The past year has been nothing short of exciting due to the plethora of new projects and innovations in the pop culture and streetwear world. While we are all still trying to mitigate the effects of the pandemic, we have experienced a renewed sense of physical and artistic liberation as the world has slowly begun to open up after 2020. Perhaps it is the marriage between unfavorable worldly circumstances and the rapid advancement of technology that has birthed the hype trends of 2021 I have chosen—the transition into the metaverse—or NFTs to keep it simple.

Our first look at this trend within the sneaker industry was when Nike trademarked its brand for various goods within the virtual landscape. Such a marketing move foreshadowed the company’s interest in making a mark not only within the physical realm, but the metaverse as well. This was quickly followed up by Nike’s top competitor, Adidas, who released their own set of NFTs after partnering up with Bored Ape Yacht Club, a popular name within the scene.

The transition into the metaverse isn’t only prominent within brands themselves, but consumers as well. As ‘cryptocurrency’ and ‘NFTs’ become more of a household term, an increased amount of internet users are becoming owners of their own metaverse assets. In fact, this trend is most evident in our home country, the Philippines.

According to Australian independent information service Finder, the Philippines ranks number one among 20 countries including the United States, Australia, and Thailand for their population’s NFT ownership. Based on the data provided, 32% of Filipino internet users own at least one NFT, while 9.5% are planning to buy. To no surprise, even a number of Filipino artists are creating their own NFTs, which further justifies the untapped potential of the metaverse.

As of now, making moves towards shifting to the digital world requires a large amount of resources, however, once it becomes a more accessible development, we can expect to see local brands make the shift. Just imagine having the option to rock Secret Fresh or Daily Grind merch as avatars in the cloud.

While the transition into the metaverse has been a prominent trend during 2021, the initiative will only become more evident in the following years as more brands choose to follow in Nike and Adidas’ footsteps. We are left to our imagination to predict how these early moves will play a role in the future of our involvement in the metaverse, but I can tell you one thing… It’s gonna be big.

With NFTs being a big topic in our list of hype trends for 2021, I can’t wait to see how the metaverse will evolve further in 2022.

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