Money, Possessions, and Ownership in the Metaverse

Russell Belk and Douglas Cummings, in front of background depicting cryptocurrency investing

DAN Management Distinguished Lecture in Consumer Behaviour

Money, Possessions, and Ownership in the Metaverse: NFTs, Cryptocurrencies, Web3 and Wild Market

Russell Belk in conversation with Douglas Cumming

Join us for this online lecture, February 10, 10 AM Eastern

Owing to high demand to attend DAN Distinguished lectures, audience members are advised to log in fifteen minutes in advance


Our understandings of money, possessions, and ownership are all changing dramatically as consumption becomes digital and virtual. The Metaverse is an imagined future space where these building blocks of neoliberal production and consumption are delinked. We examine these changes through the affordances of cryptocurrencies, algorithmic collectibles, and NFTs. We seek to disambiguate these efforts at disintermediation through online auctions and speculation. We present practical implications for artists, art institutions, buyers, and investors. We theorize new forms of ownership with fractional ownership and fractionalized property rights. And we seek to understand why some consumers pay astronomical prices for digital art that includes simple and often silly artwork with limited property rights. To do so we distinguish alternate, but sometimes overlapping, buyer motivations in the wild world of crypto art as we purportedly move toward the Metaverse.

Distinguished Lecturer:

Russell Belk is York University Distinguished Research Professor, Royal Society of Canada Fellow, and Kraft Foods Canada Chair in Marketing at the Schulich School of Business in York University. Belk's research involves the extended self, meanings of possessions, collecting, gift-giving, sharing, digital consumption, and materialism. He co-initiated the Association for Consumer Research (ACR) Film Festival, the Consumer Culture Theory (CCT) Conference, and the Consumer Behavior Odyssey. He has received many research awards including the Sheth-JCR Award for Long Term Contribution to Consumer Research, the Woodside Award, the Paul D. Converse Award, the Society of Marketing
Advances Distinguished Scholar Award, the Carl Bode Award, and two Fulbright Awards. He is the past president and fellow in ACR and has over 750 publications including more than 30 in the Journal of Consumer Research.


Douglas Cumming is DeSantis Distinguished Professor of Finance and Entrepreneurship at the College of Business, Florida Atlantic University. Douglas Cumming has published over 200 articles in leading refereed academic journals (including 40 in the Financial Times top-50 journals) in finance, management, and law and economics, such as the Academy of Management Journal, Economic Journal, Journal of Financial Economics, Review of Financial Studies, and Journal of International Business Studies. In 2022, Douglas was listed by Clarivate as one of the top 92 most cited researchers in the world in the business and economics category. Douglas’ work has been cited over 24,000 times according to Google Scholar. Douglas is the founding Managing Editor-in-Chief of the Review of Corporate Finance.