The definitive Metaverse report: market stats & trends (2022)

The Metaverse is a phenomenon that is often difficult to analyze. That's why we decided to compose this report, to gather a set of data and facts about the Metaverse, to make it easier to understand based on the latest information and from authoritative sources.

Good to know

Please note that all the financial data in this report is presented in US dollars.

Metaverse worldwide: key stats

The Metaverse market is expected to grow exponentially until 2030

The metaverse market is growing steadily and exponentially in the world: in 2020, its value was $478.7 billion. In 2022, it would be worth about $650 billion, and it would reach $783.3 billion by 2024. By 2030, this revenue could go beyond the $5 trillion mark.

Source : Bloomberg, Mc Kinsey "Value creation in the metaverse" report for the 2030 estimates

More than 1.7 billion augmented reality users by 2024

The number of augmented reality users is growing exponentially across the world. Data released by Statista show that:

Source : Statista

Metaverse in the US: key stats

The USA are a major market for the Metaverse, with many headquarters of companies investing in it located there. Even if Metaverse stats tend to be global, here are some key stats about the Metaverse in the US:

Metaverse in Canada: key stats

What is the metaverse?

The term metaverse is hot right now. Silicon Valley hypes it as the great next leap for the internet, but that vision is still fragmented. A metaverse definition is elusive because there isn’t yet a consensus of what exactly it is or will be. Some see a persistent virtual world, a veritable replacement for our own, while others apply the term to existing video games and VR business meetings. So, again, what is the metaverse?

The term metaverse dates to Neil Stephenson’s 1992 speculative fiction novel Snow Crash. It defines the metaverse as a virtual world built around a 100-metre wide, 65,536 km long road. Users access it through virtual reality headsets, which they experience as an alternative reality. They appear in the metaverse as their avatar and can interact with other users, shop, go to a nightclub, socialize with friends, ride a motorcycle, resolve their differences with a sword fight or nearly anything else. Other interpretations include the Ernest Cline novel Ready Player One, its Stephen Speilberg-directed film adaption, and the simulated reality in The Matrix film franchise.

Someday we may well have something resembling these worlds in real life. The biggest barriers are likely to be fragmentation and paywalls, as we see on today’s internet. Today's websites have vastly different moderation policies and Silicon Valley giants trend away from interoperable platforms. Without these players coming together, one imagines small competing metaverses rather than a single all-encompassing one. Regardless, we are moving towards more interactivity and greater online monetization, whether through our existing 2D computer monitors and cell phones or virtual reality and augmented reality headsets.

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What is AR? AR, or augmented reality, is a mixed reality, or a convergence of the physical and digital worlds. It can, for example, superimpose digital interfaces or objects into reality, often via your phone’s screen. Existing examples include the IKEA Place app that shows you just what that new hygge sofa will look like in your living room or Pokémon Go’s digital monster roaming around your neighbourhood.

What can you do in the metaverse?

We are still in the early days of the metaverse, but you can already work, game, socialize and invest in virtual property in the space. Let’s take a look at each of these below.

Working
Meta’s (Facebook’s) Horizon Workrooms already lets workers meet in a virtual space with productivity apps including whiteboards, calendars, file sharing and more. You can join in VR or with a video call.  

Gaming
Some people call Epic Game's Fortnite a part of the metaverse thanks to its events, cultural crossovers and social aspect. MMOs like World of Warcraft with thousands of simultaneous players and persistent worlds may also qualify.

Socializing
Meta's Horizon Worlds lets users meet and hang out virtually. Functionally it’s like Zoom with avatars and VR headsets. But that is far from all that is available. Nikeland, Nike’s metaverse space in Roblox is a place for users to socialize and interact with one another and the brand. Metaverse games don’t just mean competition. You can meet people, collect NFTS, share memes or go to a concert. 

Events
Fortnite has hosted concerts by Marshmello, Travis Scott and Ariana Grande, while Lil Nas X has performed in the Roblox metaverse and Snoop Dogg in The Sandbox. 

Buying property
Decentraland and The Sandbox are the most popular platforms for users buying metaverse properties today.

How does the metaverse work?

Promoters pitch it as a persistent world. We will enter the metaverse in the form of an avatar where we will interact with others. We will work, socialize, invest and game there. A decentralized virtual economy built on blockchain will figure heavily. 

The concept today is still nebulous, it is much clearer if we think of the metaverse as a transition towards the next generations of the internet. It will mean greater online connectivity and a wider acceptance of decentralized and VR/AR technologies in the coming decades. 

The Decentraland metaverse

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What is the Facebook metaverse?

Facebook got lots of publicity when it changed its name to Meta in 2021. Meta’s Vishal Shah calls the metaverse “the next phase of the internet”. Facebook doesn’t own the term metaverse, but they’re one of the biggest investors in developing the space. They currently offer:

  • Horizon Worlds
  • Horizon Workrooms
  • Oculus VR headsets
  • An app store full of VR games, productivity apps, meditation apps and more.

How to access the metaverse?

When you picture how to enter the metaverse, it probably includes strapping on a VR headset like Meta’s Oculus, Valve’s Index or Sony’s Playstation VR. Fortunately, a VR headset isn’t the only way to enter the metaverse as they remain niche devices.

In today’s fragmented metaverse, you’ll just need to:

Popular games billed as operating in a metaverse are Fortnite, Minecraft and the Roblox platform. They're already available through your computer, iPhone, Android, Nintendo Switch or Microsoft Xbox, making it easy to join the metaverse right now.

How to invest in the metaverse?

There are a few ways to get started investing in the metaverse. One can buy stocks in the companies creating it or purchase metaverse land. Below we take a look at these. 

How to buy metaverse stocks?

If you are looking to cash in on the metaverse for your portfolio, the easiest way is by buying stocks in the publicly-traded companies already developing this space. The metaverse will mean big business for companies that provide servers, graphics hardware, headsets, 3D software, fast networks and more. 

Here are a few of the biggest players in the metaverse stocks market:

StockSymbolExchangeAbout the company's initiatives
AlphabetGOOGLNASDAQGoogle has been creating AR and VR experiences for a decade starting with the Google Cardboard and Google Glass. It currently offers YouTubeVR and is well-positioned to take part in this growing market.
AmazonAMZNNASDAQAmazon has the largest share of web hosting on the market. The metaverse will require huge server capacity and lightning-fast speeds, something the company is uniquely capable of providing.
AppleAAPLNASDAQBuzz is building for Apple's VR and AR headset projected for a 2023 release. As one of the world’s most influential technology companies, an Apple metaverse seems certain to leave a large footprint on the industry.
MetaFBNASDAQFacebook is convinced that the metaverse is its future and that of the greater internet. Look no further than it renaming itself Meta. The social media giant is already building VR applications for its Oculus headsets.
MicrosoftMSFTNASDAQThe computing giant has VR experience and is heavily invested in gaming, most recently with its eye-watering $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard. A Microsoft metaverse proposes a heavy focus on gaming.
NvidiaNVDANASDAQNvidia is a graphics hardware giant. They already offer their Omniverse platform for creating immersive 3D worlds.
RobloxRBLXNYSEWhile it may not be a household name for all readers, Roblox has a big headstart in the metaverse space. It is huge among the under 16 crowd. The game platform allows users to create games and buy and sell virtual items with their currency Robux.
SnapSNAPNYSESnapchat is well-posed to make waves in the metaverse space with its years of experience with augmented reality filters and AR Spectacles.
UnityUNYSETheir software creates half of the 3D content we see today.
Top metaverse stocks

If you don’t want to invest in any one company, the Roundhill Ball Metaverse ETF (METV) trades on the New York Stock Exchange. It’s the most popular metaverse ETF out there. It is invested in all of the companies above as well as Coinbase, Qualcomm, AMD, Take-Two Interactive Software, Sony, Samsung and others. Exchange-traded funds are a low-cost, hassle-free and lower-risk way to invest in the stock market. 

How to buy land in the metaverse?

It is possible to buy virtual land in the metaverse on platforms like The Sandbox and Decentraland. They offer a place for what are essentially metaverse NFTs. Parcels can easily reach thousands of dollars a piece. Ownership is recorded to an Ethereum blockchain, and parcels exchange hands via cryptocurrencies

metaverse land for sale on OpenSea

Investing in metaverse land is easy. You’ll need to:

Once you have your metaverse land, you can design it as you like with a custom house to show off to your other users. Want to make money? You can wait for it to appreciate, rent it out or develop and flip it. 

You’ll be able to prove ownership and safely sell it because your metaverse property is written to the blockchain. 

As of the time of writing, the record sale in Decentraland was a large parcel that went for 618,000 mana (approximately $2.43 million USD) in November 2021. That is much more than a very nice real home in Canada, even in expensive markets like Toronto and Vancouver. Around the same time, a single plot of Genesis Infinity Land sold for 550 ETH or over $2.3 million USD. The largest investment was in The Sandbox where virtual real estate developer Republic Realm (now Everyrealm) spent $4.3 million.  

While in 2022 prices have slid from these late 2021 peaks, there are large corporations moving into this space. Banking giant JP Morgan opened a metaverse bank in Decentraland and became the first bank to invest. HSBC followed it with a purchase in The Sandbox metaverse. They are not alone among household names. Samsung, Adidas, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Miller Lite and others have jumped into this metaverse land rush. 

What is the best metaverse crypto?

Today, much of the initial metaverse runs on a blockchain, just like cryptocurrency. Crypto assets seem posed to plan an even larger role. There are a number of metaverse cryptos that will facilitate user interaction and metaverse shopping. That blockchain will underpin your ownership of a plot of virtual land or a pair of e-sneakers. 

The early candidates for the metaverse coins to buy include

Good to know

The Ethereum blockchain underpins both SAND and MANA.

When will the metaverse come out?

Depending on your definition, the metaverse is already out. Some cite platforms including Second Life and massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) like World of Warcraft and Everquest as metaverse games. Their persistent online worlds, digital goods and player interactivity have existed for two decades and hint at what the metaverse future could hold. 

The Sandbox and Decentraland similarly represent early takes on the metaverse and are available right now. 

The Sandbox Metaverse
The Decentraland Metaverse

The metaverse, as many people imagine it as a persistent 3D virtual space for work, play and socializing is coming out in baby steps. We can expect a more fully formed metaverse to launch and become mainstream in the next decade. Before most people get on it, we’ll need more widely-spread high-speed fibre internet, 5G and powerful computing and graphics. 

What companies are developing the metaverse?

There are many companies developing different aspects of the metaverse and the elements that will complement it. Here are some of the most famous names:

Working towards open interoperability standards will be important for having a single persistent metaverse. One solution may be the Metaverse Standards Forum. It has dozens of founding members including Meta, Nvidia, Microsoft, Epic Games, the World Wide Web Consortium, Alibaba, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Unity and Huawei.

We will see in the coming years what visions win out. Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg has stated that his company Meta is in “very deep, philosophical competition” over the direction of the internet with Apple. It is an exciting space to watch. 

Is the metaverse the future?

Yes, but exactly what it will look like is still taking shape. Many big companies are investing heavily. There is tremendous hype and mainstream excitement for ideas that were foreign to most people just a few years ago. 

What is certain is that the internet will continue to evolve. Web 3.0 is coming.

Web 1.0 was characterized by the static websites of the 1990s. It was a sort of wild west that was free, weird, largely anonymous and still coming of age. 

The shift to Web 2.0 was about interactivity, video and social media. Facebook and Youtube are Web 2.0 innovators. During this period, the internet became increasingly dominated by a few corporations focused on monetizing the internet. The internet broke out of beige PC towers and CRT monitors and into the new iPhones and Androids in our pockets. It was a revolution. 

Web 3.0 will be just as dramatic a leap forward, and we are already transitioning into it. Decentralizing technologies like blockchain, cryptocurrency, NFTs and DeFi will play a large role in the metaverse. Will we access it through VR headsets and experience it as a secondary reality? Some people certainly will, but not everyone. Today we are on the verge of a metaverse, of an internet, with increased interactivity, blockchain assets and connectivity.

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