As the world dances and weaves to figure out the mysterious metaverse, most high school students – self-proclaimed digital natives and gamers for life – have already been there and back many times. Fortnite, Unity, Roblox, Pokemon Go, the list goes on of metaverse experiences that mimic lifestyles and environments inside the digital domain.
The Stevens Center for startups and driving opportunities for companies large and small to create immersive experiences for customers, employees and other stakeholders. Citi analysts estimate that the metaverse will have a total market of up to $13 trillion by 2030, with 5 billion users.
“Building the metaverse using Kevin Werbach, chair of Wharton’s Department of Legal Studies and expert in blockchain technology, is the program’s academic director. He describes the metaverse as a broad concept that is unfolding in many different ways, telling Penn Today, “Manufacturers are already using augmented reality (AR) to improve process efficiency; remote workers are using virtual reality (VR) to conduct meetings and collaborate; brands are using virtual worlds and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to reach consumers and build communities. These use cases represent the tip of the iceberg for what metaverse technologies could enable over the coming years.”
‘Everything We Know About Life Is About to Change’
Wharton Global Youth is continually exploring this brave new world of business, like how established companies can use the metaverse to enhance their 1️⃣ The metaverse represents the next iteration of the internet (Web3!) where participants will engage and interact online in entirely different and immersive ways, says Rumery. He describes it as “an expansive network of digital spaces and marketplaces comprised of users who utilize augmented reality, virtual reality, and other screens to interact with other participants — a network that supports the continuity of identity, objects, reputations, payments, and entitlements and can be experienced synchronously by an unlimited number of users, each with an individual sense of presence and experience.”
2️⃣ COVID-19 accelerated the move to metaverse. “We were forced to find new ways to interact socially, professionally, and personally, which [amplified] the physical convergence with the digital world,” observes Rumery. “We placed more value on what we saw digitally and found in-game economies to earn money while being on lockdown. The metaverse acts as an additional layer on top of where we are today, with no limitations of the real world.”
3️⃣ The metaverse is very young, and the economic activity inside this space will take it to the next level. “The metaverse economy could be defined as the economic activities resulting from connections, interactions, transactions, and data generated within these virtual world experiences between people, entities, and devices,” notes Rumery. “The metaverse remains in its infancy; however, the metaverse economy will make it easier to quickly move value, even at a small scale, and enable new methods of generating value based on better use of the data and 4️⃣ 5️⃣ Tech giants are pouring billions of dollars into the metaverse as they position themselves for double-digit growth and profits in the next three-to-five years. “Whether we like it or not, major corporations will play a significant role in how the metaverse will evolve,” suggests Rumery. “Companies like Meta want to provide the ‘building blocks’ to enter the metaverse to maintain centralized control and monetization over their users’ identities and data.”
6️⃣ Prepare for a more personalized internet. “Building the metaverse using blockchain technology is a chance to get right what the internet got wrong, such as user privacy, data protection, trustless transactions, and unchangeable record keeping,” notes Rumery. “If digital identity is designed in such a way that it’s owned by the individual, and all the layers built around it are interoperable, that identity can move and be trusted in each of these new platforms that are being created on top of that identity. The individual can create their own world within the metaverse, and they can customize the experience others have with it and with them because they are in control of their information, assets and data.”
What is the metaverse economy? Use examples from the article to explain how it is changing the way people do business.
Do you believe that the metaverse will ultimately become decentralized, giving you, the individual, more control over your information, assets and data? What are the opportunities? The challenges?
How do you interact with the metaverse economy? Give some examples of your experience in Web3 and how you see this as revolutionary. Share your story in the comment section of this article.