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Inside the metaverse economy, jobs and infrastructure projects are becoming real

CNBC | Cameron Costa | Jan 15, 2022

metaverse world - Inside the metaverse economy, jobs and infrastructure projects are becoming real

If 2021's word of the year was "NFT," Avery Akkineni says 2022's will be "Web 3.0."

This year, digital assets built on the blockchain will likely continue to expand well beyond the music and art industries.

Luxury fashion brand Balenciaga has already teamed up with Fortnite to deliver to users designer "skins" to wear inside the game. Gucci has done the same with Roblox, and Louis Vuitton and Ralph Lauren have launched their own Roblox experiences. Brian Trunzo, metaverse Lead at Polygon Studios, which focuses on gaming, NFTs and Web3 efforts linked to the polygon digital currency and ethereum blockchain network, says nimble, smart streetwear brands are already in the space as well. "The players have finally taken the field, and the game is about to truly start," Trunzo said.

More direct commercialization strategies could be coming. Cathy Hackl, CEO and chief metaverse officer for the Futures Intelligence Group, a metaverse consultant, points out that for luxury brands in particular, the metaverse could be an access point for a secondary market.

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"When someone sells their Birkin bag on The RealReal, Hermes does not see a cut of that. But through blockchain and NFTs, they are eventually going to get a cut of the secondary market," Hackl said.

There will be more jobs in the metaverse

As more companies seek a foothold in the digital universe, hiring opportunities for candidates comfortable with Web3 will grow. Hackl says her title may become more common.

"Even if you look at job boards, you're increasingly seeing demand for Solidity developers and Discord managers," Akkineni said.

Solidity is a computer language used in conjunction with the ethereum blockchain to build and deploy smart contracts. Discord is a social media platform favored by many gamers and the crypto community.

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Big brands will naturally help drive Web3 job creation, but a new kind of employment might take center stage. The play-to-earn gaming model gained popularity in the Philippines with Axie Infinity four years ago, and now the game has over 1.8 million daily active users, some reporting an income of about $10 a day, and up to $1,000-$2,000 a month from solely playing the game.

Gaming and metaverse crossover investments grow

There has been controversy within the gaming world about virtual monetization, but the math that supports more investments linking the metaverse to gaming is simple, according to Spencer.

Metaverse will be one of the world's biggest infrastructure projects

The bigger the corporate plans for the digital world, the more computing power we'll need. As more brands leverage NFTs to build their communities in virtual worlds and as more consumers follow them in, technological and physical infrastructure moves into the foreground of the metaverse landscape. At the end of 2021, Intel estimated that Web3 metaverse projects will eventually demand at least 1000x the computing power we have now.

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