Facebook's recent decision to rebrand itself under the name Meta was actually retro. Although the metaverse may seem like a new concept with digital avatars of people interacting with each other in virtual worlds, it is actually a 20-year-old concept that has been slightly updated. Digital assets such as bitcoin, ether, non-fungible tokens and smart contracts, are all derived from video games in which avatars played and sometimes performed, imagining fantasy lives. Although it may seem unlikely that cryptocurrency markets today are worth more than $2tn in value, their roots lie in Second Life and World of Warcraft, popular virtual-reality games. Former child actor Brock Pierce was a US presidential candidate in 2020. He realized that gamers would rather buy tokens to get to the next level than complete tasks to earn them. Pierce recounts how he used hundreds of children in South Korea and China to play video games, and earned the tokens that he sold to westerners. William Quigley is the chief executive of Worldwide Asset eXchange. It is the largest non-fungible token exchange (NFT). The market for in-game tokens has grown to $200bn. They laid the foundations of the cryptocurrency industry. Recommendation Special Report #TechFT: How secure are digital assets? Pierce says that after World of Warcraft Gold, the intellectual leap necessary to recognize bitcoin's value was very small. Pierce was an early adopter bitcoin after Satoshi Nakamoto, an anonymous author, published a paper in Oct 2008 that detailed proposals for a new technology called Blockchain. This would require the consent of users and not work as a centralised entity. This paper would serve as the foundation for bitcoin, a digital currency that can be "mined" using computers to solve puzzles. Bitcoin's supply has a limit of 21 million units.