5 Ways to Make Money in the Metaverse | Transak
Grab your pans and shovels — it’s gold rush time.
You may have heard that the metaverse and web3 is full of money-making opportunities, but perhaps you’re not exactly sure how to make money in the metaverse yourself.
If so, you’ve got plenty of company. But being a novice doesn’t have to exclude you from taking part in the possibilities coming with the increasing adoption of blockchain technology.
If you’re a gamer, you’ve probably already seen play-to-earn games explode in popularity. But that’s just one example — you may have even purchased NFT skins or wearables for your avatars already by now.
Meanwhile, new companies are sprouting up left and right to take advantage of untapped metaverse business opportunities in realms like e-commerce, virtual fashion, and more.
How to make money in the metaverse
The metaverse — which is actually more of a multiverse composed of several blockchain-based metaverse worlds — could bring endless possibilities for both startups and individuals. Just one word of caution: Joining in on the action does carry risk, as do all money-making opportunities in crypto.
That said, the metaverse is considered the next inevitable frontier of commerce, social engagement, art, and entertainment. Here are five ways you can get started making money in the metaverse today.
The metaverse is basically a virtual reality built upon blockchain where users, through digital avatars, can interact with one another. But unlike video game worlds, where money and land have no real-life value, metaverse land is purchased with crypto and has real-world value.
Metaverse land is bought as parcels in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Land in the metaverse is appreciating faster than physical real estate in some areas, according to anecdotal reports from metaverse landowners. Experts predict that the metaverse real estate market will grow to $1 billion by the end of 2022, with the potential to grow 31% annually until 2028.
Industry trends are focused mostly on the metaverses known as the “Big Four” — The Sandbox, Decentraland, Cryptovoxels and Somnium Space. Each metaverse has its own requirements and currencies.
For instance, The Sandbox metaverse is made up of over 166,000 LAND NFTs. Users must buy LAND to participate in games, and as a reward they get SAND tokens. Any LAND owner can host games on their land and charge people for it — a great passive income opportunity. According to The Sandbox’s OpenSea page, LAND owners can also host contests and events, stake SAND to earn and customize assets, monetize assets and virtual experiences, and vote in The Sandbox’s governance decisions.
So, just as in real life, owning land in the metaverse can bring passive income opportunities that result from both land appreciation (aka buying and flipping) and the activity happening on your property (renting it or hosting events for a fee).
If buying in the Big Four is already too cost prohibitive, there are other metaverse worlds making a splash. One example is Star Atlas, a metaverse that also gamifies virtual real estate acquisition. You can research all new metaverses and make predictions as to which ones will grow in popularity and value.
Can you imagine earning real money every time you play Candy Crush on your phone? Thanks to crypto, such an idea is no longer considered far-fetched. People are actually getting paid to play video games online on platforms such as Splinterlands and Axie Infinity.
While not a fool-proof passive income source (Axie recently experienced a major security breach), people have actually made a living through play-to-earn (P2E) games. Gaming has served as a fun form of crypto on-ramp for thousands of people worldwide. There are now more than 320,000 unique active users playing Splinterlands, placing it ahead of Axie Infinity in terms of popularity. Splinterlands provides its active user base multiple ways to earn tokens in the game or profit from NFTs.
People commonly view P2E games as a metaverse side hustle. Income can be inconsistent, though lucrative when lucky. The most expensive Axie ever sold, for instance, went for $820,000, according to the company’s website.
Digital wearable art
Those with digital art skills can find their niche selling art and other virtual goods in the form of NFTs wearables.
For example, Wilder World, an Ethereum-based immersive meraverse, invited artists last year to design virtual jewelry, accessories, and outfits to sell in the photorealistic world’s digital marketplace.
You’ll need to have the creative skills to design, upload, and sell your wares in the respective metaverse world of your choice, but this can be a fun and profitable outlet for artists looking to uplevel to a truly 21st century medium.
For instance, Decentraland has a marketplace that allows artists to upload assets and sell them. The artist Hiroto Kai, who was featured in a blog last year about how to sell virtual clothes, makes a differing amount of wearables available for each drop (i.e. mint).
Like most economies, the principle of supply and demand impacts the price of metaverse wearables and art. Artists typically sell their virtual goods and artwork on a variety of NFT marketplaces, experimenting with supply and price until they land on their sweet spot.
Just as IRL cities have billboards, the metaverse will soon have virtual shopping plazas, town squares, and other gathering places with prime-time marketing potential. Global consulting firm McKinsey and Company calls metaverse marketing an “opportunity for innovation and experimentation” and predicts that value-creation potential for the metaverse will be in the billions.
With brands like Nike, LEGO, Epic Games, and others finding their way to create virtual shopping experiences for their customers, now may be the time to start a metaverse advertising company.
Artists aren’t the only ones who can sell digital wares. Customers will need many types of digital goods to interact and enjoy their time in the metaverse. And salespeople — the ones who aren’t easily deterred by technological learning curves — can learn how to sell virtual goods through secondary NFT marketplaces.
Markets are already starting to emerge for all kinds of products, ranging from metaverse teleportation devices to high-end luxury goods. Just like in the real world, everything will come with a price tag. All transactions will occur on chain, and digital goods will be bought and sold in the form of NFTs using the dominant and/or native cryptocurrencies for every respective metaverse. (For example, transactions will happen with MANA in Decentraland, AXS in Axie Infinity, etc.)
How to find untapped metaverse business opportunities
Above, we’ve listed five ways to make money in the metaverse — but we’re just scratching the digital surface of all the ways it will soon be possible, or rather normal, to earn a living in these emerging blockchain worlds.
“I consider the metaverse as another country or another city. And it needs all of the same things that New York has. It needs TripAdvisor. It needs all of the same services that are offered to tourists, to travelers, to expats — to welcome them, have them meet other people, find things to do. And these are all business opportunities that people should take advantage of.” - Luca Arrigo
And don’t count yourself out of the metaverse fun if you have an IRL job, either. Real-life skills will translate into virtual spaces. Architects, for instance, might see the metaverse as the perfect chance to build their most ambitious, elaborate work of art without worrying about fire code regulations and other limitations of the physical world.
It should be noted that the long-term success of today’s latest metaverse initiatives does still remain to be seen. But while some speculate the metaverse bubble will eventually pop, there’s no denying the money-making potential for those brave individuals and startups who take advantage of the right opportunities.
So whether you’re entrepreneurial, tech-minded, data-driven, artistic, or a natural real-estate developer — it’s worth considering the metaverse as your chance to think outside the box, unleash your imagination, and make some money while you do it.
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Note: The above list of ways to make money in the metaverse is not exhaustive, nor is it financial advice. Please speak to your financial advisor before making any investment decisions or money choices of any kind.