Metaverse - Background, Facts and Figures
The Metaverse is currently being hyped. Is it a vision of the future, or has it already become a reality? We now read a lot about opportunities, risks and potentials, but do we understand what is happening? And what does it mean for every individual and especially for every woman? We want to take you on our journey into the virtual world - in terms of content and concretely as a user in the first independent financial wellness platform in the Metaverse - the SmartPurse Metastudio.
Some of you may remember when we started building a new online world with Second Life about 20 years ago, meeting and even trading with each other there. At its peak, Second Life had over a million regular users. And what many people need to learn is that the platform still exists - though it has fallen far short of the expectations of the time.
Two decades later, everyone is talking about the Metaverse, and the term often comes up in connection with Facebook, which has since been renamed, Meta. But there is not only Meta's platform Horizon Worlds but many Metaverses, i.e. online worlds in which people meet virtually and spend their time. One particularly successful example is Epic's video game Fortnite, which is now much more than just a game. 350 million active users visit top artists' live concerts and exhibitions and can also let off steam creatively.
Companies in the Metaverse
While many companies are still in the early stages, they have been interested in the Metaverse for years. Others are already present, for example, Microsoft, Binance, Decentraland or soon Sygnum, the first Swiss bank to open its Metaverse hub in the equivalent of New York's Times Square. They all create virtual worlds, environments, digital goods, and even architecture or work ecologies.
According to the U.S. consulting firm McKinsey, the new world offers incredible development opportunities. In its report "Value creation in Metaverse", McKinsey predicts that the Metaverse could be worth up to five trillion dollars by 2030.
This year alone, McKinsey says corporate, venture capital and private equity firms have already invested more than $120 billion in the Metaverse - double last year's total investment of $57 billion.
McKinsey sees the most significant economic drivers in e-commerce at $2.6 trillion, ahead of virtual learning at $270 billion, advertising at $206 billion and gaming at $125 billion. Numbers that make you giddy and illustrate the power of the new world.
How do consumers respond?
Recent surveys show that a majority can imagine using a Metaverse in the future, and according to the Accenture Technology Vision 2022, we are experiencing a profound transformation. More than one in two people worldwide believe that everyday life and lifestyles will increasingly shift to the virtual world, and 72 % of executives worldwide believe that the Metaverse will positively impact their organisation.
A variety of factors has accelerated this development. Improved hardware, stable internet connections, better computing power and new payment systems have brought the vision of a virtual world within reach. Blockchain technology, for example, enables secure payment using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Ether. But the usage behaviour of all of us has also changed fundamentally since the start of the Corona pandemic. Shopping online and holding meetings with Zoom has helped break down digital reservations. It has made the next step into a virtual environment easier.
So has the metaverse era begun? No matter how you feel about it, it's time to get familiar with the new world. This is true for companies, founders, and every one of us. The sooner we start, the better we can navigate the Metaverse safely and successfully. Why not discover the virtual products, offers and opportunities now? Whether it's art, continuing education, shopping or even a virtual trip to new countries, everything broadens the horizon and future opportunities in the long term. This is especially important for women, who are still unfortunately underrepresented in the Metaverse.
Join us in the Metaverse
The SmartPurse team also wants to know what the new world can do and is bringing new learning and communication methods to the Metaverse - making financial education as exciting as possible in the SmartPurse Metastudio.
Another step towards financial equality for women and men because there is also a great need for equality in the new world, as men still dominate the Metaverse. Read more about it in the next blog post.