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How Big is the Metaverse Market?

Metaverse offers digital or virtual solution to almost everything. This industry is going to create huge opportunities worldwide.

What is Metaverse?

The metaverse is a blockchain platform. It provides users with a decentralized network of applications and smart contracts. It uses the Ethereum virtual machine (EVM) to process transactions on its network. The metaverse was launched in December 2017 by BigchainDB. It is a company with the goal of creating an open-source database for storing data on clouds.

Metaverse has its own native currency called “mavro”. Also, it supports other cryptocurrencies such as BTC and ETH as payment options. These can be used for buying goods or services from vendors on its marketplace platform. Hence, metaverse developers are working on creating an entire universe. It spans across various dimensions (or planes) with different rules about how objects interact with each other in each plane. These rules will determine how things behave in this new digital world.

The global metaverse market valuation stands at US$ 63.83 billion in 2021. As per the report by Fortune Business Insights, the global market size is projected to exhibit a CAGR of 47.6% to reach US$ 1527.55 billion by 2029.

Some of the most notable industry developments include the following:

  1. The development of blockchain technology and its applications in the metaverse.
  2. The development of new metaverse applications, such as e-commerce, gaming, and social networking.
  3. The increasing popularity of the metaverse as a platform for online gaming.
  4. The increasing popularity of the metaverse as a platform for online social networking.
  5. The increasing popularity of the metaverse as a platform for online e-commerce.
  6. The increasing popularity of the metaverse as a platform for online education.
  7. The increasing popularity of the metaverse as a platform for online research.
  8. The increasing popularity of the metaverse as a platform for online marketing.
  9. The increasing popularity of the metaverse as a platform for online advertising.

Leading companies operating in metaverse across the globe are:

  • Tencent Holdings Ltd. (China)
  • NVIDIA Corporation (U.S.)
  • Meta (Facebook Inc.) (U.S.)
  • Roblox Corporation (U.S.)
  • Microsoft Corporation (U.S.)
  • Globant (Luxembourg)
  • Queppelin (India)
  • Alibaba Cloud (U.S.)
  • Netease Inc. (China)
  • Magic Leap, Inc. (U.S.)

Applications of Metaverse:

Metaverse is an open platform based on public blockchain technology. The vision of metaverse is to build a web of Smart Properties.  Therefore, it will establish a decentralized, efficient & transparent financial system. It will provide the best digital assets management services.

Moreover, the Metaverse is a new business ecosystem built on the blockchain. It’s about extending the power of blockchain to the real world. It has the potential to transform traditional institutions in every sector of our economy. It will enable new types of interactions and services that can be provided by open-source software.

The metaverse is a public blockchain, which means it’s permissionless. This means that anyone can join the network and take part in validating transactions on the chain.

The metaverse is also decentralized. It means there are no central authorities controlling or monitoring how data gets added into blocks. Or whether they are valid or not (in contrast with private blockchains). It also means that miners don’t have any special powers over participants. Instead, each participant has equal rights within their own network and across all other networks.

Finally, because the metaverse is open source and permissionless by default, anyone can join its ecosystem at any time.

Factors Driving the Metaverse Market

The Metaverse presents huge opportunities for companies operating in different markets and sectors. Art gallery is a common business model in the metaverse. Additionally, concepts such as MetaEstate and Voxel Architects are gaining in importance. The trend is towards buying, selling and leasing digital real estate. Landowners can rent out their vacant lots to others who have ideas for building or running a metaverse.

There are security concerns over VR applications. They use eye tracking, facial recognition, and advanced sensors.  These collect body tracking data metrics. There is increased investment by companies for protection of personal data and privacy.  It ensures the security of users’ identities and property/assets in virtual worlds.

The market has become more reliant on digital platforms. It has also seen new investments during the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has created a huge opportunity market for new market participants. During the pandemic, people were subjected to partial or full lockdowns. It replaced physical human interactions with digital platforms. L’Oreal partnered with Snap Camera desktop application in November 2020. They allowed users to make virtual makeovers during video calls. It supported Google Hangouts, Google Meet, Houseparty, Microsoft Teams, Skype, Twitch, and Zoom.

The “digital twin” university concept also supports investments in the Metaverse platform. The concept envisions an online campus where students can come together to discuss, learn, plan and socialize. In the retail industry, the Metaverse concept is expected to attract new customers. Younger customers expect more from interacting with brands online.

Technological Developments

Virtually traded commodities are represented as NFTs. These are also traded through a metaverse-based online gaming platform. Metaverse digital games, cryptocurrencies and NFTs are growing in popularity. New fungible tokens will also be used by retail brands. For example, in November 2021, Clinique launched NFT. Many musicians are now using NFTs to tokenize their works and release them as non-fungible tokens. In March 2021, American rock band Kings of Leon also announced plans to release the album When You See Yourself in his NFT format.

Established technology companies and new entrants compete with each other. They use different strategies to develop new, more innovative products to strengthen their market presence. Market revenue growth will be further driven by the development and deployment of technologies such as XR, user interactivity (human-computer interaction), computer vision, edge and cloud computing, and future mobile networks.

The increase in mergers and acquisitions in the metaverse industry is a global trend.

Market growth is also driven by the growth of the crypto gaming market. Large investments by a growing number of investors also contribute to growth. Many game developers are currently pursuing the concept of a play-to-earn model. Here, players earn assets or use tokens in games that have real-world value. In Fact, earned tokens can be used for real value or reused in-game as in-game assets. On November 23, 2021, a US-based software developer Niantic has partnered with US Bitcoin rewards company Fold. They will create a new AR game that allows players to earn Bitcoin in the Metaverse. The game is called ‘Fold AR’ and is currently only available to a small percentage of users to try the game daily for a limited time.

There are concerns about the legality and safety of virtual currencies. So, the cryptocurrencies are banned in many countries. From 2021, Indian banks and financial institutions were banned by the government from trading cryptocurrencies or offering facilitation services.

Regional Opportunities

North America is estimated generate the highest revenue in the industry. Major companies like Facebook (now Meta), Roblox Corporation, NVIDIA Corporation and others have research centres in North America. These are commited to the development of metaverse and virtual environments.

Similarly, the Asia-Pacific market is expected to grow rapidly. It is fueled by steady economic development and increasing adoption of digitalization.  The Asia-Pacific region is experiencing a significant acceleration in technological progress.  It is favored by technology giants, start-ups and government agencies in countries across the region. Also, the growth in Asia-Pacific is supported by a robust industrial environment, high commercial values, and technological revolutions.  These include, gaming, social networking, entertainment, education, and digitization trends.

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