Are you ready to enter the Metaverse of Madness?
Psychonauts will be able to do so pretty soon — all with a Matrix-esque psychedelic twist. This month, Ei.Ventures, a Miami-based startup, bought a coveted spot of virtual land estate in the much-hyped virtual reality space called the metaverse. The digital backyard in question is in The Sandbox — a world of ones and zeroes where players can make, buy, and sell virtual assets and activities as nonfungible tokens (NFTs) via the Ethereum blockchain. In 2022, Ei.Ventures will make it possible for certified therapists to host psychedelic wellness sessions, exclusively for patients in the metaverse.
Psychedelic Trips Into the Metaverse
The Sandbox is a creation of Animoca Brands, a blockchain gaming brand based in Hong Kong. In the coming months or so, players in the metaverse can drop by the Sandbox marketplace and experience psychedelic therapy in a brand new way. There’s plenty of space for everyone who wishes to do so, too. Ei. Ventures’ 12-by-12 estate, which covers 144 pieces of virtual land, marks the third-largest land acquisition in the metaverse. As for the intriguing new psychedelic mecca? It will be known as PSLY.COM.
In an email to Forbes, Ei.Ventures CEO David Nikzad described his vision for the parcel of 3D land:
“PSLY.COM is going to be a utopian space in the metaverse. It will be empowering to people in the most high-regard way. This will be a new way to interact with your friends in general, and provide psychedelic therapy in particular.”
PSLY.COM will be a merged psychedelic tech company of Ei.Ventures with Mycotopia Therapies. The land sale in the virtual Sandbox is valued at a staggering $2.22 million. Not bad for an asset you can’t exactly touch, eh?
Cashing in on the Crypto Craze
Land deals in the Sandbox are not exactly a shocker at this point. For instance, in November of 2021, game company Atari bought virtual land on the Sandbox metaverse for a whopping $4.3 million (as reported by the Wall Street Journal). Even iconic rapper Snoop Dogg revealed in September that he would launch his own virtual world, called the Snoopverse, also in the Sandbox.
Billionaires are cashing in on the Metaverse as well. In December, Hong Kong property baron Adrian Cheng invested in the Sandbox and bought one of its biggest slices of virtual land yet.
Psychedelics and Crypto
Ei.Ventures’ Nikzad wasted no time in his plans to mix psychedelic therapy with the world of crypto. He told Forbes that after just one week on the Sandbox, he felt the urge to invest in the digital space. Lots of potential lay untapped in the crypto-based psychedelics market — and Nikzad plans for Ei.Ventures and Orthogonal Thinker to conquer the metaverse over the next three years. Will he succeed?
In a January 4 press release, Nikzad shared his vision to combine psychedelics and crypto:
“The combination of our tech, cannabis, psychedelics, outer space, and crypto-related holdings will all be utilising this exciting space. We are very excited to invite all of our portfolio companies and investors to be part of something extraordinary.”
Psychedelic Therapy in Virtual Reality
The idea of giving patients therapy in a virtual space isn’t new. In May 2021, we wrote about the Krysalis Pod: a human-sized cocoon designed to guide your magic mushroom trip, through VR “set and setting”. There’s no talking involved in the Pods, though — or any therapist while the session plays out. The immersion is all up to you, which can have its benefits and downsides depending on your dose.
This time, however, PSLY.COM wants to include a virtual therapist on the Sandbox to facilitate your psychedelic trip. Here’s how it works: They flood you with gentle stimuli via VR headset while you take shrooms or magic truffles, while a therapist monitors you the entire time. “Now I know you may feel scared at this point. Don’t be! This is your ego death. Your point of spiritual transformation. Let me adjust the dreamscape for you.”
The metaverse is still in its early stages, of course, but can you imagine?
“…wondrous VR experiences of Hawaii, positive psychedelic trips, healing modalities, and much more.”
Wider Access to Psychedelic Therapy
Nikzad told Forbes that buying virtual land will help billions of people seek help from psychedelic therapy online. A godsend during this time of COVID where in-person sessions aren’t the safest option. “It’s the only way to scale,” said Nikzad.
“Health and wellness is a trillion-dollar market. As we’ve now gone through COVID and are still in the craziness of it, these technologies will become much more important as communications and how financial transactions are handled is changing.”
As a legal safety net, VR psychedelic therapy will first pop up in places where psychoactive drugs — such as magic mushrooms and magic truffles — are allowed. From January 2022, the top choices for the soft launch are patients in Jamaica and Oregon. If all goes well, then the rest of the world will follow.
Benjamin Kaplan, CEO of Mycotopia, a psilocybin research company, said of this next step for the (virtual) shroom experience:
“We are so heartened by the forward-thinking moves Ei is making to set up PSLY.COM for success in the metaverse and beyond.”
Mushroom Magic in the Metaverse
Crypto. NFTs. Metaverse.
These are new terms that may sound confusing or too futuristic to the average reader at first. Soon, they will dictate the next stage of buying and selling of goods and services. Scary? Or exciting? It’s a brave new world for the Internet, either way — and if Zuckerberg and Musk are to be believed, then the metaverse is where the next gold rush will be. And thanks to PSLY.COM, it’ll be the next virtual arena for lifesaving psilocybin-based therapy, too!