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The Metaverse is a $1T opportunity after users increase 10X: Grayscale report

According to a new report from Grayscale, the rate of active Metaverse users increased by 10X between the start of 2020 and June 2021.

Crypto investment giant Grayscale has published a bullish report on the Metaverse, estimating that the “market opportunity” for bringing the Metaverse to the mainstream may be worth over $1 trillion in the next few years.

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 explores the burgeoning sector primarily from the perspective of open Metaverse worlds backed by an “interconnected crypto-economy” such as Decentraland.

The report highlights that Metaverse platforms integrated with crypto tokens, decentralized finance (DeFi) services such as staking and lending, NFTs, decentralized governance and decentralized cloud storage have “created a new online experience” that’s 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 VCs 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.

Market opportunity

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 (P2E).

Global revenue from virtual world gaming totaled $180 billion in 2020, with “premium spending" accounting for around $40 billion, with estimates the sector could pull in more than $400 billion by 2025, primarily driven by the in-game spending model.

The report argues that this shift is “accelerating further with the transition from Web 2.0 closed corporate Metaverses to Web 3.0 open crypto Metaverse networks,” due to the play-to-earn potential they represent.

“Web 3.0 Metaverse virtual worlds have benefited from rapid innovation and productivity gains. Crypto virtual worlds have created a multi-million dollar primary and secondary market for creators and asset owners by eliminating capital controls and opening their digital borders to free-market capitalism,” the report reads.

Related Metaverse and blockchain gaming altcoins rally while Bitcoin looks for support

The price of the native tokens for open Metaverse platforms such as Decentraland (MANA) and The Sandbox (SAND) have been on a tear of late, gaining 49% and 102% each to sit at $5.03 and $7.60 at the time of writing.

3D metaverse marketplace MetaMundo aims for 2022 launch with new funding

Play-to-Earn Gaming Guild Raises $18 Million in Funding Round Led by Animoca Brands

Play-to-Earn Gaming Guild Raises  Million in Funding Round Led by Animoca BrandsA play-to-earn (P2E) blockchain gaming guild has raised $18 million in a Series A financing round according to an announcement on Wednesday. Avocado Guild detailed that the firm raised the funds from investors such as Animoca Brands, Goldentree Asset Management, Three Arrows Capital, and Solana Ventures. P2E Organization Avocado Guild Raises $18 Million From Strategic […]

3D metaverse marketplace MetaMundo aims for 2022 launch with new funding

Kucoin Labs Launches $100 Million Metaverse Investment Fund

Kucoin Labs Launches 0 Million Metaverse Investment FundKucoin Labs, the investigative and investment arm of Kucoin, a cryptocurrency exchange, has launched a $100 million fund to incubate early metaverse related projects. These include blockchain gaming initiatives, NFT platforms, and decentralized platforms, among others. The support will also include direct involvement with the projects selected, including counseling about branding and marketing. Kucoin Invests […]

3D metaverse marketplace MetaMundo aims for 2022 launch with new funding

Nifty News: YGG partners with 8 P2E games, Ice Cube and Quiznos drop NFTs

Microsoft's head of gaming Phil Spencer said he is cautious about integrating NFTs with the Xbox Store.

Decentralized gaming guild Yield Guild Games (YGG) has partnered with, and invested in, eight new play-to-earn (P2E) blockchain games.

YGG lends out nonfungible token (NFT) gaming assets to Guild players so that they can earn rewards from a long list of P2E games without having to front the costs of purchasing the NFTs themselves. The guild boasts assets from widely popular games such as Axie Infinity and Splinterlands.

In an announcement shared with Cointelegraph on Nov. 16, YGG revealed that it had backed eight games with “strong play-to-earn models” including Influence, CyBall, Thetan Arena, KOGs SLAM!, MOBOX, Aavegotchi, DeHorizon and Genopets.

Sarutobi Sasuke, YGG’s head of partnerships, emphasized that the guild seeks out games with strong community involvement and “fair gaming economies.”

“The team reviews the gameplay and game economics to ensure that the games have a robust and fair game economy that rewards players adequately for the time and effort put in by them,” he said.

YGG has snapped up a wide range of NFT assets from the games such as tokenized plots of land and avatars. While some of the gaming projects are in their formative or pre-launch stages, others are already on the market such as Aavegotchi and Mobox.

Aavegotchi is an Ethereum-based NFT project inspired by the popular Japanese virtual pet game Tamagotchi. Mobox is a Binance Smart Chain-based gaming platform that builds yield farming structures into its games. According to Coingecko, Aavegotchi (GHST) and Mobox (MBOX) have a market cap of $145 million and $340 million each.

Microsoft gaming exec cautious of NFTs

While many popular brands and companies have jumped wholeheartedly on the NFT bandwagon, Microsoft's head of gaming Phil Spencer said he is cautious about integrating the tech with the Xbox Store.

During a Nov. 17 interview with Axios, Spencer stated that, while NFT gaming is on the “up,” he has witnessed a lot of unsavory behavior in the sector:

“What I'd say today on NFT[s] is, I think there's a lot of speculation and experimentation that's happening, and that some of the creative that I see today feels more exploitive than about entertainment."

He conceded that not every NFT game is exploitative and that the sector is “kind of in that journey of people figuring it out.”

“And I can understand that early on you see a lot of things that probably are not things you want to have in your store,” he said.

Spencer said that if Xbox does opt to list NFT games in the Xbox Store, it will actively weed out anything that it deems as not beneficial to the user, noting that “we don't want that kind of content.

Quiznos starts NFT side-hustle

United States-based fast-food sandwich giant Quiznos has taken the plunge into NFTs via a partnership with Crypto.com.

The firm’s debut NFT collection named “Out of this World” featured five open editions NFTs or “sandwich coins” depicting astronauts in space either holding or hunting for top digital assets such as Dogecoin (DOGE), Ether (ETH) and Bitcoin (BTC).

The sale was hosted on Crypto.com and ended on Nov. 16, with the drop generating around $176,975 from a total of 4,403 NFT purchases.

In a Nov. 15 announcement, Quiznos said that proceeds from the sale would go to World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit that provides free food to communities in times of crisis.

“We are delighted that Quiznos chose our platform to launch this NFT campaign in support of efforts to help those in need at a critical time for our planet," said Crypto.com’s executive vice president and global head of NFT Joe Conyers III.

"We view this as a fun way to connect our community with a beloved food brand and terrific cause,” he added.

Related: Miramax sues Tarantino over 'money grab' Pulp Fiction NFTs

Ice Cube drops ice-cold NFTs

Rap icon Ice Cube is set to drop a series of NFTs on Nifty Gateway on Nov. 17 in collaboration with digital artist Trevor Jones.

The collection consists of four 1:1 editions depicting oil paintings inspired by Ice Cube’s life story, three limited editions of varying rarity featuring digital portraits of the rapper-backed new original songs, and one open edition exclusively available to holders of Jones’ previous NFT drops on Nifty Gateway.

Ice Cube said he wanted to do something legit rather than just cash in.

"While people tried to rush me into the NFT space when they first exploded almost a year ago, I wanted to do something legitimate and create artwork I would be as proud of 20 years from now as I am about these pieces today," Ice Cube said.

The sale will close on Nov. 18, prices vary from $1,400 to $15,000 for the limited and open editions, while an opening bid price for the one of one editions hasn’t been specified.

Other Nifty News

Virtual property and gaming firm The Sandbox is opening up part of its Metaverse to players for the first time via a multi-week play-to-earn Alpha event starting on Nov. 29.

Cointelegraph reported on Nov. 16 that Google’s keyword search data shows interest in NFTs has surged to record levels, with traffic beating out search terms pertinent to many crypto assets ranked among the top ten.

3D metaverse marketplace MetaMundo aims for 2022 launch with new funding

Daily Earnings of Typical Axie Infinity Player ‘Fall Below the Philippines’ Minimum Wage Line:’ Report

Daily Earnings of Typical Axie Infinity Player ‘Fall Below the Philippines’ Minimum Wage Line:’ ReportThis year, the Sky Mavis-crafted blockchain game Axie Infinity has seen incredible growth and has recently surpassed $3 billion in all-time sales. However, researchers at Naavik explain in a recent study that Axie Infinity players called ‘scholars’ are seeing daily earnings drop, and many have seen earnings dip below the minimum wage line of countries […]

3D metaverse marketplace MetaMundo aims for 2022 launch with new funding

Square Enix Contemplates ‘Robust Entry’ Into Blockchain Games as Part of Business Strategy

Square Enix Contemplates ‘Robust Entry’ Into Blockchain Games as Part of Business StrategySquare Enix, one of the biggest developers and publishers in the gaming world, has acknowledged the importance that NFTs and blockchain gaming could have for the future of the company. In its latest briefing session, Square Enix contemplated a “robust entry” into the blockchain games sector as part of its medium-term strategy process. Square Enix […]

3D metaverse marketplace MetaMundo aims for 2022 launch with new funding