Interoperable NFTs and the Open Metaverse

5 min readMar 1, 2022

“Unlock a digital asset in the Adidas Metaverse, own it in your Nike Metaverse.”


That’s not happening, at least for now.

As NFTs make significant headway into the center of global discussion, one of the most important drivers of more adoption and greater usability is interoperability. No doubt, the Metaverse is taking us to a more realistic and immersive digital environment as it continues to blur the wall between our virtual and physical space. Major brands and enterprises are actively competing for positioning their businesses and exploring the endless opportunities in this virtual space. However, the only thing left to transform this industry into an entire metaverse of transferable digital assets is more technicalities or standardization, you say? Oh No! The real hurdle is interoperability, and this article explains why.

NFT is a Billion-Dollar Industry

According to Statista, the market capitalization of NFT has exceeded 40 billion or about 1% of the two trillion-dollar crypto industry. In many respects, the increasing influence and popularity of NFT can be viewed as a continuous expansion of mandate. What started as mere digitized pixels has gradually grown into a billion-dollar industry. New sectors and unimaginable use cases have accompanied this growth. Since its emergence, Non-Fungible Tokens have moved beyond just arts or profile pictures. They are now applied in music, virtual real estate, recruitment and hiring, digital arms, and games. These structural growth and attendant adoption as a medium of storing and trading digital assets have become legitimate hunting means for investors and crypto enthusiasts.

Perhaps, ownership and indivisibility are the defining characteristics of NFTs. Increasingly, its ability to empower the creator economy through various digital collectibles and social tokens has resulted in more popularity among creators. Hence, terms like creatorFi and create-to-earn have surfaced over the past few years. Quarter four of 2021 was believed to be NFT’s busiest month, with more than 21 billion dollars NFT sales reported during that period alone. That’s still short of CAGR of 39.6% projected by Emergen Research, but the industry is growing at an undoubtedly rapid pace even with the current bearish market trends. For the most part, non-interoperability of NFTs seems to be a non-issue. While most experts believe NFTs will onboard many users as the ticket in the Metaverse, it is also becoming important to emphasize the significance of interoperable NFTs in the Metaverse. In one part, it serves as a high-level cornerstone of digital identity in the Metaverse. In another, it gives users, creators, and players in the create-to-earn economy the flexibility to cross-play, cross-create, and cross-earn across different metaverses.

Such problems may not matter, at least when it comes to empowering creators and 3D architects to accommodate new dynamics and introduce a new economy called CreatorFi. The interoperability issue has not stopped NFT from revolutionizing the creative industry. Still, new business models and use cases are lacking with non-interoperability, and while we believe it will continue to attract creators, NFT collectors, and gamers, creating interoperable NFT must happen now and fast. NFTs need interoperability to solve its internal frailties to produce a
positive and enduring legacy in the Metaverse.

Why do we need Interoperable NFT in the Metaverse?

What explains the value of physical assets? We can mention a handful of factors, but interoperability seems particularly important. It’s also worth noting that the ability to use our assets anywhere and wherever is a huge definitive factor for valuation. Most modern-day internet browsers can access any website, and several links are often linked to a single page. The creation of this globally interconnected and interoperable system is similar to the real world — we move from one place to another with our identity intact. Sometimes, we travel with our cars and few belongings to any place without any difficulty. Similarly, interoperability is vital to connect different metaverses so that gamers, creators, and collectors in the creator economy can enjoy a unified experience just the way it is in the real world.

Assigning digital ownership to digital assets in a virtual world doesn’t translate to using them in a different virtual space. In the case of video games, different technologies power their interactive display and are even less standardized, more complex, and constantly changing with innovations. Crossovers and bridging this physical-digital divide are crucial to achieving collaborations that facilitate player-owned in-game items.

Apart from game narrative and aesthetics, a consistent and cohesive virtual environment will enable seamless movement and switching of 3D NFT assets from one Metaverse to another. This makes it easy to explore different infrastructure within and across metaverses, just like humans do in real life. So, if we could import an asset from one platform to another in the Metaverse, would this destroy the immersive nature of the virtual world? No, because interoperable gaming collectibles create an open metaverse where cross-platform 3D NFT assets have real-world use cases and in-game utility. Although the industry is currently lacking a full-fledged interoperable metaverse, embracing interoperability will be the primary driver of the open Metaverse as it’s driving the modern-day internet.

Phigital — Solving The Unsolved Problem of 3D NFT Assets

With the problems defined and solutions identified, it is time to meet the actors that occupy this scene. While many NFT projects are getting into the mix of an open metaverse, Smart MFG’s famed team has the benefit of experience as a pioneer in using NFTs since 2018 for the fabrication of 3D parts for aerospace companies and sending 3D assets into space. While affinity and attention are often translated as success, fabricating and transforming 3D assets for use across various ecosystems require extra superpower — this is what sets Smart MFG apart. Apparently, expressing preferences for expanding NFT use cases and onboarding users into the Metaverse, Smart MFG has launched Phigital — the first 3D NFT Marketplace for building the Open Metaverse by focusing on cross-Metaverse 3D assets interoperability and real-world use case NFTS and enabling on-platform digital-to-physical bridge.

Phigital aims to solve today’s biggest metaverse pain point by partnering with creators, games, and metaverses to use 3D assets across many virtual environments by becoming a leader in building the open Metaverse. If Phigital’s pitch looks effortless, it is because Smart MFG has gone through the headache and convolution of delivering a cross-platform experience to 3D artists, architects, gamers, and active players in the creator economy. Set to be launched in Q1 2022, the Digital NFT marketplace beta version will revolutionize the economics around 3D digital assets through a consumer-focused interoperable 3D NFT platform. With time, Phigital’s revolutionary feature will speak for itself. In the interim, Smart MFG’s commitment to creating an open metaverse will bridge the digital-to-physical NFT assets gap.




Smart MFG NFT is the world’s first curated 3D NFT marketplace for metaverse builders, gamers, industrial designers, concept artists & makers