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It’s a fresh new year, and 2022 is setting up to be even bigger and better for the progression of all things cryptocurrency. Last year we saw a boom in excitement around NFTs, GameFi, and the future of the metaverse. The Collins Dictionary declared NFT (nonfungible token) its word of the year, while Facebook rebranded and relaunched its umbrella company as “Meta,” which, while pushing the idea further into the mainstream, was met with a wave of annoyance from the industry. But one thing is certain: everyone, from gamers to corporations to diplomats, is rushing to be the first initiated into the foundry of this impending future landscape, the metaverse.
If the future of our world is planted in the metaverse, then is having a financial plan for this future a good idea? Traditional financial advisors would be hard-pressed to feel confident in guiding clients into investing their retirement money into plots of digital land, but if the future of wealth is moving closer to this reality, there are hard truths to confront that establishing some literacy and integrating metaverse-geared investments into financial plans might be a good idea.
As Aristotle famously said, “the more you know, the more you realize you don’t know.” As with most areas of investing, getting in on the ground floor creates the best opportunities for success. Here are some of the ways financial planning for the metaverse can be implemented in everyday life.
The rise of digital assets
Where there is a virtual world, there will be virtual investment opportunities. NFTs are influencing almost every sector of investment and lifestyle. While the art world is getting universal coverage with a single NFT selling for over $90 million (The Merge by Pak was sold for $91.8 million on Nifty Gateway in December 2021), NFTs have integrated themselves into the world of GameFi and the extremely lucrative gaming industry, allowing users to earn real-world income by playing their favorite games through the innovation of blockchain technology and NFTs.
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This trend is seeing its way into real estate as well. Republic Real Estate, a firm that in the past raised money to buy distressed condos in the physical world, has launched a fund earlier this year targeted at investors seeking to buy virtual land. Their hope is to develop several parcels of virtual land into malls, condos and other uses, anticipating that crypto enthusiasts and investors will see an increase in their value.
Virtual shopping and avatar experiences
The general public is well versed in online shopping. It is often the preferred method of purchasing goods for most people nowadays. With the rise of the metaverse and the movement of online shopping becoming a unique virtual experience, participants are becoming more interested in their virtual avatars and appearance. What was once shopping for clothes online in the physical world is shifting to online clothing, style and other appearance-related aspects in the virtual world. People who are already interested in these virtual trends are reporting that the prices of customizing avatars [subscription required] and shopping related to virtual appearance are rising steadily, creating a strong supply and demand for virtual aesthetics.
Remote work immersed
The pandemic created a need for a shift from office spaces to remote work. This shift was pushed as a temporary solution to the setbacks of a global virus, but many large companies are seeing this as a way to move completely into remote spaces. While it can be challenging, the foundations for a virtual workforce were already there for many people.
While some companies are worried about the move, the places where the metaverse is influencing this shift are actually enhancing the remote experience to become more immersive and more connected. The idea of sitting alone behind a desk and typing at a computer turns into virtual reality meetings, connecting through avatars and immersive presentations [subscription required] that allow the full experiences of connected work to become realized.
Shifting the future of the real world
While the virtual world seems to be moving forward at lightning speed, the physical world isn’t disappearing anytime soon. Although it may feel like the virtual world is taking over everything, there are so many more steps ahead of us to take as we embark closer to a metaverse landscape. With emerging technologies, and piquing interests, the metaverse is slowly taking shape, more and more aspects of our physical world become further integrated into the virtual one, as cryptocurrency, gaming, work and everyday life immerse, investment firms and traditional practices will continue to adapt to these changes, including financial interests and future planning.
Eran Elhanani is cofounder of BullPerks and GamesPad.
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