Some Very Simple Economics of Web3 and the Metaverse
24 Pages Posted: 27 Apr 2022 Last revised: 28 Mar 2023
Date Written: April 17, 2022
The Metaverse refers to a shared vision among technology entrepreneurs of a three-dimensional virtual world, an embodied internet with humans and the physical world in it. As such, the Metaverse is thought to expand the domain of human activity by overcoming spatial, temporal, and resource-related constraints imposed by nature. The technological infrastructure of the Metaverse, i.e. Web3, consists of blockchain technology, smart contracts, and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), which reduce transaction and agency costs, and enable trustless social and economic interactions thanks to decentralized consensus mechanisms. The emerging Metaverse may give rise to new products and services, new job profiles, and new business models. In this brief note, I assess the promises and challenges of the Metaverse, offer a first empirical glimpse at the emerging Metaverse economy, and discuss some simple Metaverse economics that revolve around building and operating the Metaverse.
Keywords: Metaverse, Web3, Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), Blockchain Technology, Smart Contracts, Digital Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurial Opportunity, Platform Economics
JEL Classification: G23, G24, L26
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