“It’s time to explore, learn and play. The metaverse is a blank canvas.” This is how Eva Fernández Santidrián, technological innovation director at CaixaBank Tech, defined the present state of the metaverse. When asked why this phenomenon is booming, she explained that the technology is mature enough to give us immersive experiences and is surrounded by other favourable conditions, such as the accelerating evolution of cryptocurrencies, NFTs and DAOs; the value of persistence – identity and actions persist in the metaverse; and the freedom available in today’s environment to create new spaces, businesses and relationships.
“If you are not in the metaverse lately you are nobody; big companies are announcing their presence there, companies from the fashion world, entertainment and the financial sector. Telefónica announced its first executive position in this area – Chief Metaverse Officer – and Walt Disney is doing the same. We have to start thinking about our companies, about how this phenomenon affects us, what opportunities it gives us, what risks we face, and start putting these questions to our management committees and experimenting so that we can answer them”, she added.
For Eva Fernández, the data on digital behaviour are a taste of the opportunities offered by the metaverse: 60 trillion messages are sent daily on Roblox; users have spent 54 trillion on virtual goods in the last year; and on average, American children spend five hours a day on social media and Spaniards spend a third of their day in front of screens, including TVs and gaming consoles.
She brought to the debate the idea of “metazens” – citizens of the metaverse – who according to Oliver Wyman make up 13% of the population, mainly 25-to-35-year-old men with a certain level of purchasing power who are willing to enter the metaverse no questions asked. This is a huge market for sectors such as gaming, fitness and leisure, as well as other types of businesses in education and health. “Metazens see the metaverse as an opportunity to improve their quality of life, too, and aren’t only interested in entertainment; business opportunities are opening up for new approaches to learning and telemedicine”, she said.
In her opinion, the keys for traditional businesses to make the leap into the metaverse are learning, experimentation, community creation, connection and partnerships.
You can watch Eva Fernández Santidrián’s presentation here.