Many digital analysts have built bridges between the Metaverse that Mark Zuckerberg already dreams of and that parallel reality called the Matrix. The moment could not be more propitious: virtual universes, driven by fashion brands or video games, do not stop growing and the Wachowski sisters’ film reaches the screens twice, in a re-release thanks to
its 20th anniversary and at the premiere of his latest installment, The Matrix: Resurrection. At the moment, the degrees of separation between one and the other are countless, although we can already detect common and very disturbing features, for example, the ease with which we can copy, clone or replicate in digital space. The case of the very expensive Birkin bags from Hermès has the Metaverse on edge.
Last November, digital creator Mason Rothschild created 100 NFTs inspired by the legendary
Hermès Birkin bag, a furry and digital version of this that was intended to be a tribute to the brand and that it exhibited in its Los Angeles concept store, Terminal27. These NFTs, called Metabirkins, were sold for 200 ethereum (about
$ 790 each). NFTs are the digital translation of the unique objects of the analog world, be they works of art or design or limited edition objects: no two NFTs are equivalent and they cannot be interchanged or modified. These digital objects root their value in the
blockchain technology, which guarantees its authenticity. What does not prevent, of course, is the copy.
Mason Rothschild reported a few days after the sale of his Metabirkins that hundreds of
copies of your digital designs, until reaching a value of $ 35,000 only in a marketplace called OpenSea. Rothschild warned indignant, very indignant, that these copies could never get any guarantee of authenticity. However, shortly afterwards Hermès, which sells its handbags (the analogues) from 90,000 euros, announced that it had not authorized the commercialization of its supposedly original NFTs and that it was going to claim its intellectual property and brand rights. In other words: for Hermès its Metabirkins are as fake as the copy of those same Metabirkins.
Let’s go back to the Matrix universe, because Keanu Reeves has managed to put the dots on the i’s in this question with the ultimate laugh. In a promotional interview for The Matrix: Resurrection, the journalist asked him what he thought about “the concept of
digital scarcity“And” Internet objects that cannot be copied. ” With all the derision, he replied with a laugh: “The ones that normally duplicate?” It cannot be expressed better than with that
laugh the ridiculousness of trying to invoke authenticity in a universe doomed, by its very nature, to copies. That, in addition, they will be exactly identical, exactly clones, even if they do not have any certificate of authenticity.
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The case of the Metabirkin explains why Keanu Reeves laughs (and a lot) at the NFTs