How will the metaverse change our lives? Experts answer

How will the metaverse change our lives? Experts answer

By Joe Khalique-Brown - min read
Updated 03 March 2022

Since Facebook’s rebrand to “Meta” in October 2021—and Mark Zuckerberg’s bizarre explainer video—the media has been obsessed with the metaverse. What is it? Who uses it? What does it all mean?

These are the questions on everyone’s lips, and there’s little out there by way of answers, so CoinJournal reached out to a panel of experts from the gaming, social, NFT, and business spheres. We asked the panel, “How will the metaverse change our lives?”

Here’s what they said.

Key takeaways

Our experts identified four key areas of our lives the metaverse is likely to affect, and they also noted an important factor that will influence how these changes develop. Here are the key points to remember.

Identity and self-expression

The progression of identity and self-expression into the virtual realm will give participants full control over how they appear to others, and how they express themselves creatively. 

For example, people can choose how they want their virtual avatars to look, and metaverse-based artists can create without needing to pay for materials or worry about practicalities. 

Interpersonal connections

All of our experts agreed that the metaverse presents manifold opportunities for people to connect in new ways.

The immersive nature of virtual reality enables greater parity with physical-world social contact. Some view the metaverse as a more authentic, realistic evolution of social media, whereas others foresee more personal connections between gamers and other communities.

The digital economy

The economic landscape will be affected by the metaverse, with notions of ownership, labour, and corporate competition subject to change.

New paradigms like play-to-earn gaming have created brand-new career paths, while NFTs allow creators to monetise their work in novel ways. Various companies will vie for dominance in the metaverse, and there will be both successes and failures in this regard.

Blockchain is key

The blockchain will be instrumental in building a fair, public metaverse that is oriented towards the user rather than corporate interests.

While companies like Meta (formerly Facebook) clearly want to establish a presence in the metaverse, open-source worlds will give users greater control over their data and experiences.

What the experts said

Les Borsai, CSO and Co-Founder of Wave Financial Group

"For me, the biggest way the metaverse will change our lives is through the rollout of play-to-earn technology. I see play-to-earn replacing other types of labor for younger generations. When I was a kid I worked at a fast food restaurant to earn spending money; now young people can play games while earning tokens with actual financial value. 

Even better, if they invest in the NFT world they can watch those investments earn passive income. I also see a big shift in the video game world as the metaverse takes shape – my NFTs will be avatars that use AI to learn and be deployed in games. Visionaries like Walt Disney would have had a field day in the Metaverse – if you can dream it build it! It quite literally opens up a new world of experiences. 

You can do anything from flying through skyscrapers, meeting with friends who live far away (in the form of an avatar) and looking at NFT artwork in galleries. I’m excited to see the ways it impacts the play-to-earn and video game industries in 2022 and beyond."

Francis Hellyer, investor, innovator, futurist, and host of the Metaverse podcast

"Having leveraged the internet’s early days to create a successful online ticketing empire, I’m intimately acquainted with new technology’s disruptive potential, so I’m thrilled to see where the metaverse takes us. This is digital engagement’s next evolution, where we’ll go from consumer-observers to active participants. Through VR and AR, we’ll enter a virtual world and have virtual elements overlaid onto our lived realities. 

This will bring huge creative and connective potential across all facets of life, something I’ve been exploring weekly in my Metaverse podcast with fellow futurists and technologists. We’ll visit virtual shops, try virtual goods. We’ll see 360 immersive films and art created entirely within a virtual space, without the constraints of purchasing physical supplies or renting physical workspaces. 

To me, the most exciting changes lie in the metaverse’s potential to unlock our imaginations and to democratise access. In the metaverse, we can explore, connect and collaborate in a borderless virtual space, which will open up new virtual jobs accessible to anyone on Earth. Most importantly, if we are intentional about how we create the metaverse, we can ensure our new virtual world is an equitable one, where all are encouraged to realise their full potential."

Dominic Ryder, CEO of vEmpire

"The Metaverse's effect on our future is incomprehensible, and certainly describing my vision of it will make me seem mad, but that’s what makes it fun! I believe in the next decade/decades the majority of our lives will be spent in virtual reality. If and when we have the technology to simulate anything we like, then why would we spend time doing anything we do not like? 

My view is somewhat between utopian paradise and dystopian nightmare. Where humans have such a need for escapism there will always be those who get lost within it. Human beings by nature are easily susceptible to positive reinforcement, pleasure and this often can lead to addiction. My worry is a future where such enjoyable reality can be simulated that the hedonism, and potential neglect for a person's “real” life could be enormous, people forgetting to eat, feed their kids, speak with their husbands and wives, this could cause immense damage if somebody were to allow it to take control of their lives. 

This is my worry with corporate giants getting into & carving out their slice of the metaverse. Just like tobacco companies targeted children and designed their cigarettes to be as addictive as possible. You have the same profit hungry corporations ready and waiting to tempt us in with their own simulations of reality. If the reality I enjoy and love the most is within one particular corporate metaverse, what would I sacrifice to access it?

This is why blockchain, ownership & keeping the metaverse decentralized is so important. The track record of corporate abuse of consumers, whether that be their health, data or anything does not give us much hope for how virtual and simulated reality can be handled by the same companies. The question, being broad, could keep me typing for hours, which is why I wanted to describe some of the most important things to watch out for to make sure the change in our lives is for the better, and not for the worst."

John Burris, Chief Strategy & Blockchain Officer of Together Labs, President of MetaJuice

"The Metaverse is changing lives today and will continue to change lives through a number of ways, including:

Social connections that are healthy and supportive. Over the past decade, we’ve witnessed an unfortunate rise of loneliness that can be attributed to today’s “social media” where individuals post curated content as though it is real life. At Together Labs, we believe that social should be about authentic human connection where a community supports and nurtures real friendships. This is the type of social metaverse we have been building for the past 15 years and will continue to pioneer.

A metaverse where users play, create, earn and participate. Underpinning these important and vibrant social connections, is an economy where the users want to be able to transact, earn, own and shape its future. This is the vision of MetaJuice – a blockchain driven company that is unlocking the full value of the metaverse for its users. This full value includes globally transferable and valuable currencies, NFTs that enable true ownership, the ability to earn and control those earning and, perhaps most importantly, a voice in shaping future virtual worlds."

Joban Thomas, Co-Founder and CPO of Realm

"At Realm we believe that the Metaverse has the potential to become the most ubiquitous technology product the world has ever seen. The platforms that are being built today will one day host nearly all the products and services that humanity creates, providing the infrastructure for individuals to connect with one another in unique ways, to cross borders that were once restrictive, and to express themselves in new and creative forms. We are already seeing the implementation of blockchain and other decentralized technologies revolutionize industries from finance to art and gaming. The next wave of advancement in this sector will see progression in sectors ranging from real estate to advertising.

The Metaverse, and the associated suite of blockchain technologies, are creating opportunities the likes of which the world has never seen before. Gamers are able to monetize their attention and time, directly benefiting themselves and their communities through play-to-earn mechanisms. Artists and creatives are able to directly engage with their fans and communities to bring their projects to life, without the need for traditional fundraising, and to share their success directly with their early supporters. This digital revolution is reframing the ways that people see themselves in the world at large. 

Realm finds itself pushing the boundaries of available technologies to maximize the value we are able to offer to our users. We have taken the best practices and principles from blockchain technologies, traditional social networking, NFTs, play-to-earn gaming, and mobile technologies to create a unique Metaverse platform where anyone can build the world of their dreams via intuitive world creation tools. We are leveraging AR technologies to build creative bridges between the digital and physical worlds, and pushing our platform on mobile first to maximize our accessibility globally. We are utilizing the revenue we generate to drive real-world impact through our various environmental and social initiatives, and directly paying our players and builders for their creativity and attention. 

We recognize that the true value comes from the individuals who engage with the Metaverse, and that our greatest opportunity is to work collaboratively to build the world we want to live in." 

Jesse “Aggroed” Reich, CEO & Co-Founder of Splinterlands

"The metaverse is another way to build a rich virtual experience.  Many attempts will be terrible and do little more than try to extract value from customers.  Others will be awesome and solve problems regarding how we connect with other people, save us time or money, and provide entertainment and community.  The trick will be identifying tools that are helpful not only to you but whole communities, as that’s what will make people stick around."

Steve Stein, CEO of XMANNA

"While many look to define the future of metaverse by location or company, I tend to think that the future of the metaverse is going to be more about a set of experiences, as companies race to find their digital identity. Many companies may find that having an existing identity and sustainable environment are not necessarily correlated in the digital world and from one experience to another is how the metaverse will be remembered by the users so creative gamification and rewards mechanisms will be an important part about standing out. 

The metaverse offers a new and immersive experience for users in that they can enter into a digital world and experience things of fantasy and convenience without having to physically travel. The virtual experience allows for users to immerse themselves in a world with freedom of the imagination synergized with events from the real world that they love to attend. How businesses empower their users to create, experience and be rewarded will define their success in the metaverse race." 

Umberto Canessa Cerchi, CEO of Kryptomon

"The metaverse will bring true value for digital assets, mainly in the form of NFTs. It will give people the ability to recreate themselves in any shape or form they would like and to reinvent their identity altogether. It will bring to life digital pets of all kinds. It will enable us to fuse imagination with reality seamlessly by providing digitally-created spaces to be used as a canvas to any idea or thought we would like to create in it. In 2021, crypto adoption was estimated as 300M users strong worldwide. 

If these users were citizens of the metaverse, it would make the metaverse the 4th most populated in the world, just 31M short after the US. If we are taking into consideration the fast-growing adaptation rate of crypto and NFT internationally, we can definitely assume that the metaverse is going to become the biggest country in the world in terms of population size by the end of 2022. The metaverse is going to be the first step to digitalize humanity."

Lucaz Lee, CEO at Affyn

"I believe the future of Play-to-Earn Metaverse will impact the lives of people in many more ways that we can imagine. Making money is a universal language in our society that has been the core incentive that has helped advanced the progression of the human race for thousands of years. 

Imagine the opportunity to play and earn in a Metaverse, with unlimited digital resources allowing people to tap into and unlock the full potential of their creativity, imagination and self-expression in dramatic ways. More importantly, it will boosts interaction, initiate get togethers, and bring people closer together of all different generation in a socially disconnected world."