In her monthly Expert Take column, Selva Ozelli, an international tax attorney and CPA, covers the intersection between emerging technologies and sustainability, and provides the latest developments around taxes, AML/CFT regulations and legal issues affecting crypto and blockchain.
In 2021, nonfungible tokens became the biggest disrupter in art, with artists minting, exhibiting and auctioning them and investors buying, selling and trading them. But by May 2022, NFT sales had dropped 92% from the market peak. According to data aggregator Layoffs.fyi, more than 17,000 technology laborers lost their jobs in May. The recent downturn is similar to 2018, when leading cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) fell by 80% or more.
Related: 2021 ends with a question: Are NFTs here to stay?
Immune to the digital asset market’s manic depressive volatility, Web3 developers, institutional investors, and regulators preparing to tax metaverse profits are calmly continuing with business as usual across the world.
The NFT bear market might have cautioned high-level financiers at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, as central banks start to tighten monetary policy against a backdrop of slowing economic activity. And gone are the days when central bankers fretted hedge fund managers — they are more concerned about the new crowd at the door, the “Metaversians,” who are digitizing various aspects of life in 3D with artificial intelligence.
The digital asset market meltdown was foreseen by Brian Shuster, founder and CEO of Canada-based Utherverse, who has developed more than 100 patents and pending patents for core internet technologies and the Metaverse. He told me: “There’s a ton of companies out there building out the Metaverse, and frankly, most companies claiming to offer properties and tokens have dangerously underestimated the complexity of the task at hand.” He continued:
“The digital asset market meltdown is healthy for those companies which offer viable and sustainable Web3 products…..