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THUMBNAIL- Portal Image 18Feb22

Is the metaverse really the way of the future?

  • JP Morgan announced the launch of the ‘Onyx Lounge’ into Decentraland, becoming the first big bank to enter the metaverse.
  • Walmart filed trademarks related to the metaverse and digital world late in 2021.
  • Nike first entered the digital world in 2021 with Nikeland on Roblox, then entered Decentraland through acquiring RTFKT Studios.

Despite growing scepticism around the future of the metaverse, an increasing number of multinational companies are preparing to, and even entering the digital world in 2022.

JP Morgan is the latest big name to announce plans to enter the metaverse, becoming the first bank ever to open a virtual bank branch in the digital world. The JP Morgan ‘Onyx lounge’ in Decentraland is a simple concept at present but the big bank has released a report detailing the opportunities it sees and plans to chase within the metaverse including full bank services to facilitate cross border transactions, forex, trading and more.

In December, US-based retail giant Walmart signalled its plans to enter the metaverse via the filing of trademarks including ‘Verse to Home’, ‘virtual merchandise’ for NFTs, and a ‘Walmart-branded’ cryptocurrency. It is unclear at this point in time whether Walmart will develop its own metaverse platform, or whether it will join an existing platform like Decentraland.

Nike was one of the first big retail names to jump into the digital world after opening Nikeland on the Web2 metaverse platform Roblox, before then jumping into the decentralised land of Web3 through acquiring RTFKT Studios, a virtual shoe company that makes NFTs and sneakers for the metaverse.

With the big names dipping their toes into the virtual world, questions still remain including what the regulatory framework looks like that will govern the digital worlds, how tax will play a part in operations in the metaverse, and just who will set the rules to follow.

Amid the excitement, some high profile hoaxes have threatened to undermine confidence in the platform. In 2022, retail giant H&M was forced to quash a media frenzy after false reports claimed it had opened a store in the metaverse.

As participation grows and more players enter the market, will the metaverse triumph, or will it fail to meet expectations?

Only time will tell.

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