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According to a new Grayscale report, the number of active metaverse users surged by tenfold between the beginning of 2020 and June 2021.
Grayscale, a crypto investing firm, has released a positive analysis on metaverses, claiming that the “market opportunity” for bringing the metaverse to the mainstream in the next few years may be worth over $1 trillion.
The November report titled “The Metaverse, Web 3.0 Virtual Cloud Economies” was authored by Grayscale head of research David Grider and research analyst Matt Maximo. The duo looks at the developing industry mostly through the lens of open metaverse worlds powered by a “interconnected crypto-economy” like Decentraland.
Metaverse platforms that mix crypto tokens, decentralised finance services such as staking and lending, nonfungible tokens (NFT), decentralised governance, and decentralised cloud storage, according to the report, have “built a new online experience” that is rapidly attracting new users.
Analyzing “global all-time active metaverse wallets” data since the start of 2020, it found the user base has grown by 10x since that time to sit at around 50,000 as of June 2021.
“Compared to other Web 3.0 and Web 2.0 segments, Metaverse virtual world users are still in their early innings, but if current growth rates remain on their current trajectory, this emerging segment has the potential to become mainstream in the coming years.”
The report highlights that there’s no shortage of venture capitalists taking a punt on the sector’s potential. According to the report, fundraising totaled $1 billion for blockchain gaming in Q3. That represented 12% of total fundraising for the entire crypto sector in the quarter, ranking it as the “top sub-sector” within the Web 3.0 and NFT category.
The researchers note a range of key dynamics that could significantly contribute to the growth of the metaverse sector, including growing average leisure time and money spent on digital hobbies, a cultural shift from premium games to free-to-play gaming, and Web 3.0 innovations such as play-to-earn.
Global revenue from virtual world gaming reached $180 billion in 2020, with “premium spending” accounting for roughly $40 billion, according to forecasts. By 2025, the sector is expected to generate more than $400 billion, largely due to the in-game spending model.
Because of the play-to-earn potential, the paper claims that this movement is “accelerating further with the transition from Web 2.0 closed corporate Metaverses to Web 3.0 open crypto Metaverse networks.”
“Virtual worlds in the Web 3.0 Metaverse have profited from rapid innovation and productivity increases. “By abolishing capital limitations and opening their digital boundaries to free-market capitalism, crypto virtual worlds have generated a multi-billion dollar main and secondary market for producers and asset owners,” according to the paper.
The native tokens for open metaverse platforms such as Decentraland (MANA) and The Sandbox (SAND) have been on a tear recently, rising by 49 percent and 102 percent, respectively, to $5.03 and $7.60 at the time of writing.