Alex Jimenez, Managing Principal at EPAM's Financial Services Consulting, shares his perspective on the relevance and financial market potential of the metaverse.
Why would an industry that is not entertainment based invest so much in establishing a presence in the metaverse?
Before we even attempt to answer that question, we need to define what we mean by metaverse. The most agreed upon definition is that of a 3D virtual world, where our avatars can have experiences that are entirely digital. Often, we talk about metaverse as if there was a single agreed upon virtual world, but that doesn’t exist. JP Morgan, for example, opened a ‘lounge’ in the blockchain-based Decentraland. Similarly, Fidelity opened the Fidelity Stack, a ‘gamified financial education experience,’ also in Decentraland. Meanwhile, Industrial Bank of Korea (IBK) is planning to enter the Cyworld metaverse platform. Yet, the more successful metaverses exist in gaming such as Minecraft, Fortnite, WoW, or other multi-player immersive platforms.
Financial institutions should be examining ‘the metaverse’ and Web 3.0 to be ready to engage when it makes sense. At this point, any bank that is ‘establishing a presence’ is doing it for PR more than anything else.
More interesting than the metaverse are other opportunities within Web 3.0, particularly around blockchain, such as crypto, assets, and asset management.
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