Maria’s Note: Maria Bonaventura here, Rogue Economics’ senior managing editor. I’m thrilled to welcome our new editor, Nomi Prins. Nomi is a best-selling author and financial journalist. But once, she was a Wall Street insider…
Nomi worked as a managing director at Goldman Sachs… ran the international analytics group as a senior managing director at Bear Stearns in London… and was a strategist at Lehman Brothers and an analyst at the Chase Manhattan Bank.
Over the next few weeks, Nomi will show you why she left her career as a global investment banker… and set out to demystify the world of money.
And, going forward, you’ll hear from Nomi and her team every day in these pages. They’ll shed light on the ways the elite few manipulate the financial system to serve their own interests, at the expense of everyone else.
And they’ll put you on the right side of a disconnect Nomi sees between the economy and the markets. Read on for today’s insight from Inside Wall Street contributing editor, Lau Vegys…
On November 29, a plot of virtual land sold for a record $2.43 million.
The sale happened on Decentraland, an online blockchain-based world, and was paid for in crypto.
Just take a moment to process this.
Someone spent millions buying land in a new city that only exists in a virtual world.
Having a hard time wrapping your head around this?
We get it. In fact, we see it as another sign of the disconnect our editor, Nomi Prins, has identified between the markets and the real economy…
It’s a disconnect between the markets and the real economy… And it’s partly to thank for the record prices we’re seeing across all markets right now.
Of course, if you know where to look, you can make considerable profits from that disconnect.
So today, we’re going to show you what all the hype is about… and what it means for investors.
The Next Chapter for the Internet
Here’s the first thing to know…
Decentraland is part of a bigger trend in the blockchain world. That trend is called the metaverse.
Most folks first heard about the metaverse in October. That’s when Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the company was changing its name to Meta.
Here’s how Zuckerberg described it:
In the metaverse, you’ll be able to do almost anything you can imagine – get together with friends and family, work, learn, play, shop, create – as well as completely new experiences that don’t really fit how we think about computers or phones today.
He also called the metaverse “the next chapter for the internet.” And he said that from now on, his company will be “metaverse first, not Facebook first.”
Yes, you read it right. Facebook, the world’s biggest social media platform, just became a “metaverse” company.
So what is the metaverse exactly? And what does Facebook’s move mean?
Top Techs Race to Conquer Metaverse
In the simplest terms, the metaverse is a virtual environment, where – using an avatar – you can “live,” work, and have fun. It’s open to everyone. And some metaverse platforms already have developed economies, meaning you can buy and sell things.
Now, as you might have guessed, the metaverse is still very much a work in progress.
But Facebook is not the only tech giant eyeballing this opportunity. A handful of other top tech companies are preparing to ride this trend, too.
Have a look at this chart. It shows the number of patented inventions associated with the metaverse filed by the top tech companies in recent years…
While Meta has clearly been putting its money where its mouth is, especially in the last five years, it’s still behind companies like Sony, Microsoft, Samsung, and Google overall.
But here’s the important part. Overall, in the last 15 years, more than 100,000 metaverse-related patent documents have been published.
This tells me there is huge interest in the metaverse from some of the tech industry’s biggest champions… and it is picking up speed. That’s a big deal because it shows where this space is headed.
And people are starting to take notice. Just look at the surge in “metaverse” searches on Google (the blue line on the chart below) versus “bitcoin” searches (the orange line on the chart below) this year.
The metaverse has become the buzzword du jour on the internet.
All Aboard the Metaverse Bandwagon
But many folks are doing much more than just talking the talk.
Take socialite and media personality Paris Hilton, who launched her own virtual world on the Roblox gaming platform. Paris World features massive DJ stages, Paris’ own house, a zoo, a private jet, a yacht, and her own personal island.
Roblox has already staged virtual concerts featuring musicians like Twenty One Pilots, KSI, Zara Larsson, and others.
Rapper Snoop Dogg recently partnered with The Sandbox, a decentralized virtual world specializing in virtual real estate. He will set up his mansion and nonfungible token (NFT) collection in The Sandbox metaverse. And he’ll also perform live concerts and interact with players.
These are just a few examples of individuals that have hopped on the metaverse bandwagon recently. We’re sure to see more high-profile announcements in the coming weeks and months.
Mouthwatering Gains for Early Adopters
Here’s the bottom line…
Whatever your feelings about the merging of our physical and digital lives, the metaverse is already underway. And that could have important implications for your portfolio.
Bloomberg Intelligence says the metaverse was worth $500 billion in 2020 and can reach $800 billion by 2024.
And crypto investment giant Grayscale says the metaverse may soon be worth over $1 trillion.
In the meantime, if you want to get some exposure to this developing trend, you can simply own ether (ETH). Most metaverse tokens and NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are built on Ethereum.
The second-largest crypto by market capitalization and the native cryptocurrency of the Ethereum network, ether will surge in popularity as the metaverse and NFTs become more widely adopted.
There are many ways to buy ether. Purchasing it on a crypto exchange such as Coinbase and storing it in a crypto wallet is one.
But PayPal or Square’s Cash App may be more convenient options for someone buying ether for the first time. With both of these popular apps, you can start your crypto portfolio with as little as $1.
It’s a good solution if you only want to buy a small amount of ETH.
Alternatively, you could capitalize on the metaverse by owning a piece of a Nasdaq-listed metaverse ETF like The Roundhill Ball Metaverse ETF (META). The fund invests in companies with exposure to the growing metaverse space such as Nvidia, Microsoft, Roblox, Tencent, Unity, among others.
And we’ll be sure to share lots of other ways to gain exposure to this budding space with subscribers when the time is right.
As for what someone would want with $2.43 million worth of virtual land… the new owners say it will be used to host digital fashion shows. So expect plenty of announcements from the top fashion houses and supermodels on this.
In the 1980s, supermodel Naomi Campbell famously said she wouldn’t get out of bed for less than $10,000… Now, she can stay under the duvet and have her avatar attend Fashion Week in Decentraland instead!
Contributing Editor, Inside Wall Street with Nomi Prins
Maria’s Note: Stay tuned for more from Nomi and her team over the next few days. They’ll show you ways to take advantage of the trends that will shape 2022. Tomorrow, we hear from Nomi about why she went from her old life on Wall Street… to her new life exposing the secrets of the global monetary, financial, and economic systems. Look for that in your inbox at 12:30 p.m. ET tomorrow.
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