The term was used for the first time in 1992 in the sci-fi novel by Neal Stephenson Snow Crash. The word comes from a collocation between “meta” which means “beyond” in Greek, and universe. It refers to a 3D collective virtual digital space enabling social interactions and where people can use an avatar thanks to an electronic device which simulates and manages the interface. However, despite the vast amount of articles published in recent weeks lauding the progress made and the first warnings issued regarding the possible misuses and dangers, the metaverse remains in its infancy. So, is it simply hype or is there genuine investment potential?.
Several issues will be faced during the outset of the metaverse. The first resides in the very definition of the concept itself. Admittedly, in the introduction we penned a definition which appears to be quite suitable. Yet, this is a portrait of the metaverse which, so far, only appears in sci-fi novels and films ahead of their time. In such works, the metaverse is unique, meaning there is only a single world or a single platform where people can meet and interact. And yet, today, there is not a single one of these, but many. Several environments are currently under parallel development of the metaverse which Facebook (or Meta Platforms after the name change) is creating.