The metaverse market continues to grow exponentially from its value of $22.79 billion in 2021. The expectation thereof of the future is a compound annual growth rate of 39.8%. As such, the metaverse topic is still largely conceptual but could transform how people work, shop, communicate, and consume content.
The field is still in its early stages of development, giving hope to be the next mega-theme in digital media and crypto.
What is Metaverse?
The coining of the term metaverse does not entirely refer to any specific type of tech. However, it is a broad shift in how we interact and communicate using technology in the fast-growing world.
Metaverse technology primarily encompasses nine critical areas:
- Networking equipment and cloud infrastructure
- Data governance and security
- Blockchain and cryptocurrencies/NFTs
- AR and VR
- AdTech (Internet Advertising)
- Enterprise applications
- Payment platforms
Based on data from GlobalData, it is estimated that the Metaverse industry will grow from $22.79 billion to $996.42 billion in 2030.
As such, simply put, the Metaverse is a network of 3D virtual worlds focused on social connection. Additionally, it can be defined as a simulated digital environment that uses augmented reality (AR, virtual reality, and blockchain. This comes along with concepts from digital media in creating spaces for rich user interaction mimicking the real world.
Metaverse in Today’s Times
For every technophile, the Metaverse is a representation of nirvana. This is primarily a place one can immerse in any digital world and participate in any physical reality at any time. It also enables one to be able to see and feel anything, even if you are thousands of miles away from that real place.
The digital economy is also growing in Metaverse. As such, one can now create, buy, and sell goods.
Besides, Metaverse offers an idealistic vision in that it is interoperable, which allows one to take virtual items like clothes from one platform to another. The difference is that, in the physical world, you can buy a shirt from the mall and then wear it to a movie theater. On the other hand, Metaverse allows you to create a person that can go anywhere as quickly as you can copy your profile picture from one digital space to another.
Potentially, the Metaverse can alter many sectors further by introducing virtual reality (VR) based wearables. In turn, they will bring users to an alternate virtual world from the confines of their homes. Additionally, people will have an easy time interacting without the need to undergo long communes, breathe in polluted air or even dress up for different occasions.
Metaverse and the Future
As we have seen, the metaverse concept is starting to bring in Web3 technology, which blockchain enables. As such, Metaverse’s future seems similar to our natural world in many aspects. However, it looks like it will replace some real-world activities.
Already, there are some metaverse non-fungible token (NFT) vendors that have enabled their NFTs to be usable in some metaverse games, such as clothing and footwear. Additionally, more are planning to venture into the domain.
An increasing number of NFT enthusiasts are sensing opportunities to invest in virtual land on such games and sell or rent them for a price.
Metaverse also looks like creating a contributing factor to the growth of the virtual economy, which highly depends on video games and virtual worlds where disruptions are almost close to none.
Today, we see a promising version of the Metaverse with digital goods like NFTs representing popular art and digital memorabilia.
Besides, Meta has come into the space as a significant player. As such, it is only a matter of time before we see other entities following the step. This is a signal that Metaverse could be the new future.
Additionally, we could see the future of Metaverse spanning around the idea of running openly, almost without any interruption from a single community or company. This will result from the idea that the participation of creators will be from across the world as more brands are looking to open their outlets on the broader Metaverse.
Predictions and Impact
The Metaverse expects that it will be significant. The metaverse economy could, in aggregate, generate up to $5 trillion in impact by 2030. As such, nearing the economy of Japan, the third-biggest economy.
The grand vision of the Metaverse is built on a single integrated ecosystem, much like the internet. As such, the prediction is that there will be a rise in independent metaverse platforms with separate economies and the ability to move assets and objects between worlds.
Additionally, the Metaverse will expand beyond virtual showrooms. Many individuals in different capacities will explore capabilities that utilize the combination of visualization with real-time data to power customer collaboration, risk forecasting, fraud or crime detection, and other operations functions.
Besides, digital-first will evolve into meta-first. As such, many products will be launched into virtual worlds, sometimes before a physical version goes into production. As a result, companies can better understand what customers want, co-create new offerings, and share insights. This will also further help in the long desire for decentralized systems in the crypto space.
However, new security and privacy issues will emerge, as such issues will amplify. The Metaverse offers new challenges for cybersecurity, privacy rights, regulatory compliance, brand reputation, and anti-fraud efforts.
The consumer-oriented manifestation of the Metaverse will evolve from early roots in social media, massively multiplayer games, and more immersive commerce. The business-oriented side will encompass tools for remote work, IoT, digital twins, computer-aided design, 3D printing, and business applications.
Along the way, the Metaverse must navigate various challenges surrounding privacy, security, hardware, and networking latency.
Vincent Munene is a freelance writer and a great blockchain enthusiast. Blockchain has changed his life in terms of financial freedom and in return, he likes to educate people and keep them up to date on everything blockchain. He is a Biochemist by profession and also loves to play the piano.