Episode 13

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Published on:

21st Feb 2022

13. Crypto Super Bowl Ads, Disney Metaverse, Clueless YouTube, Wall Street Struggles, Metaverse Banking, $13.5M Salad

In this episode, we discuss cryptocurrency advertisements during the Super Bowl, Disney bringing in Mike White to lead its Metaverse strategy, YouTube making a commitment to the metaverse, Wall Street struggling to help expand the metaverse, JPMorgan opening a lounge in Decentraland, Salad Ventures raising over $13.5 million in a private sale round, and so much more!

Episode 13 Keywords: cryptocurrency, advertisements, Super Bowl 56, Disney, Mike White, Metaverse, YouTube, Wall Street, JPMorgan, Decentraland, Salad Ventures, funding

Transcript
Unknown:

Welcome to the metaphysics podcast. The Metaverse and web three are bringing about the

Unknown:

biggest revolution since the internet itself. With your hosts Paul the prophet Dawalibi And Jeff the

Unknown:

juice Cohen. We will be bringing you the latest Metaverse, business news and insight into what it

Unknown:

all means. The meta business podcast starts now.

Paul Dawalibi:

From the boardroom to the metaverse. This is the meta business podcast. I am

Paul Dawalibi:

Paul Dawalibi. I'm joined today by my friend and co host, Jeff the juice Cohen. For those of you

Paul Dawalibi:

who are new here, welcome to the official podcast of the metaverse. What we do is we cover the most

Paul Dawalibi:

pressing Metaverse news from the week, but we look at all of it through a business and C suite lens,

Paul Dawalibi:

we dissect, we analyze the business implications of everything happening in this Metaverse space.

Paul Dawalibi:

If you're a regular listener, thank you for tuning in every week. This is episode 13. Lucky 13. We

Paul Dawalibi:

really appreciate it. If you're if you've been a listener from the start. If you haven't, no

Paul Dawalibi:

problem either. Make sure to rate the podcast leave a five star rating or review if you love it.

Paul Dawalibi:

Share it with your friends. That's how other people discover the podcast. Jeff, how you doing

Paul Dawalibi:

this week?

Jeff Cohen:

I'm doing good. It's a nother week here. We got a lot of a lot of news feel like

Jeff Cohen:

every week. You know, I always think it's gonna be hard to find stories and it's almost like it's

Jeff Cohen:

it's you don't even have to try. It's we're talking about them in our Discord all week. And

Jeff Cohen:

it's kind of there's always stuff and that's why this is the best half hour of my week typically.

Paul Dawalibi:

Good reminder, by the way, if you love discussing Metaverse stuff and you love the

Paul Dawalibi:

podcast, make sure to join our Discord. We have a community discord. Its discord.gg/meta TV. It's

Paul Dawalibi:

all kinds of gaming crypto Metaverse, news discussion in there, and some off topic stuff as

Paul Dawalibi:

well, obviously, but great community in there. So make sure to join. I mean, Jeff, you're right. The

Paul Dawalibi:

metaverse. Arguably the crypto side of the metaphors was really in your face if you even had

Paul Dawalibi:

a pulse this weekend. Superbowl weekend obviously. And, you know, I figured we'd kick off with this

Paul Dawalibi:

kind of fun story, talking about all of the crypto sponsors of the Super Bowl. And this obviously

Paul Dawalibi:

this article came out before the Super Bowl actually happened. We're now recording after but

Paul Dawalibi:

says crypto ad set to invade Super Bowl 56. The massive sports marketing pushed by crypto

Paul Dawalibi:

companies has never been as evident as it will be on your TV during Super Bowl 56. And it lists a

Paul Dawalibi:

bunch of the the you know the different companies who activated FTX $32 billion company now. Crypto

Paul Dawalibi:

derivatives exchange, crypto comm Coinbase binance FTX, and it says here FTX and crypto comm may not

Paul Dawalibi:

be the only names we see in the Superbowl. Obviously, there was a ton of crypto advertising,

Paul Dawalibi:

the Lakers play in the crypto.com arena. Right. There's a lot of mention of activations obviously

Paul Dawalibi:

outside of just the Super Bowl. But are you surprised that the Superbowl was sort of infested

Paul Dawalibi:

with crypto advertising?

Jeff Cohen:

No, not at all. I mean, these companies have so much money and it's a little bit

Jeff Cohen:

of a land grab with a lot of these platforms. So it makes sense that they have the dollars to get

Jeff Cohen:

out there. And where better to spend them than the Superbowl where everyone's eyes are on it. I did I

Jeff Cohen:

think I tweeted this week that it it was a little bit reminiscent maybe of the.com era where you

Jeff Cohen:

sort of saw a lot of these.com spending money, maybe frivolously are foolishly on Superbowl ads.

Jeff Cohen:

So hopefully that's not the case where this sort of represents the top or near term top in the

Jeff Cohen:

market. Just symbolically, but yeah, no, I think I think it makes a lot of sense. I'm curious which

Jeff Cohen:

one I guess I have two questions first, which one which one was your favorite? Because I have one in

Jeff Cohen:

my mind.

Paul Dawalibi:

I think it was the so I'm not a big football guy. So I don't really watch too much of

Paul Dawalibi:

the civil However, I did think the I think it was crypto.com that did the one with LeBron.

Jeff Cohen:

Yes. So that actually was my third favorite of the three. So that

Paul Dawalibi:

was clever because it involved like a younger digital version of LeBron which I

Paul Dawalibi:

thought you know, the techie and me appreciated that.

Jeff Cohen:

Yeah, I wonder like a game engine. It looked like it was it was almost like built in

Jeff Cohen:

Unreal or something.

Paul Dawalibi:

But the tagline was clever too. I think it was something like Fortune favors the

Paul Dawalibi:

bold or something like that. Yeah, it was clever. Sorry. We were

Jeff Cohen:

the two that I feel like people were really buzzing about. The first one that got a lot

Jeff Cohen:

of attention was the one with the the flashing around the skirt with a cute the QR code. It was

Jeff Cohen:

Coinbase. Basically the whole is a QR code on the screen and via I broke the internet. I guess my

Jeff Cohen:

question was to you, do you think that was on purpose? Because I saw a lot of tweets back and

Jeff Cohen:

forth like, Oh, this is such a bad thing that the website went down it shows how would you want to

Jeff Cohen:

give your money to them? Like they can't support the load? Like, did they not expect this? Almost

Jeff Cohen:

like what you hear when a game launches? And it's in the servers go down? And I heard other people

Jeff Cohen:

say, Well, no, it was odd. They obviously plan for this out. And it was like, they want to show how

Jeff Cohen:

much demand there wasn't, Oh, my God, like, everyone's doing this. So we're

Paul Dawalibi:

definitely in that second side there. Because ever since Apple started putting

Paul Dawalibi:

lines out that side their stores for a new iPhone launch. Like I knew this was all very purposeful

Paul Dawalibi:

this was this is marketing, right? You want to make it seem like something's in massive demand. I

Paul Dawalibi:

don't think for a second this happened. Like, these companies are not stupid. They know that

Paul Dawalibi:

they have the money to scale traffic. Yeah, right. Like, you plan for it. So your site doesn't go

Paul Dawalibi:

down after your Superbowl ad. If the site went down, this was planned. The question I had for

Paul Dawalibi:

you, Jeff is, and we're probably spending way more time on this than I think we originally thought

Paul Dawalibi:

is, what is driving it? Is it a that the crypto companies believe that there is significance? I've

Paul Dawalibi:

asked you this question in the gaming space. But do the crypto companies believe there's

Paul Dawalibi:

significant overlap between crypto interest and sport? Sports fans or football fans specifically?

Paul Dawalibi:

Or is it that they just see the Superbowl as like, here's how we reach the mainstream and just get in

Paul Dawalibi:

front of like, what other way? Can you get into kind of 100 million eyeballs like this quickly?

Jeff Cohen:

In this case? I think it's it's definitely both I mean, it's the most mainstream

Jeff Cohen:

sort of best way to get your brand in front of 100 million plus people very easily. So I think number

Jeff Cohen:

one, it's that just get it the best way to get in front of a ton of eyeballs. It also is a little

Jeff Cohen:

bit of a signaling effect. It shows Hey, we're so real. We're so we have so much money that we're

Jeff Cohen:

able to spend this seven, whatever million dollars it is to get that 32nd ad. Having said that, we

Jeff Cohen:

have seen a lot of data. And we've talked about this in the past. There's a massive amount of

Jeff Cohen:

overlap between crypto enthusiast, and sports fans, and actually also esports fans as well to

Jeff Cohen:

kind of tie this to gaming. But you know, we've seen a ton of deals between athletes, crypto

Jeff Cohen:

companies, crypto companies, naming arenas and sporting arenas. So there is definitely data to

Jeff Cohen:

support that. And before we move on, I will say the number one ad that I liked was the Larry David

Jeff Cohen:

FTX ad, because it was hilarious. So if you haven't, although I like Paul, you should check

Jeff Cohen:

that one out because it was the funniest, funniest ad.

Paul Dawalibi:

I do love Larry David. So I'm sure I'm sure it was I have no doubt. Let's move on.

Paul Dawalibi:

Jeff, let's talk about two companies that have announced or at least made moves into the

Paul Dawalibi:

metaverse space or stated that they want to make moves and these are to call it tech or media

Paul Dawalibi:

companies. The first here huge announcement I think, is from Disney, Disney said the headline

Paul Dawalibi:

here is Disney appoints executive to oversee Metaverse strategy. So this the sky Mike White has

Paul Dawalibi:

been essentially tapped to lead the firm's Metaverse strategy. He's been with Disney for more

Paul Dawalibi:

than 10 years. He's gonna oversee a team that includes senior leaders according to this article,

Paul Dawalibi:

and the CEO of Disney has said that the metaverse is the next great storytelling frontier to be

Paul Dawalibi:

explored. So they I'll just put one more quote from the CEO of Disney here. He says he described

Paul Dawalibi:

the metaverse as a perfect place to pursue our strategic pillars of storytelling, excellence,

Paul Dawalibi:

innovation, and audience focus. teams across the company are exploring this new canvas. And I've

Paul Dawalibi:

been blown away by what I've seen. The one question I have for you here is, and maybe I'm

Paul Dawalibi:

being too critical. And obviously we're bullish on this podcast about the metaverse no question. But

Paul Dawalibi:

he could literally be talking about gaming, and all of these quotes would still be applicable,

Paul Dawalibi:

right? Why aren't they doing more in gaming if they think like, gaming is a pillar of

Paul Dawalibi:

storytelling, excellence, innovation and audience focus, right? It's a new canvas for them. Like,

Paul Dawalibi:

why are they not doing more there, but yet seem to seem to be giving more lip service to the

Paul Dawalibi:

metaverse give a phone that you're 100%

Jeff Cohen:

Right. And this was literally the first thing I thought when I read this was why are

Jeff Cohen:

they creating a metaphor strategy and not starting with a gaming strategy? And I've talked about this

Jeff Cohen:

numerous times. I don't know about on this podcast, but definitely on our sister podcast

Jeff Cohen:

business of esports. And the livestream we do Disney is the perfect gaming company that isn't a

Jeff Cohen:

gaming company currently. Now I know the history there, they've gone through fits and starts were

Jeff Cohen:

at times they did build games internally, then they outsource them. Bob Iger famously didn't want

Jeff Cohen:

to be involved in gaming. And and I think it's been a just a massive miss. Now they're getting

Jeff Cohen:

some revenue from the deals they've done with EA for their properties, like Star Wars. You know,

Jeff Cohen:

they've done some some other licensing deals to a lot of mobile games, stuff like that. But the fact

Jeff Cohen:

that they don't have a gaming strategy in house has been just a massive strategic wonder, when you

Jeff Cohen:

look at what Disney is and the IP they have, and just the fact that they are a media company that

Jeff Cohen:

really does storytelling, pretty much better than anyone else, I would argue with what they've done

Jeff Cohen:

with Star Wars Marvel, you know, you could name 10, other franchises or IPS, it is almost

Jeff Cohen:

inconceivable that they're not bigger and don't want to be more involved in the gaming space. So

Jeff Cohen:

to me when I saw this, and it almost made me angry that they're sort of just paying lip service to

Jeff Cohen:

the metaverse without making it more of a broader gaming conversation. Now, if this is the first

Jeff Cohen:

step towards Bob, shaping the CEO of Disney having a different view on gaming to what his predecessor

Jeff Cohen:

had, then I can understand that and maybe we're gonna see large acquisitions. You know, I've heard

Jeff Cohen:

a lot of times Disney would make sense to buy EA, because they have they own ESPN. EA, obviously has

Jeff Cohen:

the sports, the sports titles, plus Star Wars games are built by EA, boom, there's a lot of

Jeff Cohen:

synergies there. So maybe that's the next move. And you and I will sit, sit back and kind of

Jeff Cohen:

applaud and say that this was part of a bigger strategy. But right now to me, even though the

Jeff Cohen:

metaverse is a massive opportunity, and maybe one day transcends gaming, and actually is the bigger

Jeff Cohen:

opportunity, it seems to me like you need to crawl before you can walk before you can run. And this

Jeff Cohen:

is Disney trying to run before they can walk and, you know, promoting a guy who, you know, seems to

Jeff Cohen:

be a longtime Disney executive, I'm not sure if he even really has any experience in gaming to quote

Jeff Cohen:

unquote, run their Metaverse strategy, to me is is just simply not enough. And I realize I'm going on

Jeff Cohen:

a little bit of a rant here. I want to start with that. Get your opinion on that. And then I think

Jeff Cohen:

we should talk about the broader, like, what should Disney's Metaverse strategy be? Because I

Jeff Cohen:

do think there's a massive opportunity sort of in this digital theme park type space where, yeah, it

Jeff Cohen:

gets me excited, but I'll stop there and let you kind of cover the first.

Paul Dawalibi:

I agree with everything 100%. The question I had for you to sort of instead of a

Paul Dawalibi:

question more than a comment really is the lack of a gaming strategy at Disney because they have they

Paul Dawalibi:

have lacked one. Does that hurt them? When it comes to the metaverse right? Do you? Do you think

Paul Dawalibi:

because they don't have gaming expertise in house like people with really deep experience and

Paul Dawalibi:

knowledge that that trying to build out a Metaverse strategy. They're starting from a from a

Paul Dawalibi:

disadvantage almost like or is it a clean slate?

Jeff Cohen:

No doubt it has to hurt. I mean, they don't have the internal expertise in terms of just

Jeff Cohen:

what you would need like developers and coders, a game engine. Like in order to be a serious player

Jeff Cohen:

in this Metaverse conversation, Disney either needs to buy someone like an EA, or someone like a

Jeff Cohen:

unity or epic. I mean, I just don't see any other way around it. They they don't currently have the

Jeff Cohen:

developers internally to build it, because they're not going to build the pipes behind it like the

Jeff Cohen:

like the actual infrastructure of the meta platform because they don't have game developers.

Jeff Cohen:

And they're not going to build games because they're currently not in that world. So that while

Jeff Cohen:

they do have the IP, and I fully believe that they could build they have the DNA to build great

Jeff Cohen:

stories and great games. It's not currently something they're doing. So I don't see unless

Jeff Cohen:

this is paired with a massive hiring, push what they can possibly do. And we know from past

Jeff Cohen:

episodes in Metaverse, developers are incredibly expensive game developers are massively expensive

Jeff Cohen:

and in demand currently, so I just don't see much coming at this. And I do disagree. No,

Paul Dawalibi:

and I think your second question was a good one, which was, what do they need to do

Paul Dawalibi:

to be successful in the metaverse Right? And, and you're buying a VA I think is an interesting

Paul Dawalibi:

thought. You and I have you know, talked about this previously and I agree wholeheartedly that it

Paul Dawalibi:

makes sense the sports games a whole bit, but I think you just mentioned another one, which I

Paul Dawalibi:

think would be give them allow them to catch up at least in terms of being behind and allowing them

Paul Dawalibi:

to make up time is is epic, right? Epic has family friendly games, they have the engine that feels

Paul Dawalibi:

Disney ish. You know, Tim Sweeney for all of his genius And what he's created, I think needs kind

Paul Dawalibi:

of the stability and good management of Disney to shepherd those properties, you know, to to long

Paul Dawalibi:

term success. So I, you know, to me that makes a lot of sense if you're asking me what does Disney

Paul Dawalibi:

need to do to be successful here, and they tip their hat a little bit. Let me just, I want to

Paul Dawalibi:

read this one piece of the article here where it says, Disney says said it sees the metaverse as

Paul Dawalibi:

the next evolution of its almost 100 year old storytelling tradition. And this is a quote from

Paul Dawalibi:

Bob chapek. He says, Today we have an opportunity to connect those universes and create an entirely

Paul Dawalibi:

new paradigm for how audiences experience and engage with our stories. And I'm, I think the

Paul Dawalibi:

quotes interesting, and the conclusion I draw from it, even though it may seem far fetched is Disney

Paul Dawalibi:

never understood gaming? But they understand the metaverse because, as you very insightfully

Paul Dawalibi:

pointed out, it's like a virtual theme park right? We can create a stop for Toy Story a stop for, you

Paul Dawalibi:

know, Marvel a stop for Disney read like it. Conceptually, the metaverse seems more familiar to

Paul Dawalibi:

Disney than just gaming on its own does.

Jeff Cohen:

That's actually a great point. I hadn't thought it yet where it's like you could

Jeff Cohen:

have the Disney Metaverse basically be a Disney theme park. And each thing could be either a ride

Jeff Cohen:

a gaming experience, you know, some different IP that you're interacting with. I mean, it makes all

Jeff Cohen:

the sense in the world. Another point on the epic, maybe them acquiring epic, there is a track record

Jeff Cohen:

of visionary sort of founders selling companies to Disney, right. You had Steve Jobs famously sold

Jeff Cohen:

Pixar to Disney and became their largest shareholder. So you know, maybe Tim Sweeney sees

Jeff Cohen:

that and says, Hey, maybe I follow and Steve Jobs for footsteps or no? Ego, so maybe he gets some

Jeff Cohen:

enjoyment out of that.

Paul Dawalibi:

And that's like about the same ballpark from evaluation like in terms of the size

Paul Dawalibi:

of the buy, right? The EA or epic, probably about the same, right? You're talking 30 40 billion in

Paul Dawalibi:

that range, something like that. I think that would be an it's an interesting one to watch what

Paul Dawalibi:

Disney decides to do. I just want to put this next to another story though, which is, I think there's

Paul Dawalibi:

a lot less here to dig into but but they go together in my opinion. And this is the headline

Paul Dawalibi:

here. YouTube is embracing the metaverse starts with gaming. So slight difference here, right

Paul Dawalibi:

where YouTube is looking at the metaverse from a gaming standpoint. And and they're quoted here as

Paul Dawalibi:

saying this is the chief product officer. He says, we're thinking big about how to make viewing more

Paul Dawalibi:

immersive. The first area in which you can expect to see an impact is gaming, where we'll work to

Paul Dawalibi:

bring more interactions to games, and make them feel more alive. It's still early days, but we're

Paul Dawalibi:

excited to see how we can turn these virtual worlds into a reality for viewers. The other part

Paul Dawalibi:

of the article just says that they announced their commitment to the metaverse and they want to

Paul Dawalibi:

inject a new level of immersion into YouTube entertainment. It says their exact plans are

Paul Dawalibi:

unknown, but they're gonna start with video games. What do you make of that? Jeff, compared to sort

Paul Dawalibi:

of the Disney announcement?

Jeff Cohen:

I don't know about comparing it to the Disney announcement. But I this all kind of

Jeff Cohen:

confused me it feels like they threw together like a big buzzword soup has interested a little bit in

Jeff Cohen:

this concept of immersive viewing. Like, it got me thinking maybe there's a world where you're

Jeff Cohen:

watching streamers, and then all of a sudden you can kind of enter their their game. And you can

Jeff Cohen:

have your own control. So you can kind of be walking around their game and sort of interact

Jeff Cohen:

with them maybe. And to be honest, that's a little bit I think that was what was pitched with stadia

Jeff Cohen:

right there was the I think it was called streaming connect where like, basically that's

Jeff Cohen:

what they were pitching. So maybe eventually we get to a world where that happens, because that's

Jeff Cohen:

the only thing I can think of I think of immersive what what is immersive by watching a YouTube video

Jeff Cohen:

currently, you know, nothing. So maybe there's some element to that, like you can jump into

Jeff Cohen:

someone's someone's actual stream. Short of that I don't really understand what they're talking about

Jeff Cohen:

when they're talking about a Metaverse with YouTube, right? It's just like the two things are

Jeff Cohen:

not the same.

Paul Dawalibi:

I mean, I really don't think YouTube understands. This is the problem when you

Paul Dawalibi:

have a such a good business. It's like it's an $8.6 billion revenue business. That requires

Paul Dawalibi:

almost no effort whatsoever, right? Like, people aren't gonna stop watching YouTube or posting on

Paul Dawalibi:

YouTube. This felt like such lip service to the metaverse to me and just a fundamental

Paul Dawalibi:

misunderstanding of what like it felt like the stadia announcement all over again. We're gonna

Paul Dawalibi:

create the future of gaming we're gonna write like a lot of talk You will see probably no follow up.

Paul Dawalibi:

I think it's much more interesting to see where Disney goes with this than YouTube, right? I think

Paul Dawalibi:

YouTube and Google, likely not even part of the metaverse conversation at this point, I haven't

Paul Dawalibi:

seen anything of any substance from them so far. And and, you know, Google just does isn't as

Paul Dawalibi:

acquisitive as like, some of the other companies. I don't see them making an acquisition to get them

Paul Dawalibi:

sort of jumpstarted in gaming or the metaverse in any way. Do you?

Jeff Cohen:

Know, I don't think so. I think you're right. I think the more likely, you know, people

Jeff Cohen:

would even even Apple, probably Amazon, Apple, Facebook. Clearly if they could get past

Jeff Cohen:

antitrust, Microsoft's already done a big acquisition and then throw Disney I guess into

Jeff Cohen:

that, that camp as well.

Paul Dawalibi:

Let's talk let's switch gears Jeff to Wall Street because Wall Street also made

Paul Dawalibi:

Metaverse news this week. And there's two articles, which I'll put them together. But the

Paul Dawalibi:

first here is Wall Street's Metaverse, dreams take a hit. And this article is talking specifically

Paul Dawalibi:

about Roblox, whose stock was down 16%. As of today,

Jeff Cohen:

actually went down more than that. I think it was as much as 28%. Probably when this

Jeff Cohen:

was written, it was 16. But yeah, it was a bloodbath.

Paul Dawalibi:

Well, and that's in spite of daily active users hitting almost 50 million, which is

Paul Dawalibi:

up 33% year over year. And I think their their bookings, like in terms of how much roebucks

Paul Dawalibi:

they've they've sold like also hit an all time high. Like the fundamentals, the growth seems to

Paul Dawalibi:

be there. They just missed analysts estimates in terms of earnings per share, right? I think that

Paul Dawalibi:

was the big

Jeff Cohen:

Yeah, there was a little bit of basically what's happening is they're they're

Jeff Cohen:

lapping Tough comps, because last year was was, you know, p COVID. So if you look at them on kind

Jeff Cohen:

of a two year stack, they're growing massively. But they especially in North America, I think

Jeff Cohen:

there North America, daily active users declined. So people were concerned about that. And then

Jeff Cohen:

their booking they so they actually give monthly numbers, which is very rare. But they said their

Jeff Cohen:

numbers for January, North America, da us were down again. And then their bookings, which is

Jeff Cohen:

revenue, so their revenue is only up to two to 4% in January, year over year. So I think that that

Jeff Cohen:

deceleration kind of always scares Wall Street. But needless to say, the long term story is still

Jeff Cohen:

very bullish. They're up over, I think they are over 50 million daily users, daily active users in

Jeff Cohen:

January. So you know, we're talking about a business that's basically tripled in terms of its

Jeff Cohen:

user base over the past two years. Obviously, you're gonna face tough comparisons when you're

Jeff Cohen:

growing that fast, you know, laughing at the next year, but there's a massive runway here. And then

Jeff Cohen:

they talked about kind of three big pillars in the earnings call that I thought were pretty

Jeff Cohen:

interesting. First, it pillars in terms of growth pillars, first one being international, kind of

Jeff Cohen:

getting getting bigger internationally, got to grow in the platform that way, second, aging up,

Jeff Cohen:

which is something we've talked a lot about visa V Roblox meaning increasing the average age of

Jeff Cohen:

players having either people stick around longer and not aging out of the platform, or attracting

Jeff Cohen:

an older, an older crowd to the platform. And then the third being attracting different experiences.

Jeff Cohen:

So more like immersive core games and other just types of experiences. So I thought that was that

Jeff Cohen:

was all interesting. But yeah, it was a pretty bad day as a robot shareholder that to see that

Jeff Cohen:

happen.

Paul Dawalibi:

You know, we're still talking like a $31 billion market cap or something like that.

Paul Dawalibi:

It meta also took a plunge this week, right? I think they're down. The article mentions 34% this

Paul Dawalibi:

year. And you know that it seems like the pivot to the metaverse or to meta, I guess, where I'd love

Paul Dawalibi:

to ask you is, is there? Is there some amount of fatigue around conversation around meta in the in

Paul Dawalibi:

the public markets where they're, you know, the hype has subsided a little bit and prices are

Paul Dawalibi:

coming down to normal? Or is it that fundamentally investors don't agree with the direction?

Jeff Cohen:

I think it's, it's,

Paul Dawalibi:

well, it's definitely about this. I

Jeff Cohen:

don't think it's the second I don't think it's that hey, people just don't buy into

Jeff Cohen:

this concept. Maybe people are I think the mainstream is probably still very skeptical of

Jeff Cohen:

this sort of like capital T capital and metaverse. But I think the the concept of people spending

Jeff Cohen:

more time in virtual worlds and these worlds having vibrant robust economies is you know,

Jeff Cohen:

essentially just described multiplayer gaming that nobody nobody doubts that that It's certainly

Jeff Cohen:

happening. I'm tempted to say that a lot of these are sort of like idiosyncratic events where

Jeff Cohen:

Facebook got hit by sort of advertising issues with Apple. And Roblox is just lapping Tough comps

Jeff Cohen:

and and sort of like that that's what's led to the decline. But that decline is definitely leading to

Jeff Cohen:

a little bit of, I'll call it Metaverse malaise, maybe to create a term where you are seeing people

Jeff Cohen:

start to like, roll their eyes a little bit or maybe like get fatigued a tiny bit with the

Jeff Cohen:

buzzword of the metaverse just a little bit. I don't have you kind of come across that as well.

Paul Dawalibi:

I mean, not really, like even in the echo chamber of call it Metaverse and gaming

Paul Dawalibi:

and crypto kind of world that we live in breathe in every single day. I just don't think we more

Paul Dawalibi:

we've hit peak yet whatsoever. Like I said, I my guess is we're still like a year or two away from

Paul Dawalibi:

kind of peak hype cycle. I truly think a lot of it comes from the fact that it's still a big question

Paul Dawalibi:

mark for a lot in the mainstream like the same in the early days of gaming and esports steam as the

Paul Dawalibi:

in the early days of any other sort of technology lifecycle. There's, there's just question marks,

Paul Dawalibi:

there's education that has to happen. People it needs to start to feel real to people, right,

Paul Dawalibi:

like, and then we're just not there yet, right? Like the whole meta thing is the Facebook's

Paul Dawalibi:

transition to meta really other than the name change hasn't happened yet, right? People still go

Paul Dawalibi:

on Facebook and use Facebook in the same way they always have, for the most part. So I just think

Paul Dawalibi:

it's not real for people yet. And and that may hurt these companies in the public markets for the

Paul Dawalibi:

next year or two, right until a lot of this stuff's for your average Wall Street analyst is

Paul Dawalibi:

like so much easier to feel in touch and see. But, you know, I track these things up to sort of short

Paul Dawalibi:

term and probably other forces at work, not really, anything fundamentally has changed about

Paul Dawalibi:

the the upside or the potential here. I will say Wall Street, though, sort of seems conflicted. If

Paul Dawalibi:

I can say that, because the other story I wanted to put next to this one was was this one which is

Paul Dawalibi:

JP Morgan, you know, it's called, you know, one of the foundational but one of the pillars of Wall

Paul Dawalibi:

Street. JP Morgan, the first bank into the metaverse looks at business opportunities. The sub

Paul Dawalibi:

headline here says the Wall Street bank has opened the lounge in blockchain based decentraland. They

Paul Dawalibi:

unveiled it they called it the Onyx lounge. The name refers to the bank's suite of permissioned

Paul Dawalibi:

Ethereum based services. They released a paper exploring how businesses can find opportunities in

Paul Dawalibi:

the metaverse. They say they're getting a lot of client interest to learn about the metaverse,

Paul Dawalibi:

which is sort of the point they made earlier. And they put together a white paper to help clients

Paul Dawalibi:

cut through the noise and highlight what the current reality is, and what needs to be built

Paul Dawalibi:

next in technology, commercial infrastructure, privacy, identity and workforce in order to

Paul Dawalibi:

maximize the full potential of our lives in the metaverse. So you know, JP Morgan thinks that all

Paul Dawalibi:

these values are going to go up right there. They're bullish on decentraland, sandbox, crypto

Paul Dawalibi:

voxels, all these kinds of land platforms and bullish on the Dow's da O's. What do you make?

Paul Dawalibi:

What do you make of JP Morgan sort of throwing their hat in the ring here, Jeff, and, you know,

Paul Dawalibi:

almost putting a stake in the ground and saying they're bullish on the metaverse. They want to

Paul Dawalibi:

educate their clients on the metaverse and they're sort of willing to put their I don't know if it's

Paul Dawalibi:

their money where their mouth is, but you know, having a presence of their own in the metaverse

Paul Dawalibi:

and maybe sort of my second minor question is, do we need banks in the metaverse like the central

Paul Dawalibi:

aim needed? JP Morgan Brandon

Jeff Cohen:

dancer the second way? I think the answer that is probably yes. Um, I made a joke. I

Jeff Cohen:

think it was on Twitter on Discord when I saw this where you know, it was are these banks going to be

Jeff Cohen:

giving Metaverse mortgages? I mean, we've we've covered land in the metaverse so much like and I

Jeff Cohen:

say it jokingly but at the same time, it's sort of serious, like, am I gonna be able to take out a

Jeff Cohen:

mortgage to buy land in the metaverse in theory, that will definitely be the case. But I don't know

Jeff Cohen:

if we're there yet.

Paul Dawalibi:

But we'll go to a branch in the metaverse to take

Jeff Cohen:

good why not? And at this point, why not? But your first question. I sort of also laugh

Jeff Cohen:

at that because I you know, having worked at an investment bank, my first couple years at a

Jeff Cohen:

college I worked at at Barclays for those of you who don't know, I just thinking to myself, like

Jeff Cohen:

who even at the bank, like who came up with this was it you know, decentraland approached JP

Jeff Cohen:

Morgan, who did they go to? And who's actually built It's like this JP Morgan, have game

Jeff Cohen:

developers on staff? Or presumably I'm sure they contracted with, you know, an outside or marketing

Jeff Cohen:

that but yeah, it's fascinating kind of to see this and good on JP Morgan for sort of taking the

Jeff Cohen:

initiative and having this thought leadership because you can bet that their high net worth

Jeff Cohen:

clients are incredibly interested in the metaverse and crypto 100%.

Paul Dawalibi:

Does it change the math you think for these banks? If because the all these banks,

Paul Dawalibi:

whether it's JP Morgan, or otherwise, Bank of America, or chase or whatever, right, they've all

Paul Dawalibi:

been built on, on real currency, fiat currency, right, like US dollars for the most part and

Paul Dawalibi:

transacting in those currencies and, and lending in those currencies and right, like, do you think

Paul Dawalibi:

if we believe crypto is the is the currency of the metaverse? Will there be regulatory issues with

Paul Dawalibi:

these banks starting to operate there and providing services there? But in crypto, like, are

Paul Dawalibi:

we going down a path where at some point, the you know, the really the long arm of the regulatory

Paul Dawalibi:

law sort of starts to take notice? Right? Sure. and launch a service right in the metaverse. Yeah,

Paul Dawalibi:

dealing in crypto, no one's gonna notice, right. Yeah. JP Morgan launches a bank in decentraland.

Paul Dawalibi:

And if they're dealing in crypto in some way that someone noticed and go, Wait a second, maybe we

Paul Dawalibi:

need to regulate this.

Jeff Cohen:

I'm sure the answer is yes. I am definitely not the right person to be asking

Jeff Cohen:

about, you know, banking regulations and the banking laws. But you can bet that, you know, when

Jeff Cohen:

JP Morgan is doing something like this one, they pay compliance people a lot. So I'm sure they've

Jeff Cohen:

thought about this, and to the regulators are going to notice and be knocking at their door

Jeff Cohen:

pretty immediately. So you can bet both those things already happened. So yes,

Paul Dawalibi:

Jeff, I want to get I want to make sure we have time to get to this last story,

Paul Dawalibi:

because I think it's an interesting one. And the headline here is from games, beet salad ventures.

Paul Dawalibi:

I mean, that's a horrible name, by the way, raises 13 and a half million to build guild O 's platform

Paul Dawalibi:

for p2p that's played earn gaming. Let me try and explain this. So what what they're trying to do

Paul Dawalibi:

here, it's an operating system for managing a play to earn guild. So the idea is that anyone will be

Paul Dawalibi:

able to use the platform to start manage and scale a play to earn guild in any blockchain game. So

Paul Dawalibi:

the idea is to simplify guild management, help make it be profitable, etc. I will also mention

Paul Dawalibi:

investors included. Like some of the ones I recognize polygon studios, Winklevoss capital

Paul Dawalibi:

Gemini frontier fund, like some really great, some great crypto investors, mostly, it seems. Curious

Paul Dawalibi:

what you think of this, Jeff, what do you what do you make of you know, I was recently on a panel

Paul Dawalibi:

about played around gaming, I'm sort of bearish on pure play to earn gaming because I think people

Paul Dawalibi:

play for fun not to earn. That's a longer conversation, but like, what do you think of a

Paul Dawalibi:

platform for guilds.

Jeff Cohen:

So I can take this in two parts. First, I mean, my views on guilds I haven't fully

Jeff Cohen:

formulated like a perfect investment thesis. But just in general, I'm somewhat bearish on any game

Jeff Cohen:

that requires a mortgage effectively to start playing it, I just think it's a massive, like, if

Jeff Cohen:

I have to take out a loan to start playing your game, I'm probably not going to do that. It's just

Jeff Cohen:

a really bad process, that onboarding process, and it creates a massive barrier to entry to people

Jeff Cohen:

who are trying to enter your game. And maybe guilds fix that, but I kind of feel like that's a

Jeff Cohen:

little bit of a bug, not a feature of, of Pelita earned gaming, where it's like, it just creates a

Jeff Cohen:

really bad onboarding, experience and user experience. Putting that all aside, if guilds are

Jeff Cohen:

sort of here to stay, which again, I don't know if I necessarily believe that I think eventually

Jeff Cohen:

games will probably INSOURCE their guild and maybe do some sort of lending to players when they first

Jeff Cohen:

start, so they don't have to outlay the money. So sort of taking what a guild does currently, and

Jeff Cohen:

just having it be part of the onboarding experience and be owned by the game and by the

Jeff Cohen:

publisher. So that's my sort of view on that but taking that if that doesn't happen and guilds are

Jeff Cohen:

here to stay, this is really smart because currently, I'm not entirely sure how guilds are

Jeff Cohen:

managed, but I imagine it's a lot of discord. It's probably a lot of different systems Telegram, you

Jeff Cohen:

know, just general like blocking and tackling. And something that that automates a lot of that is

Jeff Cohen:

system management LMS management system for guilds. makes a ton of sense. So I like the

Jeff Cohen:

investment. I'm just not sure if I love the ecos like I don't know if the ecosystem is super

Paul Dawalibi:

sustainable. I agree. I mean, there's always this risk of disintermediation. And

Paul Dawalibi:

this panel that I was on this past week, like someone made I thought was, which was a very smart

Paul Dawalibi:

comment, which is like xe infinity, the biggest mistake they made was not just managing the guilds

Paul Dawalibi:

themselves, like opening themselves up to external guilds. And not having that in house as a service

Paul Dawalibi:

was like leaving money on the table, basically. And, and it seems like that's the, that's, that's

Paul Dawalibi:

the likely path I would assume most take it. It's hard to say, because I started to see the benefit

Paul Dawalibi:

of an external third party that does this, I see the benefit to the user and also potentially to

Paul Dawalibi:

the games who don't have to worry about this, right. There's some there's a resource out there

Paul Dawalibi:

for players who want to start guilds and manage guilds. And you don't need to worry about any of

Paul Dawalibi:

that. But it does feel like if they are lucrative in any way, which they are clearly that, you know,

Paul Dawalibi:

the games themselves would INSOURCE This would include it as part of the features that they

Paul Dawalibi:

offer. And anything where you become like a middleman which this sort of is feels like it

Paul Dawalibi:

could be disintermediated away. Where I'm, I think much more bullish is I love the idea of

Paul Dawalibi:

capitalizing on the explosion in play to earn and providing services and infrastructure to that

Paul Dawalibi:

space. Right? If you're, if you're bullish on that space, it seems one of the smartest ways to go

Paul Dawalibi:

other than making a game is figuring out how to interface with all these games. And so yeah, I'm

Paul Dawalibi:

I'm a big fan there.

Jeff Cohen:

I guess the other bull case, I would mention, just to play devil's advocate on because

Jeff Cohen:

I was a little bit bearish on guilds, I guess it's it's basically a community that that can go to

Jeff Cohen:

different games and almost like become a kingmaker where it's like, the guild decides, hey, we're

Jeff Cohen:

gonna go play this game. And this game's gonna become popular because we're bringing our 50,000

Jeff Cohen:

Guild members and we get to buy the stuff first. And then it becomes popular because we started

Jeff Cohen:

using it and then you know, you kind of like,

Paul Dawalibi:

but you could see how the guilds, because if they become kingmakers could outgrow

Paul Dawalibi:

the usefulness of a platform that may take a cut of their earnings, for example. Yeah, right. Like,

Paul Dawalibi:

if you realize you're so influential, and every game is courting you, or you know, you can move

Paul Dawalibi:

from game to game and make a ton of money. Why? Why give anything up to a platform, if you can

Paul Dawalibi:

self organize in some way. I mean, I guess that's also a potential risk. And you may end up with

Paul Dawalibi:

just more of the long tail like not the very biggest guilds are not the most powerful. But it

Paul Dawalibi:

look given the set of investors clearly there's a lot of understanding of that crypto space. And I

Paul Dawalibi:

think a big challenge is the interoperability right? If you truly can go make a guild in any in

Paul Dawalibi:

any game, regardless of me of that game's own interests, right, whether they want you to or not,

Paul Dawalibi:

there could be value there to the player. Yep. Guys on that note, that wraps up this week's

Paul Dawalibi:

episode episode 13 in the bag, Lucky 13. If you love the podcast, make sure to go leave a five

Paul Dawalibi:

star rating or review tell others about the podcast, share it with your friends, Jeff, thank

Paul Dawalibi:

you as always, we have so much fun doing this. And we will see you guys next week.

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About the Podcast

META Business
From the metaverse to the boardroom...
Meta Business tackles the most important Metaverse industry news. Business experts dissect and discuss all of the hottest topics and happenings, from a unique C-suite perspective.

About your host

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Paul Dawalibi