Given the conceptual ties between the crypto market and the metaverse domain, the crypto downturn has had an impact on the level of interest in the domain.
In the first five months of 2022 alone, investment fundings in the metaverse domain amounted to USD120 billion which is more than double the USD57 billion in investments received by the domain for the whole of 2021.
With this, let’s explore the key features and trends underlying the metaverse’s resilience plus some of the key metaverse trends and projects to keep an eye on!
Key Features of the Metaverse’s Resillience
The resilience of the metaverse industry lies in its wide range of potential use cases including for consumers and enterprises which cover a large cross-section of the economy.
In its report titled "Value Creation in the Metaverse," (“Report”) global management and consulting firm, McKinsey noted that the promising use cases of the metaverse include in the areas of e-commerce, retail, banking, discrete and process manufacturing, professional services, telecommunications, and media. According to the Report, the metaverse industry is set to continue its growth wave to reach a valuation of USD5 trillion by 2030.
Key Trends in the Metaverse Sphere
As indicated in McKinsey's data for the use cases potential for the metaverse, the use cases of e-commerce and retail have a high degree of relative potential. This potential was manifested in 2022 through the entry of luxury goods brands such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Burberry into the metaverse through the establishing of their own virtual spheres in the domain. The highlight of the dawning of haute culture in the metaverse was the hosting by Decentraland of the inaugural Metaverse Fashion Week in March 2022.
Other than luxury brands, major financial corporations also have ventured into the metaverse. One of them is HSBC who in March 2022 acquired a plot of virtual real estate i.e. LAND in The Sandbox metaverse with the aim of developing, engaging and connecting with sports, esports and gaming enthusiasts.
Following in the footsteps of HSBC, Standard Chartered had in April 2022 acquired a plot of LAND located in The Sandbox metaverse’s Mega City district, a culture hub based on or inspired by Hong Kong talents. The objective of Standard Chartered's acquisition of the plot of LAND was to explore co-creation opportunities as part of its efforts to build new experiences for clients, as well as bring the local sports and art communities into the metaverse. The City of Seoul and LEGO are the latest mainstream institutions to join the metaverse space.
Notable Projects in the Metaverse
In line with the increasing popularity of the metaverse, there is no shortage of projects in the booming alternate reality. Some of the notable projects in the metaverse are as follows:
Billed as the world’s largest avatar-based social network where users can engage in shared experiences through the forging of friendships and engage in creative activities, IMVU's daily active users (DAU) count stands at 1 million people who spends an average of 55 minutes per day in the IMVU metaverse. Among the things which IMVU users can do in the metaverse include customizing their avatars, chatting with friends, shopping, hanging out at cool parties, sharing experiences, and earning real money creating virtual products.
From the creators of the Bored Ape Yatcht Club (BAYC) NFT collection i.e. Yuga Labs, Otherside aims to be the metaverse of all metaverses. The aim of the Otherside project is to establish a seamless link which connects the communities of Yuga Labs' NFT collections that include BAYC, Mutant Ape Yacht Club (MAYC) and Bored Ape Kennel Club (BAKC). The Otherside's metaverse will turn the NFTs of these collections into playable characters while allowing collectors to own land in an open-world game which is interconnected with various ecosystems.
Built on top of the Polygon network and powered by the cross-platform game engine Unity, Bloktopia is a 21-level metaverse skyscraper which provides a virtual reality (VR) experience for the community of Bloktopians residing in the skyscraper. Taking the form of a giant shopping mall, Bloktopia is made up of stores in which blockchain and NFTs projects, exchanges, influencers and brands showcase their product. The NFT-powered economy of Bloktopia allows members of its community to own and develop land as virtual real estate as well as generate income from advertisements and events.
Stay tuned for our part 2 where we will discuss the key to gamifying metaverse applications and gaining more mainstream adoption for metaverse!