new financial Eldorado?

It is already on everyone’s lips, will soon be within reach of all clicks. Metaver (Metaverse in English) continues its insurmountable rise since the beginning of the year. An object of desire with almost infinite possibilities, it fascinates as much as it frightens its functioning and its language for the uninitiated. Fact reminder: The metaverse is a virtual and completely exciting universe in which each user can connect using an avatar or 3D hologram. In this universe you can buy virtual currency, organize meetings, shop in boutiques, attend yoga classes, concerts … For investors, such a platform promises unprecedented marketing opportunities: advertising, shopping, subscriptions and loyalty. For users, a unique and exciting social experience: all this does not need to leave home.

The origin of the Metauniverse

The principle of Metavers is well known to all through fiction. It was first identified in Neil Stevenson’s novel The Virtual Samurai (1992). A few years later, the choreographic saga “The Matrix” opened a breakthrough in the world of alternative reality. Closer to home, a very ambitious series Download (Amazon Prime) represented a unique connection between the real world and the afterlife. In the universe of video games, mastodons like it Fortnite Where Second life already share the lion’s share. On the part of the network, in January 2021, the Facebook group was surprisingly renamed Meta. Proof of whether there is any very noticeable strategic orientation of this heavyweight GAFA.

But new is the interest of the world of finance in the metaverse. Gone are the days when this alternate reality – or even augmented reality with a headset – was reserved for geeks locked in their rooms. Metaworld is fashionable! But what has changed then? Economic prospects! Already estimated at $ 500 billion in 2020, the potential of this market could reach $ 800 billion by 2024, according to very serious data from Bloomberg, or even 2000 billion in 2030. Rapid growth that helps democratize this at a rapid pace. niche ten years ago.

Cryptocurrency and the banking sector, two worlds that can be reconciled?

In the midst of this sudden resurgence of interest, some platforms with their own ecosystem stand out: Sandbox, Decentraland and Roblox. For the first two, they revolve around one blockchain: Ethereum. With this virtual currency, which can be divided into tokens (tokens), you can buy plots of virtual land on which to place your pixel store, or NFT products. Abbreviation means Indispensable tokena permanent title deed that you can buy for your cryptocurrency.

Until now, financial giants have been deterred from pushing back by the shadow of cryptocurrency and the lack of international regulation. A barrier that may soon be overcome, according to the current European regulatory project called MiCa (Crypto asset markets). His goal? Regulate the market for cryptocurrency players, as well as provide it with financial stability and a legal framework that protects its consumers.

Crypto Asset Management (MiCA): “The European Union is shooting itself in the foot” (Pierre Person, LaREM Deputy)

Waiting to see more clearly is a matter for the banks to not miss the boat and position themselves to get a share of the cake before the crypto-yeast swells. JP Morgan and Spanish bank Caixa have bet on Decentraland. On the sandbox side, recent investments include HSBC, Standard Chartered or Fintech Kard. With what strategies? So far, nothing has been resolved, but the possibility of opening agencies in the metaworld may involve a serious restructuring of customer relations, as well as the reduction of traditional agencies and, consequently, significant savings on rent (and staff?).

Initially, it will be a matter of traditional banks supporting all financial microtransactions of the metaworld in a more standardized structure. Make these payments easier, find them a viable, sustainable and secure economic model for their users. On the French side, time is still reluctant, and big brands are slowly positioning themselves, waiting for more prospects.

The future will show us whether customer demand for the metaworld will be as high as expected, but some large financial groups are already putting their pawns away so as not to be left out when the market is booming. It remains to be seen whether the virtual Eldorado was a real gold mine.

European metaworld: let’s be more ambitious, Mr Macron!