The Metaverse – Investing Billions into a Virtual Reality

No doubt you’ve noticed that Facebook has changed its corporate name to Meta. What seems innocuous at first glance is, on closer look, much more than a simple name change. In my view, the most important technological development since the invention of the Internet is taking place. What does that mean in concrete terms? Let’s take a look into the future.

Facebook/Meta and big techs like Microsoft, Google, Apple, and other technology companies are planning to create an artificial virtual world: the so-called Metaverse. This new digital space has the potential to turn our lives as we know them upside down.

The new dimension of the Internet
You’re probably thinking: “My God, I sit in front of a computer all the time anyway and move around in digital space, so what’s the difference?” But even though it’s hard to imagine, the difference will be significant: you will be operating three-dimensionally in this new world, just like the vast majority of society.

What do you have to imagine by this? If you have already heard of 3D VR holo glasses like the Oculus Rift or even used them, the picture of the future can be drawn more precisely: Through these VR glasses, you suddenly find yourself in a virtual space. Currently, you are playing video games there, where it feels like you are right in the middle of it. And that’s what it’s all about: creating a complete artificial world that you immerse yourself in, that you participate in as if it were real life. But suddenly it’s not a video game anymore, it’s the Metaverse.

Fusion: shifting everyday life into the metaverse
We’ve all been experiencing digitization live for years. Less cash, increased presence on social media, video conferencing – I’m sure you can follow me. But that’s probably exactly why you’re asking yourself: what’s new about this? What is new about this kind of Internet is that almost all areas of everyday life are to be integrated there.

By immersing yourself in the new dimension of the Internet, you are largely decoupled from the real world around you. Visuals and acoustics ensure that your perception is fully immersed in this new world: You can look around and see 360° around you what is set or programmed – but not where you physically are.

Others can see you as a whole character, but not as who you are in real life, but as a so-called avatar – a game character whose appearance and design you can largely determine. You can design yourself as you like: as a great sporty guy or as a beautiful woman. This is then your avatar, who walks through this world instead of you. You perceive everything from this character’s point of view and others perceive your character in your interactions there.

This means that you can meet friends there, for example. Do they live on the other side of the world? No problem! You dive into the metaverse and you knock on your friend’s door as if they were just around the corner. So they both meet in a virtual space – at least their two avatars, as which they perceive each other. To cut to the chase: It is a complete merging of spaces – between the physical and virtual worlds.

The new dimension of digital consumption
Of course, this brings with it an incredible number of implications. The real is becoming less and less, and more and more is taking place in the digital realm. Of course, this has consequences for the environment, if less is consumed in real terms and more digitally.

Imagine going on a digital shopping spree in your avatar’s body: a trip to the nearest Nike store: There you buy expensive sneakers for your physical appearance. These will be shipped out, say via Amazon, and delivered to your real home. But you will also buy these expensive sneakers for your avatar.

But why do you ask yourself? Because you spend a significant amount of your time in this digital world, and of course, you want this artificial character represented there on your behalf to look neat. So your own ego is transferred to the avatar in this artificial world. So you’re going to put these expensive sneakers on your avatar – it sounds like a puppet show. But we already know it this way from many computer games today, where expensive digital equipment and “skins” are bought for real money.

These are just two examples so far, but many other things will take place in the metaverse, such as romantic dinners or even company conferences. There will be a shift of very important parts of life into the digital realm – the proportion of this will probably vary from person to person.

Digital control
This change is certainly nothing that will be accomplished within twelve months. But the billions invested by the world’s largest corporations in this area are keeping the pace of development high. After all, the corporations involved have a great interest in drawing their billions of users into this new dimension of the Internet. In the future, their lives will take place on servers to an even greater extent than today. This brings with it an unpleasant aftertaste: far-reaching, almost complete power over the individual and a high degree of control.

Even though it sounds a lot like science fiction, that’s exactly what we can expect. It’s what Facebook is working on so intensively – and has even changed its name in preparation. Microsoft and Co. will also jump on this bandwagon. They are creating a new dimension of the Internet in which you will be completely immersed in the future with your VR glasses instead of just looking at everything on the screen.

Does it need the blockchain?
For crypto enthusiasts, it may be clear that these new worlds must emerge on token-based infrastructures. After all, they are also about digital identities or digital ownership – tokenization is thus fast becoming a basic requirement for a functioning economy. Without a token economy, the question arises of how else to ensure a transfer of ownership or doubtless identification.

Who owns something, which is original or copy, would remain with the middleman, such as Facebook, without a decentralized blockchain solution. As great as Facebook’s influence already is today, it would be significantly surpassed by successfully tapping into the metaverse. The dependency would be gigantic, as the shaping of our digital lives would be largely dependent on one or a few corporations.

The biggest opportunity for cryptocurrencies
The metaverse, as it will emerge in the future, could become the greatest opportunity for cryptocurrencies. The commercial use as well as the full potential of cryptocurrencies and especially Non-fungible Tokens (NFT) can be fully developed in the digital-only environment. Already today, NFTs are being used in the still rather unfinished blockchain metaverses such as Decentraland. Among other things, this allows people to acquire and trade digital properties via NFT.

In addition to NFT, the concept of social tokens could also benefit from the metaverse. Social tokens” are about tokenizing personal reputation and social interaction as it happens on Twitter, for example. In the metaverse, different types of tokens, such as payment, utility, or NFT, come together to represent the different rights and accesses.

DepthTrade Outlook

An unstoppable global trend – what does it mean for investors?
Metaverse. This is the big mega thing of the next few years. With all the opportunities it brings, but also the risks that go with it. At this point in time, it is important to be aware of this development, to deal with it, and to prepare for it.

On the one hand, this means: What is my own position on this? On the other hand, what does that mean for my investments? Which companies are exciting? Who will profit from it? In the future, this is what we will be looking at in detail on, follow us – and don’t miss any updates. Keeping a close eye on this extremely exciting and equally worrying megatrend is one of our top priorities. That is why we are analyzing this process in a scientifically sound manner and identifying the potential of this future market.

I believe this is a topic to keep a very close eye on. It will be extremely interesting – in every respect. I hope you enjoy thinking about what this could mean for you and what is possible.

Christian Zürcher Send an email

From 1990 to 2005, Mr. Zürcher was a risk analyst in the institutional swiss banking sector - thereafter, he specialized exclusively in private trading of financial products. He is a certified real estate agent and studied economics. For more than thirty-five years, Mr. Zürcher has been intensively involved in the observation of financial markets, globalization, and the monetary system. Mr. Zürcher enjoys an excellent reputation as a political analyst and commentator related to finance.
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