Bluerating | July 2022  

Few have understood was the metaverse really is. However, it sounds like novelty, which is a plus. The metaverse was relaunched by Mark Zuckerberg, who, in the meantime, renamed his old creation Meta in an attempt to renew its façade.

Thirty years ago, the writer Neal Stephenson was the first to prefigure the metaverse. In fact, the term metaverse was introduced in 1992 in the science fiction novel Snow Crash.

Stephenson imagines the metaverse as an immense black spherical planet, with a circumference of 65536 km. At the equator, a road runs around the entire planet travelled by a monorail with 256 stops, each located evenly at 256 km intervals.

On this spherical planet, each person can reproduce anything in 3D: shops, offices, nightclubs and much more, that users can potentially visit.

Stephenson’s creation is an incredible futuristic vision of the Internet. However, he prefigured a virtual environment inhabited by middle- and upper-class people. The disparities between social classes are represented by the quality and resolution of the avatars (from the black-and-white appearance of public terminals to the 3D avatars of wealthy individuals) and by the possibility to gain access to exclusive locations.

On the contrary, the Internet and, someday, the metaverse are for everyone.

Today, the metaverse is a reiteration of the Internet as a unique virtual world, universal and immersive, facilitated by the use of headphones and virtual reality headsets.

Undoubtedly, virtual reality, augmented reality and, in general, digital innovation are leading sectors of financial markets, albeit with ups and downs.

Another important issue is how and when the metaverse could become a tool for the interaction between financial advisors, private bankers, and their clients.

Of course, the metaverse is going to get a foothold as one of the very few novelties on the market. Some even believe the metaverse to be a greater innovation than the World Wide Web.

The reasons are simple: the metaverse triggers emotions and emotions are the driving force of the feelings and actions of men.

Regardless of sociological, philosophical, and ethical considerations on the impact virtual reality is having and will have on real life, currently we are living most of our relationships remotely.

The evolution of video calls and chats on Instagram towards a more emotionally engaging environment is a guarantee of success.

The main issues to be addressed concern device development, grounding the virtual environment in the relationship bank-client, and the client profile.

As for devices, soon new glasses will replace that sort of Commodore 64 diving mask we are used to seeing.

Moreover, Big Techs will integrate the metaverse to their platforms: for example, Microsoft might integrate its metaverse Vortex to the Teams platform.

As for the profile of the ideal client, who will use the metaverse to chat with their bank or financial advisor, there are no doubts about generations Y and Z, born between 1980 and 2005. A few uncertainties may concern their parents, who at the moment hold most of the wealth, used to in-person interaction with their bankers.

Over the past two years, however, we have witnessed sudden revolutions together with the collapse of insurmountable barriers. So: a big welcome to the metaverse.

Nicola Ronchetti