Proponents of the Metaverse, a combination of the words meta and universe, suggest that it will be the next generation of the internet that combines virtual reality with everyday life.
Understanding the Metaverse
Metaverse is an umbrella term that encompasses a wide range of future communications, gaming, and social networking technologies. In many cases, people use the metaverse extensively to describe the technology in a futuristic sci-fi style.
The metaverse is often associated with augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) systems. However, some metaverse applications, such as massively multiplayer online games, may be included in the term metaverse without automatically using VR or AR technology.
Sometimes the metaverse merges with what is called Web 3.0. Web 3.0, as it is widely called, is the idea of a more decentralized, open, and privatized Internet. This concept is usually based on cryptocurrencies and blockchain and where users have better access to their data and are paid for their contributions to the community. You don’t need to combine Web 3.0 with the metaverse, but many apps and developers tie the two concepts together.
Some cynics have accused the metaverse of being more of a buzzword and hype than a concrete idea, in the same way that cyberspace was a generic term for anything related to the internet.
However, it would be a mistake to dump the metaverse immediately. Big tech companies are investing tens of millions of dollars in creating their own metaverse. And in the cryptocurrency community, developers are now bringing together VR-based worlds that are now raising funds and growing their own digital economies.
Note: Metaverse is an umbrella term that encompasses a number of emerging technologies. It remains to be seen how the metaverse will actually develop in the next few years.
Investing in Metaverse for Beginners
There are countless ways to invest in metaverses. Some of them are more established than others. For example, buying listed companies with exposure to the metaverse is not much different from investing in other top-tier industries. However, something like buying virtual land in a metaverse is a newer concept, with greater opportunities and inherent dangers.
In general, here are the main ways to have a financial stake in metaverses:
- Buy Metaverse Stock
- Invest in the cryptocurrency metaverse
- Invest directly in metaverses
Buy shares in companies that invest in metaverses.
Many large, publicly-traded companies are developing their own metaverse concepts or working on pieces of technology that could be key to creating the space as a whole.
Semiconductor companies are one piece of the puzzle; for virtual and augmented reality to take place, a lot of computer graphics chips, AR glasses, etc., are needed.
Software is another important piece of the puzzle. Companies that can help with photo and video editing, rendering, and graphic design will be key to building metaverse and augmented reality. There are also companies that run things like video game engines. The angle of the metaverse is large.
Finally, there are smaller companies that focus on hyper-specific virtual reality applications. For example, a company can digitize real-world buildings by creating 3D models of them so that real estate agents can sell properties online more easily. The possibilities of augmented reality, metaverse, and web 3.0 are just beginning to come into focus. Here are some specific large-cap companies that have a significant metaverse angle.
Top 5 companies that have invested in metaverses
- Microsoft (MSFT): Microsoft has announced its Mesh offering for Microsoft Teams, which aims to create a collaboration space with virtual reality. Workers will be able to meet in virtual reality using avatars and other similar features.
- Meta platforms (FB): Mark Zuckerberg is so in tune with the trend that he changed his Facebook name to Meta to highlight its strategic importance. Meta is currently the leader in virtual reality with its Oculus platform and is investing billions in the development of the industry.
- NVIDIA (NVDA): NVIDIA is a set of picks and shovels play on the metaverse. Your graphics cards are essential for powering VR experiments. Meanwhile, NVIDIA’s massive investment in IA and automatic learning could have all kinds of implications for web 3.0.
- Unity Software (U): this is one of the two main graphic engines for video games. It allows developers to create games and run them on all platforms, from PC, Console, Smartphone, and Virtual Reality. There is a good chance that Unity is the engine that will feed many future multiplayer online games with metaverse prospects.
- ROBLOX (RBLX): This is an online platform and a market where users can play games developed by other users. The iteration of organic content and the social atmosphere created by ROBLOX have made it a potential leader of the metaverse, especially for the young audience.
Invest in Metaverse Crypto
A popular way of investing in the metaverse is to buy crypto-currencies on online game platforms. A fundamental web 3.0 concept is the idea that players can win and exchange crypto-currencies for game actions. As such, leading games are developing massive in-ecosystem economies.
Even for people who have no interest in playing the underlying game, an investment in a game token could be massive in profit if the game becomes more popular.
Note: You can participate in the Metaverse Economy and Web 3.0 game platforms without picking up a joystick.
Axie Infinity (AXS-USD) is probably the best example. Axie is a game in which the players collect, create, develop and modify characters known as axies. For starters, players must buy some axies, which can cost hundreds of dollars each. When people get success in the game, they earn money. Axie Infinity is so widespread that some people have left their jobs to make axie infinity a full-time occupation.
Other metaverse worlds and the game universe have a similar dynamic. Decentraraland (Mana-USD), discussed below, is a virtual world; its mana token has grown in recent months.
GALA (GALA-USD) is another example; it is a web game platform 3.0. Developers create their own games on the platform, and players use Gala tokens to facilitate purchases and transactions in all these different games.
Invest directly in the metaverse
For investors who want greater exposure to metaverse and web 3.0, there are some simpler options to get involved in the space.
Buy Metaverse Land
An option is to buy real estate in metaverse projects. The old adage of not creating more lands can be applied to virtual reality. Projects such as Decentraraland have acquired considerable popularity. People offered millions of dollars to buy some of the 45,000 lots available in that universe. Big brands of the real world also participated in the events and advertisements in Decentraland.
The problem of virtual real estate is very similar to the problem of crypto-currency in general. The offer of land in any metaverse can be strictly limited, but a rival society or a game developer can always launch a new one that becomes more popular. It is difficult to judge which properties and virtual worlds it is worth investing in today. Successful investors in these lands can make a fortune, but some people can end up possessing virtually useless virtual lands.
Non-fungible tokens (NFT) are another way to participate in the metaverse. To be clear, all NFTs are not linked to a specific web 3.0 application. Many are simply intended for digital art, copyright on intellectual property, or other similar uses.
However, some NFTs, especially avatars, are linked to participation in VR clubs or other exclusive events. While websites and social networks increasingly incorporate NFT support in their applications, the range of services available exclusively for NFT owners can increase considerably over time.
Create a business that is into the metaverse
Another option is to create a business that operates in the metaverse world, such as Decentraland, or in an excellent online game universe, such as Roblox. Several options include personalization sales and illustrations for characters, virtual currency purchases and sales, ads and special events, etc.
There are numerous ways to invest in web 3.0. As the latest emerging industries, it remains a little wild, with great rewards and even many risks. Potential investors should have a strong risk tolerance and participate with only funds that do not care about losing. However, for intelligent investors, metaverse can allow people to enjoy a new form of entertainment while making good money in the process.
Haley Hayward is an experienced writer at gblogo.com, where she’s credited with more than 200 articles covering everything from entrepreneurial stories to mental health at work.
She also oversees the Comment&Questions, which poses important admission questions to experts in the field, and regularly hosts webinars on various aspects of the business school experience.
Prior to joining gblogo.com, Haley honed her skills as a freelance writer, tackling a wide array of topics from petcare to car maintenance.
Haley holds a Master’s degree in English Literature from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.