Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, NFTs and Metaverse: Four New Concepts Explained

Michigan State University

Rabindra (“Robby”) Ratan is an Associate Professor and AT&T Scholar at Michigan State University’s (MSU) Department of Media and Information, as well as Director of the Social and Psychological Approaches to Research on Technology-Interaction Effects (SPARTIE) Lab.  A former MSU Lilly Teaching Fellow, he is the recipient of the MSU Teacher-Scholar Award and the MSU AT&T Instructional Technology Award. Dr. Ratan has written for Wired magazine and and has been featured as a media technology expert on NPR and in the Washington PostRatan received his Ph.D. from USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, his M.A. in Communication from Stanford University, and his B.A. in Science, Technology and Society, also from Stanford University.



Our reality has been growing increasingly virtual for decades. Each new major information technology—from radio to television to the Internet to Mobile Phones—dramatically changes the way people work, socialize, and play. We are presently standing at the doorstep of a new technological revolution that will transform how people own and experience information: in particular, digital goods. This new socio-technical existence will rely on a class of assets enabled by blockchain technologies—cryptocurrencies and NFTs—and will be integrated into our daily lives via the metaverse.

If that last sentence reads like a doozy and makes you feel like a virtual neophyte (get it, virtual neophyte!?), then this class is for you. Dr. Ratan will ease you into these four fundamental concepts, explaining what they mean, how they are related to each other, and why they are important. Dr. Ratan will also describe a bit of his latest research on perceptions of cryptocurrencies and the metaverse. Lastly, he will provide some simple tips on how to dip a toe into the metaverse yourself.


Recommended Reading:

Experience on Demand: What Virtual Reality Is, How it Works, and What it Can Do, by Jeremy Bailenson

Step into the Metaverse: How the Immersive Internet Will Unlock a Trillion-Dollar Social Economy, by Mark van Rijmenam

Cryptocurrency, by Jake Frankenfield (online article)

NFTs, explained, by Mitchell Clark (online article)

The metaverse is money and crypto is king – why you’ll be on a blockchain when you’re virtual-world hopping, by Rabindra Ratan and Dar Meshi (online article)






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David Rocker

This was an excellent presentation but it leaves one with the feeling that much of this is like tulipmania

2 years ago
Evon Ballash

Metaverse explored

Interesting lecture on the Metaverse, Bitcoin, Blockchain, NFT and virtual reality. A real eye opening topic for novices who want to learn about the digital world and not get left behind.

2 years ago
Bryan Williams

Great Lecture

Excellent lecture. I have a long career as a professor in health sciences and signed on to this lecture because I really did not understand anything in the world of cryptocurrency, NFT’s or the Virtual World. I came away with a good basic understanding and much more personal comfort with these topics. This professor is clearly knowledgeable and has an inherent enthusiasm for his area of expertise. Robby is an excellent teacher. I’d highly recommend this lecture as a learning experience and a great way to productively spend a little over an hour.

2 years ago
Eric L Hoover

Mind Blowing

This lecture was extremely informative & mind blowing. It also contains good investment advice!

2 years ago
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