Metaverse and Web3: From telecommunications to luxury retail, the revolution is preparing

Round table – Innovation leaders and experts different sectors are very interested in metaverse and the potential i asset tokenization. Statements from Axa France, Bouygues Telecom, Monnier Paris and Mint.

The projects and experiments carried out in different sectors of the economy show this: metaverse appeals to companies and their decision makers. The diversity of brands holding plots at The Sandbox is another illustration of this.

And although the maturity phase of the metaverse is planned for 2030 by Gartner, organizations are now committing resources to acculturate their employees as well as consumers.

Transformations to watch for Comex

Casino and its entities, including Monoprix, invest in applications of metaverseof crypto and more widely of Web3. These are not the only companies in France, as is evident from the participants in the round table conference led by as part of the conference IMagin Day Metaverse.

In telecommunications, initiatives remain reluctant on Web3, notes Philippe Kerignard, head of innovation at Bouygues Telecom. Promotion of 5G in the metaverse, sale or airdrop of NFT, but “no pure telecom services”. Asia, on the other hand, seems to be ahead in this sector.

Operators such as SK Telecom and NTT Docomo directly created their own metaverse. They compete with companies like Meta. What they do is quite impressive”, emphasizes the expert.

On the axis of tokenizationhe also urges managers to be very vigilant about the new business models that are emerging, the development of which often eludes traditional players.

Understanding of technologies and applications

In fact, these projects and their communities usually interact on channels like Discord and Telegram, placed under the radar of corporate watchdogs. Sudden disruptions cannot therefore be ruled out. In it telecommunicationsthis new competition could come from the tokenization of mobile data from virtual carriers, MVNO.

“Users sell on the secondary market, without our operators knowing, their unused GB (…) This tokenization can have significant consequences and capacity to disrupt”, insists Philippe Kerignard. This potential is taken into account withinAxa France.

We are well aware that entering the metaverse in 2022, we are in a very exploratory phase (…) However, we observe an evolution in applications, at the origin of the world of video games towards other applications (…) We believe in the metaverse in the innovation department, however without overestimating the short term”, declares Cyrille Magneto, VP Innovation of the insurance company.

“It is important to get there quickly in order to better understand the technologies and applications. The goal is to be ready, to be among the first to exploit it in a few years”, explains the Axa boss.

Join an ecosystem under construction

In particular, to confirm its conviction, Axa France bought a plot of land in The Sandbox.

Planting your flag in a platform like The Sandbox really inscribes the company in a learning logic (…) But buying land is not enough. So we also built our presence. This also allows us to promote our brand in these ecosystems and to meet new people there,” explains Cyrille Magneto.

In this ecosystem logic, the VP innovation is thus a member of the NFT Factory, whose goal is to evangelize the use of NFTs and to build a bridge between suppliers and companies from other sectors.

These links are also an opportunity for large groups to identify “tech talent. It’s here talent war. The advantages associated with the presence on the metaverse are several”. This also applies to the luxury industry, where the Monnier Paris e-commerce site operates.

For its director, Diaa Elyaacoubi, the challenge knows Web3 is to conquer tomorrow’s consumers, those of generation Z. The distributor, described as “a tech platform”, has therefore carried out several projects around NFTs, crypto and the metaverse, including the creation of a stand during the fashion week organized in Decentraland.

Develop a Web3 culture and technological mastery

We tried to convince a number of our brand partners, many of whom were very reluctant. There is therefore a whole evangelization work to be carried out on these subjects”, testifies the managing director.

Through its initiatives Monnier Paris thus intends to position itself as a partner for its brand customers on Web3. The challenge is also internal and thus to develop the culture and the mastery of crypto and Web3 skills among the employees.

It is very important to build the company’s mindset around these new tools: to put Discord at the heart of our IT system, to include NFT and play-to-earn in our loyalty program”, explains Diaa Elyaacoubi.

It is therefore strategic to act now to anticipate the next revolutions. “We always overestimate the short-term effects, of 2 or 3 years. And on the contrary, we underestimate them in the longer term, of 10 years (…) blockchain will disrupt a certain number of business models. And if you haven’t been able to take the train of transformation, you risk missing out for good,” warns the head of Monnier Paris.

Funding and payments promised profound change

In it finance that too asset tokenization looks like a revolution. We should not forget the payments too, explains Nicolas Louvet, CEO of Coinhouse. “The asset management profession is also learning what tokenization can allow,” adds the head of the French broker, also highlighting the growing institutionalization of crypto.

” That crypto will go into traditional products, life insurance in particular and support traditional portfolio management”, predicts Nicolas Louvet in the context of complementarity between traditional finance and digital assets. However, the transformations are not only the future.

The activity of Mint illustrates it. The company, which raised 40 million euros this summer, develops its missions beyond investing in cryptocurrency to support players from very different sectors in their adoption of metaverse and Web3 payments.

Since the beginning of the year, we have accompanied 18 large groups in the acquisition of Lands in TheSandBox or Decentraland. The most well-known is Carrefour, but most are CAC 40 / SBF 120 groups and some are international”, says Nicolas Louvet.

Among these customers, Coinhouse counts large luxury or fashion, car or media brands. These companies use a partner to manage the payments received in crypto, i.e. off ramp.

Crypto services for hundreds of companies by 2023

Managing wallets for selling NFT or redeeming tokens, instant crypto/fiat conversion, transaction reporting… The CEO estimates that by 2023 “hundreds of large companies will come to these services”.

We didn’t see that 3 or 4 years ago. We hadn’t quite imagined it. It is very interesting to see companies that we had no discussion with, e.g. in insurance and banking, now moving towards Web3 and blockchain”, says Nicolas Louvet.

Nevertheless, an acculturation phase needs to be completed. And it very often begins with one the “deconstruction phase”.notes Philippe Kerignard.

The metaverse is not only Facebook in 3D (…) NFTs are not ugly monkeys that you buy for 1 million euros (…) Cryptos are not just a trick to buy drugs and destroy the environment”, ironically the head of innovation .

Of course he says, the environmental impact of the metaverse is real, albeit in the form of emissions generated by the use of mobile networks. The NFT coin also generates CO2 emissions. This creation even exceeded, until recently, the impact of the creation of a physical T-shirt, for example.

However, technological developments can reduce these energy and environmental costs, including the migration of Ethereum from PoW to PoS.

The C02 component is a topic. It should not be hidden. However, I do not think that an industry is able to divide its CO2 footprint by such a factor overnight”, concludes Philippe Kerignard.

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