The Metaverse Is Facing a ‘Cooldown Moment’ Amid Crypto Winter

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After being hot for a good part of last year, the metaverse is, at least for now, facing a “cooldown moment,” said Cathy Hackl, chief metaverse officer at innovation and design consultancy Journey and a speaker at Consensus 2023.

“I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing,” Hackl told CoinDesk TV’s “First Mover” on Wednesday about those who got into the hype of the metaverse but have since left.

“A lot of us are continuing to build,” she said. The metaverse is a longer-term vision and one that she said is “going to be the future of the internet.” That’s despite brands deciding the metaverse is not for them. Most recently Disney shuttered its metaverse team as part of a company-wide contraction.

Catwalk in the metaverse

On Tuesday, the second annual Metaverse Fashion Week (MFW) kicked off. Unlike last year’s event, which took place only in Decentraland, this year’s event is a multi-platform affair. Spatial, a metaverse platform, and Over, an augmented reality (AR) platform that combines the use of virtual assets with the physical world, are among the collaborators.

Luxury brands including Dolce & Gabbana, Balmain and Tommy Hilfiger are also participating in the virtual four-day event, which Hackl said is making room for “opportunities to create virtual couture.”

She said the event opens the door for brands and participants to see forthcoming changes in culture and fashion.

But barriers persist, she said, adding that the need to have a virtual wallet may be keeping some users from getting the full experience. Additional stress points, including servers crashing, are among the technical issues developers are trying to iron out.

“If we see this next year, going into broader [platforms] like Roblox … or into Fortnite or some of these more mass market platforms, it’ll be more accessible,” Hackl said.

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