It’s fair to say that in 2021, three related technologies came to the fore and showed their potential to change the world: cryptocurrencies, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and the metaverse.

But what is the fuss all about? MaltaCEOs.mt sat down with Tech.mt CEO Dana Farrugia to discuss these latest tech trends that are sweeping the world.

Firstly, do you own any cryptocurrency or NFTs?

Personally, I do own both cryptocurrencies and NFTs. It is an investment I love discussing with my son and we do research and decide on what to purchase together. It amazes me how younger generations already look at buying stocks and shares, and trade in currencies and virtual assets. This hunger they have for alternative trade is significant to a point that we need to embrace it as leaders to keep abreast with digital and financial trends of the present. I am also in constant contact with professionals and enthusiasts who are deeply involved in the development and application of both cryptos and NFTs so as to keep as much a wide perspective as possible.  My son also often brings up the topic of the metaverse and it’s a common topic in our household whereby we discuss trends that the metaverse is bringing along, shaping future consumer expenditure and trends. As CEO of Tech.mt, I constantly participate in talks about emerging technologies reshaping the world as we know it.

If we had to think about blockchain as a technology, it only became popular in the past decade. With the creation of Bitcoin in 2008, blockchain technology became recognisable for the various applications it can be involved in. Fast forward a couple of years, financial institutions and other industries began to recognise and explore Blockchain’s potential, shifting their focus from being just a digital currency to developing blockchain tech.

In 2015, the Ethereum Frontier network was launched, enabling developers to write smart contracts and dApps, which could then be deployed to a live network. The most popular NFT marketplaces mostly run on the Ethereum blockchain. In 2021, NFTs proved that the finance sector isn’t the only area blockchain can be of advantage. Artists and collectors are now using innovation and creativity through these platforms to establish the authenticity and originality of a digital asset.

Have you experienced the Metaverse?

No, I haven’t. However, I hope that someday soon I will have such an opportunity to immerse myself in a 3D universe!

At Tech.mt we are closely monitoring the technology market as it expands exponentially, and it is our responsibility to enhance the growth of the digital economy.  

With regards to cryptocurrencies, do you think they will ever replace fiat currencies, or does their volatility rule this out?

As it stands, we know that no cryptocurrency has effectively taken over fiat money. However, the benefits of crypto may in some ways override the fiat currencies as we know them today. The future is digital. And by that, I mean that every asset will gain value to ownership, whilst shifting more towards the idea of decentralisation. The problem which is currently persisting is the people’s trust in digital assets. Even though I believe that significant improvements in accepting innovative technologies have been made, there is still a long way to go, in order to widen tech knowledge and instil trust amongst the general public.

What do you make of the current NFT craze? What is driving it and do you think it will last?

The concept of NFTs appeals to people’s need for ownership and authenticity. According to experts, the NFT industry is a tremendous business opportunity to make a decent income.

I feel that NFTs provide a space for digital creators to be as creative and original as possible. This does not simply apply to art; the NFT market can also apply to the music business and anyone looking to be a part of a particular community.

NFTs, like anything else on the blockchain, have the potential to last. How great is it to not have something copied and to have true ownership of something that has been verified to be authentic?

What realistic future use-cases do you see for NFTs and the metaverse, in the short, medium and long term. Feel free to go for a sci-fi answer on that last one.

By definition, the metaverse is a set of virtual spaces where you can create and explore with other people who aren’t in the same physical space as you. I would imagine viewing property or discovering historical places the general public cannot essentially access via this technology. More so in the long-term, it would be great to be immersed in a world where you can experience stadiums, races, sports games all through the metaverse.

In the short term, I believe NFT’s will become the key to owning digital assets. I believe that through NFTs, the public is becoming more aware of emerging technologies’ benefits.

A decentralised metaverse is not inevitable. A concentrated effort to create and develop the requisite technologies, networks, and platforms will be required. I believe that, in the end, NFTs will serve as the metaverse’s backbone, providing the cultural, social, and technological foundation for a fully-fledged digital economy.

What tech trends are flying under the radar because the above-mentioned three are hogging all the limelight?

Tech trends come and go, but I believe that the blockchain trend is here to stay, given its benefits to every industry.

In general, I think that tech is beneficial to all sectors. However, lately, I have been rooting on how tech and tech corporate can improve the society we live in at large—for example, smart cyber security.

Another one would be AI’s capacity to be employed in medication discovery. The application of technology such as IoT and AI to produce healthier and more sustainable food. The list goes on and on.

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