Diffusion Best Bits with Arinze Clifford of Outlier Ventures


Diffusion Best Bits with Arinze Clifford of Outlier Ventures

Diffusion Digital is a virtual conference hosted by Outlier Ventures. In this episode of The Metaverse Podcast, Arinze Clifford provides a recap of 5 of his favourite moments from their last Diffusion Digital event: (1) Big tech vs open Metaverse; (2) Bringing brands into the Metaverse; (3) Future of play-to-earn gaming; (4) NFT wearables and the fashion industry; and (5) Identity in the context of the Metaverse.

Posted by Diffusion Best Bits with Arinze Clifford of Outlier Ventures - March 2022


  • Arinze will be going through five of his favourite moments from the last Diffusion Digital event
  • Their next Diffusion Digital will be held in March 2022
  • Sign up at diffusion.events

Big Tech VS Open Metaverse

💡 Panel participants:

  • Jamie Burke, CEO and Founder of Outlier Ventures
  • Aaron McDonald, Co-Founder of FLUF by Non-Fungible Labs
  • Georgio Constantinou, Co-Founder of 6 Agency
  • Rahilla Zafar, Documentary Producer from Minted

Are They Opposing One Another?

  • It’s obvious at the surface level
  • Big tech have their vision of what the Metaverse is and is trying to bring their users to it
  • Their users may not know how to differentiate between the open Metaverse vs a VR version of Facebook

We’re going to see politics play a role in the metaverse because the true open Metaverse is about breaking down structures, whether that’s geographies, culture, politics, or finance.

– Aaron McDonald

  • If we go down the real Metaverse path, we can start to see that countries and companies start to become less relevant. People in those power structures would not like that

Vulnerabilities/Limitations Of The Metaverse

  • Currently, big tech covers the entire demographic for ease of use
  • In contrast, there’s a lot of risk in the open Metaverse. It’s not necessarily a safe place for people who are not up to speed on best practices
  • There’s still a long way to go to normalizing best practices
  • A lot of protocols are designed for people who are already familiar with this stuff
  • There will be people who want to opt in to the open Metaverse

Bringing Brands Into The Metaverse

💡 Panel participants:

  • Jamie Burke, CEO and Founder of Outlier Ventures
  • Benoit Pagotto, Co-Founder of RTFKT
  • Sebastien Borget, Co-Founder and COO of The Sandbox
  • Kadine James, Creative technologist at Yahoo
  • Luis Carranza, Founder of Fayre Labs

Why Are Brands Exploring The Metaverse?

  • The Metaverse is a future for brands that want to stay relevant
  • Digital fashion is going to be huge
  • Brands have understood that the Metaverse deserves their attention
  • In the last 18 months, Yahoo has launched an integrated XR studio in central London which specializes in 3D virtual production, including motion capture, mixed reality broadcasting, etc.
  • They have hosted a VR fashion show, a virtual Halloween escape room, and a global AR scavenger hunt
  • They recently dropped a virtual concert for the singer-songwriter Nina Nesbitt in a crypto music event called The Metaverse Festival inside Decentraland

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  • They have reached audiences at scale all across the world

Why Should Brands Engage With The Open Metaverse Rather Than These Closed Environments?

  • Brands are waking up to video games in general
  • A lot of these brands are really big and are slow. Their core businesses are doing well and their focus is in that direction
  • Facebook announced Meta, thinking it is easier for brands to work with them
  • Brands are large and have different departments. Each department has their own objective. Some may have a dedicated strategy regarding the Metaverse while others do not

Future Of Play-To-Earn Gaming

💡 Panel participants:

  • Jan Baeriswyl, Token Design at Outlier Ventures
  • Robby Yung, CEO of Animoca Brands
  • Marco Bahn, Founder of GameDAO
  • Beryl Li, Co-Founder of Yield Guild Games

Thoughts On Play-To-Earn

  • It’s a fantastic new innovation
  • Blockchain enables content ownership and the ability to trade and monetize the content
  • The fundamental change from traditional gaming to blockchain gaming is more about play-to-not-lose-everything

I think the more fundamental change as an industry, from traditional gaming to blockchain gaming is more about the idea that players just won’t necessarily lose everything. In a traditional game, all the money you spend, 100% of it goes to the developer, you never get anything back. It’s a one way system.

– Robby Yung

  • Players could sell their items at a secondary marketplace if they are tired of a game and want to move on to another game. This means that they do not need to lose all their money in games

How Could Some Of These Innovations Transition Into The Web2 Gaming Space?

  • Most creators in the Web2 space cannot really participate in Web3-enabled games
  • Web3-enabled games somehow have little incentive to really innovate their business model
  • NFTs end up as add-on features to existing business models. It does not push people to really move into Web3, apart from benefiting from the item ownership upside
  • NFT mechanics are not enough to bring Web2 gaming to Web3. Better tools are needed as well

NFT Wearables And The Fashion Industry

💡 Panel participants:

  • Blake Lezenski, Filecoin program manager
  • Santiago Restrepo, CEO of Filterya
  • Troy Osinoff, Co-Founder of Juice
  • Justin Grant, Atlantic Records
  • Carol Hilsum, Senior Director of product innovation at Farfetch

Dematerialization Of Clothing Trend In The Fashion Industry

  • It has been around for a long time
  • Digital clothing in games have been around for decades now
  • Companies like Fortnite and Roblox have integrated the fashion world into their strategies
  • Introduction of NFTs enable ownership of fashion items

Identity In The Context Of The Metaverse

💡 Panel participants:

  • Jamie Burke, CEO and Founder of Outlier Ventures
  • Bored Elon Musk, Founder of Bored Industries
  • Krista Kim, Artist of Krista Kim Studio
  • James Shannon, CEO and Co-Founder of Auras Studio

What Does Identity Mean To Bored Elon In The Context Of The Metaverse?

  • Biggest difference is that one has control over their identity in the Metaverse
  • In the real world, a lot of your personal identity is placed upon you by the outside world (e.g. where you are from, what you look like, what your career is, etc.)

I think with the world we’re looking at in the Metaverse, it’s very much in your control. And it could be an identity that you create, it could be multiple identities that you create. Sometimes people have varying interests, and they don’t necessarily need to bring their full self into the metaverse, right? Your identity could be one that is very focused on a particular vertical, like music or gaming or art.

– Bored Elon Musk

  • People could find communities by their areas of interest and share their thoughts that they think are relevant to that particular community

How Many Identities Does Bored Elon Have?

  • It started off as a side project that takes up 10-20 minutes a day
  • Now that he is conducting businesses, investing, and building companies as Bored Elon, it takes up the majority of his time spent online
  • Has 2 identities:
    • One meant for family and friends
    • Another meant for commerce, creativity, and communications
  • Thinks that it’s a bizarre place to be in, but this is becoming more normalized

How Much Do NFTs Form A Part Of Krista’s Identity As An Artist?

  • NFTs are primarily a mechanism for sharing ideas and for expanding consciousness
  • NFTs allow us to participate in groups, to monetize, to create communities, and to create structure around the ideas and the experiences that we wish to share
  • Created the Mars House. Wanted it to be a place of meditativeness and healing, like a Zen Kyoto of the 21st century and beyond

Diffusion Best Bits with Arinze Clifford of Outlier Ventures Outlier Ventures

But it’s going to be amazing that we will have digital beings living in the metaverse that are as conscious as we are and expanding life in itself, life as we know it, in the digital realm.

– Krista Kim

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This podcast summary was prepared by The Reading Ape in collaboration with Outlier Ventures. The Reading Ape is a humble servant of the written word.

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