We’re in the beginning stages of a relatively new revolutionary innovation. The metaverse is the web3 next wave changing the way we’ll socialize, work, play video games, and interact. We’ll soon see business started, office buildings constructed, meetings held for remote workers, and job interviews conducted in virtual reality.
Digital commerce in virtual reality will boom, especially as major companies such as Walmart are diving in. The big box retailer plans to sell goods virtually, ranging the gamut from electronics, home decorations, childrens’ toys and games, sporting goods, personal care products to physical fitness training services and health and nutrition classes in augmented and virtual reality.
They are not the first merchandiser to do this. It’s becoming a gold rush for retailers and apparel makers as they’re turning towards virtual reality, and don’t want to be left behind. CNBC reported that German sportswear company, Adidas, released NFTs and purchased land on the Sandbox VR, a virtual real estate company. Upscale fashion house Gucci partnered with gamemaker Roblox to sell items. Balenciaga struck a deal with Epic Games, the creator of Fortnite, to offer clothing that can be purchased in virtual stores. Louis Vuitton created Louis The Game showcasing it’s high-end brand.
Nike acquired digital sneaker company RTFKT, a popular metaverse company that has a line of sneakers. An eighteen year old artist at the group sold more than $3 million dollars in virtual sneakers in under seven minutes.
Google, Apple, Microsoft and Meta are in a heated race to get their VR/AR headsets to market at an affordable price point for widespread consumer adoption. Although, you may be able to participate and enjoy the metaverse without using the glasses and other gear.
To learn more about metaverse, we spoke with Andrew Kiguel, CEO of Tokens.com, an early real estate investor in virtual reality. The former investment banker recently made headlines with his company’s purchase of real estate in the fashion district of Decentraland, paying around $2.5 million for the space.
Kiguel sees the future in the metaverse. In a wide ranging interview with the tech executive, he points out that a confluence of events has set the stage for the rapid advancement of virtual and augmented reality becoming widely accepted.
The pandemic kept us indoors for two years, and it’s still not over. We’ve become acclimated to new technologies and heavily relying upon and using existing softwares, apps and platforms from the comfort of our homes and apartments. Young people—home from school as their classes went online— spent time gamming and interacting with their friends on discord and social media. We’ve all happily turned to the internet for our food and provisions to be immediately delivered to our doorsteps from Instacart, Amazon, DoorDash and a bevy of other apps that have made it easy for us to work from home or anywhere in the world.
Getting comfortable with new technologies, people went all-in on buying and trading NFTs, meme stocks and cryptocurrencies. The blockchain and other softwares and platforms democratized the stock market. While investing used to be the province of older folks who had the money, young college kids and Millennials saw the opportunity to make YOLO trades in stocks, options, Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as a way to earn enough money to pay back their student loans and afford a house and better lifestyle.
When the pandemic swept across the world, businesses closed down sending workers home. We spent our days on Zoom meetings. To the surprise of CEOs, workers were highly productive and stock prices hit all time record level highs. From an initial wave of furloughs and firing, the economy bounced back so robustly that businesses can’t find enough workers. The last couple of years set the stage for the acceptance of virtual reality.
Kiguel says, think of what it would have been like for your ancestors to buy land in New York City one or two hundred years ago, and the generational wealth it would have created. You don’t even have to go that far back. In the early 1970s New York City was crime-ridden, falling apart and ready to file for bankruptcy. An intrepid real estate investor in the Big Apple could have bought prime real estate for next to nothing, and would now be a multi billionaire. Taking a risk at this time, staking your claim in the metaverse, may pay off big in the future.
In the metaverse you can purchase NFTs, develop buildings, play video games, attend concerts and events, and create businesses. It’s a way to start over. People who want to virtually live close to Snoop Dog in The Sandbox shelled out nearly $500,000 for the privilege and access to the rapper, his parties and concerts.
Kiguel’s $2.5 million investment in space at Decentraland, one of the largest developed land in the metaverse, sets the stage for commerce of all types. Kiguel is confident that his investment will pay off in the long run. As millions, and perhaps billions, of people join in on the metaverse, he plans to host a lavish fashion show on 24th to the 27th of March, highlighting premiere fashion brands that could include Gucci, Burberry, and Louis Vuitton. There will be avatar models, catwalks, pop-up shops, and pre and post parties.
His company may sell advertising to these other brands and try other means to monetize his real estate holdings. These high-profile, exclusive events were once solely restricted to a small segment of the rich and famous. Virtual reality opens it up to everyone who is interested, as there aren’t physical limits to the amount of attendees.
New York-based digital real estate developer Republic Realm paid about 1,295,00 in crypto Mana—equivalent to $913,228— for 259 parcels of Decentraland with the goal of turning it into a virtual shopping district. The area will be called Metajuku, as an homage to Tokyo’s Harajuku shopping district. Kiguel also plans to build towers in Decentraland’s Crypto Valley and in other cities that spring up in the metaverse, and rent out office and retail space.
Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta, makes it feel as if he’s running the metaverse. This isn’t the case. There are many places to go. Each universe uses their own preferred currencies to enact transactions. For example, The Sandbox uses SAND, and Decentraland has MANA. These virtual worlds are built on blockchain such as Ethereum and Solana.
Current social media platforms are like “prisons” Kiguel contends, as the companies who run the sites have all the control, possess the data and reap the financial rewards. The new Web3 wave will change the rules, providing people with control over their creativity. It’s a fresh start to build something new, similar to the early days of the internet.
Kiguel is also excited about the growing rise of play-to-earn games that are powered by cryptocurrencies. Gaming worlds like Axie Infinity enables and empowers people to make money from playing games. Many of these gamers never even had a bank account, and now they’re earning more money than they ever imagined.
The metaverse will impact nearly every type of consumer technology, including social media, gaming and fashion, Kiguel predicts. “Tokens.com is focused on bringing the most exciting growth areas,” and excited to enter into this new vertical of gaming with an acquisition. This is part of Kiguel’s goal to offer a “complete range of Web3 exposure,” providing exposure to the metaverse, DeFi and NFTs.
Calgary retains commercial real estate team to revive new arena – CTV News Calgary
The City of Calgary has recruited three people from the commercial real-estate sector in an effort to get a new event centre to replace the aging Scotiabank Saddledome.
CBRE executive vice-president John Fisher, director of strategic initiatives with NAIOP Calgary Guy Huntingford and Ayrshire Group executive chairman Phil Swift have been retained to engage both the city and the and Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation (CSEC) to reach a new deal.
At Wednesday’s meeting, the city’s planning and development manager Stuart Dalgleish told committee members the group has already begun their work.
“We are at a stage where our third party is having discussions with both the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation and the City of Calgary, with a view to determining whether there is interest in discussions toward a new event centre, and a new deal towards the new event centre,” Dalgleish said.
Mayor Jyoti Gondek is optimistic the team will be able to break the impasse between the city and CSEC.
“Today’s news is good news, and we need to be patient with what comes following this,” she said.
Ward 1 Coun. Sonya Sharp, who chairs the event centre committee, says naming a third party to assist in negotiations is a big step to seeing a new arena rise from the ashes of the failed deal.
“I’m very satisfied. There’s been a lot of work been put into this to get to where we are today,” she said. “Everybody wants an event centre built.”
However, sports economist Moshe Lander says it might not be such a great deal for most Calgary taxpayers.
“The issue about who should pay for it is something that goes on in every city, more or less, anytime there’s an arena or stadium discussion,” he said.
“In almost every single case, the public sector blinks first and ends up throwing money at a project that’s not going to recoup its costs.”
“Really, it’s just an issue at this point of how much money does the City of Calgary want to throw at this project, understanding that it’s not going to get it back? How much does it want to sell to the taxpayers that this is what you’re going to be on the hook for, even though the vast majority of residents in the city are not going to use that arena in any capacity?”
CTV reached out to CSEC on Wednesday to ask if the owners still had any interest in reviving the deal. There was no response by publishing deadline.
The original agreement was signed in December 2019. In it, the city and CSEC agreed to split the cost of the $550 million project. When the price tag jumped to over $630 million, the Flames ownership group balked and cancelled the deal. It officially expired New Year’s Eve 2021.
Earlier this month, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman met with CSEC to discuss the arena, among other topics. At the time, he told reporters he remained hopeful a deal could be struck.
“I’m always optimistic,” said Bettman. “There’s nothing going on right this second to report that would indicate there is going to be a solution immediately, but my hope is that everybody can figure this out.”
Bettman also warned without a new arena or an updated Saddledome, Calgary would miss out on significant NHL events such as All-Star games.
The Saddledome is the second-oldest NHL arena behind only New York’s Madison Square Garden.
Commercial Real Estate Report (Canada 2022) – RE/MAX Canada – RE/MAX News
Calgary recruits commercial real estate expertise to revive new arena – Sportsnet.ca
CALGARY — The city of Calgary has recruited citizens from the commercial real-estate sector to help get a new event centre and home for the Calgary Flames back on track.
When an agreement between the city and Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation, which owns the Flames, collapsed late last year, city council voted in January to get a third party involved.
John Fisher, Guy Huntingford and Phil Swift are tasked with determining whether the Flames still want to build an arena with the city, or if the city will have to look for other potential partners to build an event centre.
Fisher is executive vice-president of CBRE, Huntingford is director of strategic initiatives with NAIOP Calgary, and Swift is executive chairman of the Ayrshire Group investment firm.
“This team brings considerable expertise from the commercial real-estate industry including experience in larger development,” the city’s planning and development manager Stuart Dalgleish said Wednesday in an event centre committee meeting.
“The third party has spent considerable time understanding the items and interests behind the terminated agreement and the current landscape. These items have become clarified.
“Based on a meeting with both the city and CSEC, the next step is for the third party to make recommendations on a possible path forward.”
Dalgleish said there is no definitive commitment or timeline for a new agreement.
The city and the Flames agreed on an arena deal over two years ago with the initial estimate of $550 million split between the two.
Shovels were scheduled to hit the ground in 2022 for a 19,000-seat arena and concert venue replacing the Saddledome, which has been the home of the Flames for 39 years.
The cost estimate for the project rose to $634 million, however.
Since the two sides agreed to an amended deal last July, the city added an additional $19 million in roadwork and climate mitigation to the project, and wanted the Flames to pay for $10 million of that.
CSEC president John Bean said in December that the Flames were withdrawing from the agreement because of an accumulation of issues and increased financial risk.
“While CSEC was prepared to move forward in the face of escalating construction costs, and assume the unknown future construction cost risk, CSEC was not prepared to fund the infrastructure and climate costs that were introduced by the city following our July agreement … and are not included in the current cost estimate of $634 million,” Bean said then.
So the Flames remain in the Saddledome, which is the second-oldest NHL arena behind New York’s Madison Square Garden.
CSEC also owns the Western Hockey League’s Hitmen, Canadian Football League’s Stampeders and National Lacrosse League’s Roughnecks.
The Flames recently announced they will move their American Hockey League affiliate from Stockton, Calif., to Calgary for the 2022-23 season.
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