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VeVe: the Hype, the Hope, the Addiction

A couple weeks ago I downloaded the VeVe app, and I am completely hooked.

VeVe is an app that sells licensed digital collectibles, i.e. NFTs.

The keyword here is “licensed” because VeVe has partnerships with some of the largest brands in the world including Disney, Marvel, Cartoon Network and more.

This means that for the first time with the VeVe app you can own digital collectibles of iconic characters such as Iron Man and the Power Puff Girls!

I’ve been following the NFT craze for some time, and even got into the DeFi space because of NFTs, but these are the first set of NFTs that I’m actually excited about. While I can sort of see the appeal of Bored Apes and the historical significance of Crypto Punks, I don’t particularly want them (nor can I afford them!).

Marvel on the other hand I do understand, as someone who grew up collecting comic books. And I love Star Wars (I even made a salsa dance video about it). And Disney is the largest brand in the world. If people are willing to pay $1 million for a JPEG of a rock, how much could the first officially licensed Disney NFTs be worth?

I started off with a few $13 Eternals NFTs (I loved the movie, screw the critics), and ended up spending over $5,000 over the past few days. It turns out I joined the app at the right time, during Disney+ week, with big drops from Marvel, Disney, Pixar and Star Wars.

I paid for most of the collectibles by selling the ENS tokens that I was airdropped for owning a .eth domain (free money!), but it still blows my mind that I’ve invested enough money so far into VeVe to buy a new laptop, all on a couple of digital collectibles.

It looks like so far the investment has paid off (at least in terms of unrealized gains) with my current collection worth over $10,000 (a 100% return) and climbing quickly.

But is VeVe a worthwhile longterm investment? It depends on a number of factors.

Bearish Signals

Although there are many things to like about VeVe, there are two potentially fatal flaws:

1) No Way to Cash Out

The first one is a biggie. In order to make purchases on VeVe, you have to convert your fiat currency to an in-app currency called gems. Currently there is no way to convert gems back into fiat or any other currency.

Obviously, if there is no way to take money out of the app, there is no way to realize any gains in the value of your assets.

ECOMI, the developers of VeVe have stated that this is a feature they plan to add in the future though, and some people have even started to sell VeVe assets on 3rd party marketplaces like eBay, so there are some ways of realizing gains.

If/when VeVe adds functionality to withdraw gems though, it will likely lead to a significant crash in prices as users cash in and take profits. But over time the prices should recover if VeVe can add new users and create more uses for their NFTs, which brings me to point 2…

2) No Way to Take NFTs Out of the App

Usually when we talk about NFTs the key attributes are immutable ownership (being able to store it on a wallet you control) and transferability of NFTs across various metaverses.

Currently VeVe NFTs are neither of those things.

The VeVe collectibles that you purchase live only within the app (stored on the GoChain blockchain) and you can view your collectibles only within the app.

VeVe is promising to migrate their app to Immutable-X (an Ethereum layer-2) soon though, so that could change. But there is some debate within the community about whether big licensors such as Disney will allow people to take their collectibles out of the app and sell them on open markets such as OpenSea, and so far the VeVe team have made no promises.

If VeVe collectibles can’t be transferred out of the app, that could significantly crash prices as there would be little utility for them.

Bullish Signals

Despite some of the uncertainty surrounding VeVe, I am still very bullish about the app in the long term:

1) Provenance

It’s hard not to see how historic the licensed collectibles on VeVe are. Brands such as Disney, Marvel and the Cartoon Network are the most beloved in the world, and the very first NFTs from these companies live on VeVe. And the company is planning to add even more fandoms over the coming months and years.

2) VeVeVerse

VeVe has announced that they are planning to launch their own immersive metaverse dubbed the “VeVeVerse”.

There are lots of companies building metaverses these days, and ideally VeVe’s collectibles will eventually be compatible with them once they move to Ethereum, but the VeVeVerse itself could be a compelling experience that stands out from competitors based on the strength of their brands.

Would you rather be in a metaverse full of bored apes and pudgy penguins, or one with Captain America and Iron Man? For most people in the world, the answer is probably the latter.

3) Quality 3D Models

NFTs are often criticized for being low quality JPEGs that can be right-clicked and downloaded. Not so with VeVe collectibles, which use high-quality 3D models. Some even feature interaction and animations.

Not only do these look great and increase the perceived value of these collectibles, they are perfectly suited for AR/VR applications. As XR adoption grows, VeVe NFTs are poised be more relevant than flat JPEGs.

Wrap-Up

For all these reasons and more, I’m incredibly bullish on VeVe’s future. I am personally addicted to bidding on a collecting these NFTs, and I see the long term value of these digital collectibles.

The VeVe team needs to fix a lot of issues with their app, and prices will likely come down a bit once they allow users to cash-out, but I’m personally looking to buy the dip and pickup some discounts and see what the team has in store for the VeVeVerse.

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