How To Conquer The ‘Wild West’ Of The $80+ Trillion Metaverse Economy

The metaverse -or 3D- economy is set to be huge. It may even overtake the global, real-world, economy, which stands at $84.5 trillion today (source FORBES). How would that work?

Comparisons to the pc and mobile economies

When the World Wide Web (www) became usable to all of us, there was at first not a lot to populate it; it had only a few websites to use or to buy things from. Businesses that sold things ‘on-line’ were considered super cool and everyone wanted a part of it. The www started our digital transformation and has become our home for almost everything we do and buy today.

The arrival of smartphones created the mobile economy. Mobile applications developed for smartphones were painfully few in the late 2000s and the early app developers surely made their mark as well as a lot of money. Developing an app for the Apple app store was - like having a website 10 years earlier - cool and lucrative.

The Apple- and Google stores now of course offer any app you can imagine and with it have created a vibrant mobile economy, to which many of us have contributed, as builders and users. The early ‘builders/pioneers’ of the world wide web. and the mobile applications are comparable to early settlers in the metaverse today, paving the way for the artificial intelligence economy to grow in ways that far exceed the www- and mobile economies.

The rising metaverse economy

Now transport this concept of populating a space and using it to make money to the metaverse, the natural successor to websites and apps. The metaverse – like its predecessors - will only work if people want to be in it because it is fun, useful and offers value. So, the metaverse must be conquered, built up and expanded (not much different from Americans making it out to the ‘wild’ West in the 19thcentury).

There are platforms that allow people to get busy building and investing in this new economy. Places like Sandbox, Roblox, Upland or Decentraland offer plots of virtual land inside the metaverse and these investments could be worth your while. Compare it to to those buying domain names in the early days of the internet. Or, according to Bloomberg, more dramatically, to buying land in Manhattan 200 years ago.

But some platforms offer more than just a plot of land; they offer the virtual version of real-life buildings or newly built structures like virtual hotels and shopping malls.

Fancy buying the 3D version of a well-known (physical) building, such as the Eiffel Tower or the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), you may be able to do so via the decentralised App (dApp) called Upland, an exciting new place to buy, sell and trade virtual properties anywhere in the world. Potential buyers start by purchasing Upland’s token, UPX and with it they can buy a property or properties, hoping that these assets – although virtual – may rise in price as more and more properties are being traded. Players can also import their NFT artworks (NFTs. OMG.Out of Nowhere into Everywhere) into their virtual homes to increase the value. Upland is a cross-over between a gaming and an investing platform and could be considered a virtual, global, game of Monopoly. Your Upland property may earn you some cool extra money and teach you about property markets at the same time.

To build this gigantic – infinite - 3D world, the metaverse has to have a recognised currency or currencies as well as have plenty of things to buy and services to support it. Rules need to be in place to register and protect property and business ownership (Blockchain and NFTs) and to promote healthy competition. The metaverse will come to lift due to all of us contributing, as it is like building a new economy from scratch.

The biggest ‘builders’ in the metaverse now are Facebook, Roblox, Nvidia as well as Epic Games’ Fortnite and the software platform Unity Software, where new games and virtual sites are developed daily by anyone good at 3D design.

And today, building the metaverse is a game of capture and control as the space is large and still largely empty. It is the economic ‘Wild West”. The new frontier.

The cool thing is that you may end up living in a virtual French castle and build your own outdoor waterpark and racetrack and chill out with your friends in this self-created virtual space. All at the fraction of the cost of the real thing. At least for now, as who knows how busy the metaverse will get…

The metaverse is here and like it or loathe it, you will soon start spending a lot more time in it.

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