Metaverse - where is the journey heading?

By 2026, one in four of us could be spending at least an hour a day on the Metaverse, Gartner estimates. Here on //next, we have also reportet on the immense market potential of this megatrend. However, today we do not yet see a unique and large - but rather a very fragmented Metaverse: Different platforms pursue different approaches and are still largely independent of each other. Nevertheless, the development is amazing. Time for an interim update from three ERGO experts.

The status quo

The gaming industry offers arguably the best and most developed idea of what we might expect in a unique, large-scale metaverse. In addition to a full 3D gaming experience, gamers have become developers. In Roblox, players can create new content themselves, for example in the form of NFTs, which not only intensifies the game itself, but also means monetary income for successful developers. In addition, events in the game worlds are now also designed for less passionate e-gamers, especially when large events are hosted: Travis Scott's Fortnite concert in the summer of 2021 had around 12 million "in attendance".

At the latest since Facebook was renamed Meta in late autumn 2021, there has been widespread awareness that the big tech corporations are investing huge sums in the billions in the development of the metaverse and thus in their future dominance.

Another - namely decentralised - form of metaverse is observed in platforms such as Decentraland, which is based on the Ethereum blockchain. Here, users create and trade their own assets, building and buying virtual real estate, for example. As interest grows, property values often rise immensely.

Many companies have long recognised that the metaverse is obviously accompanied by a digital economy. Samsung, for example, opened a virtual shop in NYC in the style of its flagship shop. Brands like Nike, Gucci or Balenciaga market virtual products for the avatars operating in the metaverse - and sometimes at higher prices than their physical counterparts. ERGO is also already busy experimenting.

Fit for the Metaverse

The fact is that the metaverse is still at the very beginning of its development. However, the signs that it will expand our reality in the long term are increasing rapidly. This raises the question of how to take on a pioneering role in the insurance industry.

A Metaverse presence could therefore strengthen ERGO as an innovative brand and open up new channels for customers to connect with us. It seems realistic that various services will soon be offered via Metaverse. In relation to insurance, this could include the provision of information, advice or insurance sales. Here, one may think in a new way and imagine an immersive experience, such as a virtual immersion in the holiday and its dangers when it comes to travel protection.

In addition to the physical-digital presence, new insurance needs could arise in the metaverse - conceivable here would be wallet or NFT insurances that cover the digital assets of avatars, for example. But there is still a long way to go before these new insurances are accepted. Read also the opinion of our Tech Trend Radar 2022 team. The key will be to build on the experience with Metaverse-related technologies such as VR and create a broad understanding of potential applications. There should be no shortage of inspiration.

Text: Lea Bötticher, Florian Eising und Paul Schön

Here you will find the German version of this article: Metaverse - wohin geht die Reise?

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