Metaverse adoption has slowed down in 2022, but investors’ and developers’ enthusiasm remains. Here’s an overview of the tech’s last 12 months.
Recognized as one of the most turbulent years for the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry, 2022 has still been vigorous for the metaverse. With over $120 billion invested in the first half of the year alone — according to a McKinsey report — the industry is anything but broken.
Some of the most significant partnerships to date were sealed throughout 2022, with even a few unexpected institutions — JP Morgan, for instance — embracing the Web3 revolution despite their proverbial distaste for the decentralization concept.
Here’s what you need to know about the influential developments, projects and events that shaped the metaverse in 2022.
The metaverse, first coined by Neal Stephenson in his 1992 sci-fi novel Snow Crash and described as a computer-generated universe accessible through highly specialized goggles, has developed into a multibillion-dollar industry that incorporates different concepts and technologies.
These underlying technologies include blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality and space from gaming applications to real estate, fashion and interoperable collaborative tools.
All these ingredients are used together in the metaverse — in a centralized or decentralized manner — to create environments for rich user interaction among an unlimited number of users simulating the real world.
The two digital cultures
The gap between centralized and decentralized metaverse platforms has widened further in 2022, with The Sandbox and Decentraland holding strong dominance across blockchain-based marketplaces. On the other hand, Meta’s and Microsoft’s vision to build proprietary digital universes they control entirely accentuated the distance between the two digital cultures.
In its current form, and regardless of its digital culture, the metaverse relates to digital worlds accessible by immersive technologies and the internet. All developments experienced today are considered “pre-metaverse,” and a recent report by Gartner doesn’t expect mainstream adoption and full technology maturity until 2030.
Nonetheless, institutions and businesses are aware they have to start crafting their strategy now if they want to be leaders in what will surely be a highly competitive space in the next few years.
The tech giants
Facebook rebranded to Meta in October 2021, marking its commitment to advance from its past as a social media network and embrace the new world of Web3. However, despite announcing investments between $10 billion and $15 billion per year, the company reported some significant losses in 2022, with its stock price falling 23.6% after its release, 66.29% over the past year and an accumulated loss of $9.44 billion in the research and development department.
Microsoft announced this year the $69-billion acquisition of the gaming company Activision Blizzard, one of the key players in the industry, with a growing portfolio of AAA (high-budget and high-profile) video games and nearly 400 million monthly active users.
However, the deal is still being scrutinized by regulators, with the United States Federal Trade Commission challenging one of the most significant tech acquisitions in history to promote fair competition in high-performance gaming consoles and subscription services.
Nvidia launched the beta version of its new “omniverse” platform for developers. The versatile platform allows everyone to build metaverse applications. For instance, artists can pick from multiple 3D tools, developers can make use of AIs trained in virtual worlds, or enterprises can build digital twin simulations of their industrial processes.
The financial institutions
Major financial institutions have expanded their presence in the metaverse in 2022 by partnering with some of the most powerful platforms in the space.
In February, JP Morgan became the first major bank to enter the metaverse, opening a virtual lounge in the blockchain-based Decentraland platform after labeling the industry as a $1-trillion market opportunity.
The same month, Disney announced it had appointed a new executive, Mike White, to lead its debut into the metaverse. Disney CEO Bob Chapek confirmed Disney’s commitment to expanding its storytelling expertise to the digital world. “We have an opportunity to connect those universes and create an entirely new paradigm for how audiences experience and engage with our stories,” said Chapek.
In March, HSBC bank and blockchain-based gaming platform The Sandbox announced a new partnership to open new opportunities to their global virtual communities, which will be able to connect through entertainment, gaming and user-generated content.
Source : [An overview of the metaverse in 2022](cointelegraph.com/news/an-overview-of-the-metaverse-in-2022) by Cointelegraph By Emilia La Capra - December 29, 2022