Metaverse opportunities and risks for small businesses

The metaverse It has become one of the biggest buzzwords in blockchain and crypto, promising to provide a more interactive, interactive and collaborative experience than the internet has achieved so far.

This promise of a new world has huge companies like Meta (officially known as Facebook) investing huge sums in the emerging space. When most of them hear the name Metaverse, their mind wanders to a few things: a way for global conglomerates to project their technological decline, an esoteric product for displaying Non-Foldable Tokens (NFTs) or a new interface in game development. However, a deep dive into the Metaverse reveals a whole new world, a world full of new opportunities and risks for both consumers and businesses.

Although the current Metaverse ecosystem may be inhabited by giant corporations, eventually, in order to be adopted on a larger scale, small businesses will have to make a transformation. Given the historical patterns in the adoption of new technology such as the internet, mobile payments, and more, it is clear that small businesses play a huge role in engaging the masses.

An important insight from Connect 2021 on Facebook was that the emergence of the Metaverse is imminent, but the timeline for widespread adoption has been spreading for at least more than a decade. A study conducted by Pew Research have found That’s about 54% of the best tech innovators, developers and companies. Meanwhile, policy leaders believe that by 2040, the Metaverse will be an effective aspect of the daily lives of half a billion or more people globally.

The urgency of moving to the Metaverse may not be immediate, but companies should consider technology at least at the fringes. By using resources strategically now, the organization will be able to improve the customer experience of the future.

To understand the opportunities and risks that Metaverse brings to business, it is essential to understand the infrastructure of Metaverse. John Radoff, CEO of 3D games company Beamable, is broken down into seven layers:

  1. Infrastructure: This layer is semiconductors, materials science, cloud computing, and communications networks that enable layers to be built on top of it.
  2. Human interface: The human interface layer indicates which devices will be used to access the metaverse. This includes everything from mobile devices to VR headsets.
  3. Decentralization: building everything on an unauthorized, distributed and democratic structure.
  4. Spatial Computing: This layer refers to the software that brings objects into 3D and allows interface devices to interact with them.
  5. Creator Economy: Make it easy for creators to create and monetize Metaverse projects.
  6. Discovery: ways to discover experience.
  7. Experience: Users can interact with games, social experiences, live music, etc.

In all likelihood, most small businesses will be involved in offering Metaverse experiences to their customers. Speaking to Cointelegraph about the disruptive potential of Metaverse, Navin Singh, co-founder and CEO of the decentralized data management network Inery, said:

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“The question is no longer that the Metaverse will be a major disruption to the digital economy. The real focus is now on the industries for which the Metaverse will be most important. As a gateway to a new digital economy, the Metaverse opens up new possibilities for many areas.”

“The industries most likely to undergo transformation and feel the immediate impact of the Metaverse are gaming, fashion, entertainment, media and retail. At the same time, for the Metaverse to unleash its full potential, one of the most defining characteristics will be interoperability across its fabric,” he said.

Metaverse is reshaping industries

The gaming industry has always been a pioneer in embracing cutting edge technologies, and the same goes for the Metaverse. Many players already consider the Metaverse to be the next level in gaming. The developers say today’s games often feel lonely. Although multiplayer games solve the problem of isolation to some extent, Metaverse takes immersion and community to a whole new level. Communities created by Metaverse projects such as Decentraland, Axie Infinity, and Sandbox not only offer social benefits, but also financial benefits.

However, the current gaming space Metaverse is dominated by large corporations. Metaverse research and development is generally off-budget for small businesses. Nikita Sachdev, founder and CEO of Luna PR, believes that besides gaming, real estate is another sector that is likely to be an early adopter of the Metaverse. Sachdev told Cointelegraph:

“For real estate, companies and agencies are always looking to develop ways to get around and visualize properties for pre-planner sales and foreign investors. Imagine if you could walk around an entire complex before it was even developed? Investing in real-world properties would become more attractive and ‘open houses’ wouldn’t be necessary anymore” .

The global real estate market is estimated to be worth over $3 trillion, and any potential impact in this space could have enormous economic and social implications.

Fashion is another sector that the Metaverse can disrupt. In fact, there was already success Metaverse Fashion Week Which included fashion shows, post-event parties, immersive experiences, shopping, group chats, and more.

Waheed Shammas, co-founder of Faith Tribe – an open source design platform – believes that since Metaverse and fashion are ultimately about identity, they should complement each other. Speaking to Cointelegraph, he said:

“People are venturing into the Metaverse and doing all sorts of things to live and visualize an identity they might not have in the physical world. Wearables are undoubtedly the most apt to show your personality and identity. Having this link between the physical and the digital brings out your perceived identity, and we believe there will be more disruption. For both the physical fashion world and the fashion Metaverse world for brands that take digital fashion seriously.”

Risks Associated with Metaverse

Exposure to the Metaverse can lead to greater risks for small businesses. The ecosystem is still taking shape and the uncertain and nascent nature of the Metaverse may lead some companies astray. Explaining the point, Jake Fraser, Head of Business Development at Mogul Productions, told Cointelegraph:

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“Technical expertise and knowing how to practically structure environments for users is a flexible space and requires people to have their finger on the pulse to implement the best user experience. There also has to be user value and something unique that they can’t get from your brand elsewhere. The ‘link’ is clear, it can be difficult to drive adoption from companies.”

However, it is clear that entering the Metaverse of related companies not only helps companies prepare for the future, but also makes their current offerings more profitable. The benefits far outweigh the risks. George Narita, CEO of Aurora42, told Cointelegraph:

“The most important risk is not getting into the metaverse. I see a lot of opportunities, especially for early adopters, the same way they were at the beginning of the dotcom era; not many have understood how to communicate. Just being in the Metaverse is not enough. Those with disruptive vision and give Experiences and emotional connections by sharing with their followers will come to the fore. Today, people do not want to be passive but rather to be a part of building this universe.”