The smart maths professor in Boston, the buoyant painter in Athens, the sharp banker in Sydney and the savvy Indian who’s reading this article all go to a bar. Yes, all at the same moment, walk into the same bar. *We’re not leading to the usual ‘Go to the Bar’ jokes, cos this stuff is so gonna happen at the Metaverse! Imagine the possibility where all of them meet in their most vivid virtual avatars as they chatter their hearts out and even trade their assets in a virtual currency and price that they seem fitting.
The Metaverse has potential to bring out unimaginable innovations and solutions. The current investment and application areas here range around Decentralised Finance (DeFi), Entertainment / Gaming, Infrastructure and Decentralised communities. These statistics are from the recent NASSCOM report and are almost at par with each other. They’ll help Metaverse make its way into the cultural, social and economic structure of our lives. Let’s further read about the human instincts that’ll impact its adoption.
Patience – An instant ROI is a fallacy
Zuckerberg’s personal fortune toppled by over $100 billion as he struggles to pioneer the Metaverse. An Indiana University’s media professor reported that the real estate metaverse is an El Derado and a pyramid scheme. There’s more negative sentiment as a result of several discouraging factors. Low active user base, skepticism in transactions, ambiguity in the regulations and attraction towards instant wealth creation are topmost. Yet, as the Metaverse evolves and gets defined, its potential to unleash digital disruption gets stronger. The real-life benefits have started to emerge for industries, academia, users and brands. The funding from tech giants, the investors and the brands is much more in the Metaverse than it was for AI in 2016. This investment size is inspiring and encouraging. A whopping $120 billion capital has already flown in for Metaverse this year.
Resolve – A Way for the Will
Infrastructure in the form of hardware and software both will have to be democratised. India’s economy will grow at a rate of 7% on average between 2022 and 2026. As of today, India is home to over 450 Web3 startups and has 11% of global Web3 talent. Among many boosts, the Government of India declared the 5G open. It will be the gateway and enabler for stimulating uses like metaverse XR and make Web3 a reality. Governance, education, healthcare, real-estate, engineering, retail are industries that will disrupt. The most close to my heart story is the NVIDIA’s Earth 2. It’s building a dedicated supercomputer to create a full-fledged 3D metaverse simulation of our planet to predict climate change.
Aptitude – Answering the ‘How To’
The Decentalised living idea will defeat its purpose if we take assistance for making a scam-proof, hack-proof and secure transaction. The world of Ethereum, Solana, Polygon, NFTs, Blockchains, Discord, multi-chain wallets, gas fees are far from becoming colloquial vocabulary. Web3 requires a specific skill-set. The current focus on gaming and entertainment alone will not suffice. In fact, it will likely create a divide. Blockchain and Web3 learning ought to be a part of Institutional education curriculum and L&D in HR departments. Institutions and industry bodies can partner for accelerator programs. Skill-building initiatives are necessary for the rise of India’s knowledge society.
Intent – Collaborate not Capitalise
For the Web3 metaverse to realise its potential, core services will have to evolve alongside emerging technologies. Open source, composable codes, interoperability will play a significant role for Metaverse to advance rapidly. Bringing diverse ecosystem players together in constructive discussions will bolster India’s Web3 potential. Web3 startups, policy experts, investors, large companies, government entities and industry bodies can together bring about sustainable and viable disruptions across the economy and the social fabric.
Trust – Confidence to embrace
There’s no collective charter of Metaverse that discusses the great responsibilities, or protocols. The recent FTX crash shook the world at large and has further asked for corrective measures of transparency. There is a lack of policy clarity around Virtual Digital Assets (VDAs). It has also to a large extent led an exodus of talent and funding. A strong alliance of industry leaders has just got together to create the Bharat Web3 Association (BWA). It enables and supports the growth of India’s Web3 ecosystem. India can also lead deliberations in the upcoming G20 meetings as it now holds the Presidency. We can lead the talk towards a global collaborative regulatory framework.
I get about twenty notifications per week on Metaverse news. They are largely about a brand or a celebrity who’s taken the Metaverse plunge. Making it aspirational, may not be the best bet for marketers. The innovators who best understand Web3, may not be long term buyers or they . The early adopters and majority on the other hand, aren’t yet ready. Unless the stakeholders handhold Metaverse technology as a solution, the speed of adoption will be slower than desired.
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