The Metaverse Is a $1 Trillion Revenue Opportunity. Here’s How to Invest

Quick: What do Mickey Mouse, the Gucci bee and Snoop Dogg have in common? Besides being animal-themed, all three are coming to a metaverse near you.

The metaverse, as I’ve explained before, is part of the next iteration of the internet some are calling Web 3.0—and it promises to upend everything as we know it. Within the next few years, we will all work, play, socialize and invest in this all-encompassing ecosystem, whether that means attending a professional conference at a virtual Four Seasons hotel, shopping for a new designer handbag for our digital avatar or swinging through the New York City skyline with Spider-Man.

First, a short primer on the history of the internet and where we believe it’s headed. The earliest days of the internet, known as Web 1.0, were characterized by static, one-way webpages—think Netscape and Yahoo. Users were little more than passive observers.

Next came Web 2.0, the period we’re currently in. Controlled by a disproportionately small number of companies (Facebook, YouTube, etc.), the internet of today is highly centralized despite users’ role as an active participant.

That brings us to Web 3.0, which will usher in a whole new level of experience that, to some people, may sound more like Tron than real life.

Here’s a somewhat plausible scenario of what I’m talking about: It’s the year 2026, and you’re about to go on a first date with someone you met on Planet Theta, a virtual reality (VR) dating platform set to launch next year.

You strap on a VR headset—perhaps one made by Meta Platforms, formerly known as Facebook—and because you want to make the best possible first impression, you dress your avatar in an Armani suit and pair of Ray-Ban non-fungible token (NFT) sunglasses that you purchased with Ether (ETH). After spending some time strolling through an enchanted forest, you and your date watch the latest Disney movie, projected against the wall of a magical castle.

Confused? Don’t worry, you’re in good company.