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10 Stocks That Will Own the Metaverse – Yahoo Finance

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In this article we present the list of 10 Stocks That Will Own the Metaverse. Click to skip ahead and see the 5 Stocks That Will Own the Metaverse.
Meta Platforms, Inc. (NASDAQ:META), NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA), and Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) are three companies the smart money is betting big on that should one day own the metaverse, which has the potential to be one of the most lucrative ventures in human history.
There’s no simple way to define what the metaverse is or will be, but a broad definition could describe it as a collection of virtual worlds in which people interact with each other through avatars. And while the delivery mechanisms could be many, a true metaverse experience is seen as one which will use VR headsets, sensors, and haptic feedback to completely immerse the user in a 3D world.
While the metaverse is most commonly associated with gaming, it has the potential to transform and play a role in nearly every facet of our lives, from how we work and conduct business, to how we socialize, consume entertainment, and spend our money. Rudimentary examples of metaverses already exist, primarily in the form of gaming type experiences like Roblox (primarily because of the presence of live events on the platform, which other online games like Fortnite have also hosted) and Meta Platforms’ Horizon Worlds (a more focused, though early-stage attempt at a true metaverse experience).
What differentiates a metaverse from a traditional online video game, which otherwise has many of the same elements, is the broad real-life applications that a metaverse could offer. Socializing, work, education, live events, or conducting metaverse-related business all figure to feature prominently in these worlds. Entire economies are expected to spring up within these worlds that will actually lead to real-world, but metaverse-based jobs, such as game designers, visual architects, and fashion designers, and virtual land owners (and landlords?).
We’re already seeing some astounding prices being paid for virtual property in games like The Sandbox, where more than $1 million was spent on virtual land so those owners could digitally live near Snoop Dogg. As more and more celebrities and influencers start heading into the metaverse, these scenarios will continue to magnify, with people spending huge sums to live near celebrities and making large sums if they can get celebrities to endorse their metaverse clothing or other creations.
It’s that kind of real-world imitating economic backdrop, and the ability to otherwise conduct actual real-world business through the platform that has prognosticators so excited about the growth potential and future scope of the metaverse, which could be worth trillions of dollars.
While the extreme ends of that growth aren’t likely to be felt any time soon, as the technology simply isn’t there yet (and likely won’t be for many years to come) to create a truly immersive metaverse, the market is nonetheless expected to grow at a very impressive 39.4% CAGR through 2030.
If you believe in the long-term growth potential of the metaverse and are looking for some stocks to invest in that should be among the leaders in the space, you’ve come to the right place. The following list of top metaverse stocks is based on the latest shareholder data from a collection of some of the best investors in the world.
Photo by mahdis mousavi on Unsplash
Our Methodology
The following metaverse stocks are ranked based on hedge fund sentiment. We follow a select group of hedge funds because Insider Monkey’s research has uncovered that their consensus stock picks can deliver outstanding returns.
All hedge fund data is based on the exclusive group of 900+ funds tracked by Insider Monkey that filed 13Fs for the Q2 2022 reporting period.
Number of Hedge Fund Shareholders: 23
 
Meta Platforms, Inc. (NASDAQ:META), NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA), and Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) are three names most likely to own the metaverse in the years and decades to come. Another company that will have a big role to play in the metavolution is Unity Software Inc. (NYSE:U).
With gaming and immersive graphical experiences being core to the metaverse experience, 3D development platforms like Unity Software Inc. (NYSE:U)’s will be key to building the backbone and eye candy that will shape our digital futures. Unity is already making money from such endeavors, in addition to standard video games, pulling in $617 million in revenue in the first half of this year. The company is poised to merge with app monetization company ironSource, with a shareholder vote on the issue taking place on October 7. That should give the company and its content creators even more effective means of making money from their creations, be they meta-related or otherwise.
Unity Software Inc. (NYSE:U) crashed to a new low in hedge fund ownership during Q2 following a 41% drop in the number of funds long the stock. Greg Eisner’s Engineers Gate Manager and Nehal Chopra’s Ratan Capital Group were some of the funds that sold out of Unity during the second quarter. Jim Davidson, Dave Roux, and Glenn Hutchins’ Silver Lake Partners has more than 10% exposure to Unity in its 13F portfolio, owning just under 35 million shares.
The ClearBridge Investments All Cap Growth Strategy was buying shares of Unity Software Inc. (NYSE:U) during the first quarter, explaining why in its Q1 2022 investor letter:
“We took advantage of a correction in higher-multiple stocks early in the first quarter to purchase shares of Unity Software (NYSE:U), a leading platform to create, run and monetize 3D content. With about 1.6 million monthly active creators versus roughly 15 million potential content creators in gaming alone, we believe the company’s Create Engine is still underpenetrated relative to its core addressable market. We similarly see a long runway for growth in Unity’s Operate Solutions segment given its advertising network commands single-digit share of the $60 billion mobile app install ad market today. Furthermore, we believe Unity is well-positioned to expand its addressable market to include industries beyond gaming, on both the operate and create sides of their business (Exhibit 1). The company is not yet free cash flow positive but given strong net expansion rates and high gross margins, we see a path to improving profitability over time, with management notably targeting positive free cash flow this fiscal year.”
Number of Hedge Fund Shareholders: 26
 
Japanese electronics giant Sony Group Corporation (NYSE:SONY) is one of the biggest players in the metaverse at this point given the traction that its PlayStation-based VR headset has achieved, selling over 4 million copies worldwide. Sony recently partnered with English Premier League club Manchester City to recreate that team’s football stadium in the metaverse. Sony also sells sensors and other imaging technology that could be utilized by other companies engaged in the development of metaverse experiences.
26 of the hedge funds that are tracked by Insider Monkey’s database were long Sony Group Corporation (NYSE:SONY) on June 30, up 30% from three quarters earlier. Ben Jacobs’ Anomaly Capital Management initiated a position of 1.65 million Sony shares during Q2, giving its 13F portfolio 6.81% exposure to the company.
Cooper Investors discussed Sony Group Corporation (NYSE:SONY)’s role in the burgeoning music rights landscape in the fund’s Q4 2021 investor letter:
“In recent years we have observed a growing market for music rights which represent another way for owners of record labels and music libraries like portfolio holdings Warner Music Group and Sony (via its subsidiary Sony Music, ~25% of our estimated enterprise value) to deploy capital, grow their businesses and create value for shareholders.
In the first few days of 2022 Warner closed a deal to acquire David Bowie’s back catalogue for about US$250m which follows on from Bruce Springsteen’s catalogue sale to Sony for upwards of US$500m and Bob Dylan’s sale to Universal Music for a similar amount.
The trend in demand for music copyrights is clearly strengthening, with competition for these assets coming from traditional music companies (Warner, Sony) as well as specialist investors and private equity…” (Click here to see the full text)
Number of Hedge Fund Shareholders: 38
 
Roblox Corporation (NYSE:RBLX)’s eponymous mobile game is one of the earliest examples of a metaverse in action, as the game features a collection of virtual worlds and activities created by millions of different content creators that can then be engaged with by players, a small number of whom exist within the environment at the same time and can interact with one another. Players can also buy fashion items and accessories for their avatars, allowing them to develop a unique look that sets them apart from other players’ avatars.
In addition to the millions of standard game and hangout rooms, Roblox has also played host to several live events, including live concert experiences from renowned artists like The Chainsmokers. However, the limitations and annoyances of the Roblox platform can somewhat obscure the immense promise of what the metaverse could be, as you’re constantly bombarded with popup ads and gaudy in-experience ads trying to sell you stuff at all times. Despite that, Roblox had nearly 60 million daily active users in September, showing how popular shared virtual worlds not only could be, but already are.
Hedge funds have bailed on Roblox Corporation (NYSE:RBLX) over the past two quarters, pushing ownership of the stock down by 38%. Some of the eponymous game’s biggest bulls were doubling down on the stock during Q2 however, as Jim Simons’ Renaissance Technologies, Cathie Wood’s ARK Investment Management, and Ken Griffin’s Citadel Investment Management all raised their stakes in the company. The three funds own more than $750 million in RBLX shares as of June 30.
Jefferies Group discussed Roblox Corporation (NYSE:RBLX)’s potential opportunities and pitfalls with its Metaverse game in the fund’s Q3 2021 investor letter:
“If we look at the Metaverse concept with more lenient guidelines for interoperability, then it becomes easier to see why certain companies are being referred to as Metaverse. On the virtual side, we’d point to companies like Epic Games, TakeTwo and Roblox. In augmented reality, it would be Niantic and SNAP. These are the large capitalized players in the space but albeit, not the only ones. We expect new mulit-billion dollar companies will rise as the
Metaverse becomes more mature.
Roblox is a good example. The content is almost entirely user generated, the engine that powers the developer studio is provided by Roblox and developers/creators share in almost all the money that users spend on the platform. In addition, many of the items that you purchase in the avatar marketplace, or even a branded experience like Vans World, can be taken across experiences. Roblox talks a lot about platform extension, which would move the platform beyond just gaming/leisure experiences and into education and workplace offerings. The developer community has the capability to build tools for other developers, there are professional studios being built on the platform and many consumer-facing brands/content are partnering with Roblox to ensure a virtual presence. Roblox actually has a lot of the pieces for our utopian definition of Metaverse, but things like technology, interoperability with outside platforms and a dynamic, two-way economy are what’s missing. However, given our thesis that full interoperability is somewhat unrealistic, it’s easy to see how Roblox fits the definition…
Many already consider RBLX a Metaverse, or at least an early iteration of one, and here’s why. The platform offers all the tools required for content creation in a low-code / no code format and handles publication, language translations, billing, collections, safety and security of the environment and more. It’s hard to find a platform that makes the creative process easier for developers than Roblox; we see this as very supportive of creator economy.
The content is almost entirely user generated and developers/creators share in almost all the money that users spend on the platform. The developer community has the capability to build tools for other developers, there are professional studios being built on the platform and many consumer-facing brands/content are partnering with Roblox to ensure a virtual presence. Roblox talks a lot about platform extension, which would move the platform beyond just gaming/leisure experiences and into education and workplace offerings. Lastly, many of the items that you purchase in the avatar marketplace, or even a branded experience like Vans World, can be taken across experiences. In essence, the RBLX ecosystem includes creator economy, a virtual platform, picks and shovels of the Metaverse and some interoperability – many of the key enablers for Metaverse.
However, there’s always work to be done. We would expect to see a more dynamic economy emerge with resale moving beyond limited items and premium members, particularly with newer gaming models such as play-to-earn. Increasingly, gamers are going to want some return for the time and money invested on a platform. Advancements in technology will allow for truly shared experiences among a larger and larger group of people. We remain skeptical on the reality of interoperability; RBLX could very well end up being one of many Metaverses.”
Number of Hedge Fund Shareholders: 66
 
Chipmaker Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) will be another major player powering the metaverse in the future. Yet while the company is optimistic about its potential, it also believes we’re a long way away from true metaverse experiences, where thousands or even millions of people could all exist within the same shared world at the same time rather than being walled off into tiny instances of a world that support only a limited number of users.
In an editorial posted to the company’s website, Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) senior vice president and head of the company’s Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics Group, Raja Koduri, believes we’ll need to achieve a 1,000-fold increase in computing power before true metaverses will be possible.
For its part, Intel is going all-in on chipmaking again, perhaps with an eye on owning the metaverse, as the company recently announced plans to spin off its autonomous driving unit Mobileye.
Hedge fund ownership of Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) has fallen by 23% since peaking at the end of the first quarter of 2021, including one of its steepest drops in smart money ownership during Q2. David Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital and Rob Citrone’s Discovery Capital Management were two prominent hedge funds that sold out of Intel during the quarter.
Baron Funds explained why Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) has failed to perform like some of its dot-com era peers in the fund’s Q2 2022 investor letter:
“Then, there is the case of Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC). A blue-chip tech champion with a market capitalization of over $500 billion in early 2000, the stock was trading at a P/E multiple of 42. It was a fast-growing company whose stock price and multiple declined more or less in line with its peers. However, unlike Google, Intel’s net income has grown from $7.3 billion in 1999 to $19.9 billion in 2021, a compounded annual growth rate of just 4.7%. Its growth from the dot com era has not proven to be durable, and Intel has yet to trade at the price it attained in 1999.”
Number of Hedge Fund Shareholders: 71
Closing out the first half of the list is another chipmaker, QUALCOMM Incorporated (NASDAQ:QCOM). While the company is best known for powering many of the world’s mobile devices with its Snapdragon processors, it’s angling to be one of the leading players in the metaverse as well. The company recently partnered with Meta Platforms to build novel VR and AR experiences utilizing custom Snapdragon XR platforms.
QUALCOMM Incorporated (NASDAQ:QCOM)’s venture capital arm has also deployed $100 million into a Metaverse fund to support the development of the metaverse ecosystem, specifically those that use the company’s XR platform. Those experiences won’t just be gaming-related, but will instead encompass everything from the health and wellness field, to education and entertainment.
Hedge fund ownership of QUALCOMM Incorporated (NASDAQ:QCOM) is also down by 23% from its peak, which was achieved in the third quarter of 2020. There’s also been a decline in smart money shareholders of QCOM during six of the past seven quarters. Michael Rockefeller and Karl Kroeker’s Woodline Partners and Paul Tudor Jones’ Tudor Investment Corp are among the funds that sold off their Qualcomm holdings during Q2.
The ClearBridge Investments Large Cap Value Strategy likes QUALCOMM Incorporated (NASDAQ:QCOM) opportunity to expand out from its strong mobile base, as outlined in the fund’s Q4 2021 investor letter:
“Market strength continued in the fourth quarter, with only the communication services sector down in the Russell 1000 Value Index. Portfolio returns benefited from the strong performance of semiconductor maker Qualcomm, which has executed exceptionally well in pursuing the transition to 5G, growing both content and share due to its leadership position in cellular technology. The chipmaker recently outlined a number of peripheral growth opportunities outside of mobile markets, including automotive (where it hopes to leverage its strong presence in the automotive infotainment space into advanced driver assistance systems), Internet of Things (including opportunities in the PC market, VR/AR market, and factory automation) and radio frequency (where mmWave adoption globally, including China, would drive substantial upside).”
 
Meta Platforms, Inc. (NASDAQ:META), NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA), and Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) will be major metaverse players in the decades to come. See where they rank among hedge funds today by clicking the link below.
 
Click to continue reading and see the 5 Stocks That Will Own the Metaverse.
 
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Disclosure: None. 10 Stocks That Will Own the Metaverse is originally published at Insider Monkey.
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8 Best Metaverse Crypto Coins to Invest in 2022 – Cryptonews

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Disclaimer: The text below is an advertorial article that is not part of Cryptonews.com editorial content.
With the Metaverse being one of the most popular sectors within cryptocurrency, finding the best Metaverse crypto coins can be an excellent investment strategy. 
Throughout this article, we’ll be reviewing eight of the top metaverse crypto coins and detailing how to buy our number one pick. Let’s get started. 
Below, we’ve included a quick summary of our Metaverse crypto list. Detailed reviews can be found in the next section. 
Tamadoge – Overall Best Metaverse Crypto Coin
Battle Infinity – Play-to-Earn Metaverse Ecosystem
Quint – Merging the Metaverse and Real-Life
Decentraland – Leading Metaverse World
Enjin – Tokenizing In-Game Assets
The Sandbox – Community-Focused Metaverse
MetaHero – Import Real-World Objects into the Metaverse
NFT Worlds – Blending Minecraft and the Metaverse
Each of the Metaverse crypto coins we’ll be reviewing boasts a strong feature set and plenty of utility. 
Tamadoge (TAMA) is a massively exciting project blending NFTs, the Metaverse, and memes in order to create a P2E game perfect for both casual players and crypto enthusiasts.
Centering around a Metaverse world named the Tamaverse, the game would see players raise NFT-based pets. A player can give their pet items from the Tamadoge store to upgrade it, earning Dogepoints in the process. As a player earns points, they move up the in-game leaderboard and earn a greater share of the rewards pool. 
While Tamadoge will first be available through a web browser, it will later release support for virtual reality headsets, providing users with an immersive way to interact and play mini-games within the Tamaverse. Players will also be able to use their phones to bring Tamadoge pets into the real world, similar to Pokemon Go (expected Q4 2023).
Tamadoge features a fixed supply of 2 billion tokens and a 5% burn rate on revenue generated from the in-game store. 
Tamadoge is one of the best Metaverse coins on the market. Its presale has raised over $4 million, and with the price per TAMA increasing slightly as tokens are sold, it’s worth checking it out today. Join the Tamadoge Telegram to learn more. 
Visit Tamadoge Now 
Battle Infinity (IBAT) is an upcoming P2E Metaverse ecosystem. It features a virtual world, exciting player-vs-player (PVP) games, and multiple DeFi elements.
Investors seem to love Battle Infinity, after just days of being in presale the project hit its hard cap of 16,500 BNB. While the presale sold out, IBAT will become available to trade on PancakeSwap on August 17th giving investors an extra chance to pick up some tokens. 
Battle Infinity is split into six platforms, a fantasy sports league, a decentralized exchange (DEX), an NFT marketplace, a collection of PVP P2E games, a staking platform, and a Metaverse world in which players can customize their avatar and watch battles in the arena. 
Some competitors to Battle Infinity’s fantasy sports league (Dream11, Mobile Premier League) have tens of millions of users. With Battle Infinity incorporating elements from crypto as well as fantasy sports, it could capture an even larger user base, which could do wonders for the value of IBAT. 
Battle Infinity is one of the few Metaverse crypto coins likely to stick around for the long term. The project has been audited by SolidProof and KYC-verified by CoinSniper adding to its validity. Check it out today using the link below and join the IBAT Telegram to stay up-to-date with the project. 
Visit Battle Infinity 
Quint (QUINT) is a Metaverse project blending the real and virtual worlds to provide investors immense value.
On the surface of things, Quint seems like a regular crypto project, it will feature staking, an NFT marketplace, and distribute rewards to investors. However, when you look into the details it’s clear that Quint is different from most projects. 
In addition to traditional staking (earn crypto for locking funds), Quint will offer investors the ability to participate in Super-staking pools. Within these pools, users will be able to earn real-life rewards like hotel stays, supercar experiences, and discounts on restaurants. 
In order to reshape the way NFT marketplaces currently operate, Quint will create a boutique NFT marketplace that offers users the option to have freshly minted NFTs framed and delivered, merging the real and Metaverse worlds.
Later down the line, Quint plans to add real-world items to its treasury. Investors will become part-owners of these items with the exact rates based on the number of QUINT tokens owned. 
Quint is a first-of-its-kind platform. With the Metaverse growing exponentially, Quint could be the key to bringing the sector to the mainstream. Check out the project below.  
Visit Quint Today
Decentraland (MANA) is the world’s most popular metaverse world.
Within Decentraland, users can purchase parcels of land which can be built upon. The possibilities of what can be created are near-endless with some users creating entire office blocks and P2E experiences. 
Decentraland is perhaps the most well-known Metaverse world in existence. It provides users with a wide range of monetization opportunities and will likely perform well in the foreseeable future. 
Enjin (ENJ) is a project that could reshape the gaming industry by tokenizing in-game assets.
The project aims to reshape the way developers create and distribute in-game items by tokenizing them to support easy buying, selling, and trading. Developers will also be able to receive royalties on secondary sales, similar to NFT creators. 
Currently, the main factor holding Enjin back is the lack of implementation. However, as this Metaverse crypto project is used in more large-scale games demand will likely boom. 
The Sandbox (SAND) is a community-centric Metaverse and the main competitor to Decentraland.
While The Sandbox boasts similar features to Decentraland (monetization options, land parcels, etc) it focuses more on the experience of individual players rather than catering to big businesses. 
The Sandbox consistently ranks as one of the 11 best Metaverse coins. The project is growing quickly and is worth a quick look.
Currently, the vast majority of assets usable within the Metaverse are computer generated and created digitally. However, MetaHero (HERO) could change things.
The project plans to create the world’s largest library of Metaverse assets. It will scan real-world objects and people to create assets unrivaled in terms of realism and detail. 
With MetaHero providing Metaverse developers the ability to create more realistic worlds, it could be one of the top metaverse cryptocurrency projects in the future. 
NFT Worlds blends one of the world’s most popular games, Minecraft, and the Metaverse to create a familiar yet powerful set of virtual worlds.
NFT Worlds allows players to create immersive Metaverse experiences and P2E games similar to Decentraland while using the familiar tools offered by Minecraft.
Millions of people own Minecraft accounts, as such, a platform allowing people to create Metaverse experiences within the game is likely to draw the attention of investors. 
In order to make the process simple, we’ve detailed how to buy TAMA, the best crypto to watch in 2022. 
To purchase TAMA, an investor needs to acquire ETH from a regulated exchange like eToro or directly from the Tamadoge website. 
Visit eToro Now
Cryptoassets are a highly volatile unregulated investment product. No UK or EU investor protection 
Once an account has been created, press ‘Deposit Funds’, decide how much to invest, and press, ‘Deposit’. Then, search for ‘ETH’, click ‘Trade’, choose how much Ether to purchase, and press ‘Open Trade’.
Next, create a crypto wallet by downloading the Metaverse extension or mobile app. Check that it’s set to the Ethereum network and use the eToro Money Wallet to withdraw ETH from eToro to MetaMask.
Lastly, head to the Tamadoge presale website, click ‘Connect Wallet’, choose MetaMask, and confirm the connection. Next, click ‘Buy Tamadoge’, decide how many tokens to buy (1000 TAMA  minimum), and hit ‘Convert ETH’. The tokens will be available to claim as soon as the presale has concluded. 
Visit Tamadoge Presale Now
A quick 3min read about today's crypto news!

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Elrond transforms into MultiversX and launches Metaverse products – Oryen sets primary focus on Passive Income – Business 2 Community

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Elrond transforms into MultiversX and launches Metaverse products – Oryen sets primary focus on Passive Income  Business 2 Community
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The Metaverse and Crypto – The Motley Fool

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Founded in 1993 by brothers Tom and David Gardner, The Motley Fool helps millions of people attain financial freedom through our website, podcasts, books, newspaper column, radio show, and premium investing services.
Founded in 1993 by brothers Tom and David Gardner, The Motley Fool helps millions of people attain financial freedom through our website, podcasts, books, newspaper column, radio show, and premium investing services.
The metaverse, cryptocurrency, Web3. Besides all three of these things being hot technology buzzwords, what do they have in common? For many tech developers and investors, the metaverse and crypto are intertwined and will become part of Web3 — a decentralized internet controlled by individual users rather than by big companies.
Although the metaverse (basically three-dimensional immersive virtual worlds) and cryptocurrency (Bitcoin (CRYPTO:BTC) being the first of thousands of cryptos) are two very different things, they could come to heavily rely on each other as they develop.
Let's start with a fundamental piece of technology that lies at the heart of both cryptocurrency and the metaverse: blockchain. Originally designed by Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto and now used by other big cryptos such as Ethereum (CRYPTO:ETH), blockchain is a public digital ledger that records transaction data. Transactions utilizing a blockchain network can be peer-to-peer and remove intermediaries (such as a bank or tech company) from user interactions. This can reduce cost and speed up the time for transactions to take place, among other things.
Commerce on the internet is still taking place using a digital version of traditional fiat currencies. Blockchain and currencies based on it were developed as a digital-native means of transacting business in a digital world. Metaverses with their 3D virtual worlds and immersive services are also seen by some as utilizing blockchain technology as a way to create permission-less interactions between internet users.
There are lots of 3D immersive worlds in existence today, such as video games where players can interact with each other in real time. By some definitions, though, these 3D worlds don't truly become part of the metaverse until they have a fully fledged digital economy.
Many of these games and services allow users to purchase digital items. For avid video gamers, this is a common practice. Outfits and accessories can be purchased to customize your in-game look or improve player performance. Cloud computing-based services utilize a similar concept, enabling a free-to-use or cheap starter package but locking premium or add-on features behind a paywall.
Sound a little pointless and far-fetched? This concept of metaverse shopping could have real-world applications, too. Shoppers could try on a virtual version of clothes in the metaverse before making a purchase. Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) CEO Jensen Huang talks a lot about "digital twins" of physical world locations, which has tremendous potential for businesses when designing and constructing property or planning for manufacturing projects. The same could be said for individuals who could preview a home remodel or sample a product, such as furniture, in a digital recreation of their home. 
With the potential for e-commerce and social interaction, this is where cryptocurrencies and applications built on a blockchain enter. Direct peer-to-peer interactions on the web hold the promise of instantaneous settlement of funds and near-zero fees. Item ownership can be guaranteed using an NFT (non-fungible token), which could take the form of a piece of art, a digital collectible item, or a digital version of a real-world purchase, such as a pair of Nike (NYSE:NKE) sneakers you could also wear in the metaverse.
For now, though, the metaverse is largely the realm of the video game industry and other imaginative start-ups. It's worth noting that turmoil in the crypto space during the first half of 2022 has also cast a shadow on the metaverse and its viability as a fully fledged digital economy. Nevertheless, here are four early-stage projects to watch that are bridging the gap between cryptocurrencies and the metaverse.
The Sandbox (CRYPTO:SAND) is a user-created digital world in which users can create and sell digital content within the game. SAND is the in-game token that acts as a currency and is built atop the Ethereum blockchain network. These tokens can be bought and sold on a number of cryptocurrency exchanges. SAND can be used to purchase virtual land, buildings, accessories, and other items as NFTs.
Decentraland (CRYPTO:MANA) is another Ethereum network-based metaverse experience. Participants can use the native token MANA to purchase virtual land and develop it for games and other experiences, as well as for avatars and digital accessories. Decentraland is controlled by the Decentraland DAO (decentralized autonomous organization). Owners of MANA or virtual property in Decentraland can participate in the DAO and vote on initiatives and new development.
Think of Axie Infinity (CRYPTO:AXS) as an Ethereum blockchain-based version of Nintendo's (OTC:NTDOY) Pokémon franchise. Players train fantasy monsters called Axies and compete against other teams. Axie Infinity is a "play-to-earn" game, meaning participating can earn the player AXS tokens. The tokens can be spent on new Axies (which trade as NFTs), training existing Axies to improve their traits, and the upcoming launch of virtual land within the Axie Infinity universe. The most expensive Axie ever was bought for the equivalent of $820,000 of Ethereum (at the then-market price).
Crypto Baristas is an NFT project that aims to bridge the gap between the physical and virtual worlds. Owners of a Crypto Barista NFT character get access to a metaverse where other coffee enthusiasts can meet. But this is more than just a place to grab a virtual coffee. The project is also being used to fund an actual café in New York City called Coffee Bros., which will partner with coffee farmers around the world (the first being an established farmer in Honduras). At this point, this is a very new project that has only just recently released a white paper on how its tokens will work, but it's an example of how metaverses can also have real-world applications.  
This digital, 3D world can present real opportunity for investors.
Digital real estate is the technical term used to describe virtual property.
You can't live on virtual land, you can't farm it, and you can't mine it — but you might make a profit from it.
Read our expert Q&A about what you should know before investing in crypto.
Prices of some native tokens used in a metaverse have skyrocketed in recent years, attracting plenty of investor attention. However, bear in mind that investing in cryptocurrencies and tokens built on a blockchain network is highly speculative — and not just because they're new technologies.
Crypto coins and tokens used in the metaverse aren't businesses that generate revenue and profits. Instead, they're a type of digital currency that can be used to make purchases or participate in a metaverse. Therefore, their values are highly subjective and prone to wild swings in price. Individual stocks of businesses are very volatile, too, but investors can make assessments on their value with revenue and profit metrics — metrics that crypto investors do not have. This problem has led to some of the extreme volatility in the wider crypto universe in 2022. 
Nevertheless, early versions of the metaverse hold a lot of promise, especially for those interested in participating in them. Ownership of some cryptos grants the holder a voice in a DAO or other virtual project, and artists and other digital creators can have a new outlet for their business.
Tread lightly when it comes to investing in this space as it's moving fast and still under development. But the intersection between cryptocurrencies and the metaverse is worth keeping an eye on in the years ahead.
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