The metaverse is the latest hot topic in the tech world. However, it was not born today, but technological advancements and changes in our behavior are powerfully updating it. This Web 3.0 still under development is now the object of all desires. Giants like Facebook or Microsoft are on their way, but they are not the only ones looking to take advantage of a market with near-infinite prospects. Some crypto industry players have already gotten involved and could do well by offering a more decentralized version of this immersive space where we will soon be able to work, play and socialize in a 3D environment.
The metaverse, an economy promised insane growth
The metaverse has entered the mainstream scene ever since Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook would be changing its name to Meta. But the world of virtual reality didn’t wait for Facebook’s announcement. From the early 2000s, the platform Second Life seduced millions of internet users before falling into disuse with the advent of social networks and technical difficulties then insurmountable† But now the metaverse is back in the spotlight.
Bloomberg dear all the market size at $600 billion and Matthew Ball, CEO of venture capital firm Epyllion and co-creator of a first metaverse stock market product, is counting on an economy that could be worth between $10 trillion and $30 trillion over the next ten years† Some, like the CEO of Nvidia, the graphics chip giant, even argue that this virtual economy could one day eclipse that of the real world, which is valued at more than $80,000 billion today.
Inclusion, an acceleration factor of the metavers
We’re not there yet, but many companies are already generating more than substantial revenue. The gaming industry (Roblox, Fortnite, etc.), which has been heavily betting on this parallel world, comes out on top with the limitations that have exploded the number of players.† But she’s not the only one. The episodes of incarceration that we have experienced have indeed accelerated the process of digitizing our daily lives by multiplying interactions in virtual mode (aperitif, live concert on social networks, series viewed simultaneously, visits to museums identically displayed on Animal Crossing, etc.). And the professional atmosphere has not been spared from the phenomenon with meetings organized on Zoom.
Faced with this change in behavior, many brands or retailers have already adopted this new community space to provide a new way to make themselves more visible.
But before we go further in development, let’s stop to define, without limiting a universe of almost infinite possibilities, which is the metaverse.
The metaverse, kesako?
The metaverse (or metaverse in French) is a term that combines the prefix meta (“beyond” in ancient Greek) and the radical pour derived from universe (“universe” in French)† This term originated from the imagination of an American science fiction author, Neal Stephenson, who uses it in his book The Virtual Samurai » published in 1992. It mainly inspired the cinema to produce “cyberfilms” such as: Matrix in 1999 or Ready Player One (2018) directed by Spielberg.
worldwide, the metaverse denotes an interconnected experience in a three-dimensional virtual environment, where it is possible to evolve in the form of an avatar or a hologram† Thanks to augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), these dematerialized universes offer almost endless possibilities. Indeed, technical advancements and the power of digital infrastructures make it easier to build metaverses these days. The deployment of 5G with its unparalleled speeds will also allow to take full advantage of all its features.
The metaverse attracts the greed of tech giants
It was therefore primarily the world of cultural entertainment that took its hold, but today it is also the giants of Tech who hold onto it, such as Microsoft† The company just announced its intention to “metavert” its flagship tools, Teams, its communication collaboration application or its Xbox console. Apple is not far behind and Chinese behemoths, such as Ali Baba† Tencent and TikTok, are also starting to invest billions of dollars in it. Each and every one of them is positioning themselves to become the market leader.
Similarly, FinTechs have begun to create funds targeting this sector of activity, betting on excessive profits. Thereby, there is already an index designed to track the performance of companies building this new version of the webthe Meta ETF issued by RoundHill Investments.
A totally immersive space
All these companies are betting on the fact that an increasing portion of our time, our attention will be occupied by these parallel universes. And from there we will incur more and more costs. Expenditure related not only to leisure, but also to education, health, clothing… in short, all sectors of life†
It is especially hard to imagine today. But the comparison with the early Internet is still relevant. In 1990, few people could imagine the range of possibilities that will be offered on the Internet in 2021. Broadband connections did not exist, neither did social networks – nowadays it is no longer surprising to maintain links only on the screen – and the internet of value embodied by bitcoin was still unimaginable† However, this convergence of elements allows the metaverse to be reborn more beautiful and stronger today, even if there is still work to be done, to create a total immersive space, thanks in particular to highly sophisticated special equipment (helmets and controllers).
Metaverse and cryptos
In the metaverse, blockchain and cryptocurrencies are not necessary† At least for the big tech players who get started with it. Facebook…sorry, Meta and the company will likely continue to work with their own servers to collect our valuable data. But other players from the crypto ecosystem are also participating and are making great strides. So we can mention Axie Infinity (AXS), Decentraland (MANA), Sandbox (SAND), Enjin Coin (ENJ), Decentral Games (DG) among others. In addition, the price of their tokens has skyrocketed for some of them since Facebook’s announcement.
“When big names like Facebook and Microsoft share announcements for their metaverse plans, they indirectly generate awareness and exposure for existing metaverse projects. Nevertheless, I believe the growth and success of the metaverse will be driven by the decentralized nature of user-owned projects, rather than centralized platforms. †
Lee Lin Liew, Advisor to Decentral Games in BeinCrypto
The blockchain and the cryptocurrencies that thedigital proof of ownership (NFT), secure value transfer and transparent and reliable governance actually have serious assets because they don’t just play the role of extras in this new world that is advancing. Bitcoin’s adoption curve speaks volumes about the wisdom of crowds.