Life in a virtual metaverse will soon become just as important as real life, according to experts.

The news comes as the metaverse is set to become a $13tn opportunity with five billion users by 2030, according to research from investment bank Citi Bank

Research firm GlobalData defines the metaverse as a virtual world where users share experiences and interact in real-time within simulated scenarios.

It is against this background that Gary Bracey, chairman of non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace Virtua, told Verdict he believes life in the metaverse will become just as important as real life.

“Your virtual life will bring in every form of entertainment, education, communication, potentially even commerce and work, and bring it altogether into the metaverse,” Bracey said. “You will be able to perform every function that you do in the real world but in a much broader shape and a much grander scale. It’s going to change everything.”

His sentiment echoes that of other market watchers. Charlotte Newton, analyst at research firm GlobalData, recently suggested in a podcast that the lines between gaming and videos streaming will blur by 2030.

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Metaverse funding has exploded in 2022

The news comes as interest in the metaverse has propelled funding into this market segment to new heights in 2022.

So far in the 2022, 571 venture financing deals have injected a combined $10.4bn into metaverse companies, according to data from GlobalData. That is a significant increase compared to 2021 when metaverse companies secured 438 deals, with a combined worth of over $6.1bn.

While interest in the metaverse has skyrocketed this year, there are signs that interest in the digital realm may be wearing off.

Supporters of the metaverse have suggested that the next stage of the evolution of the internet will make digital media experiences more immersive, inclusive and accessible than today.

However, others have warned that the metaverse will raise social concerns ranging from data privacy to other forms of online harm.

These concerns and the fact that the hype around the metaverse has yet to bear fruit have already dampened the optimism around the sector

For instance, Meta, the social media giant arguably spearheading the metaverse push, was recently told by investors to spend less on the metaverse amidst eye-watering losses.

GlobalData is the parent company of Verdict and its sister publications.