The Metaverse is a concept that has taken the world by storm in a very short amount of time, but it's still far from being a reality. Despite that, some of the world's largest companies have started to prepare for the Metaverse's eventual emergence, and on top of that, the crypto world is fighting back with their own concept of the Metaverse. There are countless players involved, some of them investing billions upon billions of dollars to capitalize.
Since the internet first made its headway with the general public in the early 90s, it has evolved quite a bit. The web went from boring, static web pages to constantly update streams of information with seemingly no end. The internet is now a place where we work, socialize, plan, create, and do pretty much everything we can think of. In many ways, the internet has completely transformed society, and it has gotten to the point where it's starting to replace the real world that we live in.
The Metaverse is thought to be the next major step in the "evolution" of the internet. It's going to streamline the internet and turn it into a massive, interconnected virtual world where you can do everything you can in the real world. Eventually, offices are going to entirely go virtual, then public events, schools, cinemas, socialization, and pretty much everything else you can think of. This might seem ridiculous at first, but it already exists but on a much smaller scale.
There are a lot of different "versions" of the Metaverse. Some make extensive use of VR and AR technology, making it so you can actually live in the Metaverse. You could have your own avatar, which would be your personality; your own house, cars, virtual business, and other sorts of assets that you actually own.
The Metaverse - in its most advanced form at least - does not exist yet. It's going to take a lot of time for it to become a reality, and there are going to be a lot of trials and errors in the process. But still, some major companies are involved in the Metaverse, but before we take a look at those, let's take a look at the crypto relation of the Metaverse.
Cryptocurrencies have completely changed the way we view money, assets, and the internet in general. To many crypto enthusiasts, cryptocurrencies and blockchain were the next big step in the world of finance, so it was only a matter of time before blockchain technology would also be used on the internet itself.
According to these people, the Metaverse isn't going to be led by major companies, it's going to be led by blockchain. They envision the Metaverse as a fully decentralized version of the internet where the blockchain powers every website, app, and platform. Cryptocurrency itself would also be extensively used in the Metaverse, and remember the assets that I mentioned you could own in the Metaverse? Well, those would be in the form of NFTs. There has never been a better way to own digital assets than with NFTs, and according to some, there is no other way of owning digital assets.
There are currently many "crypto" forms of the Metaverse already out there. Decentraland is a 3D virtual world where you can own a plot of land, build on top of it, own clothes, items, and all sorts of other things in the form of NFTs. There are cities, towns, public squares, and many other "real world" aspects in Decentraland, and it has raised billions of dollars. Aside from that, there are so many other crypto Metaverse projects, such as The Sandbox, Axie Infinity, and all of the Web3 applications that are under development right now. The crypto world is innovating fast, and it seems like the Metaverse and cryptocurrencies are almost completely connected.
Even though "cryptocurrency" isn't exactly a monolith, it's by far the single largest player in the Metaverse. But at the same time, there are a lot of companies that are trying to compete with crypto when it comes to the Metaverse, so let's take a look at what those are.
One of the biggest companies that you probably already know is heavily invested in the Metaverse is Facebook. They're so far invested in the Metaverse that they actually changed the name of their company to "Meta." For simplicity's sake, we're going to continue calling them Facebook.
Facebook plans on investing $10 billion into the Metaverse. Since it's already the largest social media platform on the planet, it has the unique ability to shift its current billion-plus users over to the Metaverse rather seamlessly. Now, Facebook has some big plans for the Metaverse. It's sort of their way of taking over the internet as we know it. Obviously, not everyone is really "pleased" with Facebook's ambitions.
Facebook's Metaverse will consist of open spaces of all kinds, including education, entertainment, and socialization. Facebook has also heavily invested in VR in the past, and it plans on incorporating VR into its Metaverse as well. In all honesty, it'll probably be a major success because of Mark Zuckerberg's backing, but many people doubt whether it's really going to be as revolutionary as he intends.
But aside from Facebook, there are also a few other companies involved in the Metaverse. Microsoft, one of the largest companies in the world by market cap, has hinted numerous times that it also wants to enter the Metaverse. There are rumors that Microsoft might try to incorporate the Metaverse into their entire Xbox ecosystem. The head of Xbox operations at Microsoft, Phil Spencer, has already talked about the company's plans for "a metaverse or mixed-reality construct." It's likely that Microsoft's version of the Metaverse is going to be vastly different from Facebook's. It's going to be a lot more gaming-focused, and that's probably the best thing Microsoft can do in a situation like this.
The gaming industry is already well aware of concepts like open virtual worlds, VR, and virtual spaces. Most of these concepts were created for gaming. If there was one company that could ideally incorporate gaming technology and advancements into evolving the internet, it's Microsoft. Microsoft's biggest competitor - Sony, had stayed away from the Metaverse for a long time, but that is no longer the case.
Sony recently announced that it would make a $1 billion investment into Epic Games, perhaps best known for games like Fortnite. Still, the true power of that company lies behind its hugely successful Unreal Engine. Sony announced that the investment would specifically help "create the Metaverse." Although that's a bit of a vague statement, it's believed that Sony would likely try to develop a 3D virtual world of their own and build it with the help of Epic Games and the Unreal Engine.
Now, this will also be a gaming platform first and foremost, and Sony doesn't exactly have the backing that Microsoft does. But it's clear, at this point, that Sony's significant "investment" in the Metaverse is in direct response to the hints that Microsoft is leaving here and there. This competition is good since it prevents either company from monopolizing the Metaverse. At the same time, both of these companies would be directly competing against Facebook's version of the Metaverse.
Speaking of gaming and Epic Games. One of the "hidden tigers" - so to speak - in the Metaverse right now is none other than the company that owns Epic Games - Tencent. This Chinese company happens to be the biggest gaming company globally, with annual revenue of over $86 billion. Tencent has registered numerous trademarks related to "Metaverse," and it's only a matter of time before they make their big metaverse announcement aside from whatever they're creating with Sony.
But aside from the companies trying to create the Metaverse, there are also companies that just want to be involved with it. Take Nike, for example, which has invested millions into creating NFT products to sell within the Metaverse. Other brands like Louis Vuitton and Gucci aren't that far behind either. Many companies are already turning a profit on their Metaverse operations. It gives them an excellent opportunity to promote their products and even sell virtual products at minimal cost overall.
At the end of the day, the Metaverse is going to take a long time to become a reality truly. No one knows exactly what the Metaverse is yet, and it's going to be a gradual evolution from the internet we know today to the so-called Metaverse. After all, who could've imagined just 20 years ago that the internet would be like how it is today? In another 20 years, it's going to be a completely different world, and many companies are trying to predict and capitalize on those changes as fast as possible.
That's why Metaverse stocks and Metaverse cryptocurrencies are so hot right now. Pretty much anything involved with the Metaverse is skyrocketing in value, and it seems like the "change" might come sooner rather than later.
Do you think the Metaverse will become a reality one day? Let us know in the comments below!