Who is smashing the signboard of the Metaverse under the banner of the Metaverse?

  【Produced by Shentong Studio】

  Written by: Our reporter Liu Yuanyuan Planning: Liu Li

  The metaverse itself is a very good concept and technology trend, and it is also a big industry. Some illegal or speculative phenomena cannot disrupt the market. When people's cognition of the metaverse is not so clear, let these three The word casts a shadow.

  "Lie down every day to make money!"

  "If you want to make more money, please study more and participate in the Metaverse Chain Tour."

  "The current return cycle is very fast... Big money comes in!"

  At present, many Internet giants at home and abroad are optimistic about the development prospects of Metaverse, and they are scrambling to deploy related industries, and the popularity of Metaverse continues.

Taking advantage of this upsurge, posts on a social platform with the label of "Metaverse" promoting the so-called Metaverse blockchain game have been actively updated.

"Chicken blood" is full of copywriting, which is exciting.

  Although promoting different blockchain games, the posts have something in common: often under the banner of the "metaverse";

  Have those who invested real money in it really realized the "dream of getting rich"?

  "Most people are stuck in high positions"

  According to the information provided by the online post, a reporter from Science and Technology Daily joined an online community group known as the "2022 Strongest Chain Game" game.

In this group with more than 1,200 members, there are usually more than 800 people online, and the members communicate enthusiastically from morning to night.

  When the reporter asked in the community group what the relationship between this game and the metaverse is, some players answered that the game's "ultimate goal is to create an interstellar metaverse" and "the PC version is a prototype."

  However, the chat content in the community group rarely involves how to play the game, but it is often related to money: fall or rise, loss or gain.

Compared with the "full" promotional copy of this game, the atmosphere in the group is very "skinny".

  "Is there any money playing this game? I lost 95%." A player asked in the group, and distributed 3 online emoticons covering their faces and crying.

  Such a large proportion of losses is not an exception in this game community group.

Some players said that after investing 10,000 yuan, it rose to 25,000 and did not sell at the highest, and now there are only 1500 left.

Another player also revealed his "position" in the game community group: he bought 100,000 yuan of game mother currency, and now there is only 10,000 yuan left.

"I have confessed to my family that I lost money by speculating in virtual currency." Another player said.

  The reporter asked in a voice conference of the community group, "Do you have any money?" Someone answered, "Most people in the community are trapped by high positions."

  In addition to the community group, this game also has a dedicated trading group.

The group is more lively than the vegetable market, there are people who buy it, and there are people who sell it. "Cry out" one after another: "N2 for the real price", "R5 for the announcement price", "200N for the low price", "N for the price of 100 ships"...

  What do these cryptic letters stand for?

From the promotional post of this game, the reporter learned that they correspond to different spaceships in the game.

  As for the relationship between buying and selling these spaceships and making money, the reporter found clues from the group files published by the game community group.

One of the documents is called the "white paper" of the game, which details that the total supply of tokens for this game is 1 trillion, it is the currency in circulation in the game, and the spaceship is the most important thing in the game. One of the assets, players can use it to mine ore and get more virtual assets.

  This game community group has also released a video tutorial to teach players to buy game tokens: It is necessary to go through very complicated network steps to convert RMB into overseas virtual currencies such as BNB (Binance Coin) or USDT (Tether Coin), and then convert them into The virtual currency of this game.

  Confused developers

  Although the loss is "meat pain" at the moment, players are still betting on the bright future of this game.

  The game's "white paper" outlines its relationship to the metaverse far more charmingly than the game's promotional posts simply label the metaverse.

  "The Metaverse is a virtual 3D world that everyone shares...where you can work, shop, play, chat, watch movies and play games...yes, all of this can be done in the XX Metaverse, we even More can be done," claims the game's White Paper.

  Indeed, gaming entertainment is regarded as one of the important application scenarios of the metaverse.

However, the reporter opened the official website of the game, which is called "the strongest chain game in 2022", and found that it can almost be described as "simple": the page is based on a spaceship, but some pictures are obviously rough; there are only a few on the home page. Navigation buttons, however most of the navigation buttons including "Metaverse Lab" do not open when clicked.

  In addition to the game's relationship with the metaverse, what's even more confusing is who the game development team is.

There is no relevant introduction on the official website of the game.

This is mentioned in the "white paper" of the game: the development team has about 10 people, and the team's current main focus is on developing the metaverse of the game.

  However, it is unknown which country the game development team is based in and which company it belongs to.

From the answers or descriptions of members of the game community group, the reporter did not find a clear answer: "I really don't know if it is from the United States or where, but it is most likely Japanese" "Can the community contact the project party now"...

  "It is relatively common to find a project party in the 'industry' of blockchain games." Wu Tong, a well-known scholar in the digital economy, said in an interview with reporters that in addition to a few large blockchain games on the market, a clear development team has been disclosed. Or outside the parent company, the development teams of many such blockchain game projects are hidden, which largely follows the practice of the Bitcoin founder "Satoshi Nakamoto" hiding his identity.

  It is not clear who the development team of this game is, and it is also difficult to know whether the development team really focuses on developing the metaverse as stated in the game "White Paper".

  "In the blockchain game 'industry', the concealment of the project party's identity can easily lead to the existence of a large number of liars, because no corresponding person or institution can be found to be responsible for the project." Wu Tong pointed out that because many blockchain game project parties are Hidden, it is difficult to judge whether they are really working on projects or cheating money.

For investors, the investment risk is very large.

  Such activities are suspected of being illegal

  Even so, there are still many entrants who adhere to the dream of "getting rich".

  "Returning to zero is not much worse than it is now. What if you get rich?" "Be patient with the currency, and what should come will always come." "It has reached the point where it cannot fall, persistence is victory." Opinions abound in the game's community.

  Why did the virtual currency issued by blockchain games fall so much? Experts expressed similar views in interviews with reporters.

"The value of such projects is based on games, but in many cases, games are not very fun. There are no real players in the game, no one consumes, and all the people who rush in are speculators, and everyone is here to make money. But whether it can make money is the main thing. Let's see who can run faster." Wang Jiaping, who was the executive director of Innovation Workshop, is now an entrepreneur in the blockchain and metaverse fields, and is the founder of Moqun Blockchain, he said in an interview with reporters.

  "The economic model of this kind of game essentially has a 'Ponzi' attribute in it, that is, it needs new players or new funds to enter, bringing a lot of value-added, if no new funds enter, it will definitely keep depreciating. Yes." Wu Tong said.

  Whether those virtual currencies that cannot fall can still rise, it is unknown.

But what is certain is that in my country, engaging in virtual currency issuance, exchange and other activities is suspected of illegal and criminal activities.

  In September 2017, seven departments including the People's Bank of China jointly issued the "Announcement on Preventing the Risk of Token Issuance and Financing".

It clearly stipulates that token issuance financing is essentially an unapproved and illegal public financing behavior.

  In September last year, 10 departments including the People's Bank of China jointly issued the "Notice on Further Preventing and Disposing of Hype Risks in Virtual Currency Transactions", further clarifying that "virtual currency-related business activities are illegal financial activities."

  However, the reporter's investigation found that there are still many so-called "metaverse blockchain games" on domestic social platforms that claim that the games have issued tokens.

  "On the online community and other online trading platforms, the exchange of renminbi and tokens to trade virtual currency and make profits from it, this behavior violates relevant national regulations and public order and good customs, damages social and public interests, and the contract between the two parties is invalid. The relevant property rights and interests of the company should not be protected by law, and the losses arising therefrom should be borne by both parties." Lawyer Cai Xueen, chairman of the partner meeting of Hubei Dewei Junshang Law Firm, said in an interview with reporters.

  As far as the development teams of these games are concerned, if they are located overseas, can they not be bound by the laws of our country?

  Cai Xueen analyzed that although most of the servers of the current virtual currency project are located outside the country, according to the provisions of my country's criminal law, there is a jurisdictional basis for the application of China's criminal law based on territorial jurisdiction. If a criminal act or result occurs in my country's territory, it is considered to be in my country. crime in the field.

  "Therefore, even if the project is outside the country, the application of Chinese criminal law based on territorial jurisdiction will also be considered an illegal and criminal activity." Cai Xueen also told reporters that it is indeed difficult to obtain evidence and recover stolen goods when the game developer conceals his identity.

  Shadowed Metaverse Industries

  Taking advantage of the fire of the metaverse concept, many old routines have been put on new clothes.

  In February of this year, the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission issued the "Risk Warning on Preventing Illegal Fund Raising in the Name of "Metaverse", which disclosed the fabrication of false Metaverse investment projects, fraud under the banner of the Metaverse blockchain game, and malicious speculation about Metaverse real estate. Misappropriation of money, disguised engagement in Metaverse virtual currency illegal profit-making and other illegal means.

  "Some criminals take advantage of the general public's curiosity and speculation about the metaverse, hype and copy the concept of the metaverse, and disguise and cover up illegal and criminal activities. It is difficult for the public to identify them through general social cognition.” Cai Xueen said that the consequences of such crimes are usually extremely extensive, and the social impact is extremely bad, and legal weapons must be used to resolutely crack down.

  These illegal activities under the banner of "metaverse" also have a negative impact on the nascent metaverse industry.

  "The metaverse itself is a very good concept and technology trend, and it is also a big industry. I don't want some illegal or speculative phenomena to disrupt the market. When people's cognition of the metaverse is not so clear, let this The three words cast a shadow." Gao Yu, executive director of Chongqing Modern Industry Research Institute and executive director of Chongqing Puyuwei Technology Innovation Center Co., Ltd., said in an interview with reporters.

  Gao Yu told reporters that Chongqing Modern Industry Research Institute regards Metaverse as one of the industry directions that will be focused on in the future.

Her company has also incubated some Metaverse-related startups, involving technologies or products such as virtual reality smart terminals, 3D real-time rendering engines, and VR helmet sensors.

  "At present, when people mention the word 'metaverse', they will be more vigilant at first: what kind of company is this?" Gao Yu found out when communicating with some companies that people in the industry sometimes avoid mentioning the three "metaverse". Words, and more will directly introduce themselves as real-time rendering, digital twins and other specific technologies or products, in order to try to look more credible.

  Ningbo Weizhen Display Technology Co., Ltd. is an enterprise that produces a large-scale immersive experience system for virtual reality. Its products include 4D cinema, aerospace flight control simulation system, etc.

He Xuanchen, the company's vice president of marketing, told reporters that he and his colleagues were also disgusted by illegal acts in the Metaverse field.

Because it will bring a lot of negative news to the industry, mislead consumers, investors, upstream and downstream partners in the industry, etc., and make people have a negative impression of the Metaverse.

  "When we participated in some publicity activities and innovation and entrepreneurship competitions, the expert judges had support and doubts, about half of them." He Xuanchen said that those skeptical judges believed that the Metaverse was relatively empty, and they were all making money. There is no practical application prospect or real application.

In fact, many products related to the Metaverse have already been applied.

  Building a "Negative List" for the Metaverse

  Why did so many illegal acts under the banner of "metaverse" pop up soon after the metaverse was proposed?

This may have something to do with the characteristics of the metaverse concept.

  The reporter found in the interview that different people have different definitions of the metaverse, which can be said to be "a thousand people have a thousand metaverses in their hearts".

Wang Jiaping and several industry insiders agree that the Metaverse is not a technical term, but a concept of industrial ecology or product form. It can be achieved through multi-dimensional and complex technical means such as virtual reality, artificial intelligence, blockchain, cloud computing, and communication technology. and end products.

  "The Metaverse itself is in a very early stage of development, so the definition is not so clear." Wu Tong believes that mature industries such as the Internet often have clear definitions, while the concept of the Metaverse is relatively vague, controversial, and has more room for industrial development. big.

  Wu Tong's experience is that in reality, the metaverse is "like a brick, where it needs to be moved", one of the reasons is that everyone does not have a clear definition of the connotation and extension of the metaverse.

In his view, such a status quo also leaves a lot of room for speculation, speculation, financial fraud, illegal transactions and other activities.

  However, industry insiders interviewed by reporters generally believe that this is a necessary stage for almost every industry when it is just emerging. Many industries will experience multiple bubble accumulation and bursting processes before they mature, so it is not the metaverse itself. question.

  In He Xuanchen's view, the emergence of illegal activities under the banner of "metaverse" just shows that the metaverse is recognized by many people and has broad development opportunities, so it is used by criminals.

  During the National Two Sessions this year, many representatives and members suggested strengthening the supervision of the Metaverse, and Gao Yu was one of them.

In the "Suggestions on Strengthening the Forward-looking Supervision of the "Metaverse" Industry" submitted, Gao Yu called for strengthening the risk monitoring and early warning of Metaverse hype, and for those who trade and exchange virtual currencies and virtual goods under the banner of "Metaverse". Behavior is tracked throughout the chain.

  "Being tied up early in the development of the Metaverse is indeed not conducive to the development of the industry. My personal suggestion is to establish a dynamically updated 'negative list' for the development of the Metaverse industry. It is to stipulate clearly what things cannot be done, and the other Everything can be done." Wu Tong said.

  For investors who are optimistic about the Metaverse, Wang Jiaping believes that in the early stage of development of all technology industries, core technologies and underlying infrastructure are more valuable for investment.

Therefore, he suggested that investors pay more attention to the relevant core technologies or underlying technologies behind the Metaverse project.

  "In addition to the core technologies and applications related to the Metaverse, I think it is necessary to invest carefully in some virtual asset projects that are under the banner of the Metaverse and are difficult to distinguish between true and false. When an industry does not have very clear boundaries and mature transactions When supported by rules and laws, you need to have good thinking and judgment before investing, and don’t make investment decisions lightly.” Gao Yu suggested.

  Sadly, it's not so easy to be cautiously rational in the face of a dizzying array of metaverse projects.

The reporter asked the game player who lost from 10,000 yuan to 1,500 yuan: "Is it true that the project party said that they will build a game metaverse in the future?"

  He replied, "I don't know."