3 Ways to Build Sustainable Wealth in the Metaverse There's no reason why you can't combine some classical investment principles with cutting-edge metaverse innovations, and make a fortune doing so.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Traditionally, the means to building wealth have been well charted. Most entrepreneurs grew up on investment manuals written by the likes of Warren Buffet, Robert Kiyosaki, Charlie Munger and Benjamin Graham. I sure did.
A lot of this information, especially in relation to investment psychology, is timeless and still relevant, but the technical details are not. Moreover, the environment — including the time and place in which the books were written — simply no longer exists.
We are currently entering the era of Web 3.0: a world built on distributed ledgers, virtual reality, metaverses, cryptocurrencies, non-fungible tokens, artificial intelligence and the internet of things.
Here are ways to position yourself to make sustainable wealth in this brave new metaverse.
1. Virtual real estate
Real estate has always been the hallmark of long-term wealth for the elites. The reasons are obvious: You might make a lot of money through NFTs and cryptocurrencies one day, and lose everything the next. But with real estate, the tendency is to consistently earn profits year on year. Its hallmark is stability: Even if it has a few bad years, the trend is to balance out over the long term.
Virtual real estate does not refer to setting up online publications and websites (some digital marketers refer to this as online real estate, a valid but entirely different concept). What is being referred to here is real estate in a metaverse. This area will typically be called "space," as opposed to "property."
What's surprising is that you can actually take some traditional concepts and slap them into the metaverse, like advertising, rent prices, lounges, retail shops, museums and more. Specific spaces will be specifically adapted for a given VR experience, but without electricity, building or maintenance costs.
This might all sound quite futuristic, but it's already happening. Metamall, for example, is offering casinos, lounges, arcades, shopping centers and pretty much everything else you would expect in a shopping mall. There are about 6,000 available spaces divided into Cubes, Cabins, Clubs, Chalets and Chateaus. You can purchase a Cube (in the form of an NFT), which represents a standard fashion or retail store. Then there's the option of a Chateau, which can be likened to a multi-story office complex or a large government building.
While we're likely a few years away from commercially available VR headsets and a working metaverse, the point is that the companies and architectures are here right now, and entrepreneurs who capitalize on trends before they go mainstream (typically while they are being ridiculed by the crowd) are the ones that make enormous profits.
Related: Luxury Brands Are Attempting to Participate in the Metaverse
2. Service businesses
Many traditional businesses are looking for ways to enter the metaverse. Most laypeople have heard about blockchain, cryptocurrencies and NFTs, but have no clue what these terms really mean.
This presents a huge opportunity for consultancy and PR businesses that allow legacy business models entry into the metaverse. This could be through crypto custodial services, content management or even token/whitepaper creation. Cyber security is another huge field that's going to be even bigger, given smart contract vulnerabilities. You can create businesses that provide these services and position yourself as either a thought leader or a domain expert in a given metaverse niche.
Graduates and others just entering the field of business can also make themselves useful in many ways. There are multiple stories of young people earning hundreds of thousands of dollars from selling NFTs, and platforms like H3RO3S even offer students the ability to earn up to $1,500 a month by performing both local and remote tasks with a personalized avatar. It also provides a means for students to interact and earn an income, even in an era of geo-restrictions. This decentralized platform has the potential to rival UpWork and TopTal, though there's quite a long way to go before then.
Related: Learn More About Crypto, NFTs, and the Metaverse
3. Straight investment
Depending on your financial situation, you could simply wait for a market dip and invest in a broad number of cryptocurrencies with medium- to long-term potential. Yes, you're going to miss out on the initial explosive growth (the Polygon token ($MATIC) was up over 4,000% in early 2021), but projects like Polygon, Solana, Ethereum and Ankr are huge ventures with solid backing. They are interoperable, multi-chain and industry agnostic. In other words, they have good long-term viability and might be a solid buy in an investor's arsenal, even if the initial jump was missed. They also have the ideal industry partnerships to position themselves intelligently for the up-and-coming metaverse era.
You might find these projects at about 33% of their all-time high (ATH) price. Sol traded as low as $80 in February of 2022 from a previous ATH of $260. These are also proof-of-stake ecosystems, which tend to increase network participation through reasonable rewards.
Long-term investors care about compounding interest rates: the real engine of wealth. There are also Web3 projects offering 1,000% annual percentage yield, but this is not long-term wealth and your exit needs to be well-timed to hang on to earnings. Wealth gained quickly is often lost quickly. This common trend is hinted at in the books of many of the world's top entrepreneurs and has to do with fundamental human psychology.
Related: What You Need to Know About Ethereum's Role in Web 3.0 and the Metaverse
There's no shortage of investment options in the metaverse
Of course, there are multiple ways to invest in the metaverse. You can do so in the architectures mentioned above (the blockchains from which the metaverse will be built). You can invest in NFTs through various platforms. You can get in early for multiple projects by going through the whitelisting process and hoping the project tokens rise dramatically.
You can even take a classical concept like Dollar Cost Averaging from Benjamin Graham and invest a certain amount into specific coins at given intervals, regardless of market phenomena.
The point is that there's no reason you can't combine some of the classical investment principles with cutting-edge metaverse innovations, and make a fortune doing so.