As Facebook plunges head first into virtual worlds — following blockchain-based projects including Decentraland — the metaverse is an "internet evolution" that's ripe for investment.
As Facebook plunges head first into virtual worlds — following in the footsteps of blockchain-based projects including Decentraland — the metaverse has been described as an "internet evolution" that's ripe for investment.
For the uninitiated, Grayscale describes the metaverse as "a set of interconnected, experiential, 3D virtual worlds where people located anywhere can socialize in real-time to form a persistent, user-owned, internet economy spanning the digital and physical worlds."
While Web 1.0 connected us online, and Web 2.0 delivered online communities, the Web 3.0 era is defined as offering community-owned virtual worlds — with decentralized networks, clouds in the blockchain and asset ownership among its defining traits. The authors explained:
"The Web 2.0 mobile internet changed how, where, when, and why we used the internet. In turn, this changed the products, services, and companies we used, which changed our business models, culture, and politics – the Web 3.0 Metaverse has the potential to do the same."
The Business Case for the Metaverse
Grayscale went on to explain that "a greater and greater portion of our attention is going towards digital activities" — and now, a third of our lives is spent watching TV, playing games or browsing social media. It added:
"As we spend more of our time in these digital world experiences, we also spend more of our money within these digital realms to build our social status within these online communities."
"Players are increasingly moving away from paying to play premium games towards free games, which developers monetize by selling players in-game items to enhance gameplay or social status within these virtual worlds."
There will be challenges for Facebook (now Meta) as it makes this shift, Grayscale warns. The report says Web 2.0 corporations "will need to disrupt their business models by opening up their ecosystems and removing their competitive moats."