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Issue #39 – Real Fake

Thijs Pepping
November 23, 2021

On the 15th of October our book “Real Fake – Playing with Reality in the Age of AI, Deepfakes and the Metaverse” has been released. It is our take on synthetic media, deepfakes, fake news, conspiracy theories, virtual humans, NFTs, the Creator Economy and the Metaverse. Real Fake is about how humans continuously manipulate reality and how new digital technology tools enable us to go one step further in this ancient game.

The Bored Apes Take Manhattan

It is an exciting time to be an ape. Launched in April by four pseudonymous thirtysomethings — Gargamel, Gordon Goner, Emperor Tomato Ketchup, and No Sass — through their company Yuga Labs, BAYC is a collection of 10,000 unique digital head-and-shoulders drawings with a variety of traits, some quite rare (and thus more valuable). The floor price of a Bored Ape — which initially went on sale for about $250 each — has reached six figures. […] The apes are basically the next generation of CryptoPunks, an O.G. NFT project launched in 2017 by Canadian duo Larva Labs. But the apes are more intricate — they were drawn by a team of artists, not entirely generated by an algorithm like the punks — and with a far greater social component.”

NFT Makers Are Trying To Build The Next Disney

“As NFTs explode in popularity, entrepreneurs are imagining an entire media industry that’s built around them. At its most ambitious, the vision is sometimes dubbed a “decentralized Disney”: a world of fictional crossovers like the Marvel Cinematic Universe and its many spinoffs but where different characters and creative properties are owned by a panoply of fans, not a single company. Talent agencies, comics authors, and countless NFT enthusiasts are buying in.”

From Crypto To Christies: How An Indian Metaverse King Made His Fortune

“Sundaresan represents a new generation of investors: the cryptocurrency kings who have created fortunes out of sight of financial regulators. Their true net worth is obscure because their assets exist mostly on the semi-anonymous blockchain, a kind of digital ledger that underpins cryptocurrencies, not in bank accounts, shares or property.”

These Adorable Baby Ape NFTs? They’re Racist — And Stolen

The NFT world is a messy space. It’s full of projects that are created and backed by a cadre of pseudonymous characters and are capable of soaring and sinking in the blink of an eye. And one of the most complicated and confusing projects of all involves a collection of preschool primates.”

El Salvador to Build Bitcoin City

“El Salvador President Nayib Bukele announced that his government will build an oceanside Bitcoin City at the base of a volcano. […] The city will be built near the Conchagua volcano to take advantage of geothermal energy to power both the city and Bitcoin mining — the energy-intensive solving of complex mathematical calculations day and night to verify currency transactions. […] The only tax collected there will be the value-added tax, half of which will be used to pay the municipal bonds and the rest for municipal infrastructure and maintenance. Bukele said there would be no property, income or municipal taxes and the city would have zero carbon dioxide emissions.”

The Metaverse Is The Next Big Investment Theme

Morgan Stanley named companies that can benefit from the metaverse, including tech and gaming stocks, adding that shares of Roblox are already moving on the trend. Below, Morgan Stanley detailed the addressable market of metaverse by sub-theme.”

Crypto Crowdfunding Goes Mainstream

“A loosely-organized group of investors made casual and even some long-time observers of the crypto world wonder what’s a DAO, or decentralized autonomous organization, after they mounted a crowdfunding-like campaign to buy a rare copy of the U.S. Constitution. While the bid from the project known as ConstitutionDAO fell short at a Sotheby’s auction on Thursday, the effort showed the power of the DAO, and how the idea has the potential to change the way people buy things, build companies, share resources and run nonprofits. The Ethereum-based project ended up raising $46.3 million from thousands of donors, one of the largest amounts ever through the process.”

MUST WATCH: Buying NFTs Before They Turn Into Huge Brands

Buying NFTs before they turn into huge brands

MUST WATCH: When Will The Metaverse Actually Arrive?

When Will The Metaverse Actually Arrive?

MUST WATCH: FIFA 21 Revamped Using Deepfake Technology.

The future of gaming! Fifa 21 revamped using A.I. deepfake technology.

For The Lulz


Real Fake is a weekly newsletter in which SogetiLabs’s Research Institute VINT examines the future where synthetic reality becomes part or our objective reality. We investigate the impact of new technology on people, organisations and our society. If you have any questions or comments, do not hesitate to contact us. You can reach us at

About the author

Trend Analyst VINT | Netherlands
Thijs Pepping is a humanistic trend analyst in the field of new technologies. He is part of the think tank within SogetiLabs and in his work he continuously wonders and analyses what the impact of New Technologies is on our lives, organizations and society.


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