Contrary to what Facebook (Meta) would have you believe the Metaverse already exists and is expanding rapidly. Decentralised projects, such as Sandbox and Decentraland, are already ahead of the curve. They will not be handicapped by Facebooks negative image or desire to collect your personal data.
How Big Can The Metaverse Be?
Bloomberg Intelligence recently estimated that the metaverse’s market size will reach USD 800bn by 2024, suggesting this could be a very lucrative area to invest in.
I write this as a Forty something property and renewable energy professional who has sourced and raise funding for projects in just about every corner of the world. I always thought funding the highest building in Outer Mongolia was the most extreme piece of real estate I would ever work on, is the Metaverse set to eclipse this?
So why has Facebook, one of the world’s largest corporations, identified this as the next evolutionary step for the internet?
They made their first major bet on this space back in 2014, when they purchased VR headset manufacture Oculus. I am sure most people have tried an Oculus headset at a trade show at some point, but how many people do you know that have gone out and purchased one for their home? Is this all set to change?
Smoke & Mirrors Or The Real Deal
Facebook are committing 10,000 people to this project and $10 Billion. That’s an incredible team and massive undertaking. However, is this a stroke of genius or desperation as the numbers of users of both Facebook and Instagram start to fall across the developed world as the below FT article outlines.
Internal documents show that the number of US Facebook users under 30 is in decline and that Instagram, which has been phenomenally popular since being bought by Facebook in 2012 for $1bn, appears to be reaching the limits of its growth among younger users in key markets, raising serious questions about the company’s future.
Will Facebook Be The Metaverse?
Personally, I don’t think Facebook will win the race to be THE Metaverse, there is too much bad blood from the mismanagement of Facebook and our data. This is reiterated by the fact they felt the need to rebrand rather than carry the world’s most recognisable social media brand into the metaverse. Also, most of our interactions in the Metaverse will be private or via Avatars so there will be less opportunity to mine our personal data and sell it to advertisers.
However, rather than provide the ecosystem itself, like they did with Facebook, they could well provide the hardware and support services, such as games, events, business communication tools, fitness tech and wearables. This could see the company stay relevant. And if you throw $10 billion at any problem you are bound to back some winners.
So the first answer to the question how to profit from the Metaverse… Buy shares in Facebook, this might not appeal to everyone given their questionable ethical practices. So we will look elsewhere for better opportunities.
Who Will Be The Metaverse Ecosystem?
The real money will be made by identifying where the Metaverse Ecosystem may come from if its not Facebook.
Research has identified two major current players, Sandbox and Decentraland. We shall discuss both their merits below.
With its strong emphasis on decentralisation, a key idea of cryptocurrencies, sandbox allows the use of its native token SAND in the game to implement its five functionalities: buy, trade, play, create and govern.
The Sandbox is a metaverse that offers players and creators a decentralised platform to create 3D worlds and game experiences, as well as to store, trade and monetise their creations. It is a subsidiary of Animoca Brands, which develops and publishes products in digital entertainment, blockchain and gamification.
As I write this Sandbox has just received $93 million form Softbank to continue its development. The Sandbox Crypto coin used within the Metaverse has risen 24% today alone. Sandbox Coin can be purchased on the Binance Exchange.
There are two ways to invest in Sandbox’s growth, one would be to buy SAND coin, the other is to buy land within the Metaverse itself. This, like all land speculation is highly risky but can have enormous upside. The Land parcels which can be seen here (Map of LANDs and the Game Metaverse (sandbox.game)) will be registered on the Ethereum network as an NFTs (Non Fungible Tokens). This secures your asset in the metaverse to you and you only.
Like Sandbox, this platform is not controlled by any central entity or company. It is a decentralised virtual reality world that allows you to monetize the content created through tools such as the simple Builder tool and some SDKs for the more experienced. This Metaverse is already well established, they have recently thrown a number of high profile parties and a list of upcoming events can be seen here. https://events.decentraland.org/
Land parcels as you can see are priced in Ethereum and are already commanding substantial amounts. Personally I think they are trading at too much of a premium for novice investors. The more sensible play would be to accumulate some to their crypto currency MANA.
MANA is the currency of Decentraland. With it, you can buy or rent parcels of virtual land, known as LAND, which work through a smart contract based on the ERC-721 standard that is approved and stored in the blockchain by Ethereum.
The Final Play
So how to profit from The Metaverse? For me, all of the above are sensible ways to access the Metaverse and back a runner in this very early race. If one of the above were to become the major player in this space the upside potential in huge. But none of this is guaranteed, we may not have even seen the Metaverses final ecosystem yet. It may yet be superseded by a new player much like Netscape was.
There is however one constant that seems to be running through all of these runners and riders, they are all using NFTs powered by Ethereum.
Willow Rivers has long been a big fan of the Ethereum network, although expensive, it is proven. For me, the simplest and most diversified way to invest in the Metaverse is to buy or mine Ethereum.
So basically, it’s Ethereum vs. Facebook in a race to create a compelling Metaverse.
Open vs. Closed.
Transparent vs. Opaque.
Permissionless vs. Permissioned.
Community Owned vs. Zuck Owned.
My bets are placed. Let’s build a better future together.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss any of the above please get in touch via www.willowrivers.com
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Three weeks into 2021 and it seems like a good time to take stock and have a look at what’s happening in the world of investments and wealth management this year.
With Christmas being a very low-key affair and people not being allowed to travel, things seemed to go back to normal much earlier than usual.
Brexit was finally put to bed without too much disruption and the virus continues to burn like a smouldering peat bog, flaring up each season. But with a vaccine on horizon for most and the worst fears of Brexit out the way, business confidence is definitely on the rise. Are the Roaring 20s are back ?
We have seen an electric start to our property developments in Kent and Cambridge.
Our first offering, a small 2 bedroom timber framed house was funded in the first week of the year and it looks like we have secured 3 investors for our larger development of 4 terrace houses.
We have secured two more projects, another Kent and one in Sussex. Due to the fast nature of these deals they rarely make it to the website. So if you are interest in development opportunities, please get in touch and we will add you to the list. They are all very straight forward. We secure projects with full planning and developer finance in place. All we require is the equity to close the deal. We manage all contractors and you receive 15% pa during the build. Your security is a second charge against the asset after the bank. The average project length is 8-12 months.
The Cambridge biomedical sector goes form strength to strength as the AstraZeneca vaccine gets a global roll out. This has really highlighted how important the Cambridge Biomedical Campus is and our Cambridge biomedical fund is perfectly positioned to make the most of this over the next few years, click here to find out more and request a brochure. The fund has full HMRC approval so can be used for tax planning under the EIS and SEIS schemes.
We are still seeing lots of interest in our renewable energy opportunities. Our Geothermal project in Hungary continues to perform year after year and generates a genuine 12% net PA for our investors. Click here for more details. We are also working on new solar and gas CHP projects throughout the UK. If you are looking for renewable energy assets do let us know as we can source just about all asset types including energy storage.
We saw considerable increases in the price of all major crypto assts over the Christmas period as predicted here back in November. Bitcoin got a bit crazy towards the start of the year and some of that froth has since blown off. The price has stabilised around the $30k mark and will likely start to increase again once the new US government makes its stance clear on crypto assets. You can’t stop people investing in crypto but you can certainly make it more difficult. The UK recently banned leveraged investments in crypto for retail investors and its not impossible other countries will follow suit. That doesn’t meant to say demand is falling, just slowing down for a bit. Large corporate entities such as Greyscale continue to accumulate very rapidly and we expect this trend to continue and prices to rise due to the finite supply of bitcoins.
Now is not a bad time to be buying the dip before the next move higher later this year.
DeFi is set to transform the finance and banking sector over the next few years. I wont go into too much detail here, but expect to hear a lot more about this space in the coming months.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
For those looking for more explosive growth potential in the technology sector, our AI Fund is just the ticket. Achieving 214% over the past 4 years this collection of the 42 most exciting AI stocks globally, is chosen using AI then approved by a panel of AI experts. Click here to find out more and request a brochure.
So to conclude, 2021 is going to be a very busy year, we see exceptional opportunities in the property development sector due to pent up demand form Covid-19. Crypto and DeFi will change the way we do business and finance. The UK will be one of the early winners from it”s advanced biomedical sector and the rapid rollout of the vaccine.
We see a great many positives in 2021 and we hope you will join Willow Rivers Wealth for the ride during the return of the ‘’Roaring 20s’’.
There seems to be a great many historical events unfolding at the same point in time, we look at some investment ideas for 2021
It’s only when you stop to write a blog or spend some time to reflect that you realise this is history in motion. As I write this, Donald Trump, the president of the United States of America is calling the election rigged and is questioning the validity of the result. This undermines so many things and erodes trust in just about everything.
No matter what your stance on Bitcoin, it’s independent nature has to have some allure as even the president calls into question the system itself. This recent Twitter thread by Raoul Pal explains it’s long term potential very well and why we should all be holding some Bitcoin.
Brexit negotiations are nearing the end game, with neither party willing to budge and a no deal Brexit is looking increasingly likely. The EU is also threatening our energy security as part of the deal.
We have not even mentioned the virus and its ”cure” announced last week. The timing of which also occurred right after the election. The markets took the news with great gusto. Pfizer was up almost 16% on the day at one point.
So what does all this mean for investors??
The Pfizer cure is only 90% effective and has only had a limited trial, however as I write this Moderna (MRNA) has just announced a vaccine with a 95% success rate, which ironically was fast-tracked by the Trump administrations funding.
This has also seen another stock market move higher, along with oil prices and Bitcoin.
So should we be out on the streets throwing a party and celebrating the end of perhaps the worse year in many peoples lives? Possibly!
However things are going to get worse before they get better, the time lag in producing the vaccine and the onset of winter flu seasons means many more will sadly die and our health systems will be stretched. We will have to endure a miserable winter and a lockdown Christmas before we can get out on the streets.
Spring 2021 will be a time of great prosperity as months of pent up demand are released in an investment boom not seen for some time.
And although now may not seem like the time, now is when you should be planning for this. We have compiled a quick to do list ready for 2021.
It will be interesting to see how the treasury manages this post investment boom. They have obviously run up massive debts during the pandemic and as such will be keen to recoup this. One such suggestion has been to tax drivers on a pay per mile tax, which seems rather unfair, another will be to raid business. What ever they choose lets hope its done in such a way as not to strangle growth.
So keep your head down for a few more months, get your house in order and prepare for the good times again in the spring. If you have any questions or would like any suggestions on how best to play the above please get in touch and we will gladly give you a free consultation.
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