The metaverse is a collection of digital worlds where people can meet, operate businesses, create, travel, and do life. It focuses on connection without real-world limitations, all within an immersive, beautiful experience.
Science fiction aside, the concept isn’t new. Think about the hugely popular SIMS games that allowed you to not just play a game with a clear objective, but cultivate a life within a world of your choosing and making. Or, how about Minecraft? Sure, it’s a hit with kids, but also with engineers who build intricate mechanisms, artists developing stunning landscapes and visuals, and people with a green (blocky) thumb that can scratch their agricultural itch without leaving their easy chair.
The metaverse takes all of this to a new level. If we know people love to live online, why not build a shared virtual world with unique virtual spaces? Cryptocurrencies and NFT (non-fungible token) have allowed for a burgeoning blockchain-based economy as well. All of this is gaining traction, making it not a matter of “if” it will hold viable opportunities for businesses, but when and how.
Is the metaverse a fad?
What adds weight and substance to this particular trend, and helps it gain momentum, is the fact that a lot of big players are investing heavily in the metaverse (think Apple, Microsoft, Shopify, and more). Staking their claim, if you will. From artists holding virtual parties and concerts to businesses paying for branding and product opportunities, we’re seeing a legitimate shift toward a new era in online living. For a closer look, you may want to read about how this artist sold NFT artwork for nearly $70M (yes, you read that right).
Ways to make money in the metaverse
Advertise your own business, or buy properties and plots of land that can be leased to others. Just like real life, some places and venues in the metaverse will have a higher value than others, so you need to plan, research, and invest accordingly. A billboard on the outskirts of town won’t have the same ROI that you’d expect from a billboard right near a busy downtown.
Buying and selling metaverse real estate
We could say this over and over again: “just like real life.” People are flocking to the metaverse to buy up virtual spaces and land that could drastically increase in value. You could take a more bullish approach and invest in expensive properties, or take the low-and-slow approach that will yield returns over a longer period of time.
Either way, many real estate investors are seeing this as a ground-floor opportunity that’s the equivalent of going back in time and buying up real estate in a major city. A few decades later, it’s worth a fortune. Only in the metaverse, this appreciation and development happens much, much faster.
Build an ecommerce business in the metaverse
Depending on where you build, developing a brick and mortar business (pixel and mortar?) in the metaverse is much more cost-effective than building in the real world. But, if you have exposure to hundreds or thousands of people a day, creating a metaverse shop for your ecommerce businesses makes a lot of sense. People can stop in, view what you sell, chat with you… All of it translates to real-world branding, exposure, and sales.
Selling metaverse products
People use avatars in the metaverse, right? Well, they need to shop for clothes, buy items for their homes, their pets, their entertainment, and whatever else they want. You have real opportunities to jump into the timeless supply and demand dynamic. If it can be a real business in real life, the chances are good that it will have applications in the metaverse. Plus, countless new opportunities that are only made possible by living in a virtual world.
What are the risks of the metaverse?
The metaverse economy is based on blockchain technology: cryptocurrencies. This is a popular way to buy/sell online because it’s decentralized and secure, plus you can convert that crypto to real-world money.
So, in short, yes. It’s real money, just not in traditional currencies that you might be used to, but it can be easily changed to dollars in your bank account.
Is it real money in the metaverse?
People can smell an opportunity, and while some are willing to abide by the prevailing rules and play fairly, there will always be those looking for shortcuts. Our best recommendation is to treat the metaverse like any business investment opportunity: keep an open mind, but be savvy. Do your due diligence and watch out for scams, security concerns, and over investing. That old rule of thumb still rings true: don’t risk more than you can afford to lose.
Here are a few more key considerations:
Cryptocurrency value can be unstable
Investing in one particular cryptocurrency, or accepting it as payment, can pay off in a big way or pose potential risk. Values rise and fall all the time, and can be particularly volatile in the blockchain.
Watch for fraud
Not everyone who joins the metaverse has a deep understanding of how crypto works, or even how to safely navigate opportunities in a digital landscape. Scams, hacks, fake services, identity theft, and compromised data are all real risks.
Data regulation and security
Operating in the metaverse offers up a continual stream of data about your life, preferences, shopping habits, etc. This raises legitimate questions about your cybersecurity, who has access to this information, and how it will be used.
It’s also inevitable that people will use the metaverse to target and engage with malicious intent, and this could spill over into real-world encounters. It’s imperative that you watch what information is shared and with whom since you really aren’t sure of who you’re interacting with. If you’re operating a business, we recommend also ensuring that you have the right backup and disaster recovery measures in place, just in case you’re impacted by ransomware, malware, a phishing scheme, or other cyber attack.
The metaverse holds incredible opportunities, and is already becoming an embedded part of the way life and business is done. Just approach these opportunities with care, knowing the inherent risks. And if you aren’t sure about something, or don’t quite understand it, make sure you access the resources and help you need. The new frontier is calling, but watch your step on the trail.
Contact the team here at Teltek! We are here to help!