What is the coming Metaverse and what opportunities it will create?
The Metaverse is best described as a “quasi-successor state to mobile internet.” This is due to the fact that the Metaverse will not fundamentally replace the internet, but rather will build on and iteratively modify it. The clearest analogue here is mobile internet, which is a “quasi-successor state” to the internet that was built from the 1960s through the 1990s. Despite the fact that the mobile internet did not change the underlying architecture of the internet – in fact, the vast majority of internet traffic today, including data sent to mobile devices, is still transmitted through and managed by fixed infrastructure – we still recognize it as iteratively different. This is due to changes in how we access the internet, where, when, and why, as well as the devices we use, the firms we patronize, the products and services we purchase, the technology we utilize, our culture, our business model, and our politics. Metaverse iterates further by immersing everyone in a ’embodied,’ ‘virtual,’ or ‘3D’ version of the internet on an almost infinite scale. In other words, rather than having access to the internet, we will be continually ‘inside’ it, and within the billions of networked computers around us, rather than periodically reaching for them, and alongside all other users and in real-time. The Metaverse can be described as a massively scaled and interoperable network of real-time rendered 3D virtual worlds that can be experienced synchronously and persistently by an effectively infinite number of users with an individual sense of presence and with data continuity, such as identity, history, entitlements, objects, communications, and payments.
The Metaverse is to become a persistent environment – that is never to “reset,” “pause,” or “end,” but will just continue indefinitely, synchronously, and live – even though pre-scheduled and self-contained events will occur, just as they do in “real life,” the Metaverse will be a living experience that exists consistently for everyone and in real-time. Without any concurrent user cap, but simultaneously giving each user with an individual feeling of “presence” – everyone may be a part of the Metaverse and engage in a certain event/place/activity together, while still being also a fully functional economy – individuals and corporations will be able to create, own, invest in, sell, and be compensated for a vast array of “labor” that creates “value” that is valued by others. This will be an experience that spans the digital and physical worlds, private and public networks/experiences, and open and closed platforms, with unparalleled data, digital items/assets, content, and so on interoperability across each of these experiences. Today’s digital world operates as if it were a shopping mall, with each store having its own money, unique ID cards, proprietary units of measurement for items like shoes, and various dress rules, among other things. This ecosystem might be inhabited by “content” and “experiences” developed and operated by a plethora of contributors, some of whom are independent people, while others will be informally formed organizations or economically driven companies.
To be continued…
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The views expressed in this document do not constitute research, are not investment or commercial advice, and do not necessarily reflect the views of all management teams. They change over time.