New virtual economy: what does the rise of The Metaverse mean?

Molly Babeh

Staff member
Dec 13, 2021
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Super Massive amounts of money are being invested into the metaverse. It is a "3D digital environment" where you can work, play and meet people without ever leaving your house. But will it blur the lines of reality and redefine how people communicate with one another?

What is the metaverse?​

The Metaverse - it's been mentioned a lot recently and is an idea that's been around for decades, originating in sci-fi novels more than 25 years ago. The metaverse is a fairly difficult term to define as the technology behind it is constantly evolving. Generally, it's an all-encompassing digital world that exists in parallel to the real world or can be incorporated into reality itself.

Somnium Space was one of the earliest open source virtual world platforms on the market. The Exchange interviewed Artur to learn more about the experience of living, working and playing in the alternate environment.


Somnium Space may have been one of the first metaverse platforms but now it has many rivals that have emerged in recent years.

Facebook recently renamed itself to 'Meta' in an effort to make the metaverse a key part of its business strategy. However, they are not alone with Microsoft, Alphabet, Roblox and NVIDIA also investing heavily into VR.

How might business benefit?​

While virtual reality has been seen as just a fun activity, it can serve other purposes, including helping companies find solutions in VR that can be applied to the real world. PwC aims to create new tech solutions in its newest technology lab in the Middle East, which will be based in Qatar.


PwC's tech experts are constantly coming up with innovative ways to transcend the physical world. By harnessing robotics, AI, VR, and more they can find ways to stay connected to customers. There are many things that can't be done in today's society. For example, we cannot have business meetings, large-scale collaborations, key presentations or media interviews without technology being present.

What about security?​

The popularity of VR is growing rapidly and, as a result, there are growing concerns about the potential effects it has on relative isolation and mental health. With more and more children spending their time online, VR platforms have to raise the bar and address any associated safety concerns. While the online world can be a fun place for kids, it's also important to set limits on what is acceptable behavior. How can VR platforms succeed in doing so?


Tami Bhaumik is Roblox's Vice President of Civility and Partnerships. The company has over 40 million active users on a daily basis. She says Roblox is committed to regulating VR platforms and providing the necessary skills for youth players and their caregivers.