The metaverse is a $1 trillion opportunity, crypto giant Grayscale says as virtual land sales boom

·3 min read
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Facebook, now called Meta, has created a number of images to show how its metaverse might look.Facebook
  • Crypto giant Grayscale said the metaverse is a $1 trillion annual revenue opportunity.

  • It comes as pieces of virtual land inside metaverse projects have sold for upwards of $2 million.

  • Grayscale said the metaverse is a big opportunity for the crypto world, with investment accelerating.

The metaverse has the potential to become a $1 trillion annual revenue opportunity across the worlds of advertising, digital events, e-commerce and hardware, according to a new report from crypto giant Grayscale.

Grayscale's report, released Wednesday night, comes during a surge in interest in the metaverse after Facebook officially changed its name to Meta as it focuses on the virtual immersive world it says is the future of the internet.

This week, there have been early indications of the potential size of the metaverse economy, with parcels of virtual land inside crypto-based metaverses Decentraland and Axie Infinity selling for more than $2 million.

The metaverse refers to a range of online 3D virtual environments, in which people can play games, build things, socialize, work and even trade and earn crypto assets.

The most well-known individual metaverses right now are in gaming, with Fortnite and Roblox booming in popularity over the last few years. Grayscale estimated that revenue from virtual gaming worlds could grow to $400 billion in 2025, from around $180 billion in 2020.

Yet Grayscale, which runs the world's biggest cryptocurrency fund, said the metaverse is still "in its early innings." It said Facebook's plans to spend $10 billion this year on the metaverse is a sign of the potential of the market.

"The market opportunity for bringing the Metaverse to life may be worth over $1 trillion in annual revenue," the report said, although it did not specify a timeframe.

The report's authors, Grayscale's head of research David Grider and research analyst Matt Maximo, argued the metaverse is a huge opportunity for crypto companies.

Read more: The metaverse won't revolutionize the office. But it might create new ways of earning money.

Many current metaverse projects, such as virtual realities or games, are run by so-called Web2 companies, which are centralized and operate for profit. Facebook, which has launched the virtual reality space Horizon Worlds, is an example.

But increasingly, metaverse projects are created on or are heavily tied to crypto technology, which can give users more control and allow them to earn money that they can use in the real world. This is known as the Web3 metaverse.

Grayscale listed the opportunities for monetization of consumers within the Web3 metaverse. These include art galleries launching NFTs, games and casinos where players win crypto, digital advertising billboards, and music venues where DJs and artists hold concerts.

In the third quarter, total Web3 and NFT fundraising hit $1.8 billion, out of overall crypto fundraising of $8.2 billion, Grayscale said. It added that investment has "recently started to accelerate."

Grayscale's report focused on Decentraland. In that metaverse, people log in to play games, earn the native cryptocurrency mana, purchase NFTs including virtual land and collectibles, and vote on the governance of the economy.

The crypto investment company recently created a Decentraland trust that invests solely in mana. The cryptocurrency is up around 550% in the last 30 days, according to Coingecko.

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