AI tech boom: Is the artificial intelligence market already saturated?

From voice assistants to algorithms predicting global market trends, artificial intelligence (AI) is seeing explosive growth. But as with any emerging technology, there comes a point where innovation risks giving way to oversaturation.

The rapid proliferation of AI tools and solutions in recent months has ignited discussions among industry experts and investors alike. Are we witnessing the zenith of AI’s golden age, or are we on the precipice of a market saturated beyond capacity?

The tech landscape has always been dynamic, with innovations often outpacing the market’s ability to adapt.

Historical tech boom-and-busts

The late 1990s saw the dot-com bubble, a period marked by exuberant optimism around internet-based companies. Startups with little more than a web presence achieved staggering valuations, only for many to crash spectacularly when the bubble burst.

In 2017, the world witnessed a surge in initial coin offerings (ICOs), a fundraising method where new cryptocurrency projects sold their underlying tokens to investors.

This period was marked by immense enthusiasm for the potential of blockchain and decentralized technologies. However, excitement often overshadowed the practicality and viability of many projects.

As a result, investments were made in ventures that either had limited real-world applications or, in some cases, no genuine ties to cryptocurrency whatsoever.

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A notable example was during 2017’s “blockchain naming” trend with the company previously known as “Long Island Iced Tea Corp.” The company made soft drinks and had little to do with blockchain. In a bid to capitalize on the blockchain hype, the company rebranded itself as “Long Blockchain Corp.”

Following this rebranding, the company’s stock price soared, with shares rising by an astonishing 275% in just one day. This increase, despite no substantial shift in its business model or operations, highlighted the speculative nature of the market at the time and the lengths to which companies would go to ride the blockchain wave.

The enthusiasm was short-lived, however. According to, almost half of the projects offering ICOs in 2017 had failed by February 2018.

AI’s impact goes beyond speculation

While the dot-com and blockchain bubbles were characterized by speculation and, at times, a lack of authentic value, the AI wave is fundamentally different.

Companies like Microsoft and Google are not just dabbling in AI — they’re integrating it into products and services that millions use daily, showcasing real-world applications that are actively improving industries.

Michael Koch, co-founder and CEO of HubKonnect — an AI platform for local store marketing campaigns — told Cointelegraph:

“The AI market feels saturated because people who thought they were technologists and failed at crypto are now moving onto the next hot technology, which is AI — but there are actually real builders and leaders in AI. There needs to be advanced eyes out there for people to really continue to build and take advantage of the evolution of AI.”

Google’s generative AI, Google Bard, attracted over 140 million visitors in May alone, sports teams are receiving real-time analytics, and AI chatbots are becoming more time and cost-efficient.

The modern AI gold rush

The allure of artificial intelligence has led to a surge in AI-driven tools, solutions and startups. According to Precedence Research, the global artificial intelligence market was valued at $454 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow to $538 billion in 2023. 

Venture capital (VC) has been a significant funding source for the AI sector in 2023. Data from PitchBook indicates that generative AI startups raised over $1.7 billion in Q1 of 2023, with an additional $10.7 billion worth of deals announced that were not yet completed. 

Some of the most notable raises included Google-backed Anthropic, which secured $450 million at a reported $5 billion valuation. Builder.AI raised $250 million. Mistral AI managed to raise $113 million without a product or even a proof-of-concept. With the injection of VC thrown at these AI startups like wildfire, one can draw some similarities to the ICO bust. In that situation, there was also a lot of hype without any actual use cases or proof of viability. However, what distinguishes AI is its multitude of use cases and real-life examples of success. Take, for instance, ChatGPT, which rapidly reached 100 million users in just two months, demonstrating AI’s tangible impact.

Yet, with this rapid growth and high valuations, some feel the AI market is overheating. JPMorgan’s chief markets strategist, Marko Kolanovic, believes the AI market is near its saturation point. As reported by Forbes, Kolanovic said the recent market uptick is a result of an “AI-driven bubble” and that the hype around the technology was due to the “popularization of chatbots that often fail in basic questions” rather than “AI-powered earnings growth.”

Leif-Nissen Lundbæk, founder and CEO of generative AI company Xayn, has a contrasting view and believes we are only at the tip of the iceberg. He told Cointelegraph:

“The AI market is not close to becoming saturated. Currently, companies have tried their hand here and there, with some proofs-of-concept materializing. The real large-scale production cases are only getting started, or are yet to come.”

Between saturation and innovation

The sheer volume of companies entering the AI space has raised concerns about a potentially saturated market. Companies worldwide are now utilizing AI as part of their core functionalities. From 10Web’s no-code website builder to RainbowAI’s weather app, and from ICarbonX’s AI providing personalized health analyses to SherpaAI’s virtual personal assistant, the stage has been set for countless others to follow suit.

Lundbæk recognizes that the influx of new companies could lead to the market becoming saturated in some areas but does not see it as a pertinent issue, stating, “The business-to-customer market is perhaps a bit more saturated but has not yet reached full capacity, while the business-to-business market is only in its infancy, even though AI has been around for a while. The vast majority of corporations are only using AI or machine learning for a few visible projects, if at all, that are easier to implement with lower risk, but aren’t applying it yet on a large scale.”

Koch says that the influx of newcomers might give the illusion of an oversaturated AI market, but he views initial saturation as a necessary phase to foster future advancements.

He stated: “AI will never be saturated because we are only on the first off-ramp of the AI super highway. It seems saturated because people from other industries are trying to step into the space, but when it comes down to innovation, there’s already a select group of companies that are so far ahead and that have been in the AI space for decades. To be able to drive innovation forward, saturation will arise at a basic level, but there are elite players and companies that are leading the future of AI.”

Reflecting on AI’s market dynamics

The rapid growth, high valuations and influx of new entrants into the AI realm have sparked debates about market saturation. Historical tech bubbles, such as the dot-com era and the blockchain hype, serve as reminders of the potential repercussions of unchecked growth and speculation.

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However, the depth of AI’s potential is far from fully realized. The technology’s tangible impact speaks to its practical and transformative nature.

It’s evident that the AI market is multifaceted. As with any burgeoning technology, the challenge is to strike a balance between rapid growth and sustainable development.

AI could revolutionize human resources, but there are risks

As businesses globally grapple with the challenges of talent acquisition, employee retention and optimizing workplace dynamics, the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) to offer innovative solutions has become a focal point of discussion among human resources (HR) professionals. 

For many industry insiders and observers, AI’s integration into HR represents a promising fusion of data-driven efficiency and enhanced decision-making. Organizations increasingly turn to AI-driven tools to streamline processes that were once time-consuming and reliant on human intuition.

For instance, sophisticated AI algorithms can sift through vast pools of job applications, identifying candidates whose profiles best match the job description. This has the potential to speed up the recruitment process and ensure that the shortlisted candidates are a closer fit to the company’s requirements.

Beyond recruitment, AI’s influence in HR manifests in various other domains. Predictive analytics powered by AI enable companies to anticipate potential employee turnover, allowing HR professionals to intervene proactively and address underlying issues. This proactive approach could enhance employee satisfaction, potentially reducing attrition rates.

However, while the benefits of AI in HR could be numerous, its integration is not without challenges. Concerns about data privacy, the potential for algorithmic biases, and the fear of an over-reliance on technology at the expense of human intuition are topics of ongoing debate.

As the HR sector navigates these complexities, the overarching goal remains clear: to harness the power of AI in ways that complement human expertise, ensuring that the human-centric ethos of HR remains undiluted.

The potential of tailored AI in HR

The emerging AI trend is a move away from generic, one-size-fits-all solutions. The modern business environment, characterized by its diversity and unique challenges, demands more bespoke AI solutions tailored to specific needs. This is especially true for the HR sector, where the nuances of company culture, employee dynamics and organizational goals can vary widely.

For instance, a multinational corporation with a diverse workforce spread across various geographies might benefit from an AI system designed to understand and cater to regional employment laws, cultural nuances and local talent pools.

On the other hand, a startup in the tech sector might seek an AI solution that emphasizes skills matching, rapid onboarding and remote work dynamics.

Several companies are stepping up to address this challenge, arguing that AI teams can match or even surpass human efficiency while being more cost-effective. Olympia is one such company.

Catering primarily to startups and solo business owners, it provides businesses with AI teams tailored to their specific needs. These AI teams are designed to learn the intricacies of a company’s operations, from real-time collaboration needs to in-depth data analytics.

Victoria Loskutova, Olympia’s co-founder and CEO, told Cointelegraph: “AI presents a transformative solution for managing human resources. It allows organizations to automate routine tasks, precisely analyze large data sets and provide immediate responses around the clock. In contrast to human HR, AI never tires; it provides consistent service, eliminates unconscious bias from decision-making, and scales effortlessly. The power of AI is in revolutionizing the HR landscape, maximizing efficiency and fairness while freeing human professionals to focus on strategic, complex tasks where their unique capabilities truly shine.”

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Yet, the journey toward fully realizing the potential of tailored AI in HR is filled with learning curves. It demands a symbiotic relationship where businesses continuously provide feedback, ensuring the AI remains aligned with their evolving objectives. 

Challenges and considerations with AI in HR

The dialogue surrounding AI in HR often circles back to the intrinsic value of human insight. While technology offers tools and solutions, the essence of HR is deeply rooted in understanding, empathy and the ability to perceive nuances beyond mere data.

Speaking to Cointelegraph, Brenda Neckvatal, author of Best Practices in Human Resources: How to Claw Your Way from Want-to-Be to VP, said, “In the age of AI and automation, it’s essential to remember that HR’s core is about human connections. Technology can aid our processes, but it’s the human touch, understanding and empathy that truly drive HR forward. These are elements that no machine can fully replicate.”

Her perspective resonates with many in the HR community who believe that while technology can provide tools, the essence of HR is about building relationships and creating a workplace culture that connects with individuals.

Neckvatal added, “Although the intention of AI is to help reduce the workload and increase efficiency, AI, however, has not been programmed to take into consideration biases that can open employers up for risk.”

If training data is inherently biased, AI-based decisions could mirror these biases, leading to possible unfair or discriminatory outcomes in recruitment and other HR processes. Neckvatal further stated:

“AI sites such as ChatGPT are not equipped with the programming to mitigate language that creates disparity and discrimination within the context of employment law and preventative best practices.”

Data privacy and security also emerge as significant concerns. With AI systems processing extensive personal and professional data, safeguarding this information is crucial. A breach or misuse could have legal ramifications and impact employee trust and morale. 

The evolution of AI further necessitates adaptability. Businesses will need to ensure their HR teams remain updated with the latest advancements, possibly involving continuous training and upskilling.

Navigating the future of HR

The integration of AI into HR is introducing new paradigms and challenges. While AI offers the promise of streamlined processes and predictive insights, the essence of HR has historically revolved around understanding people’s aspirations and building trust.

Loskutova said, “HR is evolving under AI’s profound influence — it’s more than a tool; it’s a storm reshaping our landscape. We’re teetering on the brink of an automated future where AI doesn’t just impact our industries; it reinvents them. The tale of HR will soon morph from a narrative about individuals to a saga of our dance and clash with algorithms. It’s not just about adjusting to a new work order — it’s about navigating the deluge of our entire societal overhaul.”

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Contrastingly, Neckvatal emphasized caution for those in HR who are considering the immediate integration of AI:

“It’s highly advisable that HR professionals learn how AI opens up risk to their companies before utilizing it.”

In this evolving domain, businesses and HR professionals are presented with varied perspectives on the role and influence of AI, reflecting the multifaceted nature of the ongoing discourse in the HR landscape. As the integration of AI continues to shape certain aspects of HR, the industry stands at a pivotal juncture where the synthesis of technology and human intuition will determine the trajectory of workforce dynamics for years to come.

Exploring the future of AI: The power of decentralization

The field of artificial intelligence (AI) is taking the world by storm, but many people have found themselves looking up at the sky, wondering where all the rain came from. 

Those who didn’t realize the place AI already has held in our everyday lives are having a hard time understanding what further advancements mean for society as a whole.

Wrapping your head around the technology itself is a challenge for most, but it gets even more complicated when broken down. No longer are people just using the umbrella term artificial intelligence — they are saying narrow AI, superintelligence and artificial general intelligence (AGI). Companies are using the terms machine learning and deep learning when explaining the technologies they have incorporated to streamline their business practices.

The push to advance AI started long before the conversation about it did, and those advancements have benefited businesses across industries. The potential for what the future holds with this technology has been particularly enthralling for those in the Web3 space.

Irina Jadallah, co-founder of Ticketmeta — a nonfungible token-based ticketing solution and decentralized streaming service for sports events — told Cointelegraph:

“AI is fast becoming the biggest news of the century. From ChatGPT to Siri to Alexa and a million other AI apps and tools, virtually everything around us is influenced by AI, including the metaverse […] It has the potential to revolutionize the way we engage with and enjoy virtual worlds by facilitating more natural and intuitive interactions between users and virtual surroundings.”

But the impact of AI does not stop with the metaverse; it has already been proven that AI has the potential to revolutionize various fields, from marketing to finance. As exciting as it may be, the popularity of this technology, as Jadallah pointed out, now poses a rather significant question. 

As it becomes more advanced and more desired by the public, it also becomes more expensive, enhancing the risk of centralization. This collective concern has created a new buzzword — decentralized AI.

Centralization vs. decentralization

As with all things, centralization is not inherently a bad thing, but it does pose some issues where AI is concerned. 

When only a small number of organizations can afford to use the technology, they would be able to control how the technology advances, risking it becoming everything many people fear it to be.

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This concern of centralized AI is one that many in the space are already discussing and working against. Marcello Mari, founder of SingularityDAO — an asset management company that uses AI for trading strategies — told Cointelegraph:

“If we keep developing artificial intelligence behind closed doors — by corporations that use it for marketing, military or centralized finance, which basically means killing people more efficiently, selling you stuff you don’t need, and making the rich richer — then the next artificial intelligence will probably reflect those same kinds of values, right?” 

In contrast, decentralized AI could allow individuals to have more of a say in the products they use while having a broader range of models to choose from.

“This is why we even founded our company back in 2017 because it’s very important that we start thinking now about what the next AGI or superhuman intelligence will look like,” said Mari. “In order to make it benevolent, you want to have a decentralized layer so that the community can actually influence and be comfortable with the development of AGI.”

Decentralized AI could incorporate blockchain technology, which already has a reputation for security and transparency.

“Blockchain technology is a safe and open system for monitoring information and ensuring it stays unaltered,” said Anna Ivanchenko, co-founder and CEO of Ticketmeta. “It’s used to create credibility and trust.”

People have a preference for public blockchains because they are often governed by the community and not a central authority. Code becomes law and adds a level of trustlessness that is not seen in other industries. According to CoinGecko, there are already more than 50 blockchain-based AI companies, with many people expecting this number to grow exponentially over the coming years. Companies such as Render, and SingularityNET have led the charge in 2023.

Mari’s SingularityDAO is democratically governed by the community, who can have input into how their AI-DeFi model operates. People having a say is the main differentiating factor between centralized and decentralized AI. With centralized AI, the average user has negligible influence over how the AI models function.

Encouraging the community to take part in the development and direction of AI, allowing them to influence where it goes and what it does, will likely play a significant role in easing their concerns. Decentralized AI could very well make people more comfortable with AI as a whole, easing the transition of the technology into one that we use every day.

Of course, it’s never easy with new tech, and decentralized AI is no exception. It shares a common challenge with centralized AI, namely the “black box” problem, which involves a lack of transparency in how AI models operate and reach conclusions.

AI, Decentralization
No one is sure what happens in the black box. Source: Investopedia

This opacity can understandably breed distrust. However, as Cointelegraph recently highlighted, there is hope: Explainable AI (XAI) and open-source models are emerging as promising avenues to address the black box issue in decentralized AI.

Benefits of decentralized AI 

Decentralized AI enhances security in several ways. For example, by leveraging blockchain technology, it offers encryption and immutability, ensuring that data remains both secure and unchanged. 

It can proactively detect anomalies or suspicious patterns in data, acting as an early warning system against potential breaches. The need for decentralization arises from its inherent design: Instead of having a single point of vulnerability, data is distributed across multiple nodes, making unauthorized access or tampering significantly more challenging.

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Decentralized AI is championing the cause of transparency and trust in a world that’s becoming more data-driven by the day. Traditional AI systems often suffer from opaque decision-making processes, raising trust and accountability issues. However, decentralized AI systems, like SingularityNET, stand out with their inherent transparency, recording every transaction and decision on the blockchain.

Despite still being in its infancy, decentralized AI provides hope of solving the aforementioned “black box” issue because of the inherent transparency that comes with blockchain technology.

The rise of AI and the impact it could have on the music industry

Artificial intelligence (AI) has exploded into popular culture, and the music industry is not immune to its impact. From songwriting and music production to marketing and distribution, AI is revolutionizing all aspects of this beloved art form. 

The way music is created, consumed and monetized feels as though it is on the cusp of a major change. Will AI find a place in the music industry and impact how composers work and create new music?

With artificial intelligence gaining ground, what will it do to the genuine emotion that musical releases normally emote? Could those real emotions be replicated by something like artificial intelligence?

The advantages of AI in music

Generative AI refers to a type of AI that can generate content, such as images, videos and music. It uses machine learning algorithms to learn patterns and structures from existing data and then generates new content based on those patterns. In the music industry, this technology can be used to create original music compositions for any genre.

One of the main advantages AI has when creating music is its ability to analyze vast amounts of data in order to identify patterns and predict trends. This can help music producers and marketers release music that is more likely to resonate with their target audience.

“I expect new AI artists to rise, mixing genres in a new way, reinventing themselves in ways more drastic than any human artist could, and monetize off personalized music customization so fans can be personally contributing to their art,” predicts Alex Masmej, CEO of

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In essence, this system is an evolved version of ones already in place by platforms like Spotify that use machine learning algorithms to analyze a user’s listening habits in order to provide them with personalized playlists that match their music preferences.

Another advantage of AI in music is its ability to create new and original music compositions quickly and at a cost-effective price. This is particularly useful for independent artists who may not have the resources to hire a team to create their music. AI-powered music generators such as AIVA, Amper Music and Jukedeck can make compositions in various styles, which artists can use as the basis for their own music.

Adding to the cost-effective nature of this emerging technology, AI can also help to improve music production by automating repetitive tasks and freeing up artists to focus on more creative aspects of the music-making process. For example, AI-powered applications are available to analyze and correct both pitch and timing errors in vocal recordings. This can save a lot of time and effort compared to manual editing.

Jeff Nicholas, executive creative director of AI music company Authentic Artists, told Cointelegraph that “the ability to more quickly deal with some of the technical aspects of music making will accelerate the creation and release processes.”

“And the ability to use AI as a collaborator that can help spark new ideas, take seeds of their ideas in new directions and so much more is going to be nothing short of a renaissance for them,” he added.

The challenges of AI in music

Despite its many advantages, AI in music also presents several challenges. One of the main issues is the ethical and legal implications of using artificially created music. Who owns a copyright to music produced by AI? Should AI-generated music be considered original, or is it just a derivative work based on existing music? Given the fact that machines learn from already existing content, does that make it unoriginal? Don’t humans do the same thing?

The legal and philosophical questions are real. In the opinion of many, it comes down to the people using it and the responsibility they take for the originality of their work.

“This technology has significant negative impacts in addition to the useful and exciting ones. It’s going to be used by bad actors and unethical players to mimic artists for one,” Nicholas warned.

“That’s going to lead to a lot of legal cases and regulatory pressure. It’s also going to put a lot of those in technical roles around sound engineering, or doing curation at the music platforms, out of work. But with all new technology comes this transition moment where its arrival displaces the status quo and radically changes how we do things moving forward,” he said.

The potential impact of AI on employment for musicians and producers is a point that shouldn’t be overlooked. As AI-powered music generators become more advanced, they may be able to permanently replace human musicians and producers in some areas of the industry, particularly in the production of background music for film and television. This could lead to job losses and a decline in the musical production quality as AI-generated music, in its current incarnation, is perceived as less authentic than music created by human musicians.

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The final note here is that AI in the music industry has both advantages and challenges. While this advanced technology has the potential to revolutionize the music industry, it presents ethical and legal implications. It is crucial to address these challenges and for individuals in the industry to use this technology responsibly to create music that is both innovative and authentic.

Ultimately, AI in the music industry may lead to a musical revolution, but humans might end up being the casualties.

Metaverse brings new problems and opportunities to music licensing

The term “metaverse” is becoming increasingly common, but while many people have likely heard it used, they often don’t know what it means. 

It can be difficult to explain the term to someone outside the Web3 space, as the metaverse is still relatively new and evolving. The most important thing to know is that it has the potential to revolutionize the internet and how people live, work and play.

The metaverse is a new frontier of innovation and creativity, centered a great deal around media, which should come as no surprise since many Web2 apps are as well, especially music.

There are entire social media platforms dedicated to sharing music, and those that aren’t have incorporated music in other ways. While this has increased awareness about music licensing in digital spaces, it has also highlighted that some systems in place are outdated and struggling to keep up with the breakneck pace of new technology.

With new possibilities for music in the metaverse, the current licensing system may need to be revamped, given the changing ways music is created and consumed, especially with Web3 innovations like nonfungible tokens (NFTs).

Music in the metaverse has had great success. Many top-name artists have performed concerts in the space, and many artists have seen the appeal of releasing music as NFTs.

Despite the uncertainties and the evolving landscape of Web3, licensing music in the metaverse has massive potential.

Current licensing challenges

Technology is rapidly advancing in the Web3 space, and given how new it all is, there are many kinks to work out. Presently, the metaverse is all about experimentation, so if something fails organically, it will serve as a lesson to others.

Despite much experimentation in the metaverse, licensing remains undeveloped. For Web2 social media platforms, there is a known standard on licensing, and what can and cannot be done. This does not currently exist in the metaverse. The mixture of set standards and laws surrounding copyright and licensing isn’t as concrete as needed for a solid licensing landscape.

Spottie Wifi, a musician and Web3 proponent, sat down with Cointelegraph to discuss the current state of licensing in the metaverse.

“There is a difference between traditional licensing for music and licensing music in the metaverse. The main difference I have seen is that a music license for the metaverse needs to clearly include the metaverse as a distribution channel listed within the scope of the license, or the scope of the license should be so broad that the metaverse would naturally be included,” he said.

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This would undoubtedly be a simple solution to what is often seen as a nuanced issue. Still, compared with Web2, there are complications around music licensing in Web3 — thanks to NFTs.

“I recorded a concept album in 2021 about life in the metaverse, and I sold the album as an NFT collection, which grants the NFT holders a license to use and commercialize the music however they like while I still retain ownership of my masters and publishing,” added Spottie Wifi.

“There are NFT collectors that use music in this way in the content they develop, including metaverse experiences, video games, podcasts, films and advertisements.”

Musicians want to avoid exploitation and ensure that their music is used appropriately. This requires properly enforcing intellectual property (IP) rights, which is a complicated process in the metaverse.

“For now, the most effective means of enforcing IP rights as a songwriter in the metaverse is probably to simply enforce those IP rights on Web2 platforms like YouTube, Instagram, etc., through what is known as Content ID. Content ID is an automated system that removes content from those platforms if that content infringes someone’s music copyright,” Spottie Wifi explained. “This can help enforce copyright in the metaverse because a lot of content that is broadcast in the metaverse still comes from those Web2 platforms.”

This brings to light another issue surrounding copyright. If users can create their own virtual spaces or events within the metaverse, they will likely want to include copyrighted music as a part of their creation, just like on social media platforms. This could raise issues around obtaining the necessary licenses to use the music, and monitoring and enforcing those licenses.

As the metaverse is likely to be global, determining who monitors and enforces licenses could pose challenges because copyright law, performance rights, music licensing and regulation would be cross-jurisdictional. The global aspect also causes other issues outside of copyright, with questions about how to properly compensate musicians when their work does get used. As a standard for music licensing gets set for this space, royalty structures that differ from traditional music licensing models could be complex.

Licensing potential in the metaverse

Broadcasting music into the metaverse from Web2 platforms to protect artists might be the easiest thing to do now, but this method will become outdated when music licensing in the metaverse provides more protection.

According to Hendrik Hey, founder of media licensing firm Media Industry Licensing Content — a blockchain-based content licensing company — a new approach to licensing is on the horizon.

“There is a simple interface being developed where any musician can enter their license information. Licensing music in the metaverse works with the addition of blockchain technology. In a blockchain, anyone who knows what they are doing can create a hash in which they store all the information relevant to the license. The assets that someone would want to license are then found in the metaverse itself,” Hey told Cointelegraph.

While not entirely theft-proof, the blockchain hash is relatively safe and transparent, and could make the licensing process much easier.

“The blockchain hash will be automatically generated and would then serve as proof that the information of the license is correct. It is important to be able to prove that you are the true owner of a license and that the information is accurate, and the blockchain can clearly show who the real owner is in the event of a legal dispute,” Hay added.

The developments Hey discusses would simplify the process, as the places where the music is found would provide explicit information about what the licensor wants. The user could then decide if they want the license or not. This cuts out many steps, gets everyone to their destination quickly and can set standards currently missing in the space.

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From developmental and artistic perspectives, the future of the metaverse is bright, with massive potential for success and high earnings for content creators.

When Spottie Wifi sold his album as an NFT collection, he generated $192,000 in just 60 seconds. The revenue went directly to his wallet, and intermediaries were cut out. With NFT releases, the artists own their music and increase potential revenue.

The metaverse could become the new mainstream as its popularity increases. With people like Hey developing the space, and artists like Spottie Wifi experimenting with it, music licensing will become less complicated and no longer fold under the pressure of digital spaces.

Could NFTs and crypto help Japan’s ‘Cool Japan’ strategy?

Japan has consistently been a leader in the tech industry, so it’s a logical step forward that, given current trends in the space, the Cool Japan movement might incorporate Web3 to strengthen its initiative. Bringing Web3 into the mix alongside the popular culture aspects of the movement could prove a boon for the mission, but this move has not yet been implemented by the government-led movement.

With much of Web3 still being an unknown in regard to its capabilities and future outlook, it is understandable that the government has yet to combine it with its initiative to bring Japan into the future technologically and to bring Japanese culture to other areas of the world, but doing so would certainly increase potential in many areas.

The creation of ‘Cool Japan’

If Japanese culture is so popular in other countries, it’s understandable that some might not understand why the government felt the need to create the Cool Japan initiative in the first place. But just because something is well-known or popular, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is thriving.

Ultimately, Cool Japan was created to promote positive attitudes toward Japan, increasing the sales of Japanese products around the world and promoting tourism. The mission of the movement, set forth in its proposal, is that Japan, as a country, provides creative solutions to the world’s challenges. The goal was never to simply promote the country as a cool place to be or go, but to also express that Japan can offer helpful ideas to the rest of the world.

The “Cool Japan” television series explores Japanese culture from the perspective of foreigners. Source: CR-Nexus

The country is known for its influence on popular culture as well as its consistent political stability and innovation. But while Japan may have a strong economy, it faces other issues, such as an aging society, loss of communities, and environmental and energy issues.

To achieve the country’s mission, the Cool Japan strategy consists of three steps: promoting domestic growth, connecting Japan and other countries, and becoming a Japan that helps the world. Each step has its own missions, set forth to achieve the overall goal, and there are multiple government organizations involved in the promotion of the initiative, like the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; and even the Cool Japan Movement Promotion Council.

The success of the movement in the recent past isn’t wholly known, but what is known is that, as industries shift and times change, the strategy should as well, creating more of a potential for success in the future.

Japanese culture has been popular abroad for decades without slowing down. Everything from anime to manga to cuisine and traditional Japanese attire have expanded into and influenced other areas of the world, especially in the United States. The Japanese government caught onto this trend and saw its potential. This potential grew into action and led to the “Cool Japan” initiative, which was created to promote Japanese cultural products and technologies globally with the aim of increasing the country’s cultural exports.

The current state of Web3 in Japan

While Japan may not be leading the charge in Web3, it is certainly still ahead of many other countries.

Whiplus Wang, the head of Japanese crypto conference IVS Crypto, told Cointelegraph about where Japan currently sits with regard to Web3 and whether the Cool Japan movement has any plans of incorporating Web3 into its initiative to promote the country.

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While Wang said that Cool Japan has no relationship with Web3, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is putting forth an effort to increase Japan’s adoption of it.

“Right now, there are three policies in place. One policy is for taxing companies, which has made many Web3 companies leave Japan and move to other countries, like Singapore,” said Wang. “I think this will change soon, though. They want to create a better environment for Japan to have these kinds of businesses.”

Per Wang, it seems like Web3 is moving slowly at the government level but much quicker at the community level. The government is still figuring out what Web3 is and what cryptocurrencies and blockchains can do, so the movement in that regard is slow going.

Widespread use of NFTs

On the community level, however, what Japan is doing with nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and Web3 is largely ahead of the curve. There are a couple of high schools that are providing courses to students on NFTs and Web3, some decentralized autonomous organizations are educating individuals on the basics of Web3, and there are even special policies that incorporate NFTs.

“In Japan, there is a special policy called Hometown Tax. With this, you can choose which region you want to pay your tax to, it doesn’t have to be the one where you live. When you pay the tax to a region, you get a gift back, something that is special to the area, like a good they are known for providing,” Wang explained. “Areas that don’t have anything special, they are giving out NFTs. Some of them would be coupons to local restaurants or something similar.”

If this policy were altered in a way that allowed exchanges with individuals outside of Japan, this could very well be a tactic used for Cool Japan to attract tourists from overseas just as it is currently attracting tourism within Japan.

Much of what Japan is doing with Web3 and cryptocurrencies is in-house, but there is a special market selling NFTs overseas — anime.

Anime is one aspect of Japanese culture that has become popular worldwide, garnering a large and loyal fan base. Some companies tied to anime have released NFTs that were immediately purchased by customers overseas.

Wang said, “For those companies, they are trying to use NFTs to attract revenue from overseas rather than inside Japan, because the rate for the people in Japan who own a wallet is really low.”

This is another tactic the Cool Japan movement could incorporate to increase visibility as a country and as a leader in the industry, combining the pop culture aspects that people all over the world love with the innovation that can only be found with Web3.

Future outlook

In order for the Cool Japan movement to realistically incorporate technology and Web3, Japan will likely first need more widespread social implementation. Sagawa Kohei, a promoter of the Symbol/NEM project and community, told Cointelegraph that the process might be slow.

“Blockchains empower individuals and creators, especially when compared to Web2. The transparency is expected to guarantee the authenticity of content, so you’ll know its history, who made it, who bought it, etc.,” said Kohei. “It’s still developing though and it’s not widely recognized in society. Most people don’t even know what it is. Social implementation will be increased, but will be little by little.”

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While those in the industry (or in the know at all) might be few, their numbers certainly are growing, and the same can be said for the Web3 knowledge base in Japan. Kohei said that there are a number of services that currently accept crypto payments, and the government is working on regulations and taxation.

As Japan continues to move forward with its crypto and Web3 legislation and the government learns more about what it can do for the country as a whole, it will be interesting to see how companies are going to incorporate Web3 in their business practices. Once that takes off, it could provide the Cool Japan movement increasingly more potential for success. But even if the movement itself doesn’t create a relationship with the tech industry, Web3 could still very well allow Japan to meet the goals they set for it.