The metaverse continues to garner even more clout as a buzzword. At the time of writing it continues to be propelled by news from companies such as Animoca Brands raising hundreds of millions in capital and stories around Saudi Arabia planning to invest heavily in the sector. With so much activity happening in the space, we decided to highlight the top 6 areas (in no particular order) that are ripe for disruption by metaverse applications as they continue to be developed.
1. Retail Shopping
The internet revolutionized shopping, leading to the creation of behemoths such as Amazon, eBay and Alibaba. However, these traditional ecommerce giants often fall short on the customer experience scale. For example, there is limited ability to try on clothing virtually to see how they will fit. And while there have been advances in augmented reality technology to visualize the way furniture fits in a living area, the metaverse can enable retailers to take the user experience to the next level. Using VR/AR, consumers can view potential purchases in 3D. More importantly, consumers can visit a 3D virtual store and receive support from retail assistants while they browse goods, providing the tailored service that until now was restricted to traditional brick and mortar locations limited by physical proximity and operating hours.
2. Tokenized Digital Assets
Tokenizing digital assets, such as wearables and virtual property in video games, is creating a giant new asset class. This is all possible through the use of smart contracts to mint NFTs. In 2021, over $500m USD in virtual land sales took place, with estimates that the market will more than double in 2022. Tokenizing wearables, for instance the jacket or sunglasses your avatar wears, enables customers to own their digital goods, meaning they can sell their goods to other players when they no longer want them. This is a stark contrast to the current model where players spend tens of billions of dollars (over $15bn USD in 2020 alone on loot boxes) and have no way to recoup any of the money they have put in. As a result of tokenizing these assets, billions of value will be created and held by consumers, with all of this value being liquidable into fiat currency.
One of the major trends with video game developers targeting the metaverse is the play-to-earn model. Developers who follow this route create in-game currencies that are tokens built on-top of existing blockchains, and players are able to use this in-game currency to mint new in-game assets (which are all NFTs). Players are able to earn in-game currency or assets by playing the game, which can then be easily converted into currency through marketplaces and the use of cryptocurrency or stablecoins. In 2021 alone, almost $27bn USD in NFT sales occurred.
4. Blockchain Adoption
Metaverse applications will be the catalyst for widespread adoption of blockchain technologies. The play-to-earn model and use of NFTs are both fundamentally dependent on blockchains, such as Ethereum or Binance Smart Chain, and the use of these blockchains requires the use of their native cryptocurrency for gas or mining fees. The easiest way for players to convert their digital assets into currency is by exchanging their tokens for native cryptocurrency, such as BTC or ETH.
5. Socialization of the Web
Right now socializing virtually has severe limitations as there are minimal ways for people to showcase their personality. If you are video chatting, you’re limited to changing your stationary background or use filters that glitch more often than not.
If you are playing a video game, you have a limited selection of generic digital goods and are stuck within the confines of that game. The metaverse stands to make the internet a much more sociable experience. You can stay in your pajamas and sit on your couch and still go shopping with your friends. Through the use of wearable NFT’s, you can style your avatar in a way that speaks to what makes you, you. You can even go to music festivals with your friends without having to leave your home, an example of what this may look like can be found in the TV show Alter Ego.
6. iGaming Applications
Part of the appeal of brick and mortar casinos is the social entertainment aspect of the player experience. For the iGaming industry, it has been difficult to replicate the social experience. For bettors, you can watch live-casino games, but you cannot interact or chat with fellow bettors outside of a soulless chat box where available.
The metaverse gives bettors the ability to interact with other bettors instead of simply playing against the house in a single-player mode. Bettors can now interact and chat verbally with other players at the blackjack or roulette table without being limited by physical proximity.
Additionally, operators can reward bettors with NFTs for rare events, such as hitting a royal flush or hitting a jackpot. Operators can also sponsor musical events in their virtual casinos, provide exceptional entertainment that defies physics, create engaging content only possible in the digital world, and provide wearable NFT giveaways in order to bolster the user experience. Imagination is going to be the only limiting constraint around casino entertainment in the metaverse.
Major investment banks such as Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs are projecting the metaverse to be a multi-trillion dollar market. If you are a iGaming operator who is looking to migrate from legacy technology, Lion Gaming Group is the only B2B provider that offers on-chain wagering for both its casino and sportsbook products. Contact [email protected] to get started white your white label casino and sportsbook today.