The Metaverse economy and its zero net emission potential

Source: University of Victoria

The Covid Pandemic is here to stay, and we should all get used to stricter health and mobility laws as well as more decentralized and less polluting labor practices. As I told the Entrepreneur magazine at the beginning of the Covid crisis in 2020, “this crisis will continue to cause hardship for people, but it will also create opportunities for innovation across many industries, particularly technology and finance”. Because of Covid, since 2020 digital platforms have become “the one stop shop” for social and financial interactions. This enabled the creation of the web 3.0 revolution, ie. the decentralized version of the web which is based on extreme decentralization. While this version of the internet is more ruthless, it creates financial incentives for its participants via built-in payments in digital currencies.

The metaverse is the manifestation of the web revolution where economic, societal and technology catalysts are transforming our lives. For instance, the office and conference rooms that brought people together are no longer required and are out of sync with the global climate and pandemic crisis. Additionally, people, particularly the younger generations are seeking more empowering as well as less environmentally impactful practices. Virtual Reality, Artificial intelligence, Machine learning and Decentralized Finance are the key enablers of a full-scale metaverse-economy. While this full-scale metaverse develops, a few key economic segments, including virtual games, art collection, and NFTs will consolidate themselves as the front-runners of this “virtual capitalism”. In the short term at the very least, the metaverse will a) be a fully functioning market where people and businesses will own invest and create value for other consumers and make money while doing it; b) be operational 24/7 across borders; c) evolve and grow indefinitely; and d) include participants from individuals to businesses and decentralized organized groups. The metaverse economy will evolve and offer new opportunities ranging from shopping, content creation, entertainment streaming, health provision, payment processing, hiring, marketing and philanthropy.

A look at the investment in Metaverse: Based on Crunchbase data, Venture Capitalists Invested $10 Billion In virtual world Start-Ups In 2021. This is peanuts if we don’t include the billions of dollars invested by Apple, Facebook (now called Meta) Microsoft, Google, Nvidia and Nike, the leaders in the Metaverse space. We anticipate VCs will continue to pour billions of dollars and propel the Metaverse growth in 2022. According to some industry buzz, in 2022 we expect at least $ 50 billion going into the Metaverse space from VCs alone. Furthermore, according to Morgan Stanley the metaverse economy will have “an $8 trillion addressable market in less than 10 years”. Morgan Stanley also estimates that metaverse represents a revenue opportunity of $56 billion by 2030 for luxury goods.

The Climate and ESG Opportunity. Digitalization will help reach Zero Net Objectives: As people move to the metaverse, we will add considerable demand for energy (as it happened for the development and mining of crypto currencies), thus adding tons of polluting gasses into the atmosphere. The good news is that our growing dependence on technology creates tangible opportunities to move towards more sustainable, responsible practices. For instance, a Metaverse massive adoption will reduce our needs for duplicate tech products such as smartphones, iPad, computers as we will be able to perform all your digital tasks through AR or VR gadgets. What is more, is that under the Metaverse economy, a large number of the people could relocate to non-urban areas, using less energy, driving less and thus significantly reducing their carbon emissions. These early movers will do so to participate and profit from the “high value” Metaverse economy offering their skills virtually while accomplishing other family, and personal aspirations. Furthermore, I believe there are metaverse opportunities in carbon intensity industries such as transportation, fashion and manufacturing which are among the top carbon emitting sectors, part of which can easily be digitized.

Conclusion: As the pandemic and climate related crisis become more systemic, we will increase the use of technologies for our social interactions both in the physical and digital worlds. The metaverse will influence our work routine, our decision making and social interactions, including shopping, finance, entertainment, health, and nutrition. The metaverse will experience a similar financial growth of the E-Commerce which from the early 90s, has grown to a $4.9 trillion market in 2021. Because of the current large virtual tech investments in hardware, networking, computing power, and payments, onboarding billions of new users into the metaverse will happen at a much faster pace than it happened for E-commerce and for Bitcoin. These are all good news for the Environment, as the Metaverse revolution is driven by younger environmentally conscious users who will use less energy and buy less wasteful products and services. So, even if you don’t fully understand it, start embracing the Metaverse and “virtualize yourself”, create an avatar and become a metaverse leader and profit from it while becoming “a zero net emission activist”.



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Andrea Zanon

Andrea Zanon

Women empowerment, Technology,Sustainability, Wellness and Personal Growth