Have you ever felt like just getting away from the pressures of everyday life? Do you feel like you just need somewhere to escape where no one knows you? Where you can be anyone you want. If that’s the case, then the “metaverse” might just be the place for you!
The metaverse is a shared, decentralized virtual universe running on a blockchain. It is a persistent living experience where people can interact simultaneously in real-time and a place where almost anything will be possible. The metaverse will even have a fully functional digital economy. Think of it as a concurrent digital version of our reality.
Even in its infancy, companies like Meta, Google and Twitter are investing billions of dollars into the metaverse. Holding the right metaverse investments over the next few years could be extremely profitable, as the industry is growing at break-neck speeds. Read on to learn what the metaverse is and how you can invest in the metaverse today.
What Is the Metaverse?
Defining the metaverse can be challenging because we are so early in its conception and development. In the end, if the metaverse does become a reality, it could be much different than we envision it today. The metaverse sounds like a fantasy to some people, while others believe it is inevitable, but not for many years. However, we are already seeing the early building blocks of what someday could evolve into the metaverse.
Seven core attributes of the metaverse:
- Persistency: The metaverse will continue to exist indefinitely, without pauses.
- Synchronicity: Events will coincide with each other in real-time, just as in real life.
- Accessibility: There will be no cap on the number of participants who can simultaneously log in and experience an event.
- Economic function: The metaverse will have a fully functioning economy. Participants will be able to buy, sell, trade, and own assets. They will also be able to create businesses or work to earn cryptocurrency.
- Scope: The metaverse will be able to span both the digital and physical worlds, as well as open and closed platforms.
- Interoperability: Digital assets will be usable throughout the metaverse seamlessly, the unrestricted use and sharing of resources among many different worlds.
- Contribution: Many different participants will create the content and experiences. The participants will, in large part, determine how the metaverse evolves.
© Image credit: KidzToPros
Roblox (NYSE: RBLX), or at least the concept of Roblox, could well be one of those building blocks. Roblox is a gaming platform and game creation system that allows players to play games and create games for others to play. The Roblox corporation launched Roblox in 2006, but the game didn’t gain traction until late 2010. Currently, there are 115 million active users and more than 50 million games in the Roblox ecosystem.
In March of 2021, Roblox had a very successful initial public offering (IPO) with shares closing at $69.50, giving Roblox a market capitalization of $45 billion. Today shares are still looking strong as Roblox has a market capitalization in excess of $20 billion.
© Image credit: Fortnite Intel
Epic Games, the creator of Fortnite, is a leading interactive entertainment company that could be a significant player in developing the metaverse. Epic is the developer of Unreal Engine, a game engine which they first released in 1998. Unreal Engine is a potent tool that may be key in bringing the metaverse to life. In April, Epic announced that it had completed a $1 billion round of funding, which will fund its efforts to make the metaverse a reality.
And then there is Facebook (NASDAQ: FB), which plans to be another major player in creating the metaverse. During a remote address to his employees at the end of June, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, “What I think is most interesting is how these themes will come together into a bigger idea. Our overarching goal across all of these initiatives is to help bring the metaverse to life.” He went on to say that Facebook should push to become a “metaverse company.”
In its first significant step toward the metaverse, on August 19, 2021 Facebook announced the launch of Horizon Workrooms, which it is calling its “flagship collaboration experience that lets people come together to work in the same virtual room, regardless of physical distance.” Meeting participants can join in via virtual reality or from their computer by video call.
When interviewed by the Verge, Zuckerberg said that the company’s plans for the metaverse don’t rest solely on virtual reality devices. He went on to say that the metaverse will be accessible across all its different computing platforms: VR and AR as well as PC, mobile devices, and game consoles.
Facebook took this one step further by rebranding as Meta Networks and making the name change official in the summer of 2022.
Two examples of metaverse type virtual worlds that are a reality today are The Sandbox and Decentraland. Both are fully decentralized and running on the Ethereum blockchain. Both games are similar in that you can buy and rent land and even build on your land. Both games use non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as game assets that can be traded both in-game and outside the game.
Cryptocurrencies are going to be an integral part of the metaverse. They will be the fuel for the metaverse economy. Visitors to the metaverse will use cryptocurrencies to purchase various items or experiences. Purchasing experiences could range from buying tickets to a live concert, paying admission to an art museum, or even trying your luck at a casino.
When gamers purchase in-game assets, such as land, weapons, skins, or even pets, things get interesting. The exciting part is that these assets will be in the form of NFTs stored in your crypto wallet and not in the game. Why is this so exciting? Because it means actual digital ownership of the assets that you purchase. You have the final say about what you do with these assets. You can hold them as an investment, trade them or just sell them when you no longer need them.
Ownership will bring about a considerable shift in power from the gaming corporations to the players. Digital ownership will also increase player loyalty and commitment to the game. When you own a piece of something, that changes everything, especially in games like The Sandbox or Decentraland when you purchase land. Owning that land makes you part of a unique community, which you will have a hand in shaping.
How Do NFTs and Metaverse Relate?
Today, we shape our digital identities by the posts and images we display in our various social media accounts. Over the last 18 months, COVID has forced us into interacting with others digitally more than we ever have, which only magnified the importance of our digital identities.
In the metaverse, digital identities will also have great importance, and NFTs will play a significant role in how others perceive us. As we accumulate NFTs in the metaverse, they will serve to shape our digital identities. As our world becomes increasingly digital, the line between our physical world identity and our digital identity will blur.
How to Invest in the Metaverse
For those who are not well-versed in cryptocurrencies, one of the easiest ways to invest in the metaverse would be to buy the Roundhill Ball Metaverse ETF shares. The exchange-traded fund currently consists of 41 globally listed companies that are actively involved in the metaverse.
You can also invest directly in metaverse-related cryptocurrencies, buy MANA, the Decentraland currency, or SAND, the token for making purchases in The Sandbox.
You can also buy metaverse-related NFTs such as LAND, a Decentraland NFT representing 1 parcel of land (256 square meters). The NFT representing 1 parcel of property in The Sandbox is also called LAND.
Another choice would be to invest in Metaverse Index (MVI), an index token launched in April by Index Coop. The Metaverse Index contains a basket of tokens designed to capture the shift by many industries to a virtual environment.
Where to Buy META ETF, MANA, SAND, and LAND
You can purchase the Roundhill Ball Metaverse ETF (META) through any brokerage account.
The most popular place to buy MANA is Coinbase, but it's also available on eToro and Crypto.com. Crypto.com is good for investors who want to earn interest on their cryptocurrency through a high-yield savings account, while Coinbase is a great option for those just getting started with crypto. Plus, Coinbase has a Coinbase Learn program that pays you in crypto for learning about blockchain technology!
If you're looking to invest in The Sandbox (SAND), the best place to do so is on Crypto.com.
Suppose you would like to invest in property instead. In that case, you can buy the Decentraland NFT “LAND” from the Decentraland Marketplace or Metaverse Property, a virtual real estate company. You can also purchase LAND off of Opensea, which is an NFT marketplace.
If you would prefer to buy property in The Sandbox, it can be purchased from the Sandbox Marketplace, Metaverse Property, or off of the Opensea marketplace. To buy the Metaverse Index, you'll need to use a decentralized exchange like Uniswap or Sushiswap.
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What Could the Metaverse Look Like in 2030?
While it's hard to say exactly what the metaverse will look like in 2030, we know technology will continue to progress quickly over the next decade. We'll likely have a much more immersive experience in different metaverses, from decentralized and centralized offerings. In the next 10 years, there may be technology to not only let us see and hear the metaverse, but feel it too.
Digital ownership is on track to play a huge role in our digital identities, so it's safe to say they will also be a large part of metaverse ecosystems. NFTs will be far more established. As such, new use cases will be applied to them in ways which we can only imagine today.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can invest in the metaverse?
Anyone can invest in the metaverse, primarily through metaverse-oriented games that allow you to purchase tokens for that project.
Is the metaverse a good investment?
The metaverse can be a good investment if you have done your research and choose the most appropriate place to invest your money. Remember, you should not invest money unless you’re prepared to lose it.
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