Who Rules The Metaverse Now? How being early in the new Web 3.0 economy helps

With the conquest of the metaverse in its early ‘gold-rush’ days, the first to be present in the digital world will be reaping their rewards as by the time the rest of the world wants/needs to be there too, the early settlers will have made their mark and money. So who rules now?

The past has shown that being early pays off

When e-commerce started properly about 10-12 years ago, anyone with an on-line presence or business was a hot – and very investable – commodity then. Prolific early users of Instagram and the first YouTubers were able to build large numbers of followers before algorithms started messing with this, making it much harder to build a following and to monetise social media accounts.

Similarly, those who already liked and invested in Bitcoin and other cryptos that followed it years before they became more mainstream, have (possibly) made fortunes out of their positions as Bitcoin rallied from $0.0009 to an all-time high of $67,567 in November 2021. Bitcoin, from a concept that very few believed in at the start, is now accepted as payment for many purchases from cars (Tesla) to homes. Despite continued opposition from big banks and institutions, crypto currencies can no longer be ‘wished away’.

Early adopters of the metaverse and NFTs

NFTs and the metaverse are intrinsically linked. NFTs exist only because of it. Once the realm of gamers only, NFTs really started to become a craze in 2020 (likely due to all that screen time during the pandemic… ) and created a paradigm shift in the perception and value of digital assets and allowed early NFT creators to earn very good money for their digital work (spare a thought for Beeple). Digital rights to songs, tweets, GIFS and images of grainy cats and cartoons of apes became hugely popular. The 10,000 Ape NFTs, for example, part of the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) series, were originally launched for $200 each to be used as profile pictures. The price of these Ape NFTs has now risen to about $300,000 each, but what is more relevant and what is creating ‘staying power’, is that the BAYC has become a strong digital community, now also with its own crypto currency: the Ape coin. The crypto platform Coinbase has recently announced that it is making a film trilogy about the BAYC and that BAYC NFT holders can ‘audition’ their NFT for a role in the film.

Who rules the Metaverse now? Titans…

There are several big, well-known, big players in the Metaverse such as Microsoft. Fortnite, Roblox, Nvidia, Apple and of course Meta. But given its open and accessible structure and its endless possibilities, the Web 3.0 also is bringing a host of new start-us and creators into the space, many of whom are in key position to build their businesses as first-movers, attracting big pools of funding available to creators now.

And many new startups….

There are some interesting new startups conquering the metaverse; MUESHI is one of them. This platform enables the buying and selling and fractionally purchasing of fine (predominantly digital) art. A similar platform and startup is KOIA, allowing users to buy NFTs of collectors’ items from rare whiskey and watches to sneakers and Pokémon cards. This is a fun platform enabling users to build a very tradeable ‘tokenised portfolio’ of sneakers, for example, without having to physically own them. PleasrDAO is a digital collective of early NFT collectors and digital artist and aims to build a considerable collection of culturally significant pieces and then to sell them on in ownership tokens, much like a physical Art Fund selling shares.

Another area where early movers are minting it is making and designing our avatars, because in the metaverse we will all eventually need an avatar. A hot start-up doing very real life-like avatars is the Barcelona based company UNION. This company can create copy-cat avatars of you to be used for your digital classroom or work meetings.

DIGITALAX is an exciting Web 3.0 digital platform that has built the first digital fashion OS that optimizes web architecture to create fashion, gaming, NFTs, DeFi, VR, and other 3D virtual spaces. The company also launched Diggy Fizzy, a metaverse magazine, to highlight new creators and new voices in the NFT industry.

In the UK, the startup ZASH is charging ahead building web 3.0 technologies to develop a social investing network for crypto investors. The social network is creator-led, allowing retail investors to build communities and learn from each other and offers tools so creators can share investing ideas. Zash is very popular with younger investors, the leading demographic for crypto investing.

Early adaptors rule. The Metaverse is like this giant land of digital opportunities, and anyone could make a splash and become a metaverse player, irrespective of age and gender and indeed many of the new 3.0 startups have been launched by young people, already natural inhabitants of digital worlds. But if you don’t have what it takes (yet) to set up your own metaverse bizz, almost all of the startups mentioned are hiring both interns and permanent staff. Either way, by being an early bird you shall soon be bossing it in the metaverse.

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