What is the Metaverse?
Users and big name businesses alike are jumping feet first into virtual worlds.
The term “metaverse” sounds like something out of a science fiction novel. There’s a good reason for that – it is.
The term was coined in Neal Stephenson’s 1992 novel Snow Crash.
Like the similar term “cyberspace”, it describes a three-dimensional, immersive version of the internet in which human beings do business, play games, and socialize, represented by digital avatars.
Subscribe to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance
Be a smarter, better informed investor.
Sign up for Kiplinger’s Free E-Newsletters
Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice on investing, taxes, retirement, personal finance and more - straight to your e-mail.
Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice - straight to your e-mail.
And just as the term cyberspace did, the metaverse has made the leap from comics and sci-fi films to the boardroom and the business sections.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has said that within the next five years, he expects it to be described not as a social network, but as a metaverse company.
Meanwhile video game platform Roblox, whose users can sell their creations to each other for Robux – exchangeable for real world currency – became a multibillion-dollar company when it listed on the stock market.
This is not a new vision by any means. Virtual worlds such as Second Life, where individuals can establish businesses and buy digital property for real money, have been around for a few decades. But usage has largely been limited to enthusiasts.
The key difference today – according to proponents of the metaverse – is that not only has technology advanced considerably, but the pandemic has driven new demand for remote interaction.
For example, Facebook has unveiled technology enabling workers to meet and interact in a virtual office by donning virtual reality headsets.
Some dismiss this as little more than a 3D Zoom call – others argue that it offers a more natural way to interact in the working-from-home era.
Either way, it represents a big opportunity for a company like Facebook to collect even more data on its users.
But there are plenty of competing visions for the metaverse.
Many entrepreneurs in the crypto world favor the idea of an open, decentralized metaverse built on the blockchain, as opposed to one dominated by a single company.
As with its previous incarnations, the metaverse may turn out to be more hype than reality.
But with technology advancing all the time, it’s likely that at least some aspects of it will become everyday parts of our lives.
See you in the matrix!
Learn how to invest in the latest metaverse and technology trends by subscribing to our Investing Weekly e-newsletter.
IRS is Targeting Promoters of Abusive Tax Schemes Kiplinger Tax Letter
Tax Letter Tax schemes range from basic tax dodges to highly complex transactions.
By Joy Taylor • Published
How to Save on Prescription Medication
How you can save money on prescription medication amidst rising prices.
By Erin Bendig • Published
META Stock Gets Another Wall Street Upgrade
Analysts are increasingly convinced that one-time highflier META stock is a value play now.
By Dan Burrows • Published
What Tech Layoffs Mean for Investors
News of massive tech layoffs is making the rounds on Wall Street, but investors shouldn't be too worried.
By Will Ashworth • Published
What Is Digital Fashion, And Why Is It Important?
cryptocurrency Fashion is one of the purest forms of self-expression. Digital fashion simply brings this to a new medium - and could be worth billions in just a few years.
By Randy Ginsburg • Published
The Metaverse Explained (and Why You Should Care)
cryptocurrency It’s not just kids in headsets playing D&D and art lovers strolling the Louvre from their living rooms, the metaverse is a whole new world – one that has the power to affect your finances.
By Craig Kirsner, Investment Adviser Representative • Published
How to Win With Game Stocks
stocks Game stocks are the backbone of the metaverse, the "next big thing" in consumer technology.
By James K. Glassman • Published
What Is the Metaverse (And How Can I Invest In It?)
Technology Metaverses have actually been around in some form for decades. Facebook and others will try to bring the technology into the world’s everyday lives.
By Brad Moon • Published
9 Best Metaverse Stocks for the Future of Technology
stocks With the market size for metaverse stocks expected to balloon by the end of this decade, these nine names are worth a closer look.
By Tom Taulli • Last updated
6 Stocks Battling Bad News: Sell, Hold or Buy?
stocks Plenty of worries can keep investors up at night, from the prospects for corporate earnings to whatever the Federal Reserve Board might have up its sleeve.
By the editors of Kiplinger's Personal Finance • Published