply can’t have a public identity which contains everything because it’d be a nightmare.

43.10 Dominic:Why can’t your avatar be a fully customer due diligence approved but anonymous person?

43.17: Henry Price:It can be. You have to ask someone to sit in the middle. That’s why PayPal became so powerful in Web 2.0 because everybody said `Let’s have peer-to-peer money,’ but they needed to have someone to say, `Yes, this is the guy and he has the money,’ if you’re going to go down that route.

43.33 Heslin Kim:There are existing KYC/AML companies have run checks on blockchain public addresses, and then you can tie your blockchain public address to your KYC AML information, just as you would when you send in your documents for your proof of address alongside your passport, alongside your physical ID, you know? And you’re able to actually tether essentially a public key that you own to your identity. And in that sense, you would be able to replicate both the assets that you hold in that wallet, which would be your fiat on- and off-ramps based Stable coins. It would be the NFTs that you hold that represent the digital items that you interact with in the Metaverse. It’d also be your ability to log into the Metaverse using that public key. And any assets that you might hold that represent that token economy that Henry was talking about previously, especially, you know, [to] go about engaging in that e-commerce marketplace that exists in the Metaverse side. So really, it really does depend on the ability to have that initial wallet infrastructure in place that aggregates all those pieces of data infrastructure that you’re going to need to interact with this environment. And what you want that wallet to do is also be cross-chain and compatible with these multiple metaverses that sit on different blockchain infrastructures as well as Web 2.0 centralised databases. So, you know, I think, it largely harks back to that infrastructure piece, that wallet use, and making sure that’s crossing-compatible and has the digital identity identification certificate. 

45.14: Will the tokens and NFTs used in the Metaverse rank in legal and regulatory terms as securities?

45.14: Dominic Okay, well, we’ll come back to that question very, very soon about cross-chain. But, Gregor, I’d like to come back to you as I interrupted you, for which I apologise. But banking is not just about opening accounts, money transmission, making loans, helping borrowers. There’s also a big securities industry, which is which is operated by banks and, tell me, are tokens and are NFTs in particular  – are these securities? We are talking here of Europe or UK or US.

45.40: Gregor Pryor:I’ve been asked that question about 500 times this year, I think. The short answer is it depends on how they are used. So there is a test that I think most people are familiar with that the SEC puts towards, you know, whether an NFT is – I forget the different limbs of the test, but essentially …

46.04: Dominic: Is it the Howey Test, right? 

46.06: Gregor Pryor: Yeah, the Howey Test, right. And whether there is a pursuit of commercial gain, and you know, there’s many different NFT models that we’re seeing in the marketplace, especially for kids’ collectibles. For example, if there’s an NFT marketplace for kids’ collectibles, could they be securities? Well, it depends if people are trading them for the pursuit of financial gain. The answer is they can be securities or deemed to be securities and you could have a problem. The US regulators are probably the furthest ahead on this, I think, compared to any other country. Certainly, it’s the most developed law we’ve seen.

46.49: Is the current state of technology (particularly the headsets) capable of supporting a Metaverse which has mass market appeal? 

46.49: Dominic:  Okay, let’s get  .. We’re into the last quarter of our discussion. Let’s talk a little bit about the technology which you brought up a minute ago, Heslin. Now, clearly, we’re in the foothills of what the Metaverse is capable of. And the technology, it reminds me a bit of the early mobile phones or perhaps even the early days of the Internet. There’s not a lot of speed. There’s not a lot of scalability because we don’t yet have the bandwidth. We don’t even have 5G networks in all locations. We don’t necessarily have the computing power. The technology is clearly getting better. But at the end of the day, you’re going to have this headset on your face. And you’re going to be holding these devices. And if I look at all the Metaverse, platforms I’ve looked at – we talked about The Sandbox and Decentraland, there’s Cryptovoxels, Somnium Space, NFT Worlds, House of Kibaa, Polka City and SuperWorld  – and all these were or are being built on the Ethereum blockchain. That’s where all this began. And we already have problems of inter-operability between different blockchain protocols. We’ve got a sort of perfect storm here of insufficient telecoms bandwidth, insufficient computer processing and storage power, possibly, but also this problem of incompatible blockchain networks. And this thing doesn’t work unless people buy this space, [and] they can go on there and start creating compelling content, which people wish to either play or use or watch or sell or buy, or lend or borrow. So this thing can’t work without really powerful supporting technology. And how far away are we from that? Henry, you have some views on this, but Heslin, what’s your what’s your take? Are we close or not?

48.32: Heslin KimI think that’s a great question. I think just like the development of mobile phones, right, we had iterations of those initial models or, you know, we had those brick models that were ridiculously too large, and they weren’t transportable, and they weren’t mobile. And it wasn’t simple at all to use, and [they were] very segmented towards supports different socio-economic classes. You move into this space where the technology becomes cheaper, it becomes more widespread. You have, you know, features and customer experience – UI, UX – that get enhanced, and over time, you’ve got at least the ability to have a small Motorola. Then SMS becomes important and more use-case[s] emerge. And then you have the ability to have the flip phones that have touch face interface screens, and now you have colour-based screens. And you know, then you have the advent of something like the iPhone, which takes it into an entirely new perspective, a new world of applications with a mobile device. And I think the stage we’re at now with regards to the Metaverse is that, you know, 1980s brick of a phone that you used to see, right? It’s not that user friendly. I, you know, are you going to use it, Dominic? I definitely, you know, I’ve tried it a few times. And I’m not going to be throwing on an Oculus anytime soon for my daily activities. But where I do see things headed is this convergence of AR, this convergence of VR, and then this, this movement towards XR, which is this, you know, ability to merge all these sectors together. I think an interesting technology that we will see in the future that will play a very large component into Metaverse is, you know, things like what Elon Musk is working with Neuralink. And how will Neuralink, you know, impact the ability to interact with digital worlds, digital content. We’ll always see things like that, headed with the ability to interface with AR, with VR, you know, directly from implants, you know. And I think that’s roughly ten to 15 years away for medical purposes, but you know, in a 20-year trajectory, where do we see those implants impacting the interaction we have with digital worlds? So yeah, I think we’re at very early stages, which is why you know, we’re not seeing a mass push for retail and consumers to get involved with these existing applications. But [it’s] why there is this large-scale potential and why everyone’s claiming that this is a great land grab opportunity to get involved with at early stage.

51.28 Henry Price: Yeah, I don’t want to be the whole, like, wizard behind the curtain thing. But we’ve come to this whole conversation without really talking about smart contracts – like what they do, right? They’re mitigation of counterparty risk. So the first initial smart contract is an exchange contract. And without having a third party involved you say, `I put this token here, this token here. And if this is the correct conditions, then they do a swap to you.’ This is a decentralised exchange, you know, we [are] imitating real life, right? So this is the first marketplace. It’s essentially, `Token here, token there, does that match $100,000? Okay, great, you get your crypto, you get your 50 as well from the swap. That is the primary, the primordial elements, right? And then you get interesting things like [inaudible] DAOs. How do you implement more complicated infrastructure and rules and laws? So these are the kind of primitives that grow and grow. All this stuff with the Metaverse I find this more like, as I said, the Wizard Behind the Curtain is purely these smart contracts and how complicated they can get, and how many interactions they can mediate. Because ownership of land is purely just saying, `Okay, you’re allotted in a ledger.’ Which is obviously decentralised, which makes it kind of cool that you don’t have to go to a third party to validate the ownership. So this is the actual core, this is the guy behind the curtain, and then everything, everything on top is the secondary layer. So I think of it more like that. And then banks can even come in just as giving you a Stablecoin, for example. Just backing one side of the trade in a currency that isn’t all over the place is one thing. And then you can mediate loans like that. You can go to  … Because it’s completely counterparty … It doesn’t need a counterparty. So you can also get loans on conditions.

53.01: Dominic: Gregor, you must contribute to this. I mean, the Wizard Behind the Curtain – there’s equally a need for a lawyer and a regulator in front of the curtain.

53.08: Gregor Pryor:I think Henry’s description is brilliant, actually. I think the potential of smart contracts and the ability just to be able to transact. And as he very cleverly puts it, you know, ameliorate that counterparty risk. That’s what the smart contract is capable of doing. And as they as they evolve and become .. There are law firms springing up now who solely concentrate on smart contracts. And so that, yeah, our communities are figuring out, `Wow, this is really going to be the future.’ And I’m quite convinced that that executable idea that you can discuss, `Wow, okay, a bank could lend immediately as soon as those criteria are satisfied. You don’t need to go through any approval process. The smart contract just does it for you.’ That’s super exciting, I think. 

54.03: Dominic Could I … Tai, you go.

54.05 Mukaya (Tai) Panich: Yeah, I wanted to talk about the Metaverse builder perspective. It’s very, very early Metaverse because the tooling is still very primitive. And if you expect that, you know, all these people are coming into metaverses and going to build in mass, the tool right now is definitely, yeah, very, very primitive. Like, for example, my team, we actually decide everything. We actually hired an architect and graphic designer into SCB 10x in order to do this building of the headquarters. And the architect there [inaudible] everything outside. And when they want to transport and do it like in a [inaudible] sale version, it just didn’t work that way. Because like the way, like what he did, and game maker tool, it didn’t enable [inaudible] at all. And beyond just the tooling, you know, the demand. The platform is still not be able to take in a lot of users all at once because they go when we were building, and that night, The Sandbox started Alpha Pass Season Two, and then suddenly tons of people came into the platform to play. And that night, basically everything crashed. We couldn’t do anything. And so you know, if you’re going to be prepared for the mass coming into the Metaverse, the infrastructure is not yet able to support the demand that comes in. 

55.50 DominicTai, in that case can I ask you a question? As you as you look across your investment portfolio, are you betting mainly on the people building the infrastructure in the old California Gold Rush metaphor that the shovel sellers [make the money] or are you betting on the people who are actually building Metaverse platforms? As you look at your portfolio, where do you think the investment opportunity lies?

56.13 Mukaya (Tai) Panich:In general, we like to invest in infrastructure because in the new area, like crypto. Blockchain, NFT, Metaverse,  yeah, you’re not going to make a mistake investing in infrastructure because it’s so new and, you know, with all the innovation that happened, you need a lot of good infrastructure as a building block. For me, in Metaverse, I think there’s a lot of potential in, you know, tooling, in, like, the builder themselves. You know, all these … There’s a lot of demand right now, for example, ones that we showcase our better ways. Headquarters – there’s so much demand coming in asking us whether we could build the Metaverse headquarters or store or restaurant or something like that for them as well. So Metaverse builder, that will be a very interesting business to actually invest in. But beyond that, it shouldn’t be test, consulting project, one-to-one type of business. It should be like you are building infrastructure, building tools, so that you can actually build multiple projects all at once, using not so many people. So I’m looking for that type of start-up to actually invest in.

57.36: Dominic:Okay, well expect you’ll be inundated with calls now from people looking for equity investors.

57.44 Mukaya (Tai) Panich:If you want us to design your headquarters or restaurant or store, please contact us as well.

57.52 Is the Metaverse about to be taken over and emasculated by large corporations or does it have sufficient strength to transform capitalism by digitising everything?

57.52 Dominic: We’re into our last two or three minutes now, sadly. We could keep going. But I’d like just to conclude by asking each of you a sort of futuristic question, which is that  – and I’ll lay my own cards on the table  here. I’m very excited by this. I kind of believe in this. And I believe in computing, as predicted by Alan Turing, is going … You know, any physically possible environment can be simulated in a computer. So this, to me seems like a kind of apotheosis of what he was describing all those years ago. And then I get very depressed. I see Facebook calling itself Meta and looking to dominate the space. I see Bill Gates saying, well, in two or three years’ time, we’ll all be having all our meetings in the Metaverse. I get to the Second Life website and I see one of the applications they’re offering is, `Well, you can do a business meeting,’ like they’re selling Zoom or Microsoft Teams or Skype or something. So I’m sort of torn here by the excitement which the technology and the vision contains, but also a bit worried it’s going to be taken over by large corporations, and we see Adidas and Nike and McDonalds and all these people already building shop fronts inside the Metaverse. So is the potential of this to kind of revolutionize capitalism – what Henry was talking about, about the power of these DAO, the power of smart contracts to change the way in which the entire – not just the financial economy, but the entire economy of the world – [and change the way the system] actually works. Is there a risk that that vision will be undermined? And we’ll end up with Microsoft owning the Metaverse at work. And Facebook or Meta owning the Metaverse of Play. And Amazon owning the Metaverse of shopping. Henry, you go first. And I’ll ask each of you the same question.

59.32 Henry Price:  Yeah, I mean, I like the idea that this will be a new paradigm and all this stuff. But I fear that … I like how it’s captured people’s imaginations with NFTs and art because it’s kind of made all this, you know, cryptography very tangible. Like I told you, these things are quite abstract. But I do also firmly believe that a lot of these smart contract mediated things will become hidden bureaucracy, you know, technocratic bureaucratic layers of things, they’ll like settle your pension investments, or make sure the fridge has the right power compared to the toaster, you know, and then we’ll forget about it. So if you don’t involve yourself now, you may find that large portions of your life may be taken over by these small activities. So I think it’s definitely right to be concerned and involved because, as I said, these smaller transactions, which are all relatively automatable, will suddenly be taken over by an entity like Microsoft. It’s obvious. They will say, `Okay, well, we can apportion resources correctly like this.’ So, yeah, in [inaudible] this is a gateway to like deeper understanding. But this this layer, if you lose interest, could be the, you know, the depressing part of all this. You know, these smaller parts are easily taken over as like an administrator. 

1.00.37: Dominic: Tai .. Oh, who was that? 

1.00.40 Gregor Pryor:I was just going to say, Dominic, I mean, I think the interesting thing about this space is if you think about Web 2.0 some of the companies you mentioned, are really Web 2.0 companies. You know, they’re vastly powerful, profitable businesses, but they really derived from Web 2.0, and Web 3.0 will create some new ones. And so, you know, it won’t be your …  Amazon will absolutely always be relevant, but it won’t just be those companies. There will be new ones. That will be huge. There’s a reason why Andreessen Horowitz are putting just about every dollar in their fund into crypto stuff at the moment. 

1.01.17 Dominic:What’s the  … Can I ask you, Greg, what are lawyers doing to keep up with smart contracts, with DAOs?

1.01.25 Gregor Pryor:I think that yeah, I mean, I think it’s so early, that I think the regulators … The SEC is a good example. I think they they’re doing what lawmakers always do, which is react late. 

1.01.41 Dominic:But what is your what is your profession doing? Lord Mansfield totally reinvented commercial law at the end of the 18th century to take account of industrialisation and the need for joint stock companies? Do we not need something very similar now? Is there not work that you and people like you could do rather than waiting for the SEC or the government to do something? 

1.01.59: Gregor Pryor: I’ve been told for years that I’m going to be replaced by a robot. And so far, it’s happened right?

1.02.06: Dominic: We did a whole webinar on that.

1.02.07 Gregor Pryor:Law firms are making, you know, as much money as they always have, I think. Are we doing what we should be doing as a profession? There’s definitely more we could be doing. Working on smart contracts, and being much more familiar [with them]. I don’t think there’s that many lawyers that fully understand how a smart contract works. Because it’s not just the old law. You’ve got the kind of executable element which is anathema to many lawyers. So it’s a very fair comment, Dominic. I think there’s a lot more we could be doing. And the winners in my space are going to be those that innovate and get ahead of it. I’m sure of that.

1.02.45 Dominic:Okay, we’ll have you back to see what you’ve …

1.02.49 Gregor Pryor: I’ll be a robot by then, don’t worry.

1.02.53 Dominic: We’ll have your avatar here. Tai, a word from you. Is this .. Are we looking here at a total reinvention of capitalism? Or is it capitalism as usual? What do you feel as an investor in the sector? Tai?

1.03.06 Mukaya (Tai) Panich: Hmm. I think it’s going to be the, you know, the transition into the new regime, like Web 3.0 right? We can read right? In the past, we can read and write, and we don’t own our data, we don’t own our content. I just think that it’s going to be the new regime that you can benefit from, you know, your own creation, your own creativity. The builder, the user, will be able to benefit from all these and everything will align in terms of incentives. The more you use, the more you create, the more you can benefit from that. Yeah. So I would say that it’s the continuation of capitalism in a different paradigm.

1.04.00 Dominic:Thank you, Ty. That’s a very encouraging message. So, Heslin, you heard that. We’re all going to become our own creators, owners, directors, customers, the vision of DeFi and of the decentralised future, the DAOs, the world of smart contracts. So it’s not going to be … The Metaverse is not going to be business as usual, just in 3D. What’s your expectation, looking forward?

1.04.21 Heslin Kim: I think an interesting [idea] to preface that answer with is the, you know, the concept of this walled gardens discussion [we had] right at the very beginning and the fact that Meta itself has just recently sold their entire blockchain division Diem to Silvergate. Right then, if Meta is going to position themselves as the forefront of [the] Metaverse, even though we have Web 3.0 iterations that claim to be, is that really what we’re going to see mass scale consumers utilising as Metaverse, right? I think it all depends about branding and marketing. It’s not always about the best tech, what are the most utilitarian or libertarian tech that will survive. So no, it is going to be a dominant factor. And I think there’s going to be these two components of, you know, who’s going to take advantage and claim ownership of [the] Metaverse. And as long as Web 3.0 can, you know, have its foothold and maintaining a semblance of what Henry was talking about, you know, they’re still the instances where traditional finance players can get involved, just through the infrastructure layer, just through having digital custodians, just through making sure that they have, you know, KYC providers who are able to onboard public addresses, investing into the wallet infrastructure, any of these base pieces that can be done now. A metaverse is just a user experience and a new way for a customer to get involved with the products that a bank could offer in a new way, right? And where do I see it headed? I, you know, I think there’ll be both divisions and we’ll see how things play out as far as hardware is concerned, and as far as, you know, mass consumers are concerned  – which they choose and what’s the easiest to utilise. So I’m all for the Web 3.0 movement, you know. But I can be a bit optimistic and pessimistic at the same time that will make it at the top of things. So ..

1.06.31 Dominic: Well, sadly, I think we must stop there. But I think all of our panellists have said in their very different ways this the Metaverse is the decisive battle now between the digital past and the digital future. It’s up to all of us to play our part in doing that. So we all have a responsibility to understand what is going on and play our part in it and we can effect really meaningful change. That’s an optimistic note to end on. I’d like to thank our panelists already for that optimistic note to thank them personally for taking part. Heslin Kim from SupraOracles. Gregor Pryor from Reed Smith. Tai from SCB 10x. And of course Henry Price from Imperial College. Thank you also to our audience, for your questions and your comments. We will be returning to this subject sometime soon because I think it’s going to be a long-running theme for us. Now here at Future of Finance our next webinar is two weeks today, Thursday, the 7th of April [2022], same time, 1400 London time, same place. Zoom. In it we’re going to discuss `How to make the InsurTech revolution actually happen.’ I hope many of you can join us then. 

If you would like more information or we can assist in any way or you would like to join future discussions please email Wendy Gallagher on wendy.gallagher@futureoffinance.biz