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Money in the Metaverse: how could metaverse impact finance?

Money in the Metaverse: how could metaverse impact finance?

It looks like ‘metaverse’ is set to be the buzzword of 2022, but what exactly is the metaverse, and more importantly, what impact could it have on our finances?

The metaverse has been described as many different things but is essentially a network of 3D virtual worlds that combines virtual and augmented reality, connecting your online work, social, entertainment and gaming activities into one experience.

So far the metaverse hasn’t taken off in the way that companies such as Facebook (now rebranded as Meta) have proposed, but that hasn’t stopped many companies and individuals from investing heavily in this exciting new world.

However, while interest in the metaverse skyrockets, the vast majority of us still have many questions about it, so we’ve set out to find out what the most common questions surrounding money in the metaverse are.

Remember, if you do choose to invest in the metaverse, or anything else for that matter, be sure to check out our best broker lists to ensure that you make the right choice.

Money in the Metaverse
The most commonly asked metaverse questions

To find out what the public is puzzled about the most, we turned to Google search data to see what the most commonly asked questions are.

1. What is the metaverse? - 762,680 annual searches

The metaverse can be a tricky term to define, with different people having different views on exactly what it means. This isn’t helped by the fact that the very concept blurs the lines between the real and virtual worlds.

That being said, perhaps the simplest definition of the metaverse would be that it is a network of 3D virtual worlds that allow you to connect with other people, often existing alongside virtual economies and currencies.

The term has seen a huge increase in usage recently after Mark Zuckerberg laid out Facebook’s intentions to create its own metaverse.

2. How to invest in the metaverse? - 94,870 annual searches

As with any new technology, the conversation inevitably turns to how money can be made from it. Many big companies are already investing in the metaverse, including Nike, which has acquired a virtual sneaker company, as well as Adidas and Givenchy, which have hosted virtual fashion shows in the metaverse.

For individual investors, there are a number of ways to benefit (although doing so can be extremely speculative and risky). To give you a couple of examples, you can invest in publicly traded stocks of companies that are tied to the metaverse, such as those in the gaming sector, or Meta itself, as well as various financial products having different exposure levels to the metaverse like ETFs (exchange-traded funds) such as Roundhill Ball, Evolve and Horizons Global.

There are also other alternative options of investing in the metaverse, for example, investing in metaverse real estate through NFTs (non-fungible tokens) or metaverse tokens such as Decentraland (MANA) and Axie Infinity (AXS) given that most metaverse projects rely on cryptocurrencies.

In theory, if the value of digital assets within the metaverse rises, then there’s a chance that these related tokens will rise in value alongside them. However, as with any time of investment, these all come with their own risks.

3. How to buy land in the metaverse? - 46,390 annual searches

Metaverse real estate can be bought either through the land sale of a project or directly from other landowners via an NFT marketplace.

You’ll first need to choose which platform you want to invest in (such as the Sandbox or Decentraland), before setting up or linking a compatible digital wallet to access the cryptocurrency that you’ll be using to purchase the land.

Next, once you’ve connected your wallet, you can select the parcel of land that you want to purchase and bid for it, either directly through the platform itself, or on an external exchange or marketplace such as OpenSea.

Just remember that investing in metaverse real estate, just like investing in anything, has its own unique risks, so be sure to do your research and only buy through trusted platforms.

It’s only in the last few months or so that talk of the metaverse has really intensified and the wider public has started to take an interest in what it is and how they could potentially profit from it.

But what are the metaverse topics that have seen the greatest interest recently? Here’s a look at the things that have seen the biggest increase in Google searches in the last three months.

1. How to buy land in the metaverse? - 28,775% increase

July - September searches: 160
October - December searches: 46,200

The topic that has seen the greatest spike in interest by far is people looking for help on how to buy land in the metaverse. 

Between the months of July and September, this term received just 160 searches on Google, a figure which had skyrocketed to over 46,200 between October and December, showing just how attractive the prospect of buying virtual land has become for many.

2. What is metaverse coin? - 20,875% increase

July - September searches: 40
October - December searches: 8,390

While the number of searches for the second-placed term: ‘what is metaverse coin’ is considerably lower, at 8,390 it still represents a three-month increase of over 20,000%.

Metaverse coins (or tokens) are a form of cryptocurrency that can be used to buy and trade assets such as land in the metaverse.

There are a number of different metaverse coins for different platforms, with Decentraland (MANA), The Sandbox (SAND) and Theta Network (THETA) having the highest market capitalisations.

3. How to use metaverse? - 19,833% increase

July - September searches: 30
October - December searches: 5,980

It might sound like quite a broad question, but ‘how to use metaverse’ saw the third-highest increase in searches and is quite a valid question!

To get started, you’ll need the right hardware. Technically, you can access the metaverse through your smartphone, but to have the truly immersive experience that the metaverse was created for, you’ll want either a virtual reality headset or pair of augmented reality smart glasses.

While a true metaverse that connects all aspects of our lives together doesn’t yet exist, there are a number of similar experiences already available, such as games like Axie Infinity, The Sandbox, and Decentraland, as well as virtual workspaces such as Horizon Workrooms.


Money in the Metaverse
Which countries are embracing the metaverse?

The metaverse is still in its infancy and has still only really been embraced by a very small percentage of the world’s population. So how fast is the metaverse being adopted across different countries of the world?

To find out, we took the average monthly Google searches for the term ‘metaverse’ in each country and measured them against the population, calculating the number of metaverse searches per million people.

1. Singapore - 3,166 searches per million people

The country that is seemingly embracing the metaverse the most openly is Singapore. Authorities in Singapore have recently moved to caution residents over investing in NFTs and metaverse land, although it is clearly thriving, with 3,166 searches per million people.

Another recent development in the country is that the sons of two local tycoons have started a new NFT-based social networking app that they hope will evolve into a metaverse.

2. New Zealand - 3,147 searches per million people

Narrowly behind Singapore in second place with 3,147 searches per million people is New Zealand.

A number of Kiwi companies are already moving to jump on the potential of the metaverse, such as the Fluf World NFT collection which gives owners control over their own avatars.

3. Hong Kong - 2,272 searches per million people

In third place is another East Asian territory, Hong Kong, which sees around 17,000 searches a month, equaling more than 2,000 for every million people in the special administrative region.

The Sandbox, one of the major metaverse platforms, is currently building ‘Mega City’, a new cultural hub based on Hong Kong, receiving investment from local businessman Adrian Cheng, actor Stephen Fung, and companies such as PwC Hong Kong.


Money in the Metaverse

The most commonly asked metaverse questions

The most searched questions containing terms relating to the metaverse were sourced using Google Ads Keyword Planner, taking the total number of searches carried out globally in 2021.

Trending metaverse topics

For this section, we took the same search terms as above and looked at the number of global searches made between July and September 2021, as well as between October and December 2021, before calculating the growth rate between these two periods.

Which countries are embracing the metaverse?

Here, the average monthly searches for the term ‘metaverse’ were taken from Ahrefs in each country for which data was available (sourced February 15th, 2022).

We then also sourced the population figure for each country according to the World Bank and calculated the average number of monthly searches per million people in each country.

Author of this article

Gabi Lovas

Author of this article

Gabi is a former Financial Analyst and Content Editor for BrokerChooser. Previously, she was a European equity reporter at Bloomberg covering European health care and chemical stocks as well as US futures. Gabi has a Master's degree in Economics and is a stock and crypto investor on her own account. She is also a member of an investment club in Barcelona.

Gabi Lovas

Gabi is a former Financial Analyst and Content Editor for BrokerChooser. Previously, she was a European equity reporter at Bloomberg covering European health care and chemical stocks as well as US futures. Gabi has a Master's degree in Economics and is a stock and crypto investor on her own account. She is also a member of an investment club in Barcelona.

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