The metaverse continues to trend in 2022. On the back of a long-term lockdown and Covid-19’s push for global digital transformation, the metaverse has been tipped to insert itself within the mainstream in the next five years.
After the global pandemic sped up the mass adoption of new technologies within a number of sectors ranging from the corporate sector to online gaming, the idea of a multi-functional 3D reality is becoming more possible each day.
In fact, the global AR and VR market alone is set to reach $300 billion by 2024, after immersive technology saw a spike in engagement in a post-pandemic landscape.
The question is, could the metaverse see the same success? The hype around the subject is currently higher than ever before according to Gartner who recently named the metaverse one of the top five emerging tech trends to look out for in 2022.
However, could we see the investment hype die out? While crypto-based investing is tipped to skyrocket within the next decade, experts are beginning to evaluate the future of NFT and metaverse-based investing.
Are these digital trends a post-lockdown fad? As we step back into the real world and a Covid-free future, could the reality of purchasing land, stocks and shares in a completely digital environment lose its popularity? Let’s find out.
What Is The Metaverse?
Before we jump into the deep end, let’s have a closer look at what the term ‘metaverse’ truly means.
First mentioned by Neal Stephenson in his 1992 breakthrough novel, Snow Crash, the concept of a completely 3D alternate reality was unleashed. Since then, the once fictional discussion has started to become a reality.
Starting off with a dip into the immersive world, augmented and virtual reality technologies have allowed consumers to see an enhanced digital version of reality, which has been used to train corporate employees, improve advertising efforts and enhance the gaming experience, just to name a few.
“The metaverse is a 3D version of the Internet and computing at large,” claims VC investor and metaverse expert Mathew Ball.
“When these two technologies (internet and computing) first emerged, all interactions were primarily text-based (emails, messages, usernames, email addresses). Then they slowly became more media-based (photos, videos, live streams). The next elevation of user interface and user experience is into 3D. Secondly, if we think of [a] mobile [phone] as placing a computer in our pocket and the internet being available at all times, think of the metaverse as always being within a computer and inside the internet.”
As technological pioneering continues to evolve, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg took the first leap of faith in November 2021 when he brought the concept of ‘The Metaverse’ into the mainstream.
“Our overarching goal across all of these initiatives is to help bring the metaverse to life,” Zuckerberg stated in a recent earnings call.
Predominantly dominating the gaming sector at present, household gaming platforms such as Roblox and Fortnite are raking in investment success so far. However as brands continue to join the hype and investing trends are on the up, what could the future of investing within the metaverse look like in the next few years?
Crypto Investors Will Be Masters Of the Metaverse
The metaverse market is growing at an exponential rate. In fact, Bloomberg recently estimated that the metaverse is worth over $800bn in 2022 thanks to the funding from savvy crypto investors, commercial companies and gaming giants.
Within a new virtual reality, cryptocurrency is quickly being adopted as a prime payment option across popular metaverse platforms such as Decentraland and The Sandbox. As the crypto-hype proceeds to hit the mainstream, experts suggest that cryptocurrency payments could become the sole legal tender used within the metaverse.
As a result, the purchasing power within the metaverse is expected to be huge. From 3D immersive shopping to purchasing digital NFTs, the metaverse holds the potential to become a fully fledged virtual economy.
Could The Metaverse Hype Die Out?
The question is, could the metaverse hype die out?
Technological evolution was on the up during the prime states of the pandemic. As more of the world swapped reality for a digital alternative, trends surrounding virtual working, online shopping and the collection of digital assets entered the mainstream in response.
Now freedom has returned, experts predict that some of the investment hype will fall as a result.
In fact, the Wall Street Journal recently reported that “The NFT market is collapsing,” after publishing a 92% decrease in daily NFT sales between now and 2021. As an investment trend that peaked during the pandemic, the rapid fall in NFT engagement could spark concern for keen metaverse investors.
As you can see above, search engagement for the term metaverse has fallen significantly as we have stepped into 2022. While investors are still predicting large outcomes for the metaverse market, could a decline in consumer hype put the metaverse on hold? Only time will tell.