Crypto investment giant Grayscale estimated that the “market opportunity” for bringing the metaverse to the mainstream may be well worth over US$1 trillion (about RM4.24 trillion) in the next few years.
According to the “The Metaverse, Web 3.0 Virtual Cloud Economies” report, Grayscale said crypto cloud economies are the next emerging market investment frontier and the Metaverse is at the forefront of this Web 3.0 Internet evolution.
It said the metaverse is a set of interconnected, experiential, 3D virtual worlds where people located anywhere can socialise in real time to form a persistent, user-owned, Internet economy spanning the digital and physical worlds.
Grayscale said the metaverse is still emerging, but many key components had started to take shape and are revolutionising everything from e-commerce to media and entertainment, and even real estate.
Besides, the report highlighted that metaverse platforms integrated with crypto tokens, decentralised finance services such as staking and lending, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), decentralised governance and decentralised cloud storage had “created a new online experience” that’s rapidly attracting new users.
Grayscale said that since the start of 2020, the user base had grown by 10 times to sit at around 50,000 as of June 2021.
The report pointed out that there was no shortage of venture capitalists taking a punt on the sector’s potential.
It said fundraising totalled US$1 billion for blockchain gaming in the third quarter of 2021.
It said that represented 12% of total fundraising for the entire crypto sector in the quarter, ranking it as the “top sub-sector” within the Web 3.0 and NFT category.
Grayscale said global revenue from virtual world gaming totalled US$180 billion in 2020, with “premium spending” accounting for around US$40 billion, with estimates the sector could pull in more than US$400 billion by 2025, primarily driven by the in-game spending model.
The report said this shift is “accelerating further with the transition from Web 2.0 closed corporate Metaverses to Web 3.0 open crypto Metaverse networks” due to the play-to-earn potential they represent.
It said Web 3.0 Metaverse virtual worlds had benefited from rapid innovation and productivity gains.
“Crypto virtual worlds have created a multimillion dollar primary and secondary market for creators and asset owners by eliminating capital controls and opening their digital borders to free-market capitalism,” it said.