2022 has been an exciting year in the digital world, and with the development of the Metaverse now under way and NFTs becoming one of the hottest topics being discussed, suffice it to say that we’ve moved well and truly into the digital age.
With so much change afoot, it can be difficult to keep tabs on what’s happening, and what you need to know about the whole thing – but there are already some clear trends emerging that are going to be worth watching over the coming months and years. Here, we take a look at five of the biggest.
Cryptocurrency and blockchain
The global appetite for cryptocurrency is nothing new, and despite market volatility resulting in some huge price crashes this year, the number of those using trading platforms like BitIndex Prime has continued to surge. It has become abundantly clear that cryptocurrency is here to stay, and as the Metaverse moves forward, it will become even more important to brands and businesses, as well as individual investors and traders.
The Metaverse and blockchain games could be set to merge over the next year, creating decentralised networks based on separate chains of interacting blocks, which could increase the accessibility of brand assets and take them beyond only the most popular virtual worlds.
With crypto required almost universally to purchase NFTs, virtual real estate and the like, and their blockchain technology becoming highly sought after, their popularity is likely to surge to never seen before heights.
While the Metaverse is a long way from being complete, virtual worlds are already popping up all over the place, and users are embracing them wholeheartedly. With this in mind, it’s clear that luxury brands of all kinds must follow suit and devise a refreshed strategy that places a focus on the Metaverse and the many ways in which it can be leveraged moving forward to their advantage.
We’re already seeing some of the world’s biggest and most highly sought-after brands dipping their toes into the water, and from launching crypto concept stores to creating NFTs, it seems there are few limits to what’s possible. Over the next year, brand adoption – particularly in luxury spheres – will become more widespread, and the way we shop and consume could soon be transformed.
An online gaming platform and game creation system that allows users to programme their own games as well as playing those developed by other users, Roblox has been making waves in the tech world of late. As games continue to move towards a more multi-layered experience that goes beyond simply playing, and incorporates web browsing and socialising, too, Roblox has shown itself to be one of the most forward-thinking companies within its field and has gained immense popularity amongst users – but they’re not the only ones who want a slice of the Roblox pie.
We’ve already seen some big-name collaborations with the likes of Gucci, who partnered with the platform to create its ‘Gucci Garden’, in which it exhibited a range of its hero products in digital avatar, and it has paved the way for plenty of other notable partnerships to come.
Music and entertainment
Virtual music events via platforms like Roblox and Fortnite are also on the rise and have provided musical artists and performers with a new way to reach and connect with their fanbases. Having taken off during the pandemic at a time when physical concerts and shows were off the agenda, many are continuing to leverage the opportunity to perform for fans who might not otherwise have had the chance to see them live, and all whilst giving them an authentic experience that makes them feel like they’re really there in the same stadium.
Musical NFTs, too, have seen huge growth this year, providing an alternative source of income for artists and allowing them to sell their EPs and albums directly to fans without the need to rely on record companies and streaming platforms.
As we mentioned, big name luxury fashion brands like Gucci have been some of the fastest to embrace the Metaverse, cryptocurrency and the digital world as a whole, with some exciting projects coming out of unique collaborations that are changing the way we shop.
Besides Gucci’s foray alongside Roblox, we’ve also seen Philipp Plein launch the world’s first crypto concept store in London, while Louis Vuitton launched its own mobile game featuring 30 NFTs last year in honour of its 200th birthday.
Increasingly, we can expect to see customers shopping in immersive online environments, browsing photo-realistic images of garments and accessories and eventually, even trying them on for size. It’s certainly an exciting time for the fashion world, and we’ll see a growing number of high-end brands looking to invest in the virtual space over the coming months and years in a bid to stay relevant and offer an elevated customer experience.