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State of Metaverse-based ecosystems in Fin-Tech

3 minutes read

Paris Hilton has a Roblox virtual island where people can buy digital versions of her outfits. Accenture will onboard 1,50,000 new hires using Metaverse. Metaverse has been the talk of the town since Facebook changed its name to Meta. Let’s look at how metaverse-based ecosystems in Fin-Tech is transforming customer experience (CX).

Global metaverse market size will touch $678.8 billion by 2030, witnessing a CAGR of 39.4%, reveals research and markets. CB Insights’ research predicts that metaverse could represent a $1T market by 2030. Industries are working to create a reality in which the physical and digital worlds blend seamlessly. 

Where Fin-Techs are heading to in the Metaverse-based ecosystem?

European bank ABN Amro was the first to open a virtual branch in Second Life created in 2003. Earliest ventures into the metaverse were primarily motivated by branding and visibility which is now shifting to the mainstream. Metaverse application has moved beyond gamification to virtual training and life-like experiences. We’re moving towards a future where digital lives are becoming more important.

Razorfish and Vice Media Group’s new study shows that Gen Z spends more time in metaverse space than older demographics. They develop more meaningful connections to their online identities and want realistic experiences in their virtual life. For organizations, it becomes highly imperative to understand how these customers connect, interact and interface in this virtual space.

According to JP Morgan’s research, the metaverse offers opportunities to:

  • Transact – every year, $54bn is spent on virtual goods, almost double the amount spent buying music. 
  • Socialize – approximately $60bn messages are sent daily on Roblox.
  • Create – GDP for Second Life was around $650m in 2021 with nearly $80m dollars paid to creators. 
  • Own – NFT currently has a market cap of $41bn.
  • Experience – 200 strategic partnerships till date with The Sandbox, including Warner Music Group to create a music-themed virtual world.

Metaverse has limitless opportunities to offer. Let’s look at some of the top use cases of metaverse in the financial industry.

  1. Recently Lynx announced two use cases: a cryptocurrency-based game that allows players to create and earn and sell digital items with financial value, and an “enhanced remittance experience”, a digital meeting space that allows those sending money to loved ones to visit and communicate with them in a “streamlined, entertaining, economical, and secure” manner.
  2. Navi Technologies has unveiled a metaverse-based “Fund of Funds” scheme. The investors will finance Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs), which will be used to fund metaverse-based companies. The fintech aims to invest $1 billion in total across multiple assets, with a maximum investment of $300 million in a single ETF. The company will issue a NAV unit at a face value of INR 10. For example, a customer investing INR 500 in the plan, will receive 50 units across the ETFs that Navi will be investing in.
Navi Technologies
  1.  JP Morgan is the first bank to open a lounge- Onyx in Decentraland. In the Onyx Lounge, situated in Metaiuku–a virtual replica of Tokyo’s Harajuku shopping area, a tiger roams the first floor, overlooked by a portrait of the bank’s boss Jamie Dimon. And on the 2nd floor, a person’s avatar can watch experts talk about crypto market.
JP Morgan's Onyx
  1. Korean Bank Kookmin introduced a ‘virtual financial town’ that includes three spaces: (1) The financial and business center consists of branches, public relations and recruitment booths, auditoriums, and social spaces. 

(2) The telecommuting center enhances communication and collaboration between telecommuters and office employees. 

(3) A playground for interacting.

Kookmin Banks' Virtual Financial Town

Source: donga.com/news

  1. Bank of America is the first to launch VR training in over 4,300 financial centers. They use VR headsets to practice skills like strengthen and deepen customer relationships, handle difficult conversations, and listen and respond with empathy. “Managers can also detect skill gaps and provide tailored follow-up training and customized counseling to colleagues to further boost performance using real-time statistics,” the bank says.

The Road Ahead

Decentraland operates via its own cryptocurrency called MANA and Sandbox has Sand. Somnium Space has its own asset marketplace where users can choose to ‘live forever. 

The financial sector is facing intense competition in the virtual space. Digital assets and digital currency are becoming increasingly prevalent in the metaverse. Leveraging the meta-world will help financial organizations create a continuum of experience for the users and provide more personalized and engaging interactions in the time ahead.

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Implementing a Clean Architecture with Nest.JS

4 minutes read

This article is for enthusiasts who strive to write clean, scalable, and more importantly refactorable code. It will give an idea about how Nest.JS can help us write clean code and what underlying architecture it uses.

Implementing a clean architecture with Nest.JS will require us to first comprehend what this framework is and how it works.

What is Nest.JS?

Nest or Nest.JS is a framework for building efficient, scalable Node.js applications (server-side) built with TypeScript. It uses Express or Fastify and allows a level of abstraction to enable developers to use an ample amount of modules (third-party) within their code.

Let’s dig deeper into what is this clean architecture all about. 

Well, you all might have used or at least heard of MVC architecture. MVC stands for Model, View, Controller. The idea behind this is to separate our project structure into 3 different sections.

1. Model: It will contain the Object file which maps with Relation/Documents in the DB.

2. Controller: It is the request handler and is responsible for the business logic implementation and all the data manipulation.

3. View: This part will contain files that are concerned with the displaying of the data, either HTML files or some templating engine files.

To create a model, we need some kind of ORM/ODM tool/module/library to build it with. For instance, if you directly use the module, let’s say ‘sequelize’, and then use the same to implement login in your controller and make your core business logic dependent upon the ‘sequelize’. Now, down the line, let’s say after 10 years, there is a better tool in the market that you want to use, but as soon as you replace sequelize with it, you will have to change lots of lines of code to prevent it from breaking. Also, you’ll have to test all the features once again to check if it’s deployed successfully or not which may waste valuable time and resource as well. To overcome this challenge, we can use the last principle of SOLID which is the Dependency Inversion Principle, and a technique called dependency injection to avoid such a mess.

Still confused? Let me explain in detail.

So, what Dependency Inversion Principle says in simple words is, you create your core business logic and then build dependency around it. In other words, free your core logic and business rules from any kind of dependency and modify the outer layers in such a way that they are dependent on your core logic instead of your logic dependent on this. That’s what clean architecture is. It takes out the dependency from your core business logic and builds the system around it in such a way that they seem to be dependent on it rather than it being dependent on them.

Let’s try to understand this with the below diagram.

Source: Clean Architecture Cone 

You can see that we have divided our architecture into 4 layers:

1. Entities: At its core, entities are the models(Enterprise rules) that define your enterprise rules and tell what the application is about. This layer will hardly change over time and is usually abstract and not accessible directly. For eg., every application has a ‘user’. What all fields the user should store, their types, and relations with other entities will comprise an Entity.

2. Use cases: It tells us how can we implement the enterprise rules. Let’s take the example of the user again. Now we know what data to be operated upon, the use case tells us how to operate upon this data, like the user will have a password that needs to be encrypted, the user needs to be created, and the password can be changed at any given point of time, etc.

3. Controllers/Gateways: These are channels that help us to implement the use cases using external tools and libraries using dependency injection.

4. External Tools: All the tools and libraries we use to build our logic will come under this layer eg. ORM, Emailer, Encryption, etc.

The tools we use will be depending upon how we channel them to use cases and in turn, use cases will depend upon the entities which is the core of our business. This way we have inverted the dependency from outwards to inwards. That’s what the Dependency Inversion Principal of SOLID implies.

Okay, by now, you got the gist of Nest.JS and understood how clean architecture works. Now the question arises, how these two are related?  

Let’s try to understand what are the 3 building blocks of Nest.JS and what each of them does.

  1. Modules: Nest.JS is structured in such a way that we can treat each feature as a module. For eg., anything which is linked with the User such as models, controllers, DTOs, interfaces, etc., can be separated as a module. A module has a controller and a bunch of providers which are injectible functionalities like services, orm, emailer, etc.
  1. Controllers: Controllers in Nest.JS are interfaces between the network and your logic. They are used to handle requests and return responses to the client side of the application (for example, call to the API).
  1. Providers (Services): Providers are injectable services/functionalities which we can inject into controllers and other providers to provide flexibility and extra functionality. They abstract any form of complexity and logic.

To summarize,

  • We have controllers that act as interfaces (3rd layer of clean architecture)
  • We have providers which can be injected to provide functionality (4th layer of clean architecture: DB, Devices, etc.)
  • We can also create services and repositories to define our use case (2nd Layer)
  • We can define our entities using DB providers (1st Layer)

Conclusion:

Nest.JS is a powerful Node.JS framework and the most well-known typescript available today. Now that you’ve got the lowdown on this framework, you must be wondering if we can use it to build a project structure with a clean architecture. Well, the answer is -Yes! Absolutely. How? I’ll explain in the next series of this article. 

Till then, Stay tuned!

About the Author:

Junaid Bhat is currently working as a Tech Lead in Mantra Labs. He is a tech enthusiast striving to become a better engineer every day by following industry standards and aligned towards a more structured approach to problem-solving. 


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