What is the Metaverse? And how you could benefit?

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Is Cryptocurrency a con? What is Bitcoin, Blockchain and NFT? Are they secure?  A Leeds Bitcoin miner explains all in his mission to get one million people from crypto-sceptic to becoming invested in Blockchain. 

“Crypto will be responsible for the most under 18 millionaires,” explains Christopher Hitchens who discovered cryptocurrency a few years ago after working in investment banking and running his own estate agency. 

Serial entrepreneur Chris who runs Yorkshire Software company, has been building his Mineeezi business all around trading, crypto and blockchain since the start of the Pandemic. 

The Metaverse: What is it and how could you benefit

Here Christopher explains what the Metaverse is and how it could work for you. 

Imagine the real world that is around and you are experiencing now but the real world is now virtual and you can experience lots of different environments when wearing your AR glasses or VR goggles. 

What is the meta verse?

Whether you realise it or not, a new digital age is dawning. This isn’t just next day prime delivery or instant access to 1000’s of the biggest hits on Netflix – this is all part of something far, far bigger. Think of it like having a digital persona which coexists alongside your real life existence. That’s a great way to put  it because many of us already have an online persona which is far more exciting and glamorous than our real world selfs (yes, we’re looking at you, Instagrammers) – but what if that online persona could go one step further and become an immersive extension of real world life? 

Let us introduce you to the Metaverse. We know that the thought of a digital world might even sound scary to some of you, but fear not – this isn’t The Terminator – the machines aren’t here to take over, instead they’re here to complement and add value to the real world. 

Let’s look at those tedious work meetings on Zoom or Teams which we were all subjected to during lockdown. Tedious, weren’t they? Well, Microsoft (with help from the metaverse) might have the answer. Why not have ultra realistic virtual meetings with colleagues in your state of the art metaverse boardroom. That sounds better doesn’t it? 

Well, it could soon be a (virtual!) reality. Much in the same way that you could live in the same neighbourhood as Snoop Dogg, you could also attend an Ariana Grande concert or party the night away with Paris Hilton – all without leaving the comfort of your real world home. 

When we’re talking about the Metaverse, it opens up all sorts of possibilities which once seemed impossible, and that’s the driving force behind why it’s in line to deliver $1 Trillion yes 1 trillion yearly revenues in the not so distant future. 

As the old saying goes, money talks and when it’s $1 Trillion dollars involved, there’s little surprise that the rest of the world’s biggest brands and organisations are currently trying to stamp their own mark on the Metaverse before it truly takes off. 

So, what is the metaverse, what does this mean for you, and above all, why should you care?

Well it seems a lot of you out there are already trying to find out! The burning question on a lot of people’s lips is ‘What is the metaverse?’ with Google reporting a 97% increase in searches for this term over the past 12 months. 

In truth, it’s hard to give you a definitive answer as to what the metaverse is. That’s because it’s still in its relative infancy and the ultimate direction as to where it is heading is open to interpretation. That’s why, if you were one of the curious ones who searched for it on Google, you’ll have likely got a variety of different answers. 

Simply, what we do know at this point is that the Metaverse is essentially the thing which is looking likely to replace the Internet as we know it today. Rather than straining your eyes and arching your back over a laptop whilst starting a text based screen (known as web 2.0), you’ll be immersed in a 3D digital world, complete with your own avatar (web 3.0). It’s important to note that the Metaverse isn’t just one 3D world, it is a collection of various interchangeable worlds which all have their own unique identity and opportunities for users; for example one world might have an emphasis  on gaming, another might be more work oriented and so and so forth. The possibilities for these virtual worlds really are endless and I for one will be excited to see them develop! 

For those of you who are still struggling to get your head around the concept, think of it this way. In the 90’s, if you’re old enough to remember that is,  we had a terribly slow home computer and a home landline for telephone calls. In the early 2000’s most of us had laptops and basic mobile phones, which allowed us to take the internet and our phone calls with us anywhere we went. Fast forward in the 2010’s and now we had smartphones, which are essentially a computer in our pocket. Imagine where we would be if we woke up tomorrow without our smartphones – we carry our whole life in our pockets! 

Now do you see how our relationship with technology has evolved over the years? The Metaverse is essentially the next step which allows us to physically enter the internet! 

So, why is the Meta verse taking off now? 

As I’ve already touched upon, the ideology of the Metaverse is nothing new – it’s simply a further development on traditional alternative worlds – such as those in popular computer games such as The Sims – which are already well established. More recently, games such as Roblox and Fortnite have incorporated augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) into their platforms and, in doing so, have created communities with hundreds of millions of users which are spending vast amounts of money for immersive gaming experiences and, most importantly as far as the Metaverse is concerned, has shown that there is a genuine demand for virtual reality experiences. That advance is AR and VR technology is one of 3 factors which have seen the Metaverse really take off in recent months? 

The second is the blockchain. Whether you’re clued up on Bitcoin or you’re confused about why Bored Apes are selling for hundreds or thousands – you need to know that the existence of the metaverse all comes back to the blockchain. Basically, by operating the metaverse on a blockchain, it opens up an entirely different world when it comes to user experience. That’s because the  blockchain is a decentralised platform, meaning that it isn’t owned or run by one single individual or organisation, which in turn creates a level playing field for all users.

As an example, rather than to play a game such as Fortnite and have to pay the developers for in-game add ons and upgrades, users can create their own monetised tokens and virtual currencies to exchange, buy and sell goods with other users. Alongside this, the decentralised worlds which would operate on the blockchain would be democratic by their very nature, allowing all users equal input when it comes to voting and governance. 

Which brings us on to the third point which we are interested in; economic opportunity!

Of course, even though the metaverse offers opportunity for decentralisation it’s the big hitters of the world that stand to benefit most. That’s the reason that Microsoft are ploughing big money into metaverse workspaces and Nike are touting pairs of $10,000 virtual trainers for their avatar – however, it does open doors for significant profits for anyone and everyone like me and you. 

When you add in the fact that Mark Zuckerberg has changed the company name of Facebook group to Meta in late 2021, then it’s easier to see right now is the perfect year to get clued up on the possibilities of the Metaverse. 

Think about the real world – how many different jobs are there?

Okay, so your avatar might not need a virtual Doctor – but what about you seeing virtual a 3D Doctor for your real world illness? 

That’s the unlimited potential of the Metaverse. It has the true potential to merge and combine with our real day to day existence – whether it’s our social life, our current work life or even our future employment.

Again, off the top of my head, what about something like, say, a tattoo artist? There’s massive earning potential in the metaverse as people will want to customise their avatars. So a tattoo artist could easily sell tattoo customisations for avatars from their virtually owned tattoo shop – which could also advertise their real world tattoo work for potential clients. It’s an income avenue which is untapped unitil now and offers enormous potential. 

This is already happening in decentralland checkout roustan its pretty cool

That’s why you don’t have to be Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg to see that the Metaverse in  2022 is like a virtual 3D golden ticket. Think about it, the metaverse is already developed enough to show that it’s serious as the next generation internet, but also it’s still in its relative infancy, meaning that by investing now, you’re still getting in ahead of the masses. The risk/reward ratio is very favourable so there’s not going to be a better time to sit up and take notice. 

So, if you were looking to invest, where should you start?

First things first, how does the financial side of the Metaverse operate? Every Metaverse world will have its own valid assets and currencies – known as tokens – which are the virtual equivalent to our real world money that can be used to trade, buy and sell. Some world’s will have their own currency, whilst other currencies will be accepted on multiple platforms –  Think of it like physical currency –  Whilst your US dollar wouldn’t be legal tender in the UK, you could use it without a problem in Panama for example. 

At present, the three biggest metaverses are Decentraland – which runs on MANA tokens and also supports use of the cryptocurrency Ethereum, the popular gaming play 2 earn metaverse Axie Infinity which has its own native AXS token, and SAND token which is used on the Sandbox metaverse. 

As every Metaverse is run on a blockchain, each world’s currency will essentially be facilitated by whatever cryptocurrency that blockchain supports. Let’s look at a worked example to help us understand further!  

Let’s take MANA…. MANA is the native currency of Decentraland which is the biggest metaverse at present. Recently, a plot of land in Decentraland was bought by the Metaverse group for  618,000 MANA – equivalent to around $2.43 million. The plan is to turn that plot of land into a Mall, in which retailers will pay rent in MANA to the metaverse group in return for a shop in the mall, and where they can sell their virtual goods, collectibles and wearables to other Dentraland users for MANA tokens. 

All virtual tokens will be held in a user’s crypto wallet which, without going into detail, is essentially the same as a bank account. You’ll need one in order to get started in the metaverse but don’t worry, it’s very straightforward.  I’ve left a link in the description with my easy guide to setting up a crypto wallet so you can get started for yourself. 

With a crypto wallet, you can buy and sell your meta tokens as well as convert it back to fiat currency. It’s really pretty easy. 

That brings us to the big question…

When you have a metaverse  currency, how should you invest it?

Well, buying virtual seems to be a very popular and already profitable strategy with the average value of plot of land is currently coming in at around $11,000 – that might seem like a hefty sum, but if you’d have bought that plot of land at this time last year, you’d currently be sitting on a $10,000 profit in just 12 months according to the statistics from Business Insider. 

Why? Well, it’s a combination of things – a sort of perfect storm almost. 

There’s those with FOMO, there’s those who are following the big corporations, those who are genuinely excited about this futuristic technology  and last of all, there’s those who see the genuine opportunity to make money like me. And as demand vastly outweighs supply, land prices are set to skyrocket even further. 

It’s not flipping land where big money could lie though. JP Morgan,  one of the world’s leading investment banks,   forecast huge growth in all aspects of Metaverse property ownership with the decentralised finance of the Blockchain proving to be a huge factor.  Let me tell you more

They forecast that just like the real world, investors could look to secure mortgages on land from groups and communities, known as decentralised autonomous organisations, who could put up the money and profit from interest bearing returns.

These loans would be secured in what are known as smart contracts which are stored on the blockchain, with the borrower even putting up digital currency or assets by the way of collateral. 

This has the potential to be a gamechanger as not only does it create another layer of commercialisation and trustworthiness to the Metaverse – but it will also play a huge part in attracting investors of all levels to the Metaverse in the first place.  

One to Watch: Making money in advertising

How many advertisements do you see a day? 10, 20, even 100? Even though it’s fair to say that we don’t always pay attention to them, we see  them a lot. From the billboards on the way to work, to the annoying adverts when you’re watching the TV, they are part of everyday life. 

It’s fair to say that they work, too. That’s why companies were prepared to pay $6.5 million dollars for a 30 second advert at half time in the Superbowl. 

Yes, I’m aware that the average business owner doesn’t have that to spend; so how would Joe Bloggs advertise his business. He’d probably use Google ads, right? 

If you said yes, you’d be correct – in actual fact, if you took a quick look at Google’s profit reports, more than 81% of their $256 billion dollar revenue comes from running adverts for a variety of businesses, big or small. 

If only you could cut out the Google ad costs and target your clients directly….

With the metaverse, it’s possible and, best yet, it’s easy. One recent Metaverse music concert that was organised by the next gen gaming platform Fortnite was seen by nearly 45 million people – with Forbes reporting a large part of the $20 million revenue coming from merchandise and advertising. 

To put this in context, another famous musician, Travis Scott has also embraced Metaverse concerts, with his show grossing in the region of $22 million dollars in sales and merchandise from 1 single metaverse concert. By comparison his real world tour, which incorporated 57 shows over a full calendar year, grossed around $52 million dollars as reported by NME. 

By my calculations, with a little help from a calculator, that means that Scott’s income from one 10 minute metaverse performance was equivalent to 42% of his total revenue for around 114 hours of live performances spread across an entire year. 

That’s HUGE money and huge potential and there’s no reason why business owners can’t be savvy and target their potential customers with nearby adverts, billboards, collectible hunts similar to Pokemon go, or even by hiring virtual staff and a DJ for a product launch party! 

So, there you have it – our intro to exactly what the metaverse is, what it’s shaping up to be in future – and how entrepreneurs, investors and even those who just follow technology can get ahead of the crowd before it’s too late by looking to invest in the Metaverse in 2022! 

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