Metaverse global phenomena years away, claims pioneer. Sebastien Borget, one of the sector’s major participants, told AFP that the path to profit is unclear and mass acceptance may be years away.
Borget co-founded The Sandbox, a mobile and PC game that is morphing into a virtual world where anyone may own land using digital tokens. Gucci, Adidas, Axa, HSBC, and Warner Music have opened shops in The Sandbox.
“It’s a space for creativity and experience,” said Borget, denying it’s a business venture.
“Brands don’t monetise there, we don’t know how.”
Internet users will soon buy, socialize, and attend concerts on The Sandbox and Decentraland, say enthusiasts. Virtual reality headset users will purchase and trade cryptocurrency on the blockchain, a digital ledger.
The Sandbox is a quest game where players hop across block-graphic environments, collecting treasures and defeating opponents. Players can design worlds and invent games. The metaverse version has only been open for special events, when gamers can win cryptocurrency incentives and buy extra kit for their avatars.
Borget said 350,000 people visited in March, well shy of his goal of “hundreds of millions.”
“We expect to do this in 5-10 years,” he stated.
The public is sceptical about the metaverse and web3, a blockchain-based internet centered on individuals rather than social media platforms. Web3’s commercial side relies on cryptocurrency trading, however the primary coins are volatile and transactions are energy-intensive.
Unregulated, with security holes and minimal insurance, the crypto ecosystem leaves users vulnerable to fraud and scams. Borget is certain that the opportunity to socialize, trade, play, and own their digital footprint will win out.
“Users now own digital content,” he stated.
“Everything is theirs: avatar, wearables, equipment, land, houses. They can discard it.”
The Sandbox is commercial despite its social and creative aim. It collects 5% commissions on all transactions and virtual land sales. Last year, it earned $200 million.
Borget notes that The Sandbox only includes 166,464 plots of virtual land. This map has a finite number of plots, unlike most decentralized virtual worlds, said Borget.
70% are sold.
Last year’s virtual land sales reached $500 million, and Borget grabbed 64% market share. Borget said brands are still developing virtual shops and offices.
“Brands embraced the online slowly,” he remarked.
Web3 is an attempt to avoid past mistakes.
more about Web3 here