The metaverse has become the biggest buzzword in the tech world, and at the BSV Global Blockchain Convention, one of the world’s leading minds on this new virtual world is Robert Rice. Rice took the stage to talk about how he is building a metaverse that is focused on monetization and not just fun.
Rice is the founder and CEO of Transmira, the company behind the Omniscape metaverse platform, which is built on Bitcoin SV. His journey in the metaverse started three decades ago when he landed a job at the first virtual reality arcade game company. Since then, his love for the virtual world has only grown bigger.
On what the metaverse exactly is, Rice described it as “the sum total of all the data and information, and everything digital that surrounds us presented in a way that’s more immersive, interactive, visual and tangible whether it’s through augmented or virtual reality.”
Citing research by Citi, Rice pointed out that the metaverse will be worth $13 trillion by 2030 and could boast as many as 5 billion users by then. Goldman Sachs identifies an $8 trillion revenue or monetization opportunity.
This revenue aspect, Rice believes, is what the existing metaverse projects have failed to focus on. For most, the metaverse is all about the ‘fun, immersive, sexy side.’ Few people are focused on how to generate revenue in the metaverse or use the technology to solve challenges faced by others.
Monetizing the metaverse
At Transmira, and primarily through Omniscape, Rice has focused on monetizing the metaverse and creating value for the users and brands. As he told the audience, one of the most essential factors in this journey is the location which is centered on the real world.
“We can do a fun 3D something in Second Life or Decentraland or Sandbox, and it’s cool and fun for now, but without their real-world link, or that crossover, I think you really miss the potential for utility and actual use cases,” Rice said.
One of the revenue models Transmira is focusing on is through having full-scale citywide 1:1 realistic digital twins. Through Omniscape, you can go through the digital twin of any city and interact with all phenomena on the ground, from hotels to museums to apparel stores.
And while most platforms pick either one of virtual or augmented realities, Omniscape is blending both, opening up new exciting opportunities, such as being able to interact with people who are worlds apart through their holograms.
“This is going to be dramatic for pretty much every possible industry from tourism, to sports and entertainment to medicine and education, straight across the board,” Rice noted.
But even with all this, monetization still remains the biggest unanswered question. For Omniscape, the solution was in virtual goods. The platform allows brands to pay to place content on the metaverse. It’s a little different, however, and instead of banners and billboards, they get to place 3D products. Starbucks, for instance, would place multiple 3D coffee cups in the metaverse, representative of real physical cups, where “one is equal to ownership of the other or one can be exchanged for the other.”
To ensure that the revenue is distributed across the board, Omniscape shares it with the users who own the piece of virtual metaverse-based real estate on which the products are placed, “allowing everybody to participate and building out a system that can monetize, whether you’re a speculator that’s buying a location or a business seeking passive revenue.”
And while the metaverse is exciting and the opportunities are endless, it only works if it’s built on the blockchain. Authenticity and provenance, data integrity, permanence, security, and anti-fraud are just a few of the key reasons why the blockchain is integral to the metaverse.
With multiple blockchain networks out there, Rice pointed out that only Bitcoin SV can underpin the metaverse.
“[Bitcoin SV] is fast, it’s scalable, it can handle the data, and the transaction fees are so minimal that it’s perfect,” he concluded.
Watch the BSV Global Blockchain Convention Dubai 2022 Day 1 here:
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