Co-founder of Animoca Brands: From open source to open assets, why NFT will provide true digital property rights


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Yat Siu, co-founder of Animoca Brands, believes that open source will change the world. Only through open source can Metaverse allow users to obtain data ownership.

Speech: Yat Siu, Co-founder and Executive Chairman of Animoca Brands

On October 27th, the 7th Wanxiang Blockchain Global Summit was held at the W Hotel on the Bund in Shanghai. Yat Siu, co-founder and executive chairman of Animoca Brands, brought the theme “From Open Source to Open Assets, why NFT will provide real digital property rights” speech. The following is the content of the speech.

I am very happy and honored to be here to give this speech. I am the founder of Animoca. The topic of my speech today is why there is NFT and it is important. Let me introduce the company first, established in Hong Kong, and its business is to build blockchain-based games. Because of the blockchain, players can get a better gaming experience. We were established in 2017, and since then, we have made some investments in the NFT industry. As you can see, including Dax and other related applications, more than 50 projects have been invested. We help this ecosystem and increase its value. The first thing to share with you is that the most valuable product or resource in the world is not land, but data. Data is the most valuable resource in the world. If you look at the current giant companies, they are mainly data companies. Whether it is Amazon, Google or Facebook, they are all supported and developed by data. All data mixed together will become more powerful and will have more and more influence. The more data, the greater the influence. We see more and more online services being launched, and there is no way to separate them from data. Looking at the source of the data, you can see that it is scarce. It is precisely because of the scarcity of data that it can be traded as an asset. If it is worthless data or data that is not scarce, they are not worth discussing. No matter who we choose to marry or what kind of business we start, we cannot ignore the data. Data is information, and information together constitutes knowledge. Today we see a lot of data, scattered in various places. Take a look at Facebook and Tencent, as well as other social companies. What they do is to obtain user data and turn it into their knowledge. In this case, they compete with each other by obtaining data. Through such data construction, they have established a fortress of data. These big companies will not share data with other companies, which is what we call a data war. What we do is through the integration of data, so that these data can be shared together, but also to give play to their efficiency.

Next, share the open data assets, open data assets, because it can give the ownership of the data. You can add different levels to the data. For example, on top of the data, you can create different levels, such as the story and value of the data. We have also explored this in the past.

Code is a very important tool. Once you get the code, others can add code to your code, and so on. Hundreds of people work together to make codes, and these codes are shared by these people. This is where the creativity of mankind lies. For example, in the real world, spring, summer, autumn and winter alternate with each other. In the digital world, there is no way for us to alternate. So we say that the whole world can be connected through code. All data is a mixture of codes. Whether in the United States, Germany, China, or Australia, we can work together through codes to create some very different results. Today, open source has become a very important tool and webpage that can help us build different network software. On the other hand, small companies can compete with large companies if they have only five or ten people. Because of their ability to obtain these data, this is the network effect, and open source makes everything possible. With open source code, the whole world becomes more fair and shared.

If we can make the code open source, people will be more and more willing to share, through sharing, we can get better ideas. There is a problem here. The code is very complicated for many people, and there are still many people who don’t know how to write code. Although we try to do popular science, everyone still can’t understand. We need a special group of people to understand the code. This work can only be done by software engineers. For NFT, you don’t need to know any code to use NFT. You can be a game player, a cryptographer, or an expert from all walks of life. You don’t need to know the code. You only need to hold the NFT, you can better integrate with the network world we talk about. We can only achieve real innovation through an open blockchain. This means how we can combine Web3.0 with blockchain. In the era of Web1.0 and Web2.0, data can be copied and replicated. The types of data include text, pictures, videos, music, and so on. But in the blockchain world, the ownership of data has been transferred. We want to transfer from Facebook’s account to other platforms, and the ownership can be transferred through the blockchain. In the end, who will control or own such data? This is the magic of blockchain. We can see that NFT will become the future trend. Why do we say that NFT will become a very important part? Because it can be connected with all aspects of our lives, such as art, life, sports, and so on. So NFT can help us build such an interpersonal relationship. Everyone needs money, but it does not mean that we love money, because we love family, work and art. Sometimes, people create such artworks only because they want to make money. Of course, their human factors cannot be ruled out. Through NFT, such a creative meaning can be realized.

Through such a digital world, you can also realize your value. I just mentioned that through such a digital world, we can add more layers on top of digital assets. For example, you can add a relationship layer, a token layer, and a metadata layer. These can be realized by human imagination. Because we have this data, we don’t need to obtain other permission.

For example, in the real world, if you want to buy a car, you consider the entire car ecosystem, including highways, charging stations, gas stations, and so on. If you look at it from another aspect, the focus should be on the value of the car itself. If there are no charging facilities, would you buy an electric car? So we need to consider its practicality. Another example, when the car was first built, everyone began to have this idea, which is to build a child seat. If children sit in this car, they need to be equipped with a child seat, which appeared in 1932. With composability, you have digital assets. Based on digital assets, you can add other functions and features to it. Building these platforms through our needs and imagination, I believe that NFT will replace many assets in the future, and you can use it in games or other scenarios. You can use it in Sandbox or other platforms, through which you can better build its value. How do we break through the traditional closed-loop model and create such a more open model. In Metaverse, we need open assets for trading. Through such an open platform, we can provide their services and also get some of the services they need. This is what we call NFT.

By bringing these assets to the chain, you can build your own games instead of just playing these games as game players. In the story of NFT, what we need is the ownership of the data. Once the ownership is determined, everything will become very easy.

Here is an example from Sandbox, you can do some code work arbitrarily, and represent different things through different descriptions. All of these can surpass the meta universe. Through them we can also create some new stories, and this can also help us to create better communication channels. It can be seen that in the Sandbox game, they are also trying to bring people together to create an interactive game. All users can own an area in such a meta-universe. Recently, there are a lot of news about NFT, such as Beeple sold at a high value, and other NFT projects. We are very concerned about the need to further promote NFT through an open source method.

Everyone will say that if I put this bag in the meta-universe or digital world, I can’t touch it or touch it. Think about it, why did you buy this bag? Buying this bag is actually buying a story, buying an asset, buying an idea, or buying an imagination. This is your original intention to buy this bag, and this is the value the bag brings to you. In addition to the physical bag, you are also buying it for some deep-seated, humanistic-related meaning and value.

If you are an environmentally friendly person, we don’t want to buy some leather bags, because we want to protect the environment and realize the meaning of environmental protection. We can bridge or connect the real world with the virtual world. There are also some virtual game products we talked about, because people have no way to own a villa in the real world, but in the game scene, they can have a virtual villa, so that they can get a sense of self-satisfaction.

Finally, let’s talk about the meta universe. What is the meta universe? It can be seen that 2.7 billion people in the world are active on the Internet, and everyone comes out to play social media and applications. There are some well-known companies in Web2.0, such as Facebook. Facebook announced that it will transform into a meta-universe company. What Facebook builds is the meta universe. If the meta universe is not open source, we will not be able to obtain the ownership of the data.

Disney is a closed meta-universe, and you can play games in a virtual Disney park. Facebook hopes to transform into a meta-universe company, but in reality it is still acquiring our data and controlling our data, which is not what meta-universe should be. We should remain open and control our own data. Meta universe is not a product, it should be thousands of products, linked to and connected to all people in the world. There is no doubt that open source will change the world. We should still hold a very optimistic attitude, a very interesting case. We need to have such a very good and very open ecosystem. Different countries will have different cultures, and different cultures will bring some inspiration to the future system. How we call such a meta-universe is not important. The most important thing is that we have to better understand and better connect with each other to build such a true meta-universe. In many ways, China has done a very good job. Chinese food is very popular all over the world, and it is also very popular in the United States. I like Chinese food very much. We can have more interactive communication on the cultural level, which can enhance mutual understanding. Although I am not a Chinese, I still like China and Chinese objects and culture. If we can understand other cultures, we can get such a smart and digital experience.

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