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Lou Yu: Why young people need the metaverse

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If you haven’t heard of the metaverse, it’s likely you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last couple of years. Hailed by many, including Facebook (NASDAQ: META), which even changed its name to Meta in October 2021, and Microsoft (NASAQ: MSFT), as the next generation of the internet, the technology provides a way for internet users to connect online within a virtual world.

One person who is bullish on the technology is Lou Yu, head of KuCoin Labs, the investment and incubation arm of digital currency exchange KuCoin. She believes that the metaverse will be the place to be for the next generation of entrepreneurial internet users and is putting her money where her mouth is by investing in several metaverse companies.

She explains that a lot of people are drawn to the metaverse because of the freedom it offers. “We can do a lot of things that we can’t do in the real world, for example flying, throwing things in the ocean which is very unethical in the real world but in the virtual one you can do it and it’s not a mess.”

One thing that many people can do on the metaverse which they might not be able to in real life is buy property, which is a cornerstone of Bloktopia, one of the companies that KuCoin Labs has invested in. Bloktopia is a metaverse which consists of a skyscraper, made up of 21 levels where users can become virtual landlords, earn revenue, play games, and build networks.

“People are purchasing lands like empty places in the Metaverse to lend to people and to build their own things so they can build a building or a space or a pool,” Lou explains.

Lou tells CoinGeek’s Charles Miller that she believes the social aspect also plays an important role in the popularity of platforms like this, with many younger users signing up during the Covid-19 pandemic as a way to connect online.

She says that one game KuCoin Labs invested in that saw an influx of users during the pandemic is Cryowar, an NFT multi-player arena, which is very popular with young people.

“They’re making money with it, they’re happy with it, they can socialise with it, they can help their parents with it, they can help themselves buying a lot of things that they like with this money. So actually, young people they need things like that, and they need those kind of economic aspects.”

Both Cryowar and Bloktopia have their own tokens, which are currently not worth very much. Lou sees this as a positive though as it means that players are happy to spend and trade within the game without worrying too much about losing money, as they might with an asset like BTC.

She believes that this traction will gradually bring more attention to these communities, allowing developers to build up more mature token systems as the ecosystem develops.

This is a positive for investors who will see return on their investment as the metaverse gets busier and the coins get more valuable. But it’s also a good thing for young gamers who will be given the chance to exchange coins and educate themselves about how marketplaces work, without losing real money.

This is imperative for the survival of these games and for creating much-needed trust in the industry. The high-profile decline of Axie Infinity, a play-to-earn metaverse game, whose in-game currency value collapsed due to weak tokenomics, is a cautionary tale for networks attempting to build out too quickly.

Hear the whole of Lou Yu’s interview in this week’s CoinGeek Conversations podcast or catch up with other recent episodes:

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