With so much focus on the seemingly inevitable approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF, many other areas of Web3 development have faded into the background, none more so than metaverses. However, teams are still building, and with the release of Meta’s Quest 3 and next year’s Pro Vision from Apple, it could be back in the spotlight very soon.
The landscape of the metaverse has evolved significantly since the last bull run. One major game-changer was Microsoft’s acquisition of Blizzard, laying the groundwork for their entry into the metaverse. They have also heavily invested in OpenAI, and over the past few weeks, looked to be on the verge of acquiring the whole company.
It’s not just Microsoft pushing forward on metaverse and artificial intelligence (AI) development. Meta continues to invest upwards of $10 billion a year into the metaverse while also developing their own AI system called LLaMA (Large Language Model Meta AI).
Despite some skeptics thinking the metaverse’s time has passed, its growth seems unstoppable. As our CEO, Deniz, puts it, “I believe that, similar to cryptocurrencies, the popularity of metaverses has experienced ups and downs. Many people have called for the end of Bitcoin when prices crash, only for the price to rebound dramatically. Metaverses are here to stay and will open a new avenue for an increasingly digital and interconnected world.”
“We all connect with friends, family, and coworkers via the internet every day. The mass adoption of metaverses as a method of communication is the next natural step in the evolution of digital communication. We want the feel of in-person connection with the ease of digital communication, and metaverses fill this role excellently.”
Beyond the big Silicon Valley players, smaller Web3 projects have continued to thrive, even during the crypto winter. This signals that the metaverse sector is alive and kicking, regardless of market conditions.
For example, Decentraland just wrapped up a three-day music festival, DCLMF23, featuring multiple stages, over 80 performers, and the launch of 15 new games and experiences. Meanwhile, The Sandbox has started its Cinerama land sale with backing from major movie companies like Skydance and Lionsgate.
While these signs are bullish, metaverse development is still in its infancy. Much of the work expands the primary proof of concept that envisages a future where more time is spent in digital rather than physical reality.
It’s crucial for the development of this life-changing technology that companies with an understanding and appreciation of decentralization are involved with its growth rather than ceding control to tech giants.
As Simon, our CTO, describes, “Web3 companies have a unique opportunity to move blockchain technology forward and integrate it with emerging technologies that are increasing in popularity. Many people are complacent with the current monetary system, but as the cryptocurrency space matures and is offered to more people around the world, the benefits of the systems we have been developing will be obvious.”
Currently, the metaverse focuses mainly on entertainment that can be shared virtually, in a similar way to what Web2 offers. However, this is set to change with the launch of Apple’s Vision Pro. They aren’t aiming for total immersion; instead, they’re all about blending digital and physical elements.
Apple understands the value of sharing work and entertainment with loved ones, whether they’re in the same room or thousands of miles away, and they’re weaving this into their VR approach. Combined with advances in AI development, we could be on the verge of a whole new way of interacting and working with each other.
Wilson, our COO, explains the importance of such breakthroughs, “AI will transform nearly every aspect of everyone’s life, and in a much shorter time than many think. AI is on the trajectory for exponential growth. This makes it hard for us to understand just how accelerated the expansion of AI technology will be in a few years. Yet, we know AI has applications everywhere, and I’m excited to see how we can use the value it provides for the betterment of humanity.”
The future of the metaverse, intertwined with advancements in artificial intelligence, promises a new era of digital exploration and connectivity. It envisions a world where the lines between the physical and digital realms blur, offering more profound, more engaging, and human-centered experiences. From this perspective, the demand for digital assets and blockchain technology is just getting started.
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