4 things you need to know about the metaverse this week

NFTs are becoming an increasingly hot metaverse topic.

NFTs are becoming an increasingly hot metaverse topic. Image: Marco Verch Professional Photographer

Ian Shine
Senior Writer, Forum Agenda
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  • This regular roundup brings you a selection of the latest news and updates on the development of the metaverse.
  • Below you'll find insights and opinions on how this emerging technology could transform the way we work, make purchases and spend our leisure time.

1. Meta launches Meta Pay, a digital wallet for the metaverse

Meta has rebranded Facebook Pay as Meta Pay in the first step of a process intended to allow users to take their digital property with them when they move between metaverse spaces.

"In the future there will be all sorts of digital items you might want to create or buy – digital clothing, art, videos, music, experiences, virtual events, and more," Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post announcing Meta Pay. "Proof of ownership will be important, especially if you want to take some of these items with you across different services."

Interoperability – the ability of users, or their avatars, to freely move between virtual spaces and take all the pieces of their digital personality with them – is widely seen as being critical to the potential success of the metaverse. This is because it will make moving around the metaverse feel more similar to being in the real world. It could be compared to needing only one log-in now for all the websites you visit – it would make the journey more seamless and user-friendly, but potentially also raise privacy and security concerns.

"You should be able to sign into any metaverse experience and everything you've bought should be right there," Zuckerberg adds. "There's a long way to get there, but this kind of interoperability will deliver much better experiences for people and larger opportunities for creators. That is, the more places you can easily use your digital goods, the more you'll value them, which creates a bigger market for creators."

The Meta Pay announcement came on the same day as Meta revealed it is adding more ways for "creators" to make money on its platforms. This includes expanding Instagram’s use of "digital collectibles" – unique artworks or other items distributed as non-fungible tokens (NFTs). NFTs are becoming an increasingly hot topic in the metaverse…

2. eBay for virtual goods: Online marketplace files metaverse trademark applications

Online auction site eBay has submitted trademark applications in the United States related to virtual goods and NFTs.

The filing was revealed on Twitter by licensed trademark attorney Michael Kondoudis in late June and covered by digital currency news outlets.


The application came on 23 June, one day after eBay acquired NFT marketplace KnownOrigin – a move it describes as "an important step in eBay’s tech-led reimagination". KnownOrigin allows artists and collectors to buy and sell digital collectibles.

eBay began allowing the buying and selling of NFTs in May 2021. NFTs are unique units of data stored on the blockchain, and have been booming as they allow people to buy, sell and prove ownership of digital objects.

However, they are not without controversy, with copyright issues and numerous instances of fraud.

3. KPMG opens metaverse hub

KPMG has launched a "metaverse collaboration hub" for staff and clients to "connect, engage and explore opportunities for growth across industries and sectors".

KPMG is one of the world’s so-called big four accounting firms, and the metaverse "opening" by its US and Canada offices follows its moves into other Web 3.0 technologies, such as cryptocurrency and NFTs.

It says it will use the technologies to build "immersive learning and development platforms" and "lend expertise and help navigate the evolving convergence of the physical and digital worlds".

The company describes the metaverse as a $13 trillion market opportunity and says the virtual world could have 5 billion users by 2030. It has released a YouTube video showcasing its metaverse space:


Fellow big-four accountancy firm PwC bought real estate in the metaverse in January, and the finance sector more widely has been embracing the space. Bank JP Morgan has purchased digital land, payments company Mastercard has made 15 US trademark filings related to the metaverse, and HSBC has launched a fund for metaverse opportunities for its private banking clients in Singapore and Hong Kong.

4. Experts see metaverse in 2040 as being mostly augmented and mixed reality

Construction of the metaverse may be speeding up, but opinions and expectations about the space appear to be coming together even faster. This prompted US institutions the Pew Research Center and Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center to ask more than 600 technology experts for their views on what the metaverse will look like by 2040.

The answer? Forget virtual reality (VR) and think more about augmented reality (AR) – the overlaying of digital worlds on top of physical ones – and mixed reality, an enhanced level of AR where the real and virtual elements can interact.

"People will find those advances particularly appealing because they will expand upon real-world experiences and improve users’ daily lives by making reality more understandable or interesting," the report says.

VR will be used more in "enthusiastic but smaller user bases, especially gamers and entertainment seekers, and in select business, medical, education and training settings", the experts say.

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The other key theme that emerged from the research is that the metaverse could "dramatically magnify" both good and bad human tendencies. Of particular concern is that the more immersive nature of the platform compared with the current internet could expand "surveillance capitalism" and provide monitoring opportunities for authoritarian governments.

No doubt this will be a key focus for the recently established Metaverse Standards Forum, a consortium of the biggest companies working in the space, as they seek to develop rules to ensure an “open and inclusive metaverse”.

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