Last year, social media entered an entirely new dimension, with companies and consumers alike getting interested in the idea of the “metaverse” and the technology that powers it.
The word “meta” is now popping up practically everywhere — on social feeds, on the news and in articles profiling the “overnight millionaires” who have found success by grabbing a piece of the meta pie.
And now TOKAU, a Japan-based blockchain company, is launching its own metaverse project called MetaCity, the first platform focusing on celebrities and their fans.
For the uninitiated, the term “metaverse” refers to a 3D virtual universe into which users from all over the world can enter and interact with one another in real time. The space is created using a permanent record-keeping system called blockchain technology, and the data that is stored within the blockchain is called a non-fungible token, or NFT.
Based on the principles of openness and decentralization that are fundamental to Web 3.0, NFTs are being incorporated by major corporations into their routine business, while regular consumers are beginning to use them in their everyday lives. NFTs are already being utilized as artwork, event tickets, software licenses, fan club memberships and so on.
Within TOKAU’s MetaCity, which maps a metaverse 3D world, fans are not merely consumers; instead, they form one of the nodes of an intricate global “SocialFi” (or “social-to-earn”) ecosystem where they can earn crypto tokens (a form of tradeable cryptocurrency) as they explore and play.
“There’s been a change in the social structure of society over the past few years, and now people desire greater access to the world around them,” says Nao Saito, business development manager of MetaCity. “In MetaCity, we will offer our users just that: the ability to travel through time and space via VR.”
Users start their MetaCity journey by purchasing a Mystery Box, which contains one editable NFT “Land” on the platform. Landowners can then customize their own virtual spaces by adding new items and changing designs just like in the real world. If a user wishes to relocate, they may trade their Land with other users within MetaCity’s MarketPlace.
The key difference between buying a house in IRL and buying a house in MetaCity? In TOKAU’s virtual world, users can pay a premium to be neighbors with celebrities who have signed up to create Lands of their own.
MetaCity is collaborating with notable names across a wide range of industries, from hip-hop to fashion, and all will be located within specially themed areas of the metaverse. No matter which area users are in, they can interact with all of MetaCity’s celebrities via text, audio and, soon, VR.
In contrast to the real world, each celebrity in MetaCity can have as many neighbors as the number of NFTs issued per Land, although all of MetaCity’s landowners are welcome to attend when celebrities go live to host public events. Celebrities can also choose to host private events for select residents.
For example, users will have the opportunity to drink a mimosa and get a pedicure with the likes of fashion influencer Olivia Palermo, or head to the studio with hip-hop producer Russell Simmons and hear what he’s working on before anyone else.
And it isn’t just real-life celebrities who are flocking to the platform.
“In MetaCity, users enter a brand-new world where they can interact with iconic characters in a way that has never before been possible,” says Jodee Miller, MetaCity’s COO.
TOKAU’s metaverse is offering its users the opportunity to live alongside 3D avatars of characters from their favorite franchises, such as the Hong Kong action series “Young and Dangerous.”
An unprecedented level of access for fans is not the only way TOKAU is democratizing its platform and embracing Web 3.0. The company has plans to hand over the management and decision-making processes concerning MetaCity to “DAOs,” or decentralized autonomous organizations made up of its users, so that no one entity has full control. The “smart contract” used in the DAO will lay the foundational rules that allow any user’s actions to be publicly audited.
“We envision a future where MetaCity is open source and powered by a diverse community of users from all over the world,” adds David Lin, MetaCity’s product manager. “We hope you’ll join us and create a Land of your own.”
To learn more about MetaCity and how to join the platform, visit metacity.tokau.io.