How Do NFTs and the Metaverse Fit Into IoT?

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On this episode of the IoT For All Podcast, we discuss how NFTs and the Metaverse fit into IoT with the COO of the MXC Foundation, Aaron Wagener. Aaron begins by introducing himself, MXC Foundation, and giving the background of how the company was founded. He then talks about where IoT is heading and how decentralized networks are needed in IoT. The conversation then moves to a discussion around how the metaverse and NFTs relate to IoT. To wrap up this episode, Ryan and Aaron discuss how companies can make IoT be more attractive, the conversation with partners around LPWAN, and how IoT is currently perceived in the market.

About Aaron

Aaron Wagener is the COO and Co-Founder of the MXC Foundation. Having worked in a variety of International markets (Australia, Brazil, Germany, the Middle East, and the US), Aaron’s goal is to grow the MXC Foundation Data Network, ensuring LPWAN becomes the network of choice for IoT device operators. Social Networks connect the people of the world, and MXC is connecting the world’s devices.

Interested in connecting with Aaron? Reach out on Linkedin!

About MXC Foundation

MXC is all about inspiring fast, efficient, decentralized data connectivity using LPWAN with Blockchain technology. Via the M2 Pro Miner, we are creating the world’s largest decentralized data network, powered by the people, for the people. MXC focuses on connecting the world via IoT, building the world’s largest decentralized network, and the role of NFTs in IoT.

Key Questions and Topics from this Episode:

(01:24) Introduction to Aaron and MXC Foundation

(02:13) Founding story

(04:03) Where is IoT heading?

(05:44) Decentralized networks and IoT

(07:17) How the metaverse fits into IoT

(09:45) How NFT relate to IoT

(12:34) Ways companies can make IoT more attractive

(14:30) Discussing LPWAN with companies

(15:59) How is IoT perceived in the market? 


Transcript:

– [Aaron] We are an IoT token, mainly focusing on LPWAN or low-power wide area network and the distribution of that network. And one of our goals with the MXC Foundation is to ensure that we can spread out LPWAN and find out more uses for it across the world.

– [Ryan] Hello everyone and welcome back to another episode of IoT For All Podcast the number one publication and resource for the Internet of Things. I am your host, Ryan Chacon. On today’s episode we have Aaron Wagener, the COO of the MXC Foundation. They are a foundation focused on inspiring fast, efficient, decentralized data exchanges using LPWAN blockchain technology. Great conversation. We’re talking about the future of IoT, building decentralized network and what that means for the space. How does Metaverse and how do NFTs fit into IoT? Lots of very cool, kind of future discussions that we have on this episode. One thing I do ask that if you watch this on YouTube to please give this video a thumbs up and subscribe to the channel if you have not done so already. But other than that, I think you’ll get a lot of value out of it. But before we get into it, Any of you out there are looking to enter the fast growing and profitable IoT market but don’t know where to start, check out our sponsor Leverege. Leveraee’s IoT solutions development platform provides everything you need to create turnkey IoT products that you can white label and resell under your own brand. To learn more, go to iotchangeseverything.com. That’s iotchangeseverything.com. And without further ado, please enjoy this episode of the IoT for All Podcast. Welcome Aaron to the IoT for All Podcast. Thanks for being here this week.

– [Aaron] Thanks Ryan, thanks for having me.

– [Ryan] Absolutely. Let’s kick this off by having you give a quick introduction about yourself to our audience.

– [Aaron] Absolutely. My name is Aaron Wagener, I’m one of the co-founders of the MXC Foundation, based in Berlin. For everyone who doesn’t know, we are an IoT token mainly focusing on LPWAN, or low-power wide area network, and the distribution of that network. And one of our goals with the MXC Foundation is to ensure that we can spread out LPWAN and find out more uses for it across the world to ensure that it gets more facilitated within this world. We think it’s one of those technologies that is very beneficial to society because of its low-power aspect and something that we think is underdeveloped and underused and with our technology in our foundation we want to promote that across the globe.

– [Ryan] Fantastic. I’d love it if you would touch on the founding story of the MXC Foundation, just kind of what the, you know, where the idea came from, what opportunity you saw before this was started and kind of go from there.

– [Aaron] An interesting story actually. We first started out starting with a hardware company, purely hardware company, called Match X. And Match X at that time, this is going back 2017, made hardware, so it made a gateways, LPWAN gateways to be specific. And we are building these, and we are selling these across the globe, et cetera. Small company. And then we got approached by a token, back in the day, so a crypto token called IOTA, which probably many of your viewers will be familiar with. And IOTA was one of the big movers early on, one of the first IoT tokens out there. And one of the founders of IOTA, they’re also based in Berlin, came and approached us and started talking to us about our technology, about our hardware, how potentially our hardware could help their network, and how they could grow it out using our gateways. And this discussion went on for quite some time, there were some talks about acquisitions, et cetera. But then we started putting our own heads together in 2017 and started thinking, well this is actually a great opportunity for ourselves. We’re not necessarily sure we need another partner to get involved in this. And from that instance or from those discussions and early on in 2017, that’s basically how the idea really came about. We saw some areas of some issues, which IOTA also found, that weren’t being covered and we found that a reasonable and a good solution would be using our hardware. So that’s very much how the MXC foundation began, was as a chance meeting or a setup meeting between ourselves and IOTA at the time and then expanding on those ideas.

– [Ryan] Fantastic. So I wanted to ask you kind of the first general area I was curious to get your take on is just the overall kind of future of the IoT space. Obviously, where we are now is very exciting space, but where do you all from your vantage point kind of see the industry going?

– [Aaron] That will take a long time to answer. I think in a nutshell and very short aspect of that, We’re in a very important phase. I think we haven’t really, and I’m not sure what your views on this, but I don’t feel we’ve really honed in and established all of the benefits of IoT and what it can do for us and how it can make our lives a lot more simpler. I think the automation aspect of it. But we’re investigating with LPWAN is not just automation of different things as we all know, for example, smart fridges, smart radios, when you wake up alarms, et cetera, et cetera, smart doors. But what we also wanna focus on is, I think there’s a big future in track and trace using IoT. I think there’s a big future in authenticity. And what I mean by that is following IoT and also blockchain to ensure that, for example, we work with some partners now to ensure that they can have their… They can produce whatever they may be producing and the end customer can be assured that that’s authentic. So it can be verified using NFTs, et cetera. But also I think combining them with the IoT sector. The IoT sector myself as I said, I think it’s very underdeveloped right now, we have a massive way to go, we’re still very, very early. And I think we need to start, I think supporting some champions within the industry to ensure that IoT becomes, you know, it receives its rightful place in a lot of technical discussions right now.

– [Ryan] For sure, for sure. One of the things I know you guys have focused on building is a decentralized network when it comes to data and so forth, and can you talk a little bit about what that means and why that is something that is of value for the IoT industry?

– [Aaron] Yeah, I think it’s a two prong approach, right? And this is from a business perspective, I’ll tell you why we did that, is because one of the issues I mentioned before, is because we don’t think IoT is at the forefront. People talk about it a lot, but there’s no real action in regards to that. So one of the key aspects that we focus on with the M2 Pro Miner, which is a piece of hardware that we sell, is to get people involved. Get the man and woman on street to start understanding what IoT is, understanding what an IoT network is, a specified network for devices, and really understanding how to connect things and devices. So from our perspective, what was very important for us is to get people involved, get them to be a piece of this puzzle. Allow them to understand and also be a messenger for IoT. Because it’s all good and well, you and I sitting here discussing things and your supporters watching these videos, but we need to get out of this bubble. It’s one of the key aspects that we focused on was really pushing it and that’s one of the key aspects of our miner, our M2 Pro Miner is the fact that it’s very simple to use. It’s literally plug and play, and from that aspect I’m very excited to really engage a lot of people. I think IoT should belong to the people who run those networks, it’s not us, it’s the individuals who own those miners and set up an LPWAN distribution network. But from our perspective, I think it’s something that the people need to be more involved in and that’s why decentralization is very important for us.

– [Ryan] Fantastic. And one of the things I know we wanted to chat about briefly was the metaverse and how that fits into IoT. And I’m curious from your stance and the work you all do, how that plays a role or maybe will play a role in the IoT space. ‘Cause it’s obviously a topic that a lot of people are talking about, but I’m curious how IoT and the metaverse might work together.

– [Aaron] Yeah, yeah. I think also just just to kind of start off with that. The metaverse itself I think is something a lot of people are still working up what it is and what it may be. But it’s also to a larger extent, I think it’s like saying it’s the internet, because the internet is not the same that it was 20 years ago, and it won’t be the same in 20 years from now. So I understand there’s a lot of confusion around metaverse, but what we envisage for ourselves and our part on the metaverse and the metaverse that we want to build is something based on, as I said before, our mining community, meaning our dark network, but also that metaverse can also include a lot of different aspects in that. What we mean, for example, is there’s a lot of move to earn tokens right now. So for example, maybe familiar with StepN. I’m not sure if you are, a few other ones that really branched out and basically people move, they do specific aspects and they get involved. What we are allowing is allowing people within the metaverse allowing different tokens to build on our network. So we wanna become to a large extent, the Ethereum of IoT networks and allow people to build on that. But furthermore, what we wanna do with our network is build sensors as well. Allow people to have sensors on different aspects of them. Allow people for example, to get their mobile phone and also get tracked by our network, willingly of course. But then we can do certain things that haven’t been necessarily done a hundred percent yet. So for example, offering people special offers as they walk down virtual street or a real street, but within that metaverse they can get, for example, a 10% coffee voucher because the coffee shops right just down the street from it. Or a specific discount to get people to come in to buy lunch at that venue. So that’s one of the aspects that we can get involved in and use that network with. I think the other aspect is, and I touched on earlier, is things such as verification, authenticity, using that metaverse to understand what the authenticity of the NFTs that can also be verified via our network. It’s very much crypto based, but I believe that we can really pair those two worlds together with IoT hardware and allowing people to get involved in that within the network.

– [Ryan] Gotcha. And then you mentioned NFTs, so, how do NFTs fit into all of this as it relates to IoT?

– [Aaron] Yeah, that’s a great question. Look NFTs, and this is super important, NFTs and I think a lot of your audience knows this already, but they’re more than just some monkeys. NFTs, what they should be from our perspective is authenticity. And what we’re doing with a lot of our partners, we’re working with a gin partner right now where we use an NFC and an NFT, so it’s an NFC tag they used. They then scan that with a mobile phone, they can then see the authenticity of an NFT, verifying that for example, that bottle of gin is an authentic bottle of gin. So in that sense, NFTs are much further than just, as I said, we’ve all seen maybe these Bored Ape Yacht Club, it’s more than just these monkeys on it as an image, but I believe it can be verified for businesses to ensure that customers who are buying their products can verify. I said we use an NFC tag on the bottle with a sticker and then scanned by mobile phone. They see the NFT and therefore, it verifies the authenticity of that bottle. So for us there’s a lot of excitement around that and how people can then ensure that they’re getting genuine products, which is essential I think for a lot of customers.

– [Ryan] Yeah, I think when it comes to NFTs it’s always an interesting topic. I mean they had a very, it felt like short period of time where there was a lot of hype going on and it kind of died down and there’s still obviously lots of NFT projects going on and I think the ones that will win out and the application of the technology is where I’m most excited about. The ones that went out I feel like are more utility or have more utility in value, but the technology itself has a lot of business applications that you’re kind of hinting at and talking about here, that as people learn and understand the value, they’re able to add a lot more to their offering. Whether it’s like you said, being able to scan something when you get a bottle and verify it being original and things like that. But I think the technology itself is what is most impressive about NFTs. And I’m curious to kind of see how companies and more of the enterprise commercial space start to adopt it and utilize it.

– [Aaron] Yeah, as I said, that authenticity aspect is one aspect we are looking at, but we’re also looking at a lot of different aspects and I hope to, you know Ryan, when we talk in 12 months or two years from now, we will be talking about new exciting aspects within IoT and NFTs That can be linked together. I think it’s also an aspect that we are discovering ourselves a lot. As I said, I think probably from the wider public, and not necessarily people who are into IoT, look at NFTs and just think it’s imagery and it’s just not the case. I think it allows people to really verify a lot of different aspects within people’s lives. So we’re excited about that, but there’s a long way to go within NFTs and the IoT crossover.

– [Ryan] So as we just think about the IoT industry in general, what do you think are some of the ways that companies in this space can really make IoT attractive to more people? And not just companies, but just general everyday people. What do you think it’s gonna take to kind of make it more of something that’s more widely adopted and understood?

– [Aaron] Yeah, I mean that’s a trillion dollar question, I think. I think for a lot of them, I think what they can do, that’s my personal perspective, is lower the entry barriers. And what I mean by that is, you look for things such as promotions. If you wanna get people involved in that, they can really get mass appeal by allowing people to get involved in promotions and whatever that is in regards to different tagging, different tracing, track and trace of different products. I think they can allow people to get involved in those kind of aspects. But, as I said to you, what we are doing with our network and with our mining community is broadening to the wider network. It’s essential that big companies do that in order to get the wider masses to get involved in IoT. They need to see the relevance of it, they need to a large extent also see the excitement of it as well.

– [Ryan] Yeah, I think the successes that we are seeing across different industries, having those happen but then at the same time be relatable to potential adopters, based on the industry, the problem that a solution is solving I think is gonna carry a lot of weight in growing adoption. And it’s something that I think companies are obviously working every day to build those successes. And I think that just drives more confidence in the technology and the industry as it continues to mature.

– [Aaron] Yeah, exactly. And if you look at you’ll be aware, for example, Amazon Sidewalk, which is still a bit of a question mark. We don’t know what that will be exactly. We’ve got some ideas what we think it probably will be, but I see that as an exciting opportunity for all of us to kind of get more involved in IoT, and as I said, allow more people to understand what it’s all about.

– [Ryan] For sure. And I know you all play in the LPWAN space. How do you kind of handle those discussions with companies who maybe not as familiar with what LPWAN technologies are and how it all works, and just the benefits and value that are that now exists with the technology today?

– [Aaron] Look, I think we just focus on the highlights. I think to a large extent, you know, LPWAN speaks for itself and you know, it’s an acronym itself. It’s low power, which is very important, especially these days with the rising energy costs. It’s wide area, so it reaches our miners or our gateways reach up to 40 kilometers. So that’s great for large industrial and agricultural areas as well. Things such as 5G are super expensive, not just from an energy perspective, but also from a cost perspective as well. So they’re not really useful in those areas. A lot of agricultural areas don’t have the connectivity in regards to 5G, 4G, even different elements of telecommunications companies should be reaching out. So I think from a cost perspective, that’s one thing we focus on. I think from a reach perspective its super important to a lot of people. And also from a connectivity perspective. I mean some of the hardware that we’re working on can connect up to 100,000 different sensors with one piece of hardware. So from that sense, it’s very, very low cost. You don’t have to worry about routers and all of this kind of stuff. And I think that’s really the future where we can offer low cost, long reach solutions to all of our partners.

– [Ryan] Fantastic. One other thing I was gonna ask you, and just out of curiosity. How do you feel IoT is kind of perceived out in the market? Do you feel it’s pretty well represented or do you feel it’s more underrepresented? And just kind of outta curiosity, how do we kind of move forward in the industry to continue to grow IoT and make it more of a success?

– [Aaron] Yeah, I think you’ve probably said that in your question. I think it’s extremely underrepresented. I think probably because it hasn’t found its feet just yet. I think a lot of people don’t understand what IoT is and what it means and there’s been a lot of hype around it, and I think what we need to focus on is connectivity. And we always say, there’s a line that we say, is that what we are trying to do if you look at, you know, social networks, they connect people, what we’re trying to do is connect devices. So we’re the social network for devices, allowing devices to talk to each other and talk to themselves. So I think that’s really important that we can allow these devices to communicate like we do on social networks, that these devices can communicate in a way that’s kind of the social network for devices and things. And I think once we start allowing them to really build out the use cases a lot better, we will see a lot more appeal to it. But, as I’m sure you are well aware, we are very, very early in this industry and we have a long way to go, a long growth, forecast to go. And I just think it’s about going out there building new things. I think, you know, all things that are being built right now, some of them are cool, I think some of them are exciting, but whatever they are, they also lead to better technology in the future.

– [Ryan] Yeah, yeah. I think the evolution of the technology we’ve seen lately and just the maturity of a lot of it and how it’s being used and what it can be used for is enabling so much more than we ever were able to do before. And that’s what’s very exciting about seeing a lot of these companies now able to adopt IoT because these technologies exist that fit what they’re trying to do more closely and bring the cost down and make it more realistic. And I think the more of that we see, the more successes we see, the more we are gonna have see adoption grow. I think it’s just a natural thing that’ll happen as people start to really see these use cases and applications deployed in, not only their industry by competitors or companies they engage with, but also seeing problems solved that they can definitely relate to. And I think that’s a very exciting thing to see now and going into the future.

– [Aaron] Yeah, absolutely. But I think also we need to realize that IoT isn’t really by itself the end product. I mean, if you look at things such as Alexa, it’s IoT as in you can turn your lights on and off, you can turn your music up and down, but it’s also A.I, it’s also voice control. It’s a lot of different things packaged into one thing that allows all of these different functionalities to work. So I think by allowing this, and that’s why, you know, I really love these aspects myself is that it takes it to the people, they understand the benefits of it and we need to branch out from those for sure.

– [Ryan] Totally agree. This has been a great conversation. We’ve touched on some things that we don’t talk a lot about, which I was very excited about. But so, let me ask you as we finish up here, if our audience wants to follow up on these topics, talk more about what you have going on now, ask any questions, that kind of stuff, what’s the best way they can do that?

– [Aaron] We have have our regular socials. So we are on Discord, Telegram, Twitter, Facebook, I think all of the usual. We also have our website, mxc.org, however, if you’d like to look at our hardware, so we also have the hardware business, which I think most of your supporters are probably more into, that’s matchx.io and they can check that out. We offer wide variety of sensors and as I said, hardware, hardware miners, as I said, to do this crossover with crypto to get a lot of people involved in IoT. And what we’re trying to do is really focus on lowering the barriers to entry and getting more people excited and involved in IoT. So I’d be happy to hear from everyone and their feedback and thoughts about what we’re doing.

– [Ryan] Fantastic. Well Aaron, thank you so much for your time, really appreciate it. Very exciting conversation that we had today, so I’m looking forward to getting this out to our audience.

– [Aaron] Perfect. Thanks very much.

– [Ryan] Thank you. All right everyone, thanks again for watching that episode of the IoT For All Podcast. If you enjoyed the episode, please click the thumbs up button, subscribe to our channel, and be sure to hit the bell notifications, so you get the latest episodes as soon as they become available. Other than that, thanks again for watching and we’ll see you next time.

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